The Soma water filter's packaging is as interesting as what's inside

soma filter
CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter

A year ago I admired the Soma water filter and said that it was "simple and elegant, a bit retro and would look lovely on my counter." This year I got to see how it looked on my counter (actually my dining room table) and from a design point of view, it certainly has lived up to expectations.

somaLloyd Alter, with Kelly the hand model/CC BY 2.0

It is beautifully balanced to hold, easy to fill and pour. There were some concerns about it not having a handle, but this is absolutely not an issue.

gasketLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Much depends on the top white section being firmly planted into the glass vase; there s a soft gasket that seals them together and I got a few drips the first time I tried it because I had not set it firmly enough.

And then there is the packaging.

packagingLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

They used to say about movie theatres that "the show starts on the sidewalk." That's true about the Soma water filter; the packaging is almost as interesting as the product. It's delivered in a piece of sonotube (the fiber forms used to pour concrete foundations) that's been printed up in Soma graphics. Inside, the unit is cradled in a pulpboard housing. Where most manufacturers would have a twist tie on the bag or a bit of tape, Soma has a custom "pull here" tab that releases the bag.

pull strapLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Had they not provided any instructions, no doubt I would have eventually got the lid off on my own. However they provide this neat little strap to take it all apart the first time, with instructions on the back about how to properly remove the lid in the future.

almost doneLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Then you see the "almost done" paper, with the final setup instructions. There is a special bag to soak the filter in before use (and capture all the loose charcoal). Then it is ready to drop into the cone and you are ready for action.

Beside making a lovely product in the Soma water filter, Mike Del Ponte and his team have made the whole process straightforward and entertaining. The packaging really is as nice as the product. More at Soma.

The Soma water filter's packaging is as interesting as what's inside
Good design makes unpacking the thing as much fun as using it.

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