PaperSpecsGallery.com Presents: Breaking Bad
When you combine certain elements, the results can be explosive. Just ask Walter White, the rogue science teacher in AMC’s beloved crime drama “Breaking Bad.” To commemorate the end of that landmark series, the network came up with an equally explosive combination all its own when it said “Let’s cook” with the creative printers at Highresolution to craft a truly unique work of art, as well as an exquisite packaging experience.
Mysterious Packaging Experience
The package itself consists of a heavy-weight, turned-edge sleeve and a super-heavy drawer, both wrapped in Hollander’s Arrestox Bookcloth using the same technique employed in hardcover bookbinding.
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The fabric is actually made from 100% cotton material with a water based acrylic coating for extra resistance to tears, scratches and stains. And as you can see in this case the Fern Green option was used, which is a perfect match for the show’s brand colors. On the top of the sleeve, Highresolution rendered the “Breaking Bad” logo in Green hot foil.
A Multi-Dimensional Tribute to ‘Breaking Bad’
Pulling a handy Green ribbon on the side of the drawer-box packaging dramatically reveals the contents. And quite frankly, this is where a video is worth a thousand words. That’s because what awaited me was something not just unique, but multi-dimensionally unique in a way we just don’t see that often.
For starters, a peek inside the sleeve reveals a velvet lining to ensure a smooth removal of the drawer – absolutely vital considering its weight. And now to what lay inside. Fitted inside the drawer is a 2-inch-thick piece of padding – foam covered in Black velvet – containing four identical cutouts. Snuggly resting in two of them sits a pair of 2-inch acrylic cubes, each containing a glass vial at its center.
The first vial contains Bromine, the second Barium, or so the accompanying screen printed acetate’s informs me, as well as relaying each element’s chemical symbol and atomic number. Look closely and you can see these are actually embedded in the acrylic! (To guard against scratches to the surface, Highresolution polished each cube by hand with car wax.) Both symbols are used to make up the B’s in “Breaking Bad’s” logo, and are also visible at the bottom of the other two cut-outs.
What Lies Beneath
Removing the cubes and Black padding from the box reveals that the large Green chemical symbols are actually part of a 5” x 5 “ x 1½” custom-poured acrylic base, the letters and numbers screen printed reverse image in Green, White and Black. And thanks to the transparency of the acrylic and the way they were printed, they’re visible from practically every angle. To give you some idea of the level of detail Highresolution went into with this piece, the two removable cubes are held in place by 1/8-inch routed notches on the base.
An Appropriate Ending
And because no “Breaking Bad” episode would be complete without a last-minute twist, lifting the base out of the box reveals a parting gift: a bunch of (sadly shredded) $100 bills. Not only did they help to protect the printing on the bottom of the acrylic, it’s also a subtle nod to how everyone’s ambitions in the series usually ended up being realized in ironic, tragic ways.
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.