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Project 3: Better Packaging
VISC 204 Studio | Project 1 | Project 2 | Project 3 | Project 4 | Resources



Redesign a packaging experience for a kitchen utensil/office supply/tool with consideration to it’s sustainability. In our throw-away society, manufacturers usually specify their packaging choices based on conventional sizes/materials or perceived budget restraints. Not often enough is consideration is given to the user’s experience of it, how it leverages their brand or how it impacts the environment.

Create a package that expresses how it looks, what is does, what it is like to use it. Pay specific attention to how the package holds the object (protect), shows the object (communicates a story) and is an extension of the experience (so someone can keep the package or be able to up-cycle it).

Designers can have a power impact on all phases of the user experience. Often our involvement is limited to the duties of creating graphics and specifying materials. This project is meant to challenge your design muscles and give you an opportunity to think up and down the entire design process. Research and concept are as the form of the design.

Homework: Choose an art supply or kitchen utensil from the list that you can buy, already own or can borrow for the duration of this project.

Office & Art supplies (with Brand Name) Pencils (Carbon)
Paintbrushes (Inkwash)
Pens (Penpoint)
Erasers (Blankspace)
PaperClips (Wire-o)
Scissors (Chop Chop)
Stapler (Standard Staple Co.)
Pushpins (Gallery)
Rubber bands (Binder Brand)
Binder clips (Stack)
Bottle of Ink (Artisan)
Xacto Knife (Cross cut)


Cooking & Kitchen Utensils (with Brand Name)
Whisk (Mix It Up)
Spatula (Flip Flop)
Garlic Press (Press Co.)
Peeler (Pare & Peel)
Basting Brush (Baste Mode)
Measuring Spoons (Exactly)
Citrus Squeezer (Main Squeeze)
Microplane (Zester)
Meat Thermometer (Chef Tools)
Salt and Pepper Shaker (Sal & Pep)
Chip Clips (Chipper)
Can Opener (Latchkey)
Sponges (Soaked)

For next class visit a store(s) that sells that product and document (photos) audit what’s out there. Audit the package and the experience opening it by asking:

1. How they are packaged (materials, pieces)

2. What do they look like? (graphics, patterns, words)

3. What was it like to open it? (steps, easy, hard, need other tools to open)

4. What are the problems? (too much, plastic, better materials, simpler, etc)

5. What’s the potential? (goals, initial ideas, inspiration, etc)


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TUE NOV 19
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Kansas Appleseed Motion Poster and Prints Due

Paper Demo: Bring xacto knives, scissors, glue, tape, bone scorer (or a butter knife)


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THU NOV 21
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Slideshow: Packaging Graphics Examples

Be ready to brainstorm in class in small groups. Bring markers, sharpies, stuff to jots ideas down quickly. Using your object and placing it in the center we will create concept fans that answer (Who, What, How, Where, Why). Object Lessons. Let’s Get Ideas. At the end of the session you should have some ideas generated on what to explore next.

Using the Graphic Design: The New Basics book as a guide, try out and apply multiple principles (from the book, ex. framing or layers) on three 11x17 pages.

Start with using points, lines, planes, patterns, shapes, graphics, forms, relationships found on your product and its existing packaging. Even if the existing stuff stinks...can it be cropped, zoomed-in on, taken apart? What about your object is interesting? A line, pattern, curve (see my scissor example below). Could you build a pattern out of this, a system of icons, a logotype?

Fill the pages with tests of using the principles to manipulate the text, logo, graphics you found. Print out for next class. A good example is how Pentagram’s redesign of Saks Fifth Avenue takes the existing logo and makes it new. Play with taking pieces apart and recombining in new ways. Stick to black and white. No Greys! No Pixels! Must be vector!



Homework: Create a 10 slide presentation (timed each slide 10 secs each) that communicates your audit, problems/opportunities identified, inspiration and 3-5 initial Concept Sketches and Mockups. Here are some examples.



Play
MORE PACKAGING TEMPLATES HERE

Look
www.dieline.com

Read
Let my People Go Surfing(the chapter “Philosophies: Product Design”)

Green Graphic Design (esp pages after “Changing the Way we Design”).



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Note on Concept Sketches and Mockups
Concept sketches can be produced however you feel comfortable. Usually these will be hand sketches or simple mockups, but you may refine these on the computer. Use paper mockups to make things 3d. Concept sketches can also utilize photos of packaging solutions to illustrate your point. Find a way to visualize your ideas.

Note on Inspiration
Create a mood board that synthesizes anything you have found that inspires your redesign. It could be other packages you like, interesting folds, shapes, die cuts, graphics, etc. Notes. Keywords. Art. Architecture.

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TUE NOV 26
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Review Presentations and Initial Concepts

Dieline Demo in Illustrator


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TUE DEC 03
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Review 3 mockups and 3 pages form exploration
Dieline Demo in Illustrator

Bring materials to work on mockups in class.


Homework: Create 2 more versions of your chosen packaging direction. For each one explore applying your form exploration to the mockups even if just cut and paste. Begin building the dieline. Your dieline must fit on an 18” x 32” sheet. (for laser cutting purposes) Bring in a refined 3D mockup in full-scale for next class and be ready to apply your form exercises to the packaging on the computer next class. Bring everything you need to work.

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THU DEC 05
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Inclass: Review 2 mockups with form; Work time on dieline & final graphics. Bring materials to work on mockups in class.

Homework: Refinements to final direction, press sheet. Print & Mockup full-size.


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TUE DEC 10
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Review Mockups and Refinements

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THU DEC 12
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Review Mockups and Refinements

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TUE DEC 17 
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Everything Due! Package and final presentation. Also post your final dieline as a pdf or ai file on the server with it.

For your presentation “poster” on behance revisit your audit to set up the situation. Also include an animated gif to show off the mockup and any unique features of the packaging concept.