Gift Packaging

Great Marketing Idea

Posted in Gift Packaging, Marketing on July 8th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 3 Comments

BabyBloomsI think this is a really appealing way to present baby clothes as a gift and will certainly last longer and be far more useful to new parents than a regular bunch of flowers.  Maybe there are other items which could be ‘packaged’ this way – how about underwear packaged up as a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Valentines day or, slightly less glam but still fun, a bouquet made up of tea towels to celebrate a new house move?     (Jane Bear)

Great idea from Babyblooms.

Elo – packaging designer under the ”Creative Spotlight’

Posted in Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Creative Spotlight, Design, Design Cognition News, Design Library, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Marketing, Opinion, Uncategorized on February 25th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 10 Comments

At Design Cognition, we are passionate about packaging, design & creativity. We like to work with some of the worlds’ leading edge packaging designers, but also identify and nurture some of the brightest up-and-coming talent coming into the industry. We’re on a mission to unearth the very best designers and creators to see what makes them ‘tick, what ‘fires them up’ to get out of bed in the morning and who/what inspires them. We’re starting a a new initiative called the ‘Creative Spotlight’. In the first of the series we’ve interviewed a fantastic designer from California called ‘Elo’ (MarcELO), who has a very distinctive style all his own. Enjoy! and watch out for other great designer interviews coming soon! Chris Penfold

1. Elo, could you tell us where you’re from and how you got started in the field?

I originally come from South America, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’ve also lived in Europe and Canada. Today I live in sunny San Diego, California. I came here for school, I graduated and I run my own freelance design company, ElO Designs. I was always involved with art ever since I was a kid. My sisters and I did some plays together and then I thought I was going to be a singer. I took singing classes for 1 year and I formed a band. We were great but too many. Then things started to fall apart and the band was over after a year. Since I like traveling, I wanted to create a website to show my friends and family the places I was visiting at the time. So, I bought my first HTML book and started to learn all by myself how to create websites using only the codes and the notepad. I thought it was a lot of fun and after that I never stopped. My older sister was a graphic designer at the time, she didn’t have a computer and was doing all the arts by hand. Using amber leaf and ruby leaf, gluing stuff together, using the T ruler and ink
pens that needed to be soaked in water over night. “What a mess it was”, (laughs) but I learned a lot from her as well!.

Elo's lovely 'te' packaging for an upmarket tea range

Elo's lovely 'te' packaging for an upmarket tea range

2. Elo, what gives you inspiration when starting a design project? How do you blend all of your ideas in a harmonious way?

Well, my inspiration comes from various places: TV shows, patters, nature, magazines, or just from playing my games sometimes. There are days that my mind is a complete blank. And there are some other days that I get up in the middle of the night with a great idea. Then I either have to write it down or go to the computer and start working on it right away… Now, if I’m working with clients I have a questionare that I send to them to try to understand what they want me to do. Most of the time things go smoothly but sometimes clients have no idea what they want and it gets a little bit hard. In that case, I would say that, when working with indecisive clients it’s always good not to send them too many ideas. Limit yourself to 3 concepts. I like working with colors but I don’t like it when the colors overpower the final composition. So, I try to be really careful on that. It’s also good to know and understand color theory, color wheel, primary, secondary and tertiary colors. That helps to find the balance in the final composition.

Elo's 'old globe' brochure work

Elo's 'old globe' brochure work

3. Did you study graphic design formally in school/college (did that include packaging & typography?) or are you a self-taught artist? And in your opinion what are the pro’s and con’s of each route?
I went to a great Design School here in California and I got an AA( associate degree) in Graphic Arts with great professors. I’m specialized in packaging and print design. I think that when you have some talent school always counts and you can learn great techniques from other professionals. I have seen great design work from people with no schooling and I have seen portfolios from people with Bachelor Degrees that make me think ‘Ummm…really???’. So, I guess it all depends. School helps, It will also help to get technical if you’re not so talented. But school won’t make you. You are the only one who will find your own identity as a designer or artist.

Elo's artistic 'Explore' range of book covers

Elo's artistic 'Explore' range of book covers

4. How do you define yourself as a designer and what strong point do you think that every packaging designer should have?

I define myself as an artist who has a design career for now. I think every packaging designer has to think ‘outside of the box’. It’s important to think about sustainability and about the practical part of the design you are creating. The most important thing is to think about the target audience you are designing/creating for, because they are the ones who are going to consume your product.

Elo's 'naturals' men's packagng range

Elo's 'naturals' packagng range

5. How do you feel that packaging design work differs from other areas in which you work? Why do you think that is?

Well, I like packaging and branding the most amongst all other things that I do.. I also love what I have been doing at the moment, called: “Photo Illustration”. It lets me be very creative and show the ‘true me’ as a designer. But I think all areas have their own importance. Today as a designer you must know a little bit about everything. We are all visual human beings and we are surrounded by designs everywhere. From the time get up to the time we go to bed. If the color differs, if the shape differs, if the usage of the product differs, if you respect the visual hierarchy, the product will cause an instant reaction to the consumers and will stand out from the shelves. That’s when you know the design really works, when it stands out amongst others.

'Birds' - an example of Elo's amazing 'Photo Illustration' work

'Birds' - an example of Elo's amazing 'Photo Illustration' work

6. What’s your favourite piece of packaging design work that you’ve undertaken yourself and why?

I’m happy with all my designs. I never put anything out there if I’m not 100% happy with it. But one of my favorite pieces is my “Eko” Home Cleaning Supplies Design. I put a  lot of thought into it. I was really happy with the overall result and I think I accomplished it beautifully, from the color pallet to the cohesion of the illustrations. The design was recently asked to be featured in a Japanese magazine about packaging and design. I guess I can call it successful right?! (laughs).

Elo's distinctive EKO packaging design

Elo's distinctive EKO packaging design

7. What’s your favourite all-time piece of packaging design that’s out on the market (i.e. designed by someone else) and why?

Oh Man…. that is a tough question for me ’cause I like so many designs. Target these days has great packaging designs. I like “Method” home products, I like “Scotch Brite” eco-friendly sponges, I like Paul Michel shampoo packaging, Aveda has great packaging and great ads as well, I like Michael Graves(industrial design) and Apple designs.

Distinctive packaging of the 'Method' range of homecare products

Distinctive packaging of the 'Method' range of homecare products

8. Thinking specifically about packaging design, who would you say provides you with “design inspiration,” meaning designers that you look up to; and also tell us why you feel this way about  them, what makes them special?

I try not to look much on already done stuff. So, this way when I design something I get my own signature to the product I’m working on. But there are tons of designers that I appreciate, I Like: Michael Graves(Industrial designs) visit his website at (http://www.michaelgraves.com/mgdg.htm) The guy is a genius. Everything he does has this round polished shape to it and when you look at his products you say: “That is Michael Graves”!

One of Michael Graves' zany kettle designs

One of Michael Graves' zany kettle designs

9.  Any final thoughts for our readers?

When you do something in life, do it with your heart. Always try to push yourself over the limit to get better and better. Read, undertake research, visit blogs, create your own blog, connect to some other groups. There are so many fantastic designers around the world. Never limit yourself. You won’t have fireworks all the time. And you might also find people with huge egos, who will try to cut you off or turn you down as in any other artistic industry. But if you stay true to yourself you will get there!

10. Elo, where can we find you on-line?

My personal website is always an endless work in process. Right now I’m still working on it but you can find me on-line in various places. Here are some:
http://www.coroflot.com/elodesigns
http://elodesigns.deviantart.com
http://www.behance.net/elodesigner
http://thinksmartdesigns.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/elodesigner

That’s great. Thanks Elo and all the best for the future – you’re doing some wonderful work there – keep it up.

Cheers

Chris

Life-saving packaging in Haiti

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Opinion, Safety on January 20th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 3 Comments

As we move into the second week following the Haitian earthquake, things have been fraught for the local population, most of whom have been without food, water, electricity, or a roof over their heads. During that period dead bodies have been piling up all over the place, including hospital car parks where medical supplies have been in short supply and many of the surgical operations that have been carried out, have been done without anaesthetic.

Medical, food & water supplies packaged to survive a harsh environment

Medical, food & water supplies packaged to survive a harsh environment

Although of no consolation to those that have perished over the past week, luckily the logistical situation is improving now that US ships have arrived and helicopters are finally getting to the places they are needed with those essential supplies. It is at times like this that we are reminded of the true worth of packaging,  in an environment where there are no fridges to keep things cool and packaging has to perform an even more essential role than normal in a very hostile environment. The packaging contains, avoiding spillage. It protects against crushing, vermin & pilfering. It preserves, providing protection for the products within and extended shelf life. It enables ease of transport, whether by plane, truck or onwards by hand and lastly it informs, providing vital information on contents, storage, dosage and application.

In summary, it provides a lifeline where, without it, medical supplies would arrive dirty and non-sterile, food would ’spoil’ within hours and water would become contaminated, leading to dysentery and further distress and trauma. So, packaging, where on earth would we be without it? Chris Penfold

The enigma of packaging innovation

Posted in Associations, Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Opinion, Technology on January 7th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 11 Comments

“Innovation is the key to our industry breaking out of recession, says Keith Barnes, chairman of IoP: The Packaging Society”, a subject that is ‘dear to my heart’. There is much rhetoric spouted from many quarters (not just the packaging industry for that matter) who only pay ‘lip service’ to innovation. In these recessionary times it is sad to see that true ‘innovation’ either ‘thrown out of the window’  totally or is put ‘on the back burner’ in anticipation of ’sunnier days’. Luckily some companies have had the foresight to see beyond the present ‘mire’ and are using innovation (in product developments, processes and the way they think) to position themselves and their brands in such a way that they will be ‘ahead of the pack’ when the economic climate has improved. Indeed, at Design Cognition, we are lucky enough to be working with some of these forward-thinking companies and I ‘tip my hat’ to them. If you’d like further information on particular areas of innovation and how Design Cognition can help, you can find out more and contact us here: Design Cognition Innovation

Chris Penfold

In his article, Keith says “Despite being the world’s third largest industry, packaging is still sadly perceived by the vast majority of people as  cardboard boxes and wrapping paper. As chairman of The Packaging Society, and with the industry’s support, I am determined to change this image. With the best will in the world, this will not happen overnight. What’s more, the task is going to be made increasingly difficult by so many companies and individuals focusing on their survival in the current economic climate.”

Sourced from Packaging News 6th January 2010, Keith Barnes

You can read the full article here: The enigma of  packaging innovation

Increasing legislation v reducing pack sizes – the labelling dilemma!

Posted in Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Legal, Marketing, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on January 4th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 5 Comments

The normal packaging development  process would involve firstly developing a pack to fit the product in an optimum manner. Then any legally required text would be positioned (including any required symbols, such as recycling logos). Finally the marketing requirements would be implemented, in terms of claims, branding etc. More often than not, there is then a need to go back to product marketers to get them to reduce their marketing copy on the packs, because it simply won’t fit……..and the situation is getting worse!

Other options that can help tackle this problem are:

A, reducing the font size – but this can have implications on readability, print process constraints and there is often a legal minimum size which needs to be adhered to.

B, Using paginated label leaflet formats – where, on occasions, we have developed up to a 10-page concertina style leaflets. However, these multi-layered add-ons can add a huge on-cost onto the price of a pack – for which marketers don’t always want to pay.

C, Printing on the inside of pack (e.g. cartons) – but not visible until a pack is opened. So one can’t do this with certain text which needs to be visible at time of purchase

D, Finally, if all else fails, considering increasing the overall size of the packaging.

An example of a multi-page label solution

An example of a multi-page label solution

This latter route is sometimes unavoidable, especially with pharmaceutical packs, where the packs are very small, and even after taking measures such as reducing the bar codes from 13 digit to 8 digit, there is simply not enough room to display the mandatory legal minimum required text (let alone any marketing text).

Furthermore, it is now the law for any new medicines to incorporate Braille on the packaging (it will be a requirement for all existing medicines by October 2010). This will have to detail the product name, the strength [of the medication] and the dose form – yet another constraint to bear in mind. New products also have to conform with the readability guidelines which are in place to ensure that the packs can be read clearly and understood by the patient/consumer).

It’s worth remembering that it’s not just the basic information that one has to put on the pack. Very this has to be repeated it in a number of  different languages. It’s not unusual for a European product to have a need for 12 languages. And then there might be a need to repeat ‘country of origin’ for every language, and could require five countries needing to be listed (for a range of ingredients). The result could be a situation where  all one has room to display is a list of ingredients  & addresses, and any wish for aesthetic beauty just ‘goes out of the window’.

At Design Cognition, we review the whole space to find an ideal design that looks most aesthetically appealing and hopefully doesn’t look too cluttered – but it’s not always easy!

Incorporating logos of different colours, or trying to mix varying colours of text with backgrounds, can add its own issues and problems. Sometimes ‘house colours’ do not lend themselves to readability, White text on a pastel or black background for instance, can be even harder to read, so we may need to redesign [the pack graphics], using the principles and processes detailed above.

Overall our job is to develop a pack that is fit for purpose and not over-packaged. Things are becoming increasingly challenging but, so far our use of creativity and lateral thinking has provided a suitable solution.

Moving forwards technology could aid some of the issues raised above. Nowadays, certain consumer/marketing information can be shown ‘on-line’, cutting down the need to put it all on-pack – maybe just a web address for further information. There have also been great leaps forward in microchip technology which will enable ‘talking packs’, ‘moving pictures’ and a whole new interactive consumer experience – taking packaging to a new level. These are all areas in which Design Cognition has a strong interest and is working with a number of suppliers to develop cost-effective solutions.

If you’d like more information on these areas, sign up for further information HERE

Chris Penfold

Multisensoric trend key to confectionery packaging, claims German group

Posted in Design, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Innovation, Marketing, Materials, Product News, Retailers, Technology on December 17th, 2009 by Anne Dallison – 5 Comments

The use of Multisensoric for confectionery packaging on the increase

By Jane Byrne , 15-Dec-2009

Appealing to consumers’ five senses through innovative packaging techniques can result in increased brand loyalty and greater impact at point of sale, and it is a key driver in confectionery packaging, according to the organisers of the 2010 Pro Sweets trade show.

Multisensoric is an approach to packaging design that allows packaging to stimulate and arouse emotions in consumers to encourage purchase and examples include such elements as striking colour schemes, windows to view the product, exciting rustling sounds and foldout trays.

The Pro Sweets team said that, as a result, the confectionery industry is increasingly focused on touch, sight and sound finished packaging elements such as foil lamination, textured embossing, and varnishes.

via Multisensoric trend key to confectionery packaging, claims German group.

Almost half of counterfeit buyers progress to real thing, says study

Posted in Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Gift Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Marketing, Tweets on December 15th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 5 Comments

The following article provides a fascinating insight into the ‘placebo affect’ of counterfeit goods as a ‘taster’ for the ‘real thing’.It would be interesting to find out whether this affect is evident in the purchase & use of counterfeit packaged goods. I should imagine that it probably is true with counterfeit cosmetics but unlikley with pharmaceuticals. What do you think? Chris

From OUT-LAW News, 10/12/2009 and brought to our attention via @fmpickering - thanks Francine!

Nearly half the people who buy counterfeit handbags buy the real thing within two years, according to an academic study. The research shows that fakes can create brand loyalty in the counterfeited brands.

A researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who used to be a brand manager at luxury goods firm Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) asked hundreds of fake bag buyers about their habits in an unpublished study ‘The Real Value Of Fakes’.

Renee Richardson Gosline interviewed the consumers who knew when they bought them that the bags were fakes and found that 46% of them bought authentic branded bags within two years.

“For some status-seeking people, at least, the social power of luxury goods means that consumption must not just be conspicuous, but real,” said a statement from MIT describing the research.

“The counterfeit actually served as a placebo for brand attachment,” Gosline told news service Bloomberg . “People were becoming increasingly attached to the real brand even though they never possessed it at all.”

You can read the full article here: OUT-LAW New

You can find further information on counterfeiting and evolving technologies, via Design Cognition’s sister site The Pharma Gateway‘. Also, if you are interested in our forthcoming counterfeiting workshops – let us know.

Chartered Environmentalist + WRAP Technical Advisors x 2 = Good News

Posted in Associations, Awards, Design, Design Cognition News, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Opinion, Recycling, cost-optimisation on December 14th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 17 Comments

Just a quick note to confirm that both Annie and myself have been honoured with the title of Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) by the Society for the Environment, through our membership of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) and because of our life-long commitment to developing sustainable packaging solutions in our day-to-day projects. It’s nice to have it recognised and, by implication, recognition of the fact that packaging actually provides a beneficial (environmental) role in society.

This also sits nicely with our appointment last year as Technical Advisors to WRAP (the UK government-run Waste Resources & Action Programme) in ‘Waste Minimisation – Packaging Product Waste’. I feel that a key component of this has been our understanding of the requirements of present environmental legislation, in particular the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging waste) and Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations, which have been key in a number of recent environmental & sustainability assessments

‘Sustainable development’ to me is all about taking a ‘helicopter’ view of any product development to understand:

  • environmental impacts throughout the whole supply chain (from raw material extraction, through use & disposal, to reuse and recovery) whilst
  • attempting to meet consumer convenience needs,
  • BUT minimising the overall environmental impact through intelligent design of pack (primary, secondary & tertiary), using the optimum material specifications & most economical footprint possible.

I believe that key to our CEnv award was our continued application of the principles of sustainable environmental management and development in our work. Over my 30 year career ‘the environment’ has become ever-more prominent on everybody’s agenda, evolving from the early days of the ‘Topfer Decree’ to the more recent ‘Plan A’. We have endeavoured throughout to apply the principles of sustainable environmental management and development in all of our work as ‘environmental packaging champions’:

  • Acting as an internal consultants for marketers & other business stakeholders – advising on ‘fitness for purpose’ and ‘environmental best-practice’.
  • Highlighting issues with existing packaging to our work colleagues
  • Applying ‘sustainable principles in the hundreds of packaging developments on which We’ve worked

Moving forwards, I pledge that Design Cognition will continue applying the principles of sustainable development and environmental responsibility in all of our work. As CEO of a company that not only develops packaging but also acts in a consultancy capacity (advising on packaging ‘sustainability’ & ‘the environment’) I carry the mantle with a great deal of pride and self-fulfilment – enjoying making a ‘real difference’ in the world.

  • Our initial discussions with clients always encompass sustainable aspects – and that will continue
  • One of our ‘values’ (shown on our website) is to be ‘environmentally aware’:
  • “bearing in mind our impact on the environment and eco-systems in all that we develop and in our day-to-day business”
  • Through this ethos I will encourage all in Design Cognition to ‘live’ our environmental policy as a holistic approach to encompass not only work we do for clients but also in our day-to-day business activities.

We look forward to working with you :-)

Chris

Advent Calendar – humorous variation – Move over Cadbury’s!

Posted in Design, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Gift Packaging, Innovation, Opinion, Recycling, cost-optimisation on December 10th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 6 Comments

We just received this picture via email and it made us laugh. We thought that you might like it too.  A very novel re-use of packaging to minimise scarce resources. Have a guess from which northern UK country it originated? Chris

tennants image001_1

Novel re-use for Tennants Lager packaging

Branded barcodes cheer Japanese shoppers

Posted in Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Innovation, Marketing on November 12th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 20 Comments

I think this is a fantastic idea – the barcode needs to be there anyway, so why not make a feature of it.  Obviously it’s more suited to certain areas of the market than others – I’m not sure a patient would appreciate finding one of these on a medicine, but then again on a more everyday or fun item I think it could be a great area to add some individuality and extra branding. (Jane)

While most Western manufacturers focus their marketing on the front of a product, a growing number of Japanese firms are branding the barcodes on the reverse as well. The black and white etchings contain sufficient detail to be recognised by scanners, while also incorporating the firms logo or an image associated with the product.

via Branded barcodes cheer Japanese shoppers – Telegraph.