Oil-canned AYU

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Derrick Lin


Creative Agency: Masahiro Minami Design
Creative Director / Designer: Masahiro Minami
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Kimura Suisan Co.,Ltd. 木村水産株式会社
Location: Japan

These are small Ayu canned in high quality oil. They are called ‘Koayu’(‘Ko’ means ‘small’) and they can be caught only in Lake Biwa – the biggest lake in Japan. In other lakes or rivers, Ayu usually grow bigger but in Lake Biwa, their size remains small. ‘Koayu’ have been familiar as a local delicacy to the people in the OHMI area.

For the package design, gold can was chosen first. So I tried making its sleeve of golden paper board in order to match it. I have arranged a similarly golden sleeve that fits perfectly around the inner can.

On this sleeve is a small window with a print of the canned fish within. While the fish is printed on paper, its polypropylene cover has a glimmer, giving an impression of the fish in oil. Once the sleeve is removed, the carefully lined sweetfish are revealed.

A toothpick is placed inside for convenience – for canned food bars are increasingly popular in Japan, where one can casually enjoy some high quality canned food with a drink.

To finish off the packaging, on the backside of the sleeve is a fish shaped opening to display the expiration date.