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A sociohistorical analysis of packaging design: a case study of the Turkish pasta brand Piyale

Nazife Karamullaoglu (Independent Researcher and Graphic Designer, Ankara, Turkey)
Ozlem Sandikci (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 14 June 2019

Issue publication date: 22 August 2019




This paper aims to understand how social, cultural and political economic dynamics inform packaging design. Specifically, it focuses on one of the oldest Turkish pasta brands, Piyale, and seeks to understand the impact of the changes in the macro-institutional structures on its packaging practices over the course of almost a century.


The analysis is mainly based on data collected through archival and documentary research. The archival data are gathered from various sources including the personal archives of the former managers, advertisements published in the popular magazines of the time and industry reports and documents. Data are analyzed using a combination of compositional and social semiotic analysis.


The analysis indicates four distinct periods in the brand’s history. The design elements and visual identity reflect the social, cultural, political, economic and technological changes shaping the Turkish society in these different time periods. The findings show that a socio-historically situated analysis of a brand’s packaging design transformation reveals the complex relationship between design and culture and provides clues to the market-society interface.


This study provides a comprehensive historical analysis of the visual identity evolution of the oldest Turkish pasta brand Piyale and contributes to research on packaging histories in the non-Western markets.



Karamullaoglu, N. and Sandikci, O. (2019), "A sociohistorical analysis of packaging design: a case study of the Turkish pasta brand Piyale", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 317-338.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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