Ben Terrett, design a smile

Design a smile

In this Masterclass, award-winning designer Ben Terrett shows you how to take an ordinary Amazon box and turn it into something extraordinary!

To get started, watch the video above and then follow the steps below to develop your designs and create your final piece.

Use your design skills and the power of ‘pareidolia’ (the science of seeing patterns or faces where they don’t exist) to bring pieces of packaging to life.

When you’ve completed the project, send us a photo of your box – Ben would love to see what you come up with!


The Task

You probably have lots of Amazon packaging lying around, especially at the moment – have you noticed that they all have a smile?

This is the Amazon logo, but a phenomenon in science called ‘pareidolia’ means that we often recognise faces in things, even when they aren’t there. By just adding eyes, you can turn an Amazon box into something completely different!


What you need

  • A piece of Amazon packaging, or any box that you can add a smile to 🙂
  • A pencil, for sketching your ideas
  • Paint and paintbrushes – acrylic paint is best if you have it
  • Any extras that you might want to add!


Get started!

Step one: Begin to sketch your designs. Many designers will start a project by sketching their initial ideas. You can print out this template to help you.

There’s only one rule as your plan your design: Keep the smile!

Step two: Pick your favourite design concept

Step three: Paint a base colour on your packaging (you might need two coats of paint)

Step four: Start to create your face! You might make an animal, a robot, or you might add crazy accessories, like sunglasses, googly eyes and feathers!

Step five: Show us what you’ve made! Upload a photo of your box here or post online and tag @natsatclub

Resources & References

What is Pareidolia? “The imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist” (World English Dictionary) Read more

See more of Ben’s box designs here

Find out more about Ben and how he became a designer

Ben Terrett

Ben is a designer and CEO at Public Digital which helps governments and large organisations around the world adapt to the internet era.

In 2018 he was elected a Royal Designer for Industry, the first ever for Service Design.

Ben holds a series of non-exec roles; a Governor of University of the Arts London, a Trustee of D&AD, a member of the HS2 Design Panel and an advisor to the London Design Festival.

In 2017 he was inducted into the Design Week Hall of Fame. He has won various industry awards including the Design Museum’s Design of the Year and a D&AD Black Pencil.


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