Apple v. Microsoft: Packaging

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Mike Teezie, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    A while back, there was a video that demonstrated what the iPod's packaging might have looked like if MS had designed it.

    I was reminded of that video today when I was flipping through one of my photography mags, and came across an ad for MS's Digital Image Suite.




    Does MS want to make their stuff look crappy? :confused: :D
  2. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    I am mostly impressed with Apple's products for quality, performance, and aesthetics, including packaging. I have not seen any other computer manufactures who packages their products like Apple does. I have kept all of my PBs and iBook boxes in my closet.
    There is something about Apple products which shows finesse and elegance while MS products exhibit somewhat the opposite of what I described of Apple.
    This thread is about packaging design; but, one of the telltale sign of the difference of Apple and MS is when you start your computer. My Macs never flicker the screen or do some jerky motion while booting up; on the contrary, Windows XP tends to starts up less-than-elegantly as I see some flickers and refreshing screens and etc.
  3. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Perfect example of how Apple kills in packaging. I was so blown away by all the packaging used for my ACD, mini, KB & mouse. Compared to the cardboard box my Dell arrived in there's just no comparison!

    First impressions count, and Apple really appreciate that.
  4. Whotheheck macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2004
    oh, come on. Microsoft doesn't suck in packaging. It's just that Apple is very good at it.
  5. Peyton macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2006
    Seems like they would use some good pictures on their box instead of 12 small/bad pics.

    I love how it says its 'Easy' then goes on to explain its companion software, and then 4 or 5 points of interest all on the front of the box.

    then the side with the windows seal, then another seal below that. this is fun...
  6. rendezvouscp macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2003
    Long Beach, California
    I think it's all about market as well. Anyone interested in Aperature probably already knows what it is, but not so with Microsoft's image suite. Aperture is very focused on professional photographers, right from when you look at it, and there isn't a lot of competition in that area. The image suite, on the other hand, is quite different.

    I actually don't think Microsoft's design for that suite is too bad considering what they have to convey.
  7. jive macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2006
  8. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Yes, they do. ;) :)
  9. Dane D. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2004
    Packaging is an art. Most corporations suffer from what we term - 'design by committee.' Our designs are usually done with the thought of 'less is more' approach. But when you submit your idea to the client they take it away into some corporate dungeon and destroy it. Literally the design idea is gone and replaced with something grotesque (more photos, more type, more diagrams, bigger this and that) you get the idea. As for the MS package, it is a reflection of MS. Dated, uninspired, bland and just plain boring. Thats what you get with committees and engineers. I kept all my Apple Cartons too.
  10. rick6502 macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Different Approaches

    I think it's the difference between how both companies approach the end user. Microsoft markets their boxes to the lowest common denominator. People to whom you have to explain everything too. In addition, since there are so many permutations of Windows configurations, they feel obligated, probably correctly, that they had better spell out exactly what box it will work on. That takes the whole back panel.
    Alternately, Apple assumes they are marketing to the highest common denomitor. Users who follow Apple, Apple rumor sites, and Apple oriented publications. It's "Buy me! Buy me! Buy me!" vs. "I knew you were coming so let's celebrate."
  11. donga macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2005
    so true. :)
  12. Mike Teezie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    Nicely put.

    We aren't helping that "Mac guys are snobs" thing are we?

    I don't mind if you don't.

  13. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    I'll say this much – I doubt there are many people who enjoy sniffing Microsoft packaging... ;)
  14. Oryan macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    Just my take here, but it looks like the MS box is screaming out to any random person walking by "Buy me! I'll make your pictures look great!" Whereas somebody looking for Aperature already knows what it is and that the camera lens is it's identifying mark. Thus, the Apple shopper can easily spot the Aperature box on the shelf instead of looking through several shelves reading software titles to find MS Photo Suite 2006.
  15. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Isnt the Air Balloon pic a free stock image that comes with CorelDraw? Or maybe its an old version of Photoshop. :confused: No wonder MS have loads of money they never pay for anything! They just 'borrow' and copy!
  16. iShane macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2006
    New York -> SF
    I have always liked Apple's packaging/boxes. I believe that the Windows computers come in brown boxes.
  17. 2ndPath macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2006
    I think this example of Microsoft design is not even too bad. They just explain, what the product is and don't even use anoying flashy colors. In my opinion, the results really get bad, if Microsoft tries to design. This plastic case for the Mac version of office for example looks really bad. Another example is the way too big and bright window frames in Windows XP.
  18. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada

    Just read the packages, they are for completely different markets

    "Photo editing and organization made easy"

    "Designed for Professional Photographers"

    The MS package meets it's intentions -- they are average photos that average point and shooters would take and want to make an album. 5 bullet points to explain what it does. Nothing there to intimidate the n00bie shooter -- it gives them something to identify with.

    The Apple package is all style over information. It could contain almost anything from a lens to lintfree cloths. And the picture of big glass potentially could scare off the hobbyist - it fairly screams "this is not for you, punter"
  19. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    iLife would be a more reasonable comparison. But the design philosophy is still inherent in that too. iLife 05's cover design in particular, was just sublime.
  20. narco macrumors 65816


    Dec 9, 2003
    I go through this constantly. Whenever I use the "less is more" approach, they either say "we are paying for color, I don't want to see any white." Or they say the same thing about empty space -- why leave it empty when you can put even more information about the product?

    I constantly tell them that if the design is too crowded, nobody can focus on one thing. If there is one single (or maybe a couple) large, striking images -- then the viewer will be compelled to read more about it on the bottom in smaller type.

    I have yet to win this argument, though. Most clients just feel the need to tell everything about their product in one 8.5 x 11 sheet of glossy paper. Oh well, their loss.

  21. Mike Teezie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    My intention was to point out the differences in Apple and Microsoft's design philosophies, not the nature of the products. I just chose MS's Imaging Suite because I saw it in an advert.

    The same philosophies are apparent in Apple's non-pro lines:

  22. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Ha! I'll have to remember that one.

    Customer: That looks neat, what is it?

    Apple: It's called Aperture.

    C: Oh, ok... so, uh, what does it do?

    A: If you have to ask, it's not for you.

    C: :confused: :eek: :(

    A: Um, errr... here, look at this iPod. And the new iMac is the perfect accessory. Will that be cash or charge?

    C: Oooohhhh shiny.

    A: :cool:
  23. Tymmz macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2005
    Like the people in the hotel-business say:

    "The first impression is the most important one, the last impression is the one that lasts:"

    Why do you think Apple started that recycling program.

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