Sinclair Smith & Company is a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Brooklyn, NY. Our services include strategic consulting, industrial design and interior design.



Snotty ketchup

Posted on Jul 8, 2012 in Advertising, Branding, Food, Packaging, sustaina-bling


Heinz has been going kind of nuts with their use of the big squeeze bottle’s real estate on the label. I commend their labels that support troops, sending a string message while reinforcing a good ole American product image, and I’m glad they are engaging the consumer in their effort to reduce waste and raise awareness. But this level of conspicuous conservation is too ostentatious and self-satisfied for my tastes.

Even if is do like the taste of Heinz.


Kikkoman soy sauce dispenser

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 in Food, Packaging, Product

“It took three years for Ekuan and his team to arrive at the dispenser’s transparent teardrop shape. More than 100 prototypes were tested in the making of its innovative, dripless spout (based on a teapot’s, but inverted). The design proved to be an ideal ambassador. With its imperial red cap and industrial materials (glass and plastic), it helped timeless Japanese design values — elegance, simplicity and supreme functionality — infiltrate kitchens around the world.” Read the full nytimes article…

Coke and Pepsi race to be first to replace teeth with plant based plastic. Wait, what?

No, sorry, that’s not right. A New York Times story today reports that “the beverage rivals are racing to become the first to produce a plastic soda bottle made entirely from plants.” And in all sincerity I hope they both get there soon. But in a load of BS so incongruous with a century plus rivalry between two industrial giants, the piece ends with this quote from Pepsi’s VP of global beverage packaging: “We don’t feel it’s a race” Ms. Lefebvre said. “We feel like were all working together to do better for the environment and also to make good business sense.” Yeah right. (more…)

Scope Outlast packaging fail

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 in Advertising, Branding, Color, Dysfunction, Featured, Packaging

Ok, so I am SUPER late to the party on this one, but I just saw the Scope Outlast bottle in the store and was really taken aback. I got four words: gypsy cab air freshener. As reported in the Dieline in 2009, brand management at Scope and the designers at Webb deVlam wanted to ensure the bottle would not be relegated to under sink cabinet status for reasons of exposing the brand and encouraging routine use. All well and good, so they went with a jewel and perfume bottle inspired form to elevate status by form association. Ok, also well and good, particularly when you think that Scope makes your breath smell fresh. Ok, doing great, and then along comes the semiotic disruptor– blue liquid!!! Noooooooo!!! So here’s a question: what’s a blue or brightly colored liquid that comes in a jewel like bottle so it can be elevated to above the counter status when really it’s trash? Four words: gypsy cab air freshener.

Alex Steinweiss– RIP

Posted on Jul 19, 2011 in Advertising, Art, graphic design, Music & Art, Packaging, People

Steven Heller wrote a lovely obituary for the late and great Alex Steinweiss in today’s New York TImes. I had never heard of Steinweiss and I’m sorry because his contribution was huge. As advertising manager for Columbia Records he essentially introduced original artwork to the record sleeve. If you consider a time before records used covers for marketing but consider how cherished is the tactile experience of holding a sleeve and hearing amazing music, you get not only the idea of the contribution he made toward elevating that music purchasing and listening experience, but also what an impression that must have made onto other marketed and decorated product packaging. Records are at the center of cherished products and they are so largely for their unique art. What an amazing contribution to make to industrial design in general. Read the full obit.

L.L. Bean wrapping tissue

Posted on Jun 20, 2011 in Branding, Children, Clothing, Illustration, Packaging, Retail

I got an awesome pair of boots from L.L. Bean for father’s day yesterday– thank you KR and HS!!– and I was almost as excited about the beautiful paper that came in the box to wrap the boots. It looks like an old repeat from their archives, unless of course they never stopped using it. Anyway, the illustrations are gorgeous; check out the movement on that fisherman. They need to add some color and get into making bedding for kids. Classic stuff.

Smart printer packaging

Posted on Jun 1, 2011 in Packaging, Tech, Tools

I bought a new printer the other day and while I was taking it out of the box, I had to stop to take some ID porn. You know how when you are unpacking a new appliance and you remove the top pieces of styrofoam packing to be faced with the task of lifting a heavy item out of its box while it is still wrapped in extremely slippery plastic, and all you can think while lifting it out is ‘Holy shit, it’s slipping! I just paid an arm and a leg for this thing and I’m gonna break it before I get it out of the box!!”? Yeah, well, Epson thought of that this time. So they put handles on that super slippery plastic wrapping, et voila! You lift it right out. No icky fuss. No messy clean up! Smart package design.

By the way, the Epson Workforce 1100 is a really good printer for the money. I guess Epson figured out that a huge part of its large format market was wasting money and ink on high priced photo quality printers just to run off large format office production and presentation papers. They retooled the ink flow and paper speed and dropped the price, and man is this a good printer!

Motorcycle shipping crate gone workbench

Posted on May 22, 2011 in Branding, Furniture, Packaging, sustaina-bling, Transportation

Michael Kritzer has done an interesting thing for client Buell Motorcycles by designing a shipping crate the bike purchaser can turn into a workbench. And a pretty smart one at that. Well played. Mr. Kritzer has more sharp work and smart business intentions up at Habitco. Via core77.

Beastie Boys cover art?

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 in Art, graphic design, Music & Art, Packaging, Typography

I’m trying to make sense of it all and guessing that this is the cover art for the forthcoming record. Whatever it is, it’s fucking gorgeous. I love how I can and can’t see the letterforms spelling Beastie Boys in there. Amazing. So psyched. Tx KR.

Something’s wrong here.

Posted on Feb 10, 2011 in Dysfunction, Eco, Endless stuff, Packaging, Product

This is a clear hard plastic cover for an iPhone 4 still in its packaging from Incase.

And this is the price tag. Not bad. Someone’s doing pretty well making aftermarket plastic parts for a fancy phone and charging a fancy penny. But what gets me is this: below are the four main components that make up just the disposable packaging for the plastic phone cover:

From right to left, a glossy paper bifold “manual” that sits in the thermo formed anti rattle shipping tray to its left (which nests the phone cover not pictured) which nests in the pressure formed paper pulp tray to its left which slides into the printed sheath to its left and we’re done. So below we have the phone case on the left and the mountain of trash it comes in to its right.

And what I wanna know is when you go back to the unit cost for this product which is packaging for a package for a phone, what costs more, the single plastic case or its packaging?