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And the Award for the Most Ridiculously Unnecessary Packaging Goes To...

HP Stylus
HP digitizer pen for tx2, product #FV268AA, $24.99.

We had a moment of anti-Zen at the studio. You've got to see it to believe it.

We bought a HP Stylus—it's an electronic pen. it's a simple cylinder: 10 millimeters diameter and 124 millimeters long. It arrived with two large sheets of text:

  • One "Global Limited Warranty and Technical Support for Accessories": A sheet of 24.5" x 33.5" paper covered with 6pt text, BOTH SIDES!
  • One "Global Limited Warranty and Technical Support for Accessories": Another sheet (why?), 10" x 30" in same 6pt, both sides.

So we have a total of 15.6 square feet of 6pt text here. And that's just the warranty.

But that's not all.

HP Stylus

The simple act of ordering one $24.99, 124 millimeter pen generated the following list of 15 total items:

  • One shipping brown box, size 10" x 7" x 4.5"
  • One internal brown box, size 8.5" x 4" x 3.5"
  • One sheet of bubble wrap, size 14" x 10"
  • One large zip-locked PE bag, size 5.5" x 8.5"
  • One tiny zip-locked PE bag, size 2" x 2.5" with threaded lanyard
  • One vacuum-formed clear plastic case, size 6" x 1.5" x 1"
  • One large "Save $10" coupon for HP's Home Office Store
  • One larger "Global Limited Warranty" (see above)
  • One smaller 'Global Limited Warranty' (see above)
  • One small "Accessorize your HP notebook" flyer
  • One tiny 1-2-3-4 installation guide for lanyard
  • One business reply card ("no postage necessary if mailed in the U.S."—thanks!)
  • One "Table of Toxic and Hazardous Substances/Elements and Their Content"
  • One Digitizer Pen product (thank goodness!)

Plus...drum roll please...the crown jewel of this corporate baboonery artwork:

  • One piece entitled: "Disposal of Waste Equipment by Users in Private Household in the European Union"

And that doesn't include the shipping receipt.

Read more of Gadi Amit's The New Deal blog
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Gadi Amit is the president of NewDealDesign LLC, a strategic design studio in San Francisco. Founded in 2000, NDD has worked with such clients as Better Place, Sling Media, Palm, Dell, Microsoft, and Fujitsu, among others, and has won more than 70 design awards. Amit is passionate about creating design that is both socially responsible and generates real world success.