Thursday, March 13, 2008

package design

this semester i am teaching the senior package design for the first time at parsons [the new school]. i taught design process, web process and print process previously, so being asked to teach package design was not just a nice change, but perfect timing personally as i grapple with package design issues daily with nooka. i only have 5 students, which i thought would be a problem, but they're all good students [in previous classes of 15 students, i was lucky if i got 2 students who were mentally present and did the assignments as instructed].

i started with a philosophical approach and the story of pandora's box to get them thinking about how everything is packaged, including our bodies in our skin, the clothes [and cosmetics] we wear, the tubes and ways we buy these things. i want the students to think of the emotional aspect of packaging, especially how one felt as a kid opening a present, and to identify personal experiences of purchasing a product based on the packaging alone [a book cover IS a package which illustrates another class exercise: package AS product]. then i went onto exercises to identify the basic purposes of packaging and the many concerns facing a designer with each:
as protection for the product in transit [from factory, to store, to consumer, to use],
as branding,
as value-add [including 'package as product'].

We also discussed context as a main concern [prada doesn't need elaborate packaging because of the context of both the brand and the selling environment, a new product in a supermarket does], eco-concerns [the greenest package is no package, differences between recyclable and renewable resources etc.], as well as cost concerns and how they affect design [I was shocked that none of my students knew the relationship between oil prices and the cost of plastics!].

another mandatory task for this class is to keep a blog to share information with each other and to collect design reference. and i would like to share some of them here with you.

kevin, nia, elaine, joan.

above image is from a product i bought in japan [but have yet to use] because i liked the package called sylotee & bee polish. It's a tooth polishing system for stains regular brushing won't remove and consist of a silicone eraser and special polish. cute huh? my only criticism is: why isn't he/she smiling? more on the product in japanese here.

1 comment:

Mr. Martin Yong said...

Dear, mat, it is a good sharing in your posting here.May i also suggest you to include some of the natural package material that many asian use in the old day like bamboo,lotus leaf etc. It will be fun to explore.By the way I am also a graphic design lecturer (Malaysia)