Early New York Times photographs of snowstorms really capture the havoc, misery and peril a blizzard could visit on the city in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Blizzard of 1888, for example, dumped 21 inches of snow on the city and killed an estimated 200 New Yorkers. But even a garden-variety snowstorm in those days would menace New York’s main form of transit — horses — and impose human suffering of all kinds, while posing the immense logistical challenge of clearing an entire metropolis of snow.
It isn’t the first time people have incorporated bar codes into the design of things. In fact, I believe I saw three different periodical covers last year that used this same technique. So the concept is far from original.
But Duane Reade—which, to New Yorkers, is synonymous with pharmacy—recently took this one step further by working their product bar codes into iconic metropolitan imagery. The Chinatown Delight—which I always thought was either a extra surprise at the end of a massage, or the revelation that she’s both my daughter and my sister (Don’t get my reference? Then forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown)—uses a subway train. The Honey Roasted Peanuts uses a NYC cityscape. The Blanched Roasted Peanuts uses the Statue of Liberty. So while the imagery and concept are New York at it’s tritest, the integration of both the bar code and symbolism into the main graphic elements on this packaging makes it pretty unique and beautiful.