Thursday, 27 September 2012

OUGD504//What is Packaging?


"Packaging on a supermarket shelf has less than three seconds to grab the attention of a consumer."

Those three seconds are exceedingly important when you consider that more than 70% of purchasing decisions are made at the shelf. Add to this the fact that supermarkets can contain on average 40,000 packs to choose from, then that pack has got to work hard.

A packaging’s role is threefold:
- To sell the product
- To protect the product
- To facilitate the use of the product

Within packaging design there are fundamental elements which need to be looked at closely to get the best from the packaging:

Packaging graphics have more to do than simply look pretty. They must work to cut through the white noise that is the crowded supermarket shelf, and attract a potential buyer. This comes down to:

- Colour
- The story the packaging tells
- Cultural issues
- Illustration

Packaging comes in all shapes and sizes. The structure of a pack can serve to create shelf standout and sell the product, to prolong the life of the product and to facilitate the use of the product. Breaking this down further you should look at:

- Creating a standout 
- Protecting the product inside
- Making the product easier to use

The packaging industry has been vilified over the years, not least on the subject of plastic bags. Yet, brands have always been looking for ways to reduce materials and maximise packaging for both environmental and financial reasons. The following steps will help create a sustainable package:

- Designing packs to me made from sustainable materials. For instance using cardboard from FSC forests instead of unknown sources.
- Redesigning without material combinations so that packaging can be easily recycled. For instance making bottle lids from the same plastic as the body.
- Changing the way packaging functions so that it improves the sustainability of the whole system it is part of. For instance, designing shelf ready packaging that means less materials are used in transit and at point of sale.

Traditionally certain materials have been associated with certain markets. But as markets change and consumer attitudes adjust it is unsurprising that material choice has also changed in the packaging sector accordingly.

However, designers are challenging preconceptions and helping change market conventions and consumer attitudes by using unconventiol materials to create dramatic packs.

Examples of Packaging:

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