redesigning packaging

And around and around we go

Customer: Hey, do you have this butter but the one with the red lid?

Me: Which variety was the one with the red lid?

Customer: I don’t know, I just buy the one with the red lid.

Me: Oookaaay, well, they recently redesigned their packaging, so they don’t have one with a red lid any more, do you know what variety it was?

Customer: I don’t know, I just know it’s the one with the red lid.

Me: Right. Well, there isn’t one with a red lid any more, so … Was it the original? Olive oil? Light?

Customer: It was the one with the red lid.

Me: I’m not sure which one that was. I think it was the original, does that sound right?

Customer: I don’t know what it was, I just want the one with the red lid! That’s the one I buy!

Me: I … don’t know which one that was since there aren’t any red lids any more. You don’t know what variety you buy?

Customer: The one with the red lid!!!

Me: Well, I think that was the original, that one’s right here. *hands them the original, which now has a green lid*

Customer: That’s not a red lid! I buy the one with the red lid!


John photographed by friend, Jurgen Vollmer, in a doorway at Jagerpassage 1, in Hamburg April 1961.

“Before I even started taking any pictures, I said to John, ‘You just lean there and look arrogant, like you always do,’” Vollmer recalled with a laugh. “And I wanted the other three out of focus.”

Those “other three” in the photo are Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe. Vollmer did want their shoes in focus, so he had them practice walking past Lennon first, then shot a roll of 12-exposure film.

Years later, when Vollmer was working in New York as a magazine art director, he received a phone call from May Pang, Lennon’s companion during his so-called “lost weekend” away from Yoko Ono. Pang was calling on behalf of Lennon, who was interested in seeing Vollmer’s photos from their April 1961 session. Lennon wanted to use one for the cover of “Rock ’n’ Roll,” an album featuring his versions of early rock hits. (The Beatles often covered songs from the same era during their Hamburg club days.)

Vollmer made enlargements of his photos and met Lennon at the studio where he was recording. According to Vollmer, he designed “Rock ’n’ Roll” as a gatefold cover and remembers Lennon describing it as “beautiful.” But in the end, the packaging was redesigned under the direction of Roy Kohara, and the album was released in 1975 with a standard cover and Vollmer’s now-famous photo—cropped tight and not showing the in-focus shoes of the blurred McCartney, Harrison and Sutcliffe—on the front.

He didn’t get rich from this experience: Vollmer said he was paid $750 for his efforts. - Excerpt from “Jürgen Vollmer remembers his Lennon ‘Rock ’n’ Roll’ photo“ Goldmine, November 13, 2010