Trés Bon Ami

by Omatic Design

I LITTLE SERENDIPITY I suppose. Missus Ali was planning a deep cleaning in the kitchen (while I was planning to sit back and watch Underdog and eat Cheetos—I lost) and couldn’t remember her Gramma’s favored cleaner, one of the granulated old-timey brands. We went to the store and after too much tortured consideration grabbed a can of Bon Ami, a basic cleanser. Dissolved, it worked fabulously on our original 1930’s kitchen cabinets and only gave me mild tummy upset when I slurped the leftovers.

Bon Ami is a true heritage brand. It’s essential and makes no promise other than to work. And I was quite taken with the packaging which successfully conned me into thinking they had maintained their original 1940’s look. If I’d spent more time with it I would have recognized the modern typeface Whitney and some other suspicious characters in the mix. But I didn’t feel the need to play super-design-pro analyst. I simply allowed a positive visceral response and tossed it in the cart.

A quick look on the intertubes showed they just revamped their packaging. The designerati has already weighed in, but I take a selfish little joy that I came to it through a purely unencumbered on-the-spot consumer response.

The “Bravo!” goes to Celery Design out of Berkeley. Cleaning products have the most obnoxious packaging next to kids’ cereal. And packaging that effortlessly breaks the mold deserves accolades.