Margo Chase on the Future of Packaging

Remember CDs and records and the great packaging they came in? Not only was there a graphic device to pull you in, but within the package there were gatefolds that included song lyrics and additional photography and notes. It was a treat to buy music and engage with the package. Today, we see an icon in iTunes and download the music we want. Sure, it’s easy, but certainly not as joyful. In the height of the music scene in the ’80s and ’90s, Margo Chase was designing some of the best album covers for artists like Madonna, Cher, Paula Abdul and more.

Over the years, she expanded her practice, Chase Design Group, to encompass all kinds of package design categories for brands like Gain laundry detergent, Nestle Coffee Mate, Mr. Clean, and Kind bars. Chase understands what works on the shelf at brick and mortar stores, and what’s working in the online shopping environment, and what works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for the other. In fact, designers need to rethink the packaging experience for both environments in order for their clients to succeed.


Here Chase talks about how the game is changing in packaging for online and in-store, and how designers need to adapt and evolve, or be left out all together.

Whoever said, “The only constant is change” must have been a designer. I’ve been designing packaging and adapting to change for almost 30 years. My first packages were 12-inch album covers, which quickly became 5-inch CD covers, and finally, with the advent of the internet, music became downloadable and packaging was reduced to a digital icon. Few industries have been changed as radically by the web as the music business, but today every business is feeling the impact of the growth of online retail.


Living through the changes in the music business made me wary of complacency and aware of how quickly nimble start-ups can take advantage of new technologies to win market share. Apple Music (iTunes) and similar digital music platforms put many traditional music labels out of business by developing online technologies to showcase new artists and albums in ways that utilized the possibilities offered in the digital sphere and maximized impact and engagement with consumers in ways that were unique to online experience.

Check out the full article on Moxie Sozo