What Makes Good Packaging

Pecha Kucha

Last year for a course called Design and Technology I had to create a Pecha Kucha on a subject of my choice. A Pecha Kucha is a presentation style of having 20 slides for 20 seconds each. I decided to present what I though made good packaging. I made my Pecha Kucha a bit more interactive by having a little quiz while I was speaking. An outline appeared on each page and I asked the class to guess what the packaging or product was. The following text is my slides and script for the presentation.

 What makes good packaging? Coca-cola

Pecha Kucha2So of course you will know this bottle. The Classic Coca cola glass bottle. Designed in the form of a lady it, apparently it’s so distinctive you can recognise it in the dark. The bottle has been so successful that inspired many artists and designers to paint it or indeed create designs on it.

What is your product? Tabasco

Pecha Kucha3The first thing you need for packaging is what is your actual product and what is the most suitable way of packaging it. You would not use soluble cardboard for a litre of tropical juice unless it had been laminated with plastic like a carton. Also if it’s a liquid that might stain plastic if it’s stored for a long time such as tabasco sauce you might be better off using glass.

 How big is your brand? Nike Shoe Box

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Historic brands have an easier time of packaging, if they have a good logo like Nike. A packaging designer can just stick it on a brightly coloured box and make it look distinctive. For new brands packaging is a good way of promoting the product on the shelves. After price, packaging is the next reason a person chooses a product and it is a large factor in building brands.

Who are market? Nutella

Pecha Kucha5All companies have a target market. This can be portrayed in the shape and graphic design on their packaging. Nutella is marketed towards families, its round friendly shape will oversized lid screams to kids and parents to pick it up. A lot of food packaging could be more geared to ‘mums’ as apparently women 3 times more susceptible to packaging compared to men.

 Make the brand clear – Absolut

Pecha Kucha6Certain brand have an original style, such as Absolut who constantly bring out limited edition bottles created by artists. Recently they created 4 million bottles each unique in collaboration with swedish glass manufacturers Ardagh. Thirty-eight different colours and 51 patterns were applied to the bottles by machines randomly.

Colour – Dairy Milk

Pecha Kucha7Some brands you can recognise just by the colour. Consider the Cadbury dairy milk adverts, such as the Gorilla one or the eyebrow one, they have a consistent theme of the only colour in them being Purple. To be specific Dairy Milk has trademarked the Purple with Pantone No. 2685C. People also relate colours to industry white for medical and green for farming and gardening.

Do you need to protect the product? – Pringles

Pecha Kucha8The simplest functional reason for packaging is the fact it needs to protect the product inside. The Pringles tube is a simple way of protecting and containing the hyperbolic paraboloid potato based snacks. Protection packaging is most common with electronics, they generally use expanded polystyrene moulds to prevent damage to the delicate equipment inside.

Can your product be the packaging? – Chanel no 5

Pecha Kucha9When buying perfume I would generally avoid bottles I don’t like and pick up bottles I liked the look of then actually test the smell of the perfume. I would say packaging is generally the product with drinks containers, on the move with a bottle of water you would use the bottle to drink the water so it is an integral part of the product. This could be said with cans and juice cartons.

How much of your product is there? – McDonald’s Chips

Pecha Kucha10A lot of packaging is used to contain more than one of the same product – such as 6-packs of beer and pencil tins. The McDonald’s chip box distinctive shape presents the chips as well holds them and even stands up for cleanliness. In shops companies come up with ways of multi-packing by using shrink-wrap or boxes. Some allow the user to hold the heavier package by including handles.

Is your product Secure? – Amazon

Pecha Kucha11When product are in transit and go through many hands the end-user wants to be secure in mind nobody has tampered with or stolen the product inside. Many products have tamper proof seals and rip proof plastic that is impossible to open. Boxes such as amazon’s frustration-free boxes have only one way of opening but they are also easy to open.

How easy is it to use? – Tomato Ketchup New Squeezy Bottle

Pecha Kucha12In 2002 Heinz literally turned their design upside down by making it easier to use with their EZ squeeze bottle. The days of using a knife to get tomato ketchup were over. The opposite can happen as well. The short-height bottle caps coca-cola designed to reduce costs and plastic backfired when a lot of customers complained that they were hard and uncomfortable to open.

Environmentally responsible? – Irn-Bru Bottle

Pecha Kucha13Packaging is generally disposable so companies have to consider making their boxes, bottles, cans and cartons out of biodegradable or recyclable materials. A lot of companies, such as Barr,  used to give money to people who brought back their glass bottles to shops. These incentive might have stopped but companies still have the responsibility of informing customers where to bin their packaging

How will your product be stored? – Ikea

Pecha Kucha14Most products minus food are stored for long lengths of time. For instance, retailers buy products in summer when its cheap and sell in November for the Christmas. Warehouse temperatures go to both extremes, this means products have to be protected from mould and condensation with silicon beads and the packaging has to state storage conditions if needed.

How is it transported? – Toblerone

Pecha Kucha15Efficiency of storage and transport is where companies like to make their money. If there is a lot of empty space between packaging then there is a lot of money being lost. Packaging that can stack and tessellate are the most efficient. The more boxes you can get in a metre squared means the more money you can get from the product.

Do you want the unboxing to be an experience – Apple

Pecha Kucha16I always feel opening a box is like getting a present at Christmas. Some companies make the unboxing experience fun. Apple’s macbook packaging is the shape of a briefcase with a handle so its easy to transport home. When you open it you are presented with a series of layers so its like opening many presents. Each tab has been considered and all the colours and materials have been thought about.

Endorsement – Kinder Eggs

Pecha Kucha17A lot of companies have short run marketing campaigns. Kinder Surprise is the king of endorsement its short run toys are reflected on boxes. The problem is you never seem to get a related toy to what is being promoted currently. Companies use packaging to inform consumers of competitions and promotions. Coupons and codes are generally printed on the packaging.

What does your product need to inform? – innocent smoothie bottle

Pecha Kucha18Packaging has to inform the customer of whats inside. Many industries are required to print ingredients, allergy information, Recycling information, Disposing information, CE Marking and so forth. The package has to promote the company with logos and branding. It also might have witty things to read like on innocent smoothie cartons. The juice bottles also ask you also to stop looking at its bum when you look at the base.

Can the shape inform? – Orangina

Pecha Kucha19The shape of packaging can inform what is inside. For instance, orangina bottle is the shape of an orange, also is a nice bottle to hold. Beer bottles have a distinctive shape so you know that they are beer. This is the same with milk bottles, the size of milk bottle you know how much milk you are getting.  Cans are generally always fizzy drinks so you know its carbonated.

Packaging contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells

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Final Year Project – Protein Shakers

This is it! My final year of Product Design Engineering!

So what have I chosen to look at? A lot of people might think of this as a weird choice but I’m looking at the world of sports nutrition – More specifically the problem with protein shakers.

When most people think of protein shakes they think of big burly men that spend all their time at the gym bodybuilding. In some respects that is where the roots of it lie but more and more regular people are drinking protein shakes after the gym – The reason? Protein helps the muscles recover and heal faster after a heavy workout and reduces injury. Some people drink protein shakes as a meal replacement to help them loose weight. Solid food takes longer to digest, drinking protein shakes straight after the gym means your muscles start to recover quicker.

So, what is wrong with protein shakers? Even though more and more products are out there… they don’t mix very well. Protein powder is expensive and you’d want to have most of it inside you, not in the crevices in the bottle. They smell, the choice of material has never been ideal – plastic picks up odour and stains. They do not seal, I’ve heard so many stories of people covering themselves in shake, most people want to be confident that they can leave it in their bag or on the car seat and it won’t leak everywhere. Measurements, hard to see and read, the kitchenware industry has got this right? Is it so different? Cleaning with big hands, ergonomics haven’t been thought of at all.

How can I prove it? Well I’m going to do tests for mix-ability and pour-ability, and I will review each shaker and put them up online. I’m going to take in account the good and bad points of each and design my own.

IMG_2280.JPGThese are the products I’m going to test out soon.

D&T – Jasper Morrison – A World Without Words


‘Influence comes from everywhere. The individual interpretation of what surrounds us leads to individual expression.’

Born in London in 1959 Jasper Morrison and graduate of Kingston Polytechnic Design School. He is today one of the world’s most influential designers. Designing everything from tram system to toasters. He has produced many publications notably ‘A world without words’ which is a series of images collected by Morrison, this is illustrated by the video below created for the Serpentine Gallery.

‘For a long time after I noticed an antique chair with its seat missing outside a shop I had the idea to do a chair consisting only of structural elements’

Every designer has a chair and Morrison’s most notable design is ‘The Thinking Man’s Chair’. It originally was going to be called ‘The drinking man’s chair’ but after seeing the slogan ‘The Thinking Man’s Smoke’ on a packet of pipe cleaners he changed his mind. The tubular chair, is rough and ready. Written on the sides it has all the dimensions of the chair as ‘surrogate decoration’. It was eventually produced by Cappellini in 1986.

Morrison was also commissioned to design furniture for the new Tate Modern in London. An unusual partnership was made with the architects Herzog & De Meuron and Morrison. Surprised by the reception the architects gave him, Morrison was delighted with them and the Tate Directors in meetings. He eventually produced a table, chair and stool set to furnish the Tate Modern.


“I think each product should take on the basic shape of its function and nothing more.”

It seems Jasper Morrison is a follower of the Dieter Rams approach. Less is More. This can be taken in to account with his range of appliances designer for Rowenta. The white simple look of these designs echoes Braun’s kitchen devices designed by Dieter Rams. I’m not convinced how well he pulled these designs off. I’m all for his various chairs but the appliance look unfriendly and the LCD screen looks out of place.

However, I admire Morrison’s diversity, he doesn’t just stick to the home. He designed new trams for Hannover, apparently the largest European light rail production contract of its time, costing 500 Million Deutschmarks. I cannot find much about how successful it is now but when launched the design was awarded the IF Transportation Design Prize and the Ecology award. 


The success of Jasper Morrison I think is down to his determination to get ideas in to exhibitions and companies have picked up on that and asked him to design for him. If I’m honest I had never heard of him until I was asked to do a Pichi Kichi on it. I think he is a thoughtful designer/ design office, his designs are simple and focused. Due to his success in chairs and many other famous designers like this. I do keep on wondering when or if I’m going to design a signature chair. Is the world not full of chairs already? Maybe if the world has too many successful designers the population of chairs in the world will be greater that that of humans…