I know the Grammys award a prize for the Best Package each year, but if they gave an award to the label with the best packaging, Merge Records would have to be a serious contender for the prize. They design CD and DVD packages that you want to own, that you have to own, that you want to open and show to your friends and touch and properly shelve.
So far this year I have been very impressed with their Arcade Fire Deluxe package (even Trent Reznor gave them a shout out on Twitter about it:
Here is what the Deluxe package looks like and it contains a bonus DVD and goes for a reasonable $27:
M. Ward’s “Hold Time” package has a great slip case with silver butterflies and stars that you know something remarkable is on the inside:
And the last is such a simple packaging idea but it makes the CDs so special. Merge’s 20th Anniversary score come wrapped in a wax paper like bag, the kind you get friend Chinese noodles in and a simple gold sticker on the back that keeps it neatly folded and closed, that you don’t want to open it. In the three packages I have received to date, I have spent minutes trying to neatly open it so I can keep the sticker in tact but to no avail:
If you love this music or these artists, you are not satisfied with the MP3 file residing on your hard drive or your ipod, you need these items, they are remarkable and ‘must haves.’ Think before you press, that extra few pennies or dollar added to your production cost could be the difference between selling some units or being a depository for boxes of CDs.