Narrow bottles, stocked upside down. Specifications, standards, interlocking relationships. The soda bottle as local TEU. The implications for brand identity and ease of sales when methods of distribution mean your brand must be obscured. (How many brands can you identify from color and typographical elements alone?)

Also: A green LCD screen, a light blue arrow. The incorporation of color trends into long-lived urban furniture. (And check out all that Evian on the bottom rack!)


Vertical and horizontal candy/snack distribution. Unlike American vending machines, which vend sweets and savories almost equally, Parisian vending machines tended to vend sweets at the exclusion of savories (although you can see some potato chip bags in the upper-right). How product offerings follow public eating norms—eating a candy bar may be acceptable while eating potato chips is not. (Parisians aren’t fans of to-go products, whether food or beverage.) Expected/intended audiences—who’s buying these products? (And how many American brands do you see?)

The interoperability of machines, the simplification of product types: The internal layout of these two vending machines looks so similar that I’m tempted to think that they are identical machines put to use selling different products. This is a significant break from American vending machines, where beverage and snack machines have very different purposes, and therefore internal architectures. But ice-cold drinks is an American thing and its possible that in Europe the same (unrefrigerated) vending machine is used to sell both snacks and beverages.