Ordinary engineering

Having finished my mints the other day I was just about to pitch this container into the bin, but instead I stopped and took a closer look at it. It’s actually a marvel of package design. Four pieces of metal formed around a hinge pin, the prefect size and weight to fit in the hand.



It can be opened or closed with one hand. The small detent you see in the middle of the top flap is sized so that minimal pressure will open it, and yet it will remain closed inside your purse, lunch bag or glove box.


The bottom of the can, which is formed by rolling four corners around a small radius while simultaneously capturing the bottom plate, has a laser-printed “sell by” date.


The top of the can is attached by a steel pin that forms the hinge, both attaching the lid to the can and precisely aligning the protruding top surfaces with the interior of the can.  The back side of the top is angled so that the lid will operate in a smooth arc while it is closing.


The interior of the can is the proper width to deliver the circular ovoid candy without jamming the opening (think Tic Tacs). Notice the seams are all rounded and the edges hidden so that a hapless consumer like me can’t hurt himself on it.


The complete unit is pleasing to they eye, graphical enough to stand out on the store shelf, and manufactured cheaply enough to be given away with a bunch of mints.

It seems a shame to throw it away, because some unknown nameless engineer really nailed this project.

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10 Responses to Ordinary engineering

  1. I’ve never seen this package here in CA. Could it be made for the EU/East Asia market? I’m not much of a candy consumer anymore, but I’d buy this if I saw it.

  2. Amazing that something like that is made of metal instead of plastic these days.

    I’d keep it. But then it would sit on the shelf with all the unused old metal Band-Aid boxes I have since I never think to put the new bandages that come in paper boxes in them …

  3. kimkiminy says:

    Good design is so rare anymore that when we encounter something really well-designed, it’s a revelation. I’d keep it, too. You’ll find something to stash in there.

  4. LG says:

    Ah, the nerd at work !
    But yeah. Cool design. I always say Americans are geniuses at packaging. Whether it is mint tins or rock shows – you guys rock at packaging and delivery.
    Don’t toss the tin – it will make a great ear bud holder…or pill holder. Or tooth pick holder. Or twine holder. Or fill it up with molten wax with a wick set in place and let it harden, and you have a portable candle.

  5. madtante says:

    Up cycle that puppy!

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