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Mark
Designing for Understanding
VISC 304 Sophomore Studio | Project 1 | Project 2 | Project 3 | Resources




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TUE FEB 13
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Inclass: Class Intro, Expectations and Syllabus

Set Up and Assign Project 1: Better Packaging

Redesign a packaging experience for a kitchen utensil/office supply/tool  or toy 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: Buy a toy, office supply or kitchen utensil for next class that needs a better package design or would be interesting to re-package. While at the store(s) that sell 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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THU FEB 15
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Inclass: 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 be able to

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

Homework: Create a 10-15 slide presentation 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.

Note on Graphics
Collect the Graphics (type, imagery etc) that are a part of the toy/tool/utensil packaging you selected. Logos, text…stuff you can use. Scan it in and make it digital, because we are going to mess with it. Even if it is the most ugly stuff your young design eyes have ever seen. We need it all, you are going to use it :) This “found” visual stuff or “vernacular” will be used in your re-design.


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TUE FEB 20
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NO CLASS-SNOW/ICE DAY

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THU FEB 22
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NO CLASS-SNOW/ICE DAY

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TUE FEB 27
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Inclass: Review audit presentations and initial ideas.

Scan Graphic Design: The New Basics Overview and assign form making studies based on the readings content.

Homework: Based on your new knowledge of “Designing Backwards” and “Designing for Destiny” from the Green Graphic Design book and your identification of a problem(s)/opportunity with the current packaging experience (aesthetic, ecological and/or functional), design at least 3 different packaging concepts in paper form (full-size). Think about big ideas: function, shape, total amount of material, folds…construction. Have 3 full-size mockups (use thicker paper to get a feeling for this thing and what it is like to hold and for the package to hold your object).

Using 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!

For extra help with formal exploration try the SCAMPER tool. SCAMPER is a mnemonic that stands for: Substitute. Combine. Adapt. Modify. Put to another use. Eliminate. Reverse.




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THU MAR 01
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Inclass: Review 3 mockups and 3 pages form exploration, Dieline Demo & Laser Cutter Demo. Bring materials to work on mockups in class.




Homework: Create 3 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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TUE MAR 06
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Inclass: Review 3 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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THU MAR 08
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Inclass: Review final mockup. Bring materials to work on mockups in class.

Homework: Refinements to final, design a presentation poster 1400px wide (any height, scrolling like on behance) that 1. sets up the problem/opportunity; 2. communicates your process; and 3. presents your solution.

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TUE MAR 13
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Inclass: Crit final packaging and presentation poster. Bring materials to work on mockups in class.

Homework: Finish!

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THU MAR 15
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Everything Due! Package and final presentation poster. 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.

{ Switch sections & begin Alex’s project }