Pizza is possibly one of the greatest things to ever come out of a cardboard box. It is a single object, no complexity to its makeup and has no liquid components to spill, unlike curry. It doesn’t degrade much in quality, even when put into its delivery box and driven through Dubai traffic for 40 minutes. Unlike breaded or fried foods, which suffer tremendously from car sickness and arrive soggy, emotional wrecks.
Pizza is a perfectly portable food; it doesn’t need a knife and fork, it can be reheated multiple times without a discernable loss in quality and by changing the toppings of vegetables and meat, it can easily be a single-dish meal that makes the entire family happy. Or just you – no one is judging.
Yet, this is not about the pizza, but the vessel in which it arrives at your doorstop – the humble pizza box. Typically, in my haste to get to the pizza, I usually don’t stop to appreciate the box in which it comes in. The box is the unsung hero of the pizza experience. Everyone focuses on the pizza and that little dollhouse plastic table that unexplainably comes free with some pizzas.
No one ever cares about the box. Even Detective David Mills in the movie Seven only wanted to know what was in the box. However, there are a few pizza joints that have been using the pizza box as a canvas for more than the ubiquitous cheerful chef running across the box carrying an oversized pizza clipart.
Globally, there have been some amazing examples of awesome artwork, with some pizza places collaborating with famous artists for limited edition pizza boxes. I have my favourites – One is a Japanese Domino’s pizza box, one is the Pagliacci Sasquatch pizza box and the other is the Ed Hardy illustrated box for Tony’s Napoletana Pizza in San Francisco.
However, looking locally, there is one Dubai based pizza place that is also creating fun and fresh pizza box artwork. Pitfire Pizza are leading the way in rotating box art and work with some of Dubai’s best known and unknown artists. Their inspiration is to give people a “little artistic solace and good vibes injection every time they order.”
They have partnered with local artists like Dina Sami @creativebeingdina, Paul Bruwer of @thedominodubai, and Jelena Vucicevic from @tobemadeofdarkness. Even Bill, co-founder of Pitfire Pizza personally created one of their earlier designs. He assimilates, gets inspiration and then creates. His mind in an encyclopedia of visuals, according to his partner.
For founders, Michelle and Bill, it is all about collaboration. Through their artwork, they hope to remind people about the power of collaboration. They say that collaboration “is the best way to progress. If you find the right individuals to collaborate with, you can elevate your business while focusing your energy on what you excel at. Whether you are in the restaurant business or not, we hope this can be a reminder that together we can do so much more.”
Have a look at their pizza box artwork below.