I received a Grammy award, several years ago, for a CD package I had designed. Receiving a Grammy for a package design is like winning a Nobel Peace Prize for giving up a seat on the subway to an old person.
The ceremony for the lesser awards took place before the live television broadcast. As each winner was announced, we went up onstage, accepted a statuette, and then went backstage where we handed it over to be used for another winner. Some months later, I received one with my name engraved on it. I was particularly impressed with the laser-cut foam in which it had been packaged for mailing — a perfect negative image of the object it was supposed to protect. The foam demonstrates a lot of care and is done with beautiful simplicity. I like to call it the grammyfoam.
The grammyfoam is displayed proudly on a shelf. The award itself is in a box of odds and ends.
This short essay is excerpted from Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance, a book by Joshua Glenn and Carol Hayes in which they and other writers discuss the importance of objects in their lives. This is the seventh essay in a series to appear on Design Observer.
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