Jun 11

Join the pack attack!

Take the chance to get feedback and helpful hints on your designs by packaging sensei Lars Wallentin.

Send your package design to info@packagingsense.com as a .jpg, .pdf or .tif not larger then 1 megabyte. The most interesting cases will be posted on this page, along with Lars comments and advice.

Pack Attack #1 FIFA World Cup Hospitality Kit

Those of you who were lucky enough to get tickets to the World Cup soccer games in South Africa recieved your tickets and accompanying information in a clever slider package. Remember? Well, here’s the rare package again.

This is the first entry to be commented by Lars Wallentin in his Pack Attack campaign. Sure it’s borderline unsporting to judge from a pack shot alone. All we aim for in the Pack Attack is Lars’ gut reaction. So what say he of this Hospitality Kit?

– The technical design by Burgopak, with opening slides and acetate window and all, looks good. But the World Cup artwork should have the potential to stand out far better than this. I don’t have World Cup tickets and I don’t know what they look like – but I have seen the FIFA logo a hundred times on TV by now and it’s difficult to recognize the small logo on this package, says Lars Wallentin.

– I expect to see a Big One, like football or logotype, and a better hierarchy. But perhaps something that communicates is added when the content shows in the window of the package? It’s hard to tell by looking at this shot, says Lars Wallentin.

– By the way, hospitality is something you want to experience. Why label it on the package to say “the content exceeds your expectations”?
There’s a good piece of advice: don’t let the designation of your work in progress become a caption on the package.

Read more (PDF): Burgopak FIFA World Cup Hospitality Pack

Pack Attack #2 l’Oréal: Inoa

How would you package a series of products for professional hair colour? By showing every nuance of hair from peroxide white to goth black? The packaging of the new hair colour product Inoa from l’Oréal is nothing like that. The TDBdesign agency used a mean green and restrained artwork.

– Elegance is the design key of many beauty products. But there has to be something interesting as well, says Lars Wallentin.

– May it be a catchy icon or other spokesman for the product. Something recognized on every package in a product series. Something that communicates a Reason To Buy, says Lars Wallentin and concludes his comment to this entry in Pack Attack:

– This design has elegance, but it’s all typography. If the logotype is strictly typographical something more should be added to make it interesting.

Read More: http://www.tdbdesign.fr

Pack Attack #3 Chopin’s Mineral Water

In 2010 Poland celebrates the Year of Chopin. There are numerous art events going on and the tracks  of the great composer is seen everywhere. Joanna Troszynska has sent a bottle etiquette with Chopin, designed by Andrzej Pagowski.

What’s Lars Wallentin’s comment on the “Cisowianka” bottle?

- Nice design but not a great design.. too foreseeable, no real surprise, says Lars Wallentin as he makes a draft on his ideas.

- My counterproposal has no real surprise either, but it follows these two basic rules:

- 1 …Never repeat logotypes or messages! The neck label can have another SELLING text to render communication more interesting.

- 2 …If the label is oval (i.e. a die-cut label) why not make it “specially oval” by letting Chopin’s head stick out? At CocaCola they call it “the broken line”.

Breaking the rules of artwork is one way to push the commercial design forward. Right, Joanna?

Pack Attack #4 Nespresso Vertuoline

Believe it or not, I’ve got two Nespresso designs to comment upon in Pack Attack.. Wow! What an honour, especially for me who was there when my colleague Rudi von der Emden designed the first Nespresso pack back in the 80ies (or was it already in the 70ies?) What makes this analysis so interesting is that there are two clients/targets.

First: the sales people in the Nespresso stores who have to pick the right variety , looking at the end panel only, and

Second: the consumers who handle the pack (tube, bar) from the moment they buy it in the store or receive it by post. The consumer is interested in

a)     the variety (strength, taste, etc.);

b)     the size of the capsule (coffee or espresso);

c)      seeing a quality design as one pays a premium price.

As the reader most likely understands, there are two types of information.

I am a long-time fan of Nespresso and use it as an example of great design when I teach (pack, interior, advertising, etc.) and I’m obviously interested that the pack design be optimal which is not yet the case with Vertuoline. Here are my comments which should be taken as learnings and not as criticism. I have not seen the briefing for this new variety so there may be issues which I don’t know and, of course, there is the personal taste as to what great design should be for a super premium product. So here they are:

  1. A far better opening device is needed. One that functions and is clearly indicated. There was a great article in The Grocer on 25.1.2014 regretting how little companies care about this aspect of pack design.
  2. Why not have the same visual identity for each variety at the end and the front panel?  I do agree with the colour coding which is harmonious and elegant, but why design part of the “N” and not the shape of the capsule as it is different from the standard Nespresso?
  3. I fully agree that the front panel must express quality/elegance. By adding the (colour) capsule next to the denomination (almost not legible today), it would render the pack even more interesting and with a clearer communication for the consumer. “Nespresso Vertuoline” can still be subdued and embossed as today.
  4. Back panel: as boring as most Nestlé packages (and packages in general!). I agree there are many legal requirements, but it could be reorganised in a different way to give space for “the Nespresso story”. That is to say why Nespresso is the first, the best, the most unique and No 1 in the world of capsule coffee. I also believe that the reference to Switzerland can be increased as Swiss quality is a worldwide notion!
  5. Side panels: These could be used far better to explain
    • cup size
    • number of capsules
    • strength
    • taste

    and last, but not least, a short call-to-action text like

    • “never run out of capsules, re-order in time”;
    • “did you also try…?”
    • “have you told your friends about this great coffee?”
    • “when in doubt, choose the original”,
    • what else…

My dear Angèle who sent me these packs: you are a pearl! We met first at the Reims University many years ago and I see how you, like several students in your class, will never be satisfied with the result and thus constantly try to look for improvements. Congratulations!

I hope some of my comments can be useful to anybody interested in pack communication!

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