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The State of Packaging in Today’s Market (Interview 8)

October 31, 2012 Leave a comment

For those of you who have been following this series of interview we offer you number 8 from Will Burke, Principal & Chief Innovation Officer at CB’a Brand Engine.

Will’s passion lies in bridging strategy and design to solve complex issues with great insight and straightforward solutions. Formerly with Landor Associates, Lister-Butler and Axion Design, Will’s 20+ year history includes major branding and packaging programs for Citicorp, MasterCard, Shell Oil, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Logitech, Palm, Foster’s, Frontier Natural Products, Nestlé and Tropicana. As a featured speaker and author, Will’s unique perspective has been spotlighted by Package Design Magazine, Entrepreneur’s Organization, thedieline.com, popon.net, Shelf Impact! and HOW Magazine. When he’s not working with clients or spreading the word on the value of branding, you can find Will motoring on his vintage Ducati café racer on Highway 1.

1.    In today’s packaging, how much emphasis is placed on form and how much on graphics? Is one more dominant than the other?

This is a difficult question as both are important elements and affect one another. Typically we start with form as the structure itself can be iconic.  Take the Coca-Cola bottle for example. No graphics needed. That is an extreme example and most packaging is combination of the two. We recently completed a project where at the beginning we had a strong strategic recommendation to change the form of the package to differentiate from the competition which were in a very similar form. After completing the graphics, we reevaluated the strategy and agreed that the graphics were so successful that a change to the form was unnecessary. As a regular practice, we start first with form and go from there.
2.    Has the focus on sustainability in packaging leveled off or will it continue to rise?
I believe we will continue to see a rise in sustainability in packaging. It will now be at a slower pace as the “fad” phase has worn off.  Given the rise in online retailing, you are now confronted with an extra layer of packaging to consider. For a recent client, we decided to put the product in a reusable bag instead of a traditional box given that it would be only ordered on line or direct. I can even imaging how much we saved in natural resources by taking this approach. The client was 100% behind the idea from the beginning, we did not have to twist his arm!
3.    With the growing number of products entering the market, what are the expectations of companies in regards to sales performance based on package design and do you feel they are realistic?

The bigger issue is finding the right agency that understands how to design packaging that has a significant impact on sales. Many times companies have a get-it-done-cheap mentality for packaging and then are disappointed when the sales don’t meet expectations. I’m making the assumption that the product is not the issue. I believe that following a proven package design process — which starts with a clear understand of the brand — that packaging can play a significant role in increasing sales. We’ve designed or redesigned many packages that have exceed the sales expectations of our clients. I’d be happy to share some ROI figures.
4.    Do you find budgets for package design growing or shrinking?
I’ve seen both. For more executional work — implementation and production, the budgets have shrunk. It’s disappointing as a great concept poorly executed is crap. So invariable many times what you see in the market is a poor imitation of the real work. People don’t pay for craftsmanship anymore. On the other hand we are seeing budgets go up for concept work when it comes to forward-thinking packaging projects. However, these type of projects are few and far between.
5.    When designing a package, how connected are you to the manufacturing and fulfillment segments?
Each client is different. For some we are very connected.
6.    How often have you bought a product based on the package?
Too many times to count. Great packaging is beautiful!
7.    Have you ever purposely designed a package to have a life (or use) past the product it contains?
Yes.
8.    Many consumers complain about clamshell packaging due to the difficulty in opening one. Since that feature is in place to deal with theft, how would you counter or improve that part of the clamshell design?

Good question. I’m sure there are 100+ ways to address this problem. Lets first educate people not to steal. Maybe we can just stop there.
9.    What package would you like to design?
The next must have new product that has yet to be invented.
10.  What is your favorite package?
My 1968 Ducati 350 Cafe racer motorcycle!

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The State of Packaging in Today’s Market (Interview 7)

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Welcome to Interview #7 in our series on packaging. Today we talk with Dan Olson, founder of Studio MPLS.

When going to the Studio MPLS site, here is the message one encounters:

“Every brand aims to be purposeful, proprietary and passionate. But how do you convey the essence of a brand in a way no other has expressed it?

We believe the answer is design.

To break through the noise, design must be surprising, fearless, honest and beautiful. By meticulously exploring, imagining, questioning and editing, we are able to create an artful palette of meaningful tools that invite curiosity and action.

A seasoned collection of artists, creative thinkers and perfectionists, Studio MPLS has designed solutions in for a diverse clientele including American Eagle, Aveda, BMW, The Bahamas, The Coca-Cola Company, Gander Mountain, Jet Blue Airlines, Purina, Susan G. Komen, Thymes, Toyota, among many others.”

1.   In today’s packaging, how much emphasis is placed on form and how much on graphics? Is one more dominant than the other? 

I’ve found that it depends on the category. If I’m designing for a juice drink that has global suppliers and manufacturers the container needs to conform to the parameters of existing equipment and fulfillment requirements. However, if designing for the bath and beauty category form is often an important purchasing differentiator. That said, in all instances the graphic presentation is of ultimate importance as it has the power to trump the imperfections of an inferior container design.

2.   Has the focus on sustainability in packaging leveled off or will it continue to rise?

Sustainability is here to stay and the companies that understand that are ahead of the curve. Consumers are increasingly aware of which companies have “green” built into their DNA and which do not and are factoring that into their purchase decisions.

But as important as consumer preference is the trend for what is called “extended producer responsibility” – where municipalities and state legislatures are passing laws that hold manufacturers responsible for the environmental costs of products throughout their lifecycles, including take-back, recycling and final disposal.  This will put more on more pressure on manufacturers to produce packaging (and products) that are more sustainable, efficiently designed and use materials that more environmentally sensitive.

3.   With the growing number of products entering the market, what are the expectations of companies in regards to sales performance based on package design and do you feel they are realistic?

In many ways, the importance of package design on sales performance has never been greater.  The design bar is raised because consumers are more and more sophisticated and appreciative about aesthetics of what they purchase.

I think another issue is the fragmentation of the media world.  With so many channels and devices competing for our attention and the ability to opt out of marketing entirely, it is increasing hard for companies to get their message to the audience.  So the pressure point comes down to the critical moment, when the consumer is standing in front of the shelf and making a purchase decision in a fraction of a second.  I think more marketers are appreciating that and redirecting resources that would have been devoted to more traditional marketing tactics into making sure they have a powerful package design that makes a statement about the brand and stands out from the crowd.

4. Do you find budgets for package design growing or shrinking?

I think more for less is essentially the truism of the 21st Century in every aspect of business, including package design.  Technology has made the design process so much more efficient and the competition is much more prolific.  Those forces certainly combine to put pressure on design companies to do more for less. But as I said earlier, we believe package design is judged to be as critical in importance as it ever has been – so that raises demand for high quality design.

5.   When designing a package, how connected are you to the manufacturing and fulfillment segments?

Typically I’m not very connected to the manufacturing side of things unless it has specific implications for the design.

6.   How often have you bought a product based on the package? 

I occasionally buy things that visually intrigue me. Sometimes my purchase is based on form alone, sometimes it’s the graphics that wins me over. When the two seem to merge into one stunning visual presentation I am probably making multiple purchases.

 7. Have you ever purposely designed a package to have a life (or use) past the product it contains?

No, but I would definitely enjoy the challenge.

 8.  Many consumers complain about clamshell packaging due to the difficulty in opening one. Since that feature is in place to deal with theft, how would you counter or improve that part of the clamshell design?

This is a question I’ll leave to the experts. My guess is that there are hosts of engineer’s daily working on solutions to this challenge as it represents considerable profit to those companies that can solve it. I’ve recently noticed the use of sealed blister cards that seem to encourage a hands-on experience. Perhaps built-in audible alarms might be the answer in some applications.

9.  What package would you like to design?

The cereal box.

10.  What is your favorite package?

Changes daily.

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The State of Packaging in Today’s Market (Interview 6)

October 16, 2012 Leave a comment

We switch gears now for Interview #6 going from designer to packaging publication editor Joe Pryweller of Packaging Strategies. The insights are a bit different as are the questions we posed to Joe.

Joe’s  experience with Packaging Strategies has run from Senior Reporter through Chief Editor and now as Editor/Conference Director. He’s well-informed about the packaging industry and coordinates an array of conferences throughout the year bringing up to date information and trends about today’s world in packaging.

1.    Will sustainability concerns in packaging level off or continue to rise?

That’s a great question, and the answer depends how you view sustainability. I don’t think sustainability concerns will fall. There is strong evidence contrary to that on all fronts. It is integrated into the missions and strategies of every key brand owner and their suppliers at this point. The retail community is also demanding that products meet these concerns. There are several major standards bodies, including the Global Packaging Project and ISO, that are looking at harmonized worldwide standards and include an impressive list of key CPGS and converters. It is pervasive in all market segments and formats.

Yet, there has also been discussion about what sustainability in packaging really means. The major question is whether packaging and sustainability should be a separate discussion from the product or whether sustainability is really a larger strategy folded into the product and that includes packaging as one of its poles but not the only one. In other words, packaging is part of a holistic look at the lifecycle of a product and all its elements, part of the discussion on reducing waste, on conserving energy, on reusing materials, on cutting carbon emissions, etc.

The key question is not whether sustainability in packaging will rise or fall but whether it be considered separate from the product or merely part of an overall outlook. Sustainability will continue to be important in any event.

2.    With package manufacturing going overseas, do you see a decline in this activity?

Certainly, we’ve seen tremendous growth in this area. Several major U.S.-based packaging converters take in more than half their sales from overseas sources, and the trend should continue in the BRIC countries and in other developing areas. And there is a great need for better packaging in many of these countries, where products need to be distributed more efficiently to reach a population desperate for food, water and other key supplies. While these emerging countries continue to develop, packaging will need to be stepped up to allow a populace in rural areas to achieve a better standard of living.

China is also another hot button in this regard. In the paper industry and in PET, to name two areas, much of the growth of the world’s supply is coming from China. I don’t see this declining at all; there is too much need for packaging inside China and for plants to be based there instead of overseas.

As much as we’d like to say domestic manufacturing should stay in America, economic realities are different from some political concepts. I don’t see the trend toward global growth declining at all, not in the short or the long-term.

3.    Do you see the package to product size relationship getting closer?

There is certainly a strong push to reduce the amount of packaging, one that has been ongoing for the past five years. This trend does not seem to be declining at all. Just go to your neighborhood supermarket, and you’ll find much evidence of packaging that is shorter, smaller or arrayed in different shapes or sizes than in the past. Waste is a major global concern, and the push by retailers and CPGs to reduce packaging – and save some money on materials in the process – will not cease.

In fact, the newer trends of using pouches and other flexible formats will continue to grow as a means to reduce size and weight. So will the continued reduction in carton sizes and in wraps and liners. And hybrid solutions that include a mix of materials will continue to be used to achieve a better package to product ratio.

4.    What one trend do you see rising in package manufacturing today?

It’s no big surprise but the need for faster, automated, more efficient equipment is one that is pushing the OEM community and its customers. It is one thing to innovate and come up with new packaging that is more “sustainable” or offers wast and energy reduction or the use of alternative materials. It is quite another to be able to manufacture new packaging at the speeds and volumes required to serve a large market of consumers.

In many areas of packaging, equipment has gotten faster and uses automation and a total systems approach to achieve the efficiencies demanded by a global market. But this will require manufacturers to continue to push themselves if they are going to succeed in a shifting global economy.

5.    Is recycling of packaging more successful today than 10 years ago and what do you see for the future of recycling?

It certainly is more successful, if you look at the communities that offer municipal recycling programs, the automated sorters and other major equipment, and at the investments made by such companies as Coca-Cola, Sonoco and others in recycling programs. And package recycling has certainly become a key priority in every major material segment, even those that did not look toward that in the past. Witness such industry groups at the Carton Council for examples.

Yet, recycling rates, at least in the United States, are still far from where they need to be, even with the flurry of recent activity. That is distressing to some and should lead to an even greater drive. I see the future focusing much more on the consumer side, attempting to incentivize consumers to recycle and providing them with greater motivation to use their recycling bins. Education and awareness campaigns are also needed, and many non-profit groups are stepping up activity. But this is still a major mountain to climb and is not easily changed overnight.

Yet, we all can at least take some comfort in the fact that activity is ongoing and seems to be a priority in the industry.

6.    Are we better off trying to recycle packaging or design it for repurposing?

I hate to sound wishy-washy but it really depends on the package and the use for it. In many cases, greater recycling of packaging is easy and should be done for those materials that can easily go through the recycling stream, including PET plastics, paperboard and corrugated, aluminum and steel, and glass. But for others, such as laminated structures, other multi-material formats or those materials not easily recycled, different approaches are needed. There must continue to be a push on the design end to use these packages for other purposes or to increase its shelf life or usefulness so that it benefits society.

So the answer really depends. One type of solution does not fit all in packaging.

7.    Is sustainable packaging financially affordable or not?

It depends on your definition of sustainability. Are you just looking at the cost of the alternative material, of production, of shipping and transport, of disposal, or of energy and greenhouse gas emissions? Or are you looking at sustainability from a more holistic, lifecycle approach that takes into account all aspects of the packaging from start to finish and even to start again, in the case of reuse?

The lifecycle approach, and the use of appropriate data and metrics to consider in the equation, are the only ways to really tell whether a package is affordable or not. Some packaging that is marketed as “sustainable” can be proven to be financially viable and even less costly than traditional alternatives. Others fall apart when looking at an aspect of sustainability, whether it be transport or production or disposal.

But it is certainly a fallacy, and a wrongly held sweeping statement, that sustainable packaging is not affordable. That is been a false myth held for too long.  Putting it another way, all packaging is sustainable is some sense. And some packaging is more affordable from a cost standpoint than others. You can’t make a sweeping statement that sustainable packaging is or is not affordable. It must be taken on a case by case basis.

8.    How much involvement should government have in regards to packaging?

That is quite a controversial topic. It goes partly into the call for Extended Producer Responsibility, or whether CPGs and their suppliers should pay to dispose of packaging or whether it is best left to government. And it also penetrates into such areas as the BPA debate, FTC marketing standards, EPA guidance, and congressional initiatives aimed at curbing excessive or inappropriate uses for packaging.

I’d say this: some government intervention is necessary to provide oversight and structure to packaging. There needs to be a general, objective body of some sort overseeing packaging and ensuring that it benefits society. However, there are times when that goes too far or when legislation is misguided or inappropriate.

To prevent that,  the packaging industry needs to govern itself in many cases and fend off the need for regulation. By aggressively collaborating and coming up with solutions before the government sees a need to interfere can only benefit the industry. That is where trade groups such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Ameripen, the many recycling-based trade groups and others play a role. But it is not always easy to stop government from wanting to step in, rightly or wrongly.

9.    If you could see one thing disappear today from packaging, what would it be?

The confluence of too many certificates and labels on a package, many of them contradictory or meaningless. There are hundreds of certifications out there at the moment, and many consumers have no idea what they mean. They are merely confusing.  The same can be said at times for the recycling labels on packages and the numbering system now used to classify a type of plastic material.

On both ends, I think there is work to make certifications more meaningful and to harmonize the use of sustainability labels so that they make better sense and fit a variety of packages. At the same time, several groups are working on updating consumer recycling guidance on packaging and making recycling labels more visual, help a consumer understand if their municipality accepts the package in its recycling stream, and serve to educate the consumer on what can and can’t be recycled. That will be a huge improvement over what is out there today.

10.  And if you could see one new thing today in packaging, what would it be?

For the industry to continue to collaborate; for competitors to come together to work on joint solutions; for brand owners to reach out to suppliers all along the chain for help in the development process; for the innovation process to include all parties and voices. Collaboration has been talked about for years in package development but it is just starting to bear fruit on projects. I think more CPGs see its benefits and will take the time to include suppliers in the development discussion. That is a major overall benefit to innovation and package development.

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The State of Packaging in Today’s Market (Interview 5)

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Today we offer segment 5 in our interviews on packaging in today’s retail market. The point of view comes from Steve Liska, owner at Liska + Associates in Chicago, Illinois.

Steve Liska founded Liska+Associates in 1980. He is actively involved in each project, supervising all steps to ensure that the firm continues to provide creative solutions that meet and exceed client’s objectives. Steve is the author of Business Graphics, the only comprehensive book about the relationship between design and business. His work and writing has appeared in Print Magazine, Under Consideration, Communication Arts and other design journals. A frequent design judge and lecturer, Steve has taught master’s programs at a number of universities.

1.    In today’s packaging, how much emphasis is placed on form and how much on graphics? Is one more dominant than the other?

Form today has more to do with end use, shipping, eco requirements, quantity, customization, competitive form factors, etc. Which all tie into graphics- so I would say they are equal- since they have to work together seamlessly.
2.    Has the focus on sustainability in packaging leveled off or will it continue to rise?
I think for end users it is expected, for manufacturers and distributors- a lot has to do with cost and demands from retailers. I think it has leveled off for now.
3.    With the growing number of products entering the market, what are the expectations of companies in regards to sales performance based on package design and do you feel they are realistic?
Expectations are high- but the reality is that the content/product tied to marketing and price are equally important factors.
4.    Do you find budgets for package design growing or shrinking?
Shrinking- with greater use of stock solutions.
5.    When designing a package, how connected are you to the manufacturing and fulfillment segments?
Very connected- everyone has to work together to solve the problem efficiently.
6.    How often have you bought a product based on the package?
Very- but I am in the design business- so visual priorities trump price and quality sometimes.
7.    Have you ever purposely designed a package to have a life (or use) past the product it contains?
Often- I think the next step in eco-sensitivity will be adaptive reuse of packaging.
8.    Many consumers complain about clamshell packaging due to the difficulty in opening one. Since that feature is in place to deal with theft, how would you counter or improve that part of the clamshell design?

Opening tabs, special seals, not sure.  The problem is more in the merchandising and the fact that theft is rampant.

9.    What package would you like to design?
Anything exclusive, high end and exotic- and maybe repackage Pepsi.

10.  What is your favorite package?

Anything from Apple- it becomes a gift and is experiential, and I rarely throw them out.

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The State of Packaging in Today’s Market (Interview 4)

October 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Installment number 4 brings us a perspective from New York branding expert, Debbie Millman, President of the design division at Sterling Brands.

Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for 17 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of over 200 global brands.

Debbie is President Emeritus of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at FastCompany.com and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on DesignObserver.com. In 2011, the show was awarded a Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award.

Debbie is the author of five books on design including “Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits,” (Allworth Press, 2011), “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009) and “How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer” (Allworth Press, 2007).

1.    In today’s packaging, how much emphasis is placed on form and how much on graphics? Is one more dominant than the other?

Structure is a critical component in a brand’s chain of experiences and is as important as graphics. I think that they are equally important and both as intertwined with the overall experience and engagement with a brand. When considering structural opportunities for brands, I would recommend considering the following:

–Form & shape = meaning & definition

–Surprising materials can add an additional emotional connection

–A signature silhouette can enhance own-ability and recognition

–An inventive, alluring structure can solve critical issues at retail – pilferage, shop-ability, SKU distinction, storage and preservation

–A unique structure can add consumer value, i.e. portability, serving control, security

–A proprietary structure can telegraph product benefit and can help differentiate from a sea of assimilated competitors

2.    Has the focus on sustainability in packaging leveled off or will it continue to rise?

As long as packaging contributes to landfills, I believe that no only will the focus on sustainability continue to rise, it will become a mandate for all manufacturers, distributors and designers brands. There are a slew of recent and exciting new eco-trends developing in the packaging industry that will hopefully be embraced en masse by the owners of consumer brands. By switching to soy-based inks on product packaging, beefing up recycling incentives and showing off recycled attributes, or even reevaluating and reintroducing an eco-minded brand mission and communicating it through packaging,  brands can send smaller eco-friendly messages to a much larger and participatory audience.

3.    With the growing number of products entering the market, what are the expectations of companies in regards to sales performance based on package design and do you feel they are realistic?

Companies give package design agencies money to redesign their products in an effort to increase sales, consumer engagement and trial. Period. Corporations have a right to expect that they will get a return on their investment when a redesign hits market. However, most package design initiatives are part of a much bigger branding initiative that includes advertising, social, digital, in-store, direct marketing, and so forth. As a result, it is difficult to evaluate how any one of those isolated efforts may be contributing to the overall success of any integrated effort. It is not impossible, but it is really expensive and the data is not always reliable or statistically significant. Ironically, the additional spend only increases the delta between money spent and ROI.

4.    Do you find budgets for package design growing or shrinking?

Budgets really depend on the client. I have found that our big clients have an expectation that you will be able to service their business globally and, therefore, the fees are commensurate with the scale of the initiative. But I’m seeing smaller clients’ budgets shrinking, mostly because of the risk inherent in bringing a new brand to market, especially if they are spending their own money.

5.    When designing a package, how connected are you to the manufacturing and fulfillment segments?

Again, this depends on the client. Traditional canned goods or products in standard structures do not require as much manufacturing or fulfillment for a package designer. But create a new structure or begin using a new substrate and you must, must, must work with manufacturing and fulfillment or you are doomed and will lose a ton of money.

6.    How often have you bought a product based on the package?

More often than I could ever count.

7.    Have you ever purposely designed a package to have a life (or use) past the product it contains?

No.

8.    Many consumers complain about clamshell packaging due to the difficulty in opening one. Since that feature is in place to deal with theft, how would you counter or improve that part of the clamshell design?

Better in-store security systems and stronger law enforcement.

: )

9.    What package would you like to design?

I’d love to riff on the iconic, classic orange and brown Hermes box. But can you imagine? If people didn’t like it, my career would be over.

10.  What is your favorite package?

My all-time favorite package is Mattel’s late 1970s packaging for the Perfume Liddle Kiddle Doll. In fact, it is currently on display in my office.

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The State of Packaging in Today’s Market (Interview 3)

October 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Here is the third installment of our Interview Series and this time we turn to a multidisciplined group from Greece called Designers United.

Designers United is an award winning, multidisciplinary design firm focused in brand identity development, creative direction, and interaction based in Thessaloniki, Greece. The company has been creating integrated design solutions for a diverse range of international clients across various industries, scales and budgets. Their work encompasses creative direction, branding and identity systems, book and magazine design, web design and development, illustration, print collateral and social-media/public-relations needs. Since inception in 2005, Designers United quickly gained an enviable reputation for their distinctive style and design excellence and received numerous awards and distinctions in Greece and abroad and thus recognition from peers and other industry bodies.

Dimitris Koliadimas was born in 1978 in Thessaloniki and studied graphic design at the Technological Institute of Athens (1997-2001). He continued his studies in London, where he attended the postgraduate course in Typographic studies at London College of Communication, University of the Arts. He graduated in 2002 with Level A Distinction and thesis titled: “Political Rhetoric: a virus within contemporary language” (an experimental visual presentation of the use of personal pronouns in political speech). In 2005 he teamed up with Dimitris Papazoglou and formed Designers United.

Dimitris  Papazoglou was born in Athens in 1976 and studied typographic design and visual communications in ?stituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Milan, Italy. Among other things, he has worked as the Creative Art Director of the famous weekly periodical “Epsilon” from Eleftherotypia newspaper. His work has been awarded in Greece and abroad and more specifically in 2004 he was awarded the Grand EBGE in the Greek Graphic Design & Illustration Awards. He has teached typography and visual communication for the postgraduate students in AKTO educational institute and has been the speaker in a series of lectures in the Postgraduate Department of Musicology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

1.    In today’s packaging, how much emphasis is placed on form and how much on graphics? Is one more dominant than the other?

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Both are actually equally important and both should equally attempt to catch the eye of the target audience. When combined successfully the result is well received. Form is visible from a longer distance, so maybe in this sense some may think that it should more dominant than graphics. In fact there is a number of good packaging examples where form prevails and design is minimal and vice versa.

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2.    Has the focus on sustainability in packaging leveled off or will it continue to rise?

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People tend to become more environmentally concerned.  Huge efforts for the “go green” are made, in order to contribute to our planet’s survival.  Companies have started to ask for environmentally friendly packaging, such as recycled paper for instance, while more and more green solutions become available on the market.

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3.    With the growing number of products entering the market, what are the expectations of companies in regards to sales performance based on package design and do you feel they are realistic?

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Companies have begun to realize the importance of good packaging and how crucial it is to a product’s value perception, but since more and more products enter the market competition is increasing rapidly. This means that companies need to try harder than before. And although packaging design is certainly a key part in the product’s sales performance, the truth is that packaging alone is not enough. Design helps the initial sale but it is quality that is the most important determinant for sales repetition. And of course we should not forget other factors such as merchandising and good product location within store, which enhance visibility, hence assist the maximization of sales.

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4.    Do you find budgets for package design growing or shrinking?

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It is no news that we facing a world financial crisis. Budgets are shrinking and especially in our field of business, some might say that things are worse. Yet, package design is a different story. For products introduced to the market for the first time, budgets tend to be growing, since competition is fierce. For products with good sales performance but in need of new package design, budgets have always been small, because clients willingly underestimate the power of good design over other product attributes. When package design comes as a solution for “good” products with bad sales performance, then again budgets are growing.

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5.    When designing a package, how connected are you to the manufacturing and fulfillment segments?

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It is really very important to monitor the process at all times, so as to see how the project evolves through its different stages. It’s a crucial part of our work and we pay every attention to detail at all stages to have the anticipated outcome.

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6.    How often have you bought a product based on the package?

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Have lost count…

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7.    Have you ever purposely designed a package to have a life (or use) past the product it contains?

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People often buy products for their good packaging design, in order to keep the packaging. So yes, clients have asked us to do so!

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8.    Many consumers complain about clamshell packaging due to the difficulty in opening one. Since that feature is in place to deal with theft, how would you counter or improve that part of the clamshell design?

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It is a very difficult question to answer only in theory.

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9.    What package would you like to design?

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Any packaging project is a challenge, so they are all welcome.

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10.  What is your favorite package?

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Cannot really decide, there are hundreds of good examples.

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