For those of you keeping track, back in 2008 Polaroid discontinued their popular line of instant 600, SX-70, and Spectra film. The Impossible Project rose to fill the void by creating new instant film from the ground up that would work with vintage Polaroid cameras. A few years ago, the Impossible Project sort-of merged with Polaroid, renaming itself ‘Polaroid Originals.’ As of today, the merging is complete, as Polaroid Originals is now just ‘Polaroid.’
Long-term this makes total sense, as the average consumer is not going to keep track of all these branding changes. If they want Polaroid, they’re not going to want to suss out the difference between Old Polaroid/Shell Company Polaroid/Impossible Project Polaroid. However, in the short term, we got yet another name change muddying the water, and it feels we’re farther than ever from the scrappy Impossible days where there was a close-knit, passionate group of photographers who rallied around that branding. I think a big part of that is how ‘distant’ the company feels these days, as the Impossible Project seemed relentlessly transparent about what they were up to, whereas I initially learned of this branding change from a review on the Verge rather than any direct communication from the company. Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be any materials on their website acknowledging the existence of Polaroid Originals/Impossible Project for those who may be confused by the change and wondering what just happened.
To celebrate the brand change, Polaroid/Polaroid Originals/the Impossible Project has released a new camera, the Polaroid Now. It’s positioned right in between the OneStep 2, which has gotten a welcome price cut, and the OneStep+.
I’ll have more to say about the Polaroid Now once I get my hands on it, but it seems like a healthy upgrade over the fixed focus OneStep 2. (Update: I’m working on a review, but long story short, the OneStep 2 is a better option if price is a concern, and the OneStep+ is better in pretty much every way)
Also accompanying the brand change is some new packaging for the film itself. While similar to the Polaroid Originals style boxes, the new details look sharp, simple, and evokes classic Polaroid in the best way possible.
I’ll update this article with more information as I receive it. Hope you’re all staying safe and healthy in these heady times. It’s always nice to have a piece of news that doesn’t have anything to do with, you know, all that other stuff that’s happening right now.