Hybridisation in package design: Core values and cultural identity
Hybridity is becoming increasingly widespread across the globe as a result of interactions caused by globalisation. In addition, hybridisation has been dominant in both local and global culture. As such, it can be difficult to resist the affect this phenomenon has had on our lives. The reason why it is difficult is it does not exist just in ethics, values, and morality (perspectives) but also in behaviors (practices) in art, music, and language etc. As Butler states culture is performative. This means hybridity of culture could cause an existing culture to be lost during hybridisation. However, not all aspects of hybridity play an important role in global culture. Therefore, I shall argue that hybridity does not change or challenge an existing culture because the concept of cultural values is based on individual belief and is primarily concerned with a personal decision. As Calasso (2001, p.68) highlights, the core identity of culture is associated with a myth. This essay will first illustrate the influence of postmodernism and globalization movements on hybridity before establishing a core cultural identity and will finish by examining the hybridisation in package design; the Glow again skincare (Erb, 2018), the Grab Thai ready-meals (Prompt Partners, 2018) and the Khiri dried-fruits (Yindee design, 2015).
As Lyotard (1979) notes, postmodernism’s concepts focus on an individual’s beliefs and knowledge that even seemingly inconsequential things have meaning, thus resulting in both a diversity between cultures and diversity within a particular culture. Secondly, globalisation is a global interaction in many ways such as trading, ideas, and cultures. For instance, social media play a significant role in terms of communication and interaction between individuals or communities that leads to increasing interconnections throughout the world. This can be seen in the way that globalisation could be a consequence of postmodernism movement. For Stockhammer (2012, p.5) it appears that hybridity harmonizes with a globalised world. As can be seen that hybridity is the result of mixing between things, it provides a new form. It is not one blending to the other thing or merging together. Similarly, the theory from Bhabha (1994, p.38) indicates that hybridisation creates a new identity or a third space, which provides cultural mixing on a new scale Chan (2002, p.177) agreed with Bhabha that these phenomena create a new culture form it does not destroy or change an existing culture. Therefore, It suggests hybridisation is not challenging culture.
First and foremost, Anthias (2010, p.627) assumes an evidential culture as content, such as artifact, music, language, and behavior of particular group which can be seen as focus on practice rather than ethics. On the other hand, Armstrong (2015, p.626) argues that the human mind has the ability to create, think and imagine something that we never experience or is not present. Many evidence suggests most of the culture have been narrating from generation to generation by myth and metaphor. Following an ability to create, an essential tool to build a religion and a mythology which is provided in one group that shared experiences and memories that different from an outsider. As Smith (2002,p.8-9) suggests, culture is a set of traditional ways that are symbolized in a religious belief and historical memories that are shared in one group or society. As explained earlier, Calassi (2001,p.68) believes that the core identity of culture connects with myths which appear to be more focus on individual core values from a perspective rather than trends or practices. The following three examples from package design illustrate hybridisation in design does not change an existing culture. It starts by looking at the Glow Again skincare (Erb, 2018), the Grab Thai ready-meals (Prompt Partners, 2018) and the Khiri dried-fruits (Yindee Design, 2015).
the Glow again skincare (Erb, 2018)
The Glow Again skincare (Erb, 2018) is a Thai luxury skincare products. The key visual represents a combination of art styles in different cultures. As can be seen,
the influence of Viennese art nouveau leads to a sense of harmony and elegance which indicates nourishment and feminine beauty in this product. Similarly, with a subtle pattern the elements of a golden honeycomb, which appears in a foreground, it has adopted from an ancient Egyptian costume jewelry to illustrates a majestic mood. For the main label element, there is a golden silhouette of an old nobility badge in an early 18th century in Thailand, it indicates to dignity and honesty in culture. Moving to sash elements on the top and the bottom, it displays warm colours; ivory, marigold and creamsicle orange which are symbolised a sense of belief in Buddhism because these colours appear in monks uniform which is symbolic religion. The technique of calligraphy which is used as a product title to represent luxurious mood and hedonism from Art nouveau ‘s typography. Following this in Thai design industry not usually use English as a product title. It is now generally recognised this package design as a hybridised product that mixed with various of art style and it does not change an existing culture.
the Grab Thai ready-meals (Prompt Partners, 2018)
The Grab Thai (Prompt Partners, 2018) is a Thai ready-meals product. One significantly different aspect part from general Thai design is the use of black colour in food packaging, it would seem that it has been influenced by Western design.
A key visual in the centre, it appears a traditional Thai package widely used in this country knows as ” Tung Krang ” that contains a hot soup or food, this package for take away. Not only colour but it also typography and photography that used in
a Western style to represent product identity. There is one more essential element from this design, GrabThai logo, They had simplified rubber band form into part of
a logo and selected the most widely used colour in Thailand which is red and green. Following this red and green colours had been used in the traditional Thai art; Traditional Thai costume, jewelry, mural painting, and design industry since the past. This package has illustred a specific meaning in each element to indicate Thainess. Therefore, it suggests that GrabThai adopted and combined Western graphic design to represent an original identity in a package and it does not change core culture at a deep level.
the Khiri dried-fruits (Yindee design, 2015).
The Khiri (Yindee design, 2015) is Thai dried-fruits. This package illustrates
a combination of Western style and Thai fruit carving. As can be seen, the choice of position and proportion is neat, revealing and synergy element. This key visual divided into raw fruit and modification parts. This design has adopted the idea of mixing, by combining raw fruit and Thai fruit carving. It not only shows a traditional Thai handicraft but also indicates to pure freshness from raw fruit. The contrary subject is rarely used in Thai design. For Thai fruit carving indicate a sense of punctilious process. This is an important feature of Thai cultures as fruit carving is taught to women in Thai royal palace in the past, which illustrates that the old hierarchy in Thai society does not exist anymore since democratisation has been accepted in Thailand. It indicates the old hierarchy is not a core identity of Thai people. This is could be evidence that due to globalisation, Thai practice skills still pass on generation to generation. It does not change practice or perspective in Thai culture.
A summary of the influence of postmodernism and globalisation movement on hybridity and the hybridisation in package design. Even though many theorists argue hybridity has an impact on culture, the evidence presented thus far supports the idea that hybridisation does not change or challenge an existing culture or traditional ways. As was pointed out above, culture is not only performative but it is also ethics, values, and morality. The core identity of culture is associated with a myth which are included perspectives, practices, and products. It appears the human mind has the ability to create something that it has never experienced before which is an essential tool to build a religion and a mythology which exists in one group that shares experiences and memories that are different from an outsider. Last but not least, culture is a core value in an individual belief that has the power to shape core culture in society.
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