PaperSpecs Presents: Wong Kar Wai Criterion Collection Box Set Packaging
In a world where pretty much every movie is available to stream these days, criterioncollection still releases beautifully produced films on physical media for the same reason most of us choose to work with print – it’s a powerful way to demonstrate a company’s belief in the value of its product.
And as we can see with their “World of Wong Kar Wai” Blu-ray collection, they’ve put as much thought into the packaging for this Special Edition Collectors Set as they have for the bonus features for which Criterion is famous.
Soft-touch lamination applied to a 24 pt. C2S sheet ensures that the outer box is as appealing to the touch as its saturated colors are to the eye. It’s held closed by a tab-and-slot system on the back, allowing the package to blossom like a flower into a cross fold when opened, its diagonally die-cut panels mimicking the unusual camera angles and playful approaches to perspective found in films like “Chungking Express” and “Fallen Angels.” Opening the final two vertical panels reveals the cover of a gorgeous softcover book inside.
While not the first English-language tome on the Hong Kong filmmaker, the colors in this perfect-bound beauty are much more vibrant than those that have come before.
Boasting a 130 lb. Verso Sterling Premium Silk cover, it features large, luscious images from the movies printed CMYK on 100 lb. Sterling Premium Dull/Silk Text, with the same heavy color saturations found in the director’s work. Crucially, the 152 pages are French folded, making for a volume with 76 satisfyingly chunky pages.
Interspersed throughout are six 30 lb. translucent Neenah Clearfold sleeves imprinted with Red, arrow-like artwork on one side – each containing a different movie still printed on 80 lb. Sterling Dull/Silk Cover.
And just when I think I’ve consumed every gorgeous detail in this book, I suddenly notice something else – yes, more fun and surprising easter eggs - this time in the form of large film images printed INSIDE each of those French fold pages!
Finally, we get to the heart of this collection – the movies themselves.
From the outside the Blu-ray holder, printed CMYK on 65 lb. Sterling Premium Gloss Cover, looks like it might be another chunky book, complete with soft touch lamination.
However, flipping through it we discover that that those pages are super-thick, displaying more saturated spreads. Once we arrive at the middle, we discover the secret of this piece.
The two panels facing each other open out into a gatefold that holds 3 of the discs. But wait, where are the other 4?
Tugging a bit more at each panel causes the gatefold to blossom even further - these are actually 2 sets of accordion folds, revealing the remaining films! (The accordion pages were printed and die cut, and then hand folded and taped together before being taped into a hard cover.) A handy diagonal die cut on each panel allows the discs to be removed easily.
From unusual, angled die cuts and origami-like folds to its inventive use of French folds, including Easter eggs, the packaging for this box set, like every Criterion Collection release, reminds us that it’s the little extras that transform the merely good into something not to be missed.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.