Package Design

More Than Just Boxes

Spring 2014, Brown 308

Mondays, 4pm–10pm

Use the “worst” package from Best/Worst assignment (or you can go out and find another “worst” package since now you know you'll be redesigning it). Go to a shop and pick out the worst packaging. Please describe why it is bad. Think about this from various facets and pieces — you are going to develop a better solution and it can't just be a better visual solution, it must be a truly better packaging solution: better for protecting, better for informing, better for selling, better for shipping, better for its life-cycle, better at/for everything!

# DUE:
This assignment is due March 10th (2014-03-10)
at the start of class.

Investigate alternative materials. Think about package ownership. Think about changes in handling, packing, display, and advertising … changes in, well, Everything! For example: in a number of systems in the past, the consumer did not automatically become the owner of the packaging once they consumed product — milkmen would pickup empty milk bottles. Today, however, most consumers own the packaging after the product is purchased. How can this be changed?

Beautiful graphics on a sturdy box might not be the best “new” (or even a necessary) solution. Ask producers what they need or require and examine how an item is made and shipped. Other solutions or ideas may present themselves through these alternate lines. This is a research project as much as it is a design project. The final design — both the packaging product and the process itself — should reflect this research.


Due 2014-02-10

Choose the "worst" package you are redesigning. Investigate to the best of your ability the greater eco-system that your product is a part of. This first week's work is basically a research project. Find out as much as possible as you can about your product and the customers for that product. Next week we'll talk about how what you've found out influences your next steps. Bring an image of the product you're re-designing, and be prepared to explain what you've found out about your product.

  • How/Where does it get produced?
  • How does it get to the store?
  • How is it presented in the store?
  • How is it sold?
  • How do customers interact with it in the store and at home?
  • What happens to the packaging once the customer gets the item home and un-packed?
  • What do other companies that sell this same product do?
  • Are there a variety of existing ways to make, transport, sell and package this product?
  • If the product is part of a greater brand of products, how does it fit into the general brand story?
  • How does this packaging design play into the "needs" vs. "wants" conversation?

Sidenote: you are all designers. As someone interested in design, and wanting to learn about design, everything you do becomes an opportunity for an additional design project. Treat this research as a design project… you're going to use this to solve a problem, but is there something you can do with your research — the way you format it, the way you collect it, whatever — that can be “designed” too? perhaps this helps you investigate or analyze… anyway, just something else to think about.


Due 2014-02-17

Turn your research into design directions, and investigate further materials, forms, etc. (this is sort of combinatorial with design directions)


Due 2014-02-24

Have a physical mockup completed. This just needs to be the physical form at more or less the scale you plan it. This can be a blank paper/paperboard form. Also have printouts or a PDF of your draft visual designs thusfar.


Due 2014-03-03


Take your mockups from last week and really make them shine. We'll be looking at these as “finals” this week: 2014-03-03. You'll still have time to work on them more and properly document them however before you get a final grade.


Due 2014-03-10

Final photo documentation due for projects. We will have one last quick crit on all of these.