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February 23, 2011 / margikimball

♥ :: Charles S. Anderson

Charles S. Anderson is undeniably one of the influential design firms of our time. Frequently partnering with French Paper, this group tirelessly integrates illustrations or illustrative elements in their [package, product and identity] designs. So I don’t think we can talk about the application of illustration without examining what makes CSA so successful.

All of their work, it seems, contains the element of surprise. The illustrations interact with the object in such a way as to make us think they are jumping out of their container (an interesting comment, perhaps). Palettes employed in their packaging frequently references vintage work and there is a sense of play functioning charmingly here.

In the above bottles, we see meta-illustration (!), in that the actual packaging contains an image of, well, a bottle. This is subtle but results in us thinking about CSA thinking about and self-consciously creating the package. Below, illustrations are quietly incorporated into the watches and actually function as numbers. Function + fun!

So, then. If you weren’t already familiar with CSA specifically, you’ve most likely seen and even participated in their work. If not, be sure to check out their recently redesigned website and the beautiful work housed there.

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