‘The incredible boxes of Hock Wah Yeo’ ↦

Photo courtesy of Macintosh Garden.

Kids, when I was your age, the App Store was called “boxed software.” As in software, on disk or CD, in a cardboard box. You could buy it at the store or, if you were a Mac user and couldn’t find any Mac software near you, by calling a catalog like MacWarehouse.

It was a weird time.

In any event, Phil Salvador has an amazing, extensive look at the software box designs of Hock Wah Yeo:

In a store full of busy-looking packages vying for your attention, Spectre was like an object from another dimension. It was a single plain color with minimal text on the front to explain itself. It was irresistible. Thanks in large part to the packaging design, the game sold far more units than expected — upwards of half a million copies — and soon after, Fryar was fielding phone calls from other curious developers, who were thinking about ordering their own unusual boxes and wanted to learn more about the process…. Spectre was great, but retailers hated it.

I had the Spectre box. It was unforgettable. (The game was pretty fun, too!)

—Linked by Jason Snell

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