Droste Effect: when a package's artwork features the package itself

The Droste Effect is the name for packaging art that features the package itself in the artwork, in a recursive, diminishing marketfractal:


At my grocery store I could only find three examples: Land O’Lakes Butter, Morton Salt and Cracker Jacks. These packages each include a picture of the package itself and are often cited by writers discussing such pop-math-arcana as recursion, strange loops, self-similarity, and fractals.

This particular phenomenon, known as the “Droste effect,” is named after a 1904 package of Droste brand cocoa. The mathematical interest in these packaging illustrations is their implied infinity. If the resolution of the printing process–(and the determination and eyesight of the illustrator)–were not limiting factors, it would go on forever. A package within a package within a package... Like Russian dolls.

Drosteroyal

Link

(via Kottke)

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