Design

Exciting breakthrough – high-performance, paper-based display technology suitable for packaging

Posted in Design, Innovation, Marketing, Materials, Technology on November 23rd, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 10 Comments
Professor streckl & Yokip Ling's research takes us ever-nearer to moving pictures on packaging

Professor Streckl & Duk Young Kim's research takes us ever-nearer to moving pictures on packaging

A breakthrough in a University of Cincinnati engineering lab that could clear the way for a low-cost, even disposable, e-reader is gaining considerable attention and this technology could have ‘far-reaching’ implications and provide all sorts of opportunities in the field of packaging, with the ability to ‘print’ moving pictures (of a quality seen on glass) onto flexible packaging.

Electrical Engineering Professor Andrew Steckl, together with UC doctoral student Duk Young Kim, have researched into an affordable, yet high-performance, paper-based display technology which has demonstrated that paper could be used as a flexible host material for an ‘electrowetting’ device. Electrowetting (EW) involves applying an electric field to coloured droplets within a display in order to reveal content such as type, photographs and video.

Steckl’s discovery that paper could be used as the host material has far-reaching implications considering other popular e-readers on the market such as the Kindle and iPad rely on complex circuitry printed over a rigid glass substrate. Steckl says: “It is pretty exciting. With the right paper, the right process and the right device fabrication technique, you can get results that are as good as you would get on glass, and our results are good enough for a video-style e-reader.”

He imagines a future device that is “rollable, feels like paper yet delivers books, news and even high-resolution color video in bright-light conditions” – perfect for packaging applications (in my opinion)! If you combine this with the Sony technology (Rollable OTFT screen) that we wrote about recently, the packaging possibilities are endless!

Read more about this type of technology in our ‘Technology’ folder.

You can read the full Steckl article at www.nanowerk.com

Chris Penfold

Packaging serialisation of pharmaceuticals gains pace in Brazil

Posted in Branding, Design, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Opinion, Technology on November 22nd, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 15 Comments
Brazil’s law requiring serialisation for pharmaceuticals gains pace

Brazil’s law requiring serialisation for pharmaceuticals gains pace

At Design Cognition we believe that the following legislation will have a major impact on any pharmaceutical company manufacturing and/or selling medicinal products in Brazil. In a major drive to eliminate counterfeited medicinal products; unique labels are to be supplied by the Brazilian Government’s ‘National Mint’ for medicines registered with the Brazilian Authorities.

All medicines will be required to have labels applied to their packaging before January 15th 2012. It will be illegal to sell products without these labels in place. Pharmacies throughout Brazil will have label readers installed to verify the labels on the products in time for this deadline.

This initiative is far more controlled and constraining than other anti-counterfeit measures put in place by Governments in other country, for example in France, where 2D data matrix codes are to be incorporated on all medicines by the end of this year.

The  introduction of this legislation, although delayed from June, has taken a ‘new turn’ recently, as emphasised in September by Peter Schmitt of Montesino Associates, who provided an update on the impending law in the live Webcast, “Update: Brazil Law 11.903—An “Emerging” Regulation for Traceability & Serialization.”

ANVISA is the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency and was established in 1999. The law and the original ANVISA guidelines detailed a program of serialized code in 2-D Data Matrix format on a security label printed by the national mint that was to be rolled out in June 2010. Subsequent ANVISA announcements delayed the timeline, but in November, ANVISA indicated that it will require all pharmaceuticals sold in Brazil to comply with its program by January 2012.

On November 3, ANVISA posted a Normative Instruction to the Daily Journal (Brazil’s equivalent to the United States’s Federal Register) detailing its decision to move forward with the self-adhesive security labels supplied by the Brazilian Mint (known by its Portuguese initials: CMB-Casa da Moeda). According to Schmitt’s translation, ANVISA states in the Instruction that “the self-adhesive labels shall contain an individual, unique, and non-repetitive identifier, called the IUM (Brazilian Initials for Unique Drug Identifier), printed in legible characters, and consisting of a two dimensional bar code. . . . The other specifications of self-adhesive labels are the responsibility of the Mint of Brazil and will be published by that entity.”

The self-adhesive labels, often called “Safety Labels” or “Stamps” by ANVISA, “will be supplied by the CMB to each company with drug registration in Brazil, regularized with ANVISA.”

The labels will feature an “invisible marker” for authentication that can only be recognized by the special readers. Measuring 19 × 25 mm, the labels will feature “micro fibers and coloured beads visible only under ultraviolet light” along with “micro cuttings to protect against attempted tampering,” Schmitt reports.

Over the next seven months, ANVISA will be supplying readers to pharmacies at no cost to them, which will enable them to authenticate the labels.

“Data from the security labels will be connected via the IUM and Brazil’s Electronic Invoice system and will be the responsibility of the Treasury Secretary of Brazil,” Schmitt explains.

“Pharmaceutical companies have 60 days to enroll in the program (not to implement) by signing a contract with the CMB,” Schmitt adds. “Shipment of the labels to the pharmaceutical company must begin within 60 days after the contract has been signed.”

Companies will have six months to start using the label for products produced in Brazil and 12 months for products imported into Brazil, Schmitt reports. After January 15, 2012, all pharmaceutical products sold in Brazil are required to have the safety label on their packaging.

Watch this space for further updates. You can read other pharmaceutical & healthcare-based packaging articles by following this link to Design Cognition Pharmaceutical Posts

Or follow this one to read the full Brazilian serialisation PMPNews article

Chris  Penfold

Branded Packaging That Delivers – Transform Your Products

Posted in Branding, Design, Design Cognition News, Events, Innovation, Marketing, Product News, Retailers, Training, cost-optimisation on November 3rd, 2010 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment
coca cola - branded packaging that delivers

coca cola - branded packaging that delivers

In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, effective branding is essential.

So we are running a 1 day course to give you hints, tips and pointers on how to make your product stand out on shelf through effective packaging as a marketing tool.

It will explain how to transform your good brand into a GREAT brand and help take your products to the ‘next level’, looking at a number of important aspects including brand values, added value & convenience, rationalisation, pack size, reducing material cost and innovation to get retailer acceptance, drive sales and increase profitability.

9th December 2010 at Biocity in Nottingham, UK

HURRY NOW – find out more & how to register to get an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT by clicking Branded Packaging That Delivers

Roses win Gold

Posted in Design, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging on October 19th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 7 Comments

Great to see that this Roses pack won the Starpack Gold Environment Award.  The judges said

Cadbury Roses Box “This entry is a winner because the design provides a 45% packaging weight reduction, allows for a more cost effective supply chain and has been developed to provide the strength and stability provided by a tin, but in a carton” 

Personally I really like this pack and indeed wrote about it last November  (Cadbury replaces Roses tin with cardboard box) when it was first launched in Tesco’s. 

It’s a shame, but I heard just a few weeks ago that this pack was being withdrawn.  It appeared to have everything going for it, so why is it being withdrawn? Comments at the time hinted that although consumers talk about wanting to be green the reality was a little different – I’m not sure I really agree with that.

Outside of the packaging industry who knew about the pack or its reasons for being there?  I certainly didn’t see any adverts or publicity for it.  I think Cadbury’s really missed a trick here, this could have been a great opportunity to engage with younger consumers.

A real missed opportunity!

How Can Intelligent Packaging Best Aid Patient Compliance?

Posted in Design, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Technology, Uncategorized on October 1st, 2010 by Jane Bear – 6 Comments

ASIC_high resEvery day millions of patients fail to take their medications as prescribed by their doctor. Medication non-adherence is a problem that disrupts the healthcare system in many ways, leading to patients failing to receive full treatment benefit. Non-adherence can lead to hospitalisation and even death.

The root of this problem is human behaviour. Even though we are “creatures of habit”, we often lose momentum when taking medications, or do not always understand or appreciate the benefits. Subsequently, patients often tell an ‘untruth’ to mask the fact and avoid embarrassment, whether non-compliance was accidental or planned.

Just follow the link to read the full article on ‘How Can Intelligent Packaging Best Aid Patient Compliance?’

Catalent Pharma to use Digimarc Media Enhanced Packaging™ Solutions globally

Posted in Branding, Design, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Product News, Technology on September 28th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment
Media Enhanced Packaging Solutions - 'raise the game'

Media Enhanced Packaging Solutions - 'raise the game'

The US-based Digimarc Corporation has recently been working very closely with New Jersey-based Catalent Pharma Solutions, a leading provider of innovative packaging solutions to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and consumer healthcare industries to take interactive pharmaceutical packaging to the ‘next level’. It has licensed its mobile visual search software that, together with it’s leading-edge Chroma watermark printing technology, will allow Catalent to deliver new Media Enhanced Packaging solutions to its clients worldwide that will instantly connect consumers to a range of network services from printed packaging, inserts, and labels using smart phones and other digital devices.

Digimarc’s mobile software enables the phone’s camera to “see” digital data that has been embedded into all forms of printed materials, including advertisements, editorial content, brochures, posters, product packaging, labels and more. Unlike 2D barcodes or QR codes, the digital codes do not take up precious space on packages, and they are imperceptible to human senses, but can easily be detected by computers, networks, and today’s most popular smart phones. So they not only open up all sorts of possibilities for more advanced covert counterfeiting measures to be taken, but also for additional patient and Healthcare Practitioner (HCP) information, advice and interaction.

You can read a more information at www.digimarc.com and www.catalent.com

We are really passionate about helping our clients identify and implement new and exciting technologies so why not give us a call now and see how we can help you – +44(0)115 8461914

You can find other related Design Cognition articles on ‘Intelligent’ packaging & technology here:

Design Cognition Technology Insights & News

Chris Penfold

The making of Plastiki – turning plastic packaging waste into resource

Posted in Design, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Events, Innovation, Materials, Recycling, Technology, Uncategorized on August 13th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 6 Comments

Here’s how ‘Eco Warrior’ and ‘Gaia Capitalist’ David de Rothschild made his catamaran ‘Plastiki’ out of recycled PET bottle packaging -- turning waste into resource and into an (almost) completely recyclable boat, that he then sailed from San Francisco to Sydney.

You can read the related article I wrote earlier today here: Sailing through the Plastiki soup in search of Paradise

Chris Penfold

Sailing through the Plastiki soup in search of paradise?

Posted in Business News, Design, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Events, Marketing, Materials, Opinion, Recycling on August 13th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 10 Comments
Plastiki - David de Rothschild's yacht made of recycled PET bottles

Plastiki - David de Rothschild's yacht made of recycled PET bottles

As we have discussed in previous posts, there is a huge and ever-increasing mountain of rubbish growing in the middle of the Pacific, like a giant festering ’soup’, much of which consists of plastic packaging waste. This has had a massive knock-on affect in the  form of polluted beaches on islands throughout the South Pacific. See our previous article: Great Pacific Garbage Patch article

David de Rothschild is a man on a mission. The offspring of the wealthy banking family, he is one of a new breed of environmental crusaders and entrepreneurs that some are calling ‘Gaia capitalists’. ‘Gaia’ in mythology was the primal Greek goddess of the Earth and aptly a ‘gyre’ in oceanography is any large system of rotating ocean currents (source: Wikipedia).

To highlight the Pacific issue and raise it’s profile in mainstream media, De Rothschild decided to use his family’s high profile  (& money) to build a yacht made entirely of recycled plastic bottle packaging, which he named ‘Plastiki’ (making reference and tribute to the late Thor Heyerdahl’s papyrus Kon-tiki raft which crossed the Pacific back in 1947). Over a four month period he sailed this 60ft catamaran from San Francisco to Sydney, where he landed last week. But his exploits are no shallow ploy to fill aimless days with fun and adventure.

De Rothschild and his ‘Gaia’ friends are driven by a combination of social conscience and economic pragmatism, seeking a ‘paradigm shift’ in the way we live and desecrate our planet. They espouse a new form of capitalism that factors in the environment and social wellbeing as a cost. It considers protecting the environment not only as a moral issue but as a set of design challenges to correct inefficiencies that make the capitalist system unsustainable. Waste, for example, is considered the result of inadequate thinking. If you are smarter about it, and create products that work properly, then you shouldn’t have to throw anything away at the end – should you? The group include Chad Hurley (33) who with his co-founder, sold YouTube to Google for $1.6Bn and has since ploughed some of his fortune into the Green Products Innovation Institute and Jeffrey Skoll, worth $2.4Bn, who wrote the business plan for eBay and has set up the Skoll Foundation to encourage ’social entrepreneurs’ to play a greater role in developing a better world (source: The  Sunday Times).

These are ‘game changers’, who see solutions where others see problems – a new entrepreneurial revolution – one of collaboration something that de Rothschild calls ‘Planet 2.0′. So I feel that we will be hearing a lot more from this ‘band of brothers’ in the future. They mean to ‘rattle some cages’, get us all to think differently and make a real impact by influencing things at ‘the top’. They have a point! Can we really carry on the way we are? For a really ’sustainable future’, for our children and their children’s sakes, things have to change a lot quicker.What do you think?

Chris Penfold

Developing a product & packaging? There’s no such thing as a ‘free launch’!

Posted in Branding, Design, Marketing, Opinion, Social Media, Top 10 Tips, Training, cost-optimisation on August 10th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 6 Comments
There's no such thing as a free launch

There's no such thing as a free launch

The trouble with television programmes like High Street Dreams and Dragons Den, is that they only provide a
‘snapshot/soundbite’ of branding and the product development process, making it all appear oh-so-easy to the average ‘personon the street’. In reality, it’s a complicated process and there are a number of steps involved that should be considered before even thinking about approaching a branding or design agency and spending ‘hard-earned’ cash.
At Design Cognition we routinely get approached by all manner of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have very limited experience of branding and New Product Development (NPD). So we thought that we ought to provide some ‘pointers’ for those of you new to this arena, to get you to ‘stop and think’ and focus on what it is you are actually trying to achieve! It’s not in your interests or ours to develop products that have a high probability of failure.

So here are some fundamental questions to ask yourself, before you even think about branding & packaging:

read more »

Art, branding, packaging & a pestle – forged with love

Posted in Branding, Design, Events, Exhibitions, Gift Packaging, Marketing, Opinion, Uncategorized on July 23rd, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 12 Comments
Bex pestle & mortar

Bex's beautiful pestle & mortar

It’s Friday and we’ve reached the end of a journey – the last in our series of reviews of the High Street Dreams, BBC ‘reality TV show’ about product branding, packaging & design development. Following on from yesterday, we continue to look at ‘Homeware’, but this time it’s the turn of Bex Simon, an artistic blacksmith who designs beautiful one-off metal-ware objects for the home.

From her forge in East London, she produces stunning one-off commissioned ‘works of art’ in steel. Everything from table-top candelabras to ornate garden gates. Like many other small businesses, she is limited by the achievable output from her ‘one-woman-band’ operation and to meet demand in a more ‘cut-throat’ commercial world would need to find reliable partners/outsourced resource who could produce her designs to the same quality but at a fraction of the cost.

Bex’s mentor in the show was product designer Nick Munro, who is famous for (at the age of 23) kick-staring his ‘business empire’ by turning a bedspring into a commercial success as an ‘egg cup’. He has since created ranges for John Lewis, Arga and Fired Earth, with over 500 designs in production. As a starting point he took Bex to the Victoria & Albert museum (V&A) to study 5 centuries-worth of ironmongery as inspiration. Was she inspired? You bet! Everything from cotton-twist glass, pan hangers, bells, door chimes and (the crowning glory) a pestle & mortar, which got Bex really excited!

So off she went to design her own and a week later, after mapping out all of her ideas on a giant floor-mural, came ‘back to the table’ with a wonderful pestle & mortar of her own. She contacted a commercial casting foundry regarding a mould and after commissioning a prototype, she sat down with the Jo Malone, Nick Leslau and Nick Munro to be quizzed about costings and, like many of the other creative ‘contestants’, failed miserably when it came to business and finance. Bex’s solution was to involve her husband Dave more in the business to cover the financial aspects, leaving her to cover the artistic elements.

Bex's alluring carton branding with pink logo & embossed bubbles

Bex's alluring carton branding with pink logo & embossed bubbles

At this point branding consultancy Landor were brought into ‘the frame’, providers of branding to well known brands like Heinz Baked Beans, Morrison’s supermarkets and Vodafone, to name but a few. The result was some very alluring branding in the form of an eye-catching and distinctive bright pink anvil logo (great) and a very appropriate grey/slate carton embossed with some swirling bubbles, the logo and a short sentence on the back of the carton, also in bright pink lettering (tastefully done): “FORGED with LOVE”. Bex says of the logo, it was a “cleverly designed pink colour infill to be off centre to represent the jarring from the strike of the hammer” The box was lined with some matching bright pink tissue paper which added vibrancy & energy to the pestle and mortar product within. See the picture above. Of all of the High Street Dreams packaging shown over the past few weeks, this is my favourite. Bex says herself, on her website: ”the colours we chose for the packaging and website were to represent the filth and grime of the workshop, whilst maintaining a luxurious and premium feel.” Having looked at Bex’s website (link at end of this post), I think that the branding there is also well put together and professional looking – overall it’s all very well coordinated.

Along with Harry Singer (see yesterday’s Phlib post), the ‘big test’ for Bex was a 1-day test that Jo Malone sorted out at the national lifestyle exhibition – The Ideal Home Show at Earl’s Court in London. The three things that they were trying to evaluate were:
1.    How you sell your product
2.    Whether you are great PR ambassadors to your product
3.    How the consumers view your product

Unfortunately for Bex, unlike Harry, consumers weren’t as engaged for her, with products priced at £125 for a pewter? (or maybe steel) pestle and mortar and £250 for a bronze version. Everyone liked her work but no one was willing to pay that sort of money for a piece of ‘kitchen decorative art/furniture’, even though it was all “hand finished and polished”. This led to a concern by Jo and Nick that Bex wasn’t ready to pitch to a retailer – they thought that she needed more time to get her ‘act together’, which Bex took pretty well really. So she lived to ‘fight another day’. It’s interesting to note that, since the programme Bex announced on Twitter recently that she had been approached by Heals with a view to displaying some of her work in-store. So that’s a positive conclusion – well done Bex!

In terms of packaging, where does that leave us?

As far as I can tell, at the moment the only products that Bex is selling as ‘retail items’ are the pestle & mortar, which are available on her website for a price of £80 now  – a big reduction on what they were being sold for at the Ideal Home Show exhibition. Other products, such as her wrought iron gates and garden furniture etc are generally huge and bulky, one-off items. These are impractical to develop or even have a need for a range of bespoke packaging but I think that Bex should make the most of her branding and maybe make some wrought-iron ‘tags’ on which she could etch “FORGED with Love from Bex” with her logo (each painted pink) as a really engaging and personal note to each customer – and that would be really novel!
Informing
I believe that there is also a place for Bex to print some really high quality brochures (if she hasn’t done so already), with some stunning atmospheric photography to engage consumers at an emotional level, providing an opportunity for Bex to ‘connect’ with her target market. She could provide all sorts of information on the brand heritage, her vision for the business, brand values, the methods she uses to make her artistic creations, the quality of materials & methods used and really build an emotional story on which to ‘pivot’ her brand.
Transporting & Protecting

Clearly there is a need to transport and protect the large items as they are transported, which is probably best performed by some form of ‘designer (pink?) bubble-wrap’ or other, more environmentally friendly material. Careful use of traditional ‘padding’ materials like corrugated board and bubble-wrap can provide a simple enough ‘filler’ to protect the product from crushing, but there are a number of alternative organic, compostable and ‘sealed air’ filler materials around now that can also provide a more ‘environmentally friendly’ transit packaging solution. These could be complimented with the embossed ‘anvil’ metal labels that I mentioned above to provide some branding.
I hope that this has highlighted SOME of the added branding and packaging considerations that need to be taken into account when developing and selling high quality bespoke art products to the market. Well done Bex, we wish you every success in the future.
You can find out more about Bex’s products from her Bexsimon website.
Chris Penfold