50 Of The Most Evil Packaging Designs That Were Created To Deceive People
God is in the details, they say. But so is the devil. Especially when you’re hungry and drained after yet another bender day in this wild, wild world. And though jerk packaging designs do not apply solely to food, but come in many shapes and product categories, they are the solid reason why so many of us have some level of trust issues.
Like, putting three salami tranches on the side of a pizza so that it gets a “window view,” shining like a diamond out of the package, is borderline bearable. We bear this injustice only because we know it can get worse. Like a wrap packaged in such a way that it looks ⅓ bigger than it truly is.
So Bored Panda has compiled this list as a safe place to talk about shamelessly evil packaging designs that have been spotted all over the world. And even if the phenomenon is more or less universal, it doesn’t mean it’s okay. On the contrary, it serves as a reminder that it can always get worse than your chocolate box with 50% of the candy discreetly concealed from the packaging because it doesn’t exist.
Psst! More infuriating packages that boil even the most Zen blood of all can be found in our previous articles here and here.
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1001 Stickers And 768 Of Them Are Useless Squares. Thanks, Disney
Tricked By The Packaging Of My Moisturizing Cream
Is Anyone Else Bothered By Deceptive Packaging Like This?
Bored Panda reached out to Portugal-based graphic designer Laura Vanagaite who specializes in branding and illustration design. Laura said that deceptive packaging like the ones you see in this post is really a way to trick the human mind.
“Once we see unique photos of food and drinks, our mind creates the impression that the volume of the contents is greater than it actually is.” This anticipation is destroyed as soon as you open the package. “And once we find out that the reality is different, we feel the disappointment,” Laura explained.
When asked why there is still so much deceptive packaging sold in the shopping aisles, Laura said that this is a clever marketing technique. “Brands know that beautiful imagery sells and that catchy photos with great products create the illusion which will help to sell it fast.”
Bought These Sticky Notes Cause I Thought The Gold Border Was Nice
My Sister Got This For Her Birthday
The Sticker Was A Lie
However, the alluring impression of the deceptive packaging is temporary. Laura says that in order to establish a bond with your loyal customers, brands should employ functional and trustworthy designs. It’s what allows them “to create a feeling of security between them and their customer.”
When it comes to the right kind of packaging design, Laura explained “that all areas of design have a purpose to solve a problem and provide trust to the user.” This means that user-friendly packaging should have features like safety and enhanced usability, be appealing and optimal, and fit the specific customer requirements.
“Every good design needs to be functional, practical, and represent the brand itself in a good way.” But that doesn’t mean it should be boring, on the contrary. In addition to all the features mentioned before, efficient packaging has to grab the consumer’s attention.
This is where the product and packaging designers come into play. “The designer has the ability to make the design stand out by using shapes, colors, orientations. These are key in making it clear to the consumer what the brand is about and what its purpose is."
Ahh Yes, Reality Is Often Disappointing
"Printed All Over" And Deliberately Leaves The Pattern On The Outside Of The Package
Natural My Foot
It turns out this is due to a quirk in Indian food safety standards that allow only non-processed foods to be called natural without using the disclaimer. The company assures its customers that the sugar is indeed natural, but it is processed from sugar cane juice to sugar. https://www.cnbctv18.com/business/companies/not-its-true-nature-parrys-explains-disclaimer-on-its-natural-brown-sugar-7004201.htm
Rolling Stone Presents (39 Of The) 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time
They say "Always read the fine print", but I never thought that would apply to the front cover of a book...
Both Weigh 500g But The Green One Is In A 30% "Bigger Bag More To Share"
So Thankful For My Singular Candy Topping
Thought I’d Buy Some Colored Pens. Turns Out Every Single One Of Them Has Blue Ink
Bought A Ball Pit For My Baby
Blatant false advertising... there is no baby in the actual package
This "Box" Of Beef Jerky
How Can They Even Call This "Non-Dairy?"
That's just the law trying to protect people with dietary issues. It contains traces of milk products (Sodium Caseinate) and even if that doesn't cause any problems, it is still necessary to mention it as milk as a potential allergen. But the creamer is not a dried milk product as many creamers are. The main ingredients are corn syrup and palm oil. If you want to throw a fit, start with those two.
This Cashew Packaging. I Was Wondering Why My Hand Instantly Hit The Bottom When I Opened It
Bought A Coloring Book And Pencils To Keep Myself Busy While I’m Off Work. Thought These Were Full-Size Pencils
It has a built-in sharpener for what? To make them even tinier.
New Packaging (Right), Same Quantity
Disgusting. Anything that uses more plastic to pack something than is absolutely necessary is just awful. Arggh, this is making me so mad! Who are these people?!
800 Pieces. Yeah Right. The Box Is Half Blocked And 550 Pieces Are Tiny Dot Pieces. My Son Was Not Happy
I Was Wondering Why This Watermelon Juice Tasted So Weird
Bought Some Eye Makeup, Just Realized One Of The Eyeshadows Isn’t Safe For Eyes. Found Out Via White Print On A White Background
“Not intended for use in the immediate eye area”
New Means What's Inside Is Not New
My Mother Ordered 1000 Plastic Blocks For Her Nephews. Ended Up Receiving 523
Brand New Protein Powder, Not Even Filled Half Whey
Ha! Love the pun. At least you *gained* something from this experience.
I Guess The Meatballs All Just Wanted A Window Seat
8% Alcohol Or
Tesco Is Selling "Flushable" Wet Wipes Which Are "Harmful To Aquatic Life"
ALL “flushable” wipes are harmful and should NOT be flushed because they still don’t break down well and clog up pipes and it is awful for the environment. These should be illegal to be called flushable.
New Cereal Box Is 11% Taller With 1.6% Less Cereal
More wasteful packaging. How do the people who come up with these ideas sleep at night. A lot of cereal boxes are half empty. Not only would it save on cardboard, the plastic for the bag inside and the ink, if it were more realistic for the contents, it would also be cheaper to freight because they'd fit more boxes in a truck.
No, It's Not Bigger. It's Of Same Size
This Box Of Mostly Sticks With Some Matches In It
9 Sticker Rolls. One Mildly Infuriated 7-Year-Old
These are the worst. Unfortunately there is always a new generation of parents who are clueless enough to fall for them so they keep making them.
"Made In U.S.A"
The case is made in the USA... we can't actually trust them to make the important stuff.
Some Acrylic Paints I Bought
Not only is this deceptive, but it's producing extra packaging for nothing. You know that package and all the paint tubes are going to still be on this planet long after all of us are dead and gone.
Went To Poundland And Had The Choice Between These And After Eights, Got These Cause They We're Bigger, I Paid For Air
So...what the heck ARE these? I dont recognize that (fruit? veggie?) purple thing....
Actual Size Is Not The Actual Size
Coloring Kit That Is 90% Empty And Counts Each Piece Of Paper As One Piece In 100 Pieces
Always pays to read the contents list. This kind of item usually has one.
Coloring Book For My Son
Sneaky Packaging Cheating Us
Package Of The Cheese vs. The Cheese Itself
This Sour Batch Candy Bag Felt Oddly Light
One Of The Blocks Isn't One Of The Blocks
But can we appreciate the amount of effort put into making that piece of cardboard into looking like a block?
Xtreme Jerks I'd Say
These Were Locked In A Glass Case Facing Forward So You Couldn’t Just Read The Back Before Purchase
This Pizza Tastes Like False Advertising
I'm picturing a sweat shop full of kids frantically rolling 1000s of pizza crusts
Even Worse - It's Stale
Why would anyone buy popcorn in a bag, in a box, in a box with a window anyway?
Thanks Jetstar For My Large Box Of Pencils
Note: this post originally had 144 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.
This is the reason there is so much unrecycled rubbish, and country-sized garbage patches in the oceans .... grrr
By the end of this I almost felt like crying. The amount of extra packaging produced all in the name of deception is just depressing. The marketing people behind these sorts of ideas must have no conscience or care for the planet at all.
This is how some countries recycle their garbage
Nah without this those u recycled garbage patches would still be there. The only reason for them is companies sticking to plastic use instead of better options. And to top it off they invest in clean up days so people can feel good about cleaning up all that plastic.
We have had this series before, but I think this time it got the most entries that are not merely misleading. By EU law most of these packaging would be considered fraud and entitle to a full refund, with the company and/or vendor receiving a formal cease and desist, probably enforced by a penalty. Even without these laws, I am wondering which kind of jerks produce these things. It is unethical on a social and on a ecological level alike.
Hey Hans, I'm a shopper person and I have never actually seen any of these products in print, or in the 'Real'. Now,...I live in the South, but not other parts much at all, so I cannot vouch for the rest of the country. Either way, this is about as fraudulent as I have ever seen.
Unethical on a social and ecological level ? That's uhhh, pretty much the whole point in capitalism
Looks like America and an Asian country or two.