at first i thought that somebody has made a mockup. probably just using photoshop for designing the icon and settting the text on the front cover. it could even have been done as a cheap chop in one of those shareware aquafier apps or plugins.
anyway, the copy is set badly ... crap kerning etc. points to it being done either by somebody who isn't using quark/illustrator/indesign ... or doesnt know their typographic rules as they should. then they did a few variants of the layout and printed out a copy on an A3 inkjet, and stuck it to an empty box. We do it all the time for product mockups at work... cheaper than a wet proof and looks like the real thing for product shots and point of sale design.
some quick digital photos later, and we have shots of kosher packaging. the unusual flaring of the flash burnout made me think the paper might be inkjet stock, which is shiny and has a wider specular highlight than the kind of boxboard or display card used for such products. it being an inkjet run-out might also suggest why some people have commented on there being no halftone patterns on the alledgedly scanned a/w. unless apple uses some mad straight to plate stocastic litho solution or something
then i thought they'd seen an apple product box and realised that there is more than just an apple logo on the spine ... there should also be the product name. so i think the culprit then PS'd that copy on the side. hence the really bad text antialiasing on the bold, and the dispro'd lighter copy. PS is crap at handling transformed antialiased text sometimes, as has been pointed out before.
anyway, all those theories are interesting, but after staring at the pics more i am thinking that it looks more likely to have been photoshopped from scratch. i am intrigued by the logo itself though, and wonder if the following from toptechtips
could shed light (no pun intended) ..
This also explains why the logo and type size are a little different. This is not a box, and this is not the Pal packaging - it's in store POS Don't ask me how I know all this - I just know
so NOW i'm wondering if there is a wee bit of truth to this ... mebbe some eager beaver (a junior designer or intern) somewhere has seen a single point of sale item and has managed to take a photo of it. possibly just the logo. after, even if chiat day or apple do all this kind of design in-house they would probably outsource at some point in the chain ... for digital mockups or similar. still might explain the lack of halftoning etc. then this eager beaver has decided to perk up the rumours with some homemade packaging and promotional material. their lack of copy-writing and extreme photoshopping skills leaves flaws that countless eagle eyed readers here have found.
Oh i dunno, mebbe i need to sleep on this, and then rinse them through photoshop tomorrow at work. i'd be interested to see what the same copy looks like set in adobe myriad pro and non-pro, in photoshop. and i'd be interested in looking at those burn out shots more, and the suspiciously regular gradients on the front of the box. anyone run those through PS yet and looked at the images hi-res to see relative colour values in different channels?
ah, too much rabid speculation. i'm off to bed