Tuesday, 9 February 2016

OUGD503 - Brief 02 - Packaging Research

The Saucy Fish Co. brief is incredibly open and ambiguous which is an exciting challenge. I read over the brief several times in order to decode it and gain a fuller understanding of what they are specifically asking us to create. Something that I noticed was the term 'structural packaging' and thought that this was quite significant. The brief is asking us to design functional packaging that allows the product to stand out on the shelf as well as integrate effectively with other products in terms of sharing shelf space. It must be eye catching, appealing to the specific target market without being overly complicated in design (using unnecessary packaging which could be classed as wasteful). 

I decided to look into structural packaging to see what it is all about as well as researching into packaging commonly used for seafood products.

Structural packaging designers develop 3-dimensional packaging proposals. They work in packaging companies, design firms and in the marketing departments of companies with large packaging requirements. Structural packaging designers play an important role in marketing by protecting the quality of products in transit and giving them a strong presence in retail outlets. In addition, A structural packaging designer designs the packaging and packing supplies for consumer products and may also create the graphics for outer cartons, containers, bags and labels. The job offers a great deal of flexibility, as it tends to be short-term or on contractual basis -- unless you find work with a manufacturer or package design consulting firm, and is ideal for anyone looking to combine a creative hand with an interest in engineering, logic and mathematics.

To create structural packaging, designers must have a detailed understanding of packaging materials and their characteristics, packaging production techniques, and the specialist packaging requirements of products, such as foods, liquids and chemicals. They must also have strong graphic design and typographic skills so that they can create packaging that stands out on crowded shelves. Designers must be aware of packaging regulations that apply to different products and must ensure that the packaging they produce is sustainable. All of these considerations will need to be applied to the collaborative brief. 
I found that structural packaging's main concern is protecting the product through various periods of transport, may that be from the place of manufacturing to the place or sale or from the place of sale to the place of consumption. It is functional in a few ways: protecting the product and communicating messages about the product inside. Structural packaging can be highly simplistic or it can be quite beautiful and ornate by design.

For this brief, I personally see us creating packaging that takes a simpler approach, as the product is fairly simple and the existing packaging and branding is simple, to me it wouldn't make sense to overcomplicate something that already works successfully. 

Some examples of interesting structural packaging solutions:
These intricate and quite abstract packaging solutions are interesting to look at, but are not appropriate for the product that we are designing for. They are good sources of inspiration however.

I looked at structural packaging solutions for fish and came across some intriguing results. 

Smoked salmon in fab packaging PD:

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