Package design ideas

How Much Does a Package Design Cost?

How Much Does a Package Design Cost?

How Much Does a Package Design Cost? I didn’t make up that number. It was given to me after a potential client sought out my services. He had a line of cosmetics and was looking for some great packaging. After a quick fifteen minute discovery phone call where I got a handle on his brand, his market, his product, his differentiation and technical details regarding bottles, boxes, dielines, and barcodes, I gave him some quotes. Read more

Creating Great Design Takes Guts

Daring to be different can give instant boost to market share

By Mary Zalla

The word is out: Great design delivers great business advantage. Design is being increasingly leveraged to move and shape markets, attract customers, and help differentiate among competing products and services. Read more

Common Sense Sustainability: A Better View of the Trenches

By Dennis Salazar

How green is green enough?…and how committed does a company have to be in terms of dollars and cents to be a good eco-citizen?…and can an environmentally conscious public raise their sustainable requirements so high that it becomes economically unfeasible for companies to even attempt to meet them?

Some may call it selling out, compromising, or even “sustainability lite,” but I believe in a realistic, common sense approach to sustainability. I am convinced sustainability in the packaging world will be best accomplished with what can be a very delicate, and at times uncomfortable, coexistence of determination and patience.

I believe we have to accept that while we move toward absolute standards and consistent definitions, today to a certain degree we live with “subjective sustainability,” in the sense that others’ ideas of what is sustainable or even eco-friendly may not be identical to our own. I also believe it is good and even wise to applaud the smallest steps as long as they are in the right direction. Ironically, it is really not much different than the way we cheer and celebrate a child’s first unsteady—but usually very enthusiastic—steps in life.

A taste for waste?

Whether we are talking about spoiled consumers or gluttonous companies, we are conditioned to feed to excess and to be the world’s greatest consumer of resources. None of us was tattooed at birth with “born to kill….the environment,” and I doubt anyone will ever prove that we suffer from a genetic predisposition for environmental recklessness. Being incredibly wasteful does, however, appear to be a learned skill and we have all become darn good at it.

From a packaging perspective, the solution is really not all that difficult to understand: utilize better, more earth friendly materials (production); use less of those materials (application); and know how you are going to utilize or process them in the end (disposal).

When you cut through the details, biases, and opinions, that is really all it comes down to. Then why is sustainability proving to be such a difficult task? Is it because for a very, very long time, we have enjoyed tremendous prosperity that allowed us to have little regard for what we take out of our earth and even less care for what we put back into it in terms of waste?

How many environmentalists does it take to shift a paradigm?

It sounds like a terrific opening line for a late night TV joke but it is a legitimate question. I spoke to a friend of the cause earlier today and she referred to sustainability as not a movement but a dramatic, tremendous paradigm shift—and she is right. What we are asking consumers and companies to do is so far from what they have always done, we have to understand that this is going to take some time.

For benefit of the impatient zealots out there: No, I am not talking about decades but let’s assume it may take a few years! Let’s also accept and understand that such a dramatic reversal in behavior is going to be painful for everyone concerned. It is going to be excruciating for those people going through the change, as well as for the ones impatiently observing their slow forward progress. All I can say is the obvious. The environment did not get into this awful condition overnight and the solution is probably going to take a little longer than any of us would like.

According to the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments movie, the Israelites who escaped from Pharaoh, after losing faith and behaving very badly, were forced to roam the desert until the sinful generation had died. Then and only then was the new, faithful generation allowed to enter the beloved Promised Land. Having crossed the magical threshold of 50 several years ago, I am definitely not suggesting accelerating the Baby Boomers’ departure. I am, however, suggesting a little common sense and understanding. Environmentally, we have all behaved very badly. But with a lot of hard work, and a little patience, this much needed cleansing process will hopefully not take a generation to accomplish.

An Open and Closed Case, Or a New Trend in Soda Cans?

By Lynn Dornblaser

Depending on your perspective, a 12-oz. or 330-ml can of soda is either a quickly drunk single serving or something to consume over a period of time. Up until now, if you fell into the latter group, you were consigned to drink soda that became increasingly flatter and flatter, given that the can, once opened, cannot be reclosed.

Easy auf and zu

However, for those consumers in Germany who are looking for portability from their metal cans, there ‘s a new package to help answer that need. Coca-Cola is now offering (in Germany only) a regular Coke can with a resealable swiveling closure. A sticker on the plastic closure is marked “open” and “close” (“auf” and “zu”), with a directional arrow. On the side of the can is another diagram with a three step explanation.

Consumers push the tab “auf” to expose the opening and contents of the can. After drinking or pouring (drinking from the can is a bit challenging, given the placement and size of the opening), consumers can then push in the direction of “zu” to close the can so that the contents can be finished another time.

This is the first time we have seen this closure on any package. The design company, 4Sight Innovation, based in The Netherlands, currently does not have the special closure on other products, but no doubt we ‘ll be seeing it more in the future. Coke is selling the cans individually in stores in Germany.

Reclosing markets

We would guess that this closure (especially on carbonated soft drinks) is one that has the best potential in Europe rather than in North America. That conclusion comes from the assumption that U.S. consumers are a bit more likely to drink an entire can at one sitting—or in one gulp!

While this package is not the first reclosable aluminum can on the market, it is the first to use this type of closure and the first in a standard 330-ml size. The others we have seen on the market have all had twist-off caps and have come in much larger formats, such as Jolt Cola in a 23.5-oz. can. That larger can size with the twist-off metal cap is seen only in the U.S.

The main advantage of this can package could be its potential to stand in for plastic PET bottles. As consumers become more concerned about the environment, and as talk about recyclability continues to grow, we have seen grumblings among consumers and in the press about the benefits of recycling some materials. With aluminum being 100% recyclable and more easily sorted, adding reclosability may help to further boost cans ‘ popularity. And without a cap to keep track of or lose, efficiency-conscious consumers may respond with a gulp and a “Wow.”

Package Design

In The Visionary Package, branding and packaging consultants Herbert Meyers and Richard Gerstman argue that package design is the same as the branding of products and product lines (Palgrave, New York, 2005). This picks up from an idea first proposed by the late package designer Walter Landor in the middle of the last century. According to Landor’s daughter, Susan Landor Keegin, “Walter’s overriding view was that everything you project into the world goes toward creating your brand. Each little piece is of equal importance, equal weight, and has to be appropriate to the audience it is reaching or the message it is trying to promote.” Keegin adds, “The idea of branding the whole line started early. It was logical to him.” Read more