Sustainable packaging design -Evolve

Every once in a great while I get asked to make some sustainable packaging. I am certainly happy to do it. A lot of times the sustainable part of the project gets dropped during the process. Why? Shrinkage and cost kill the idea quickly enough. The fear of shrinkage overshadows the ‘let’s go for it’ vibe nearly every time, maybe it’s even stronger than cost.

All the same, it is nice to see someone else push through a really innovative example of sustainable packaging executed in a particularly difficult market segment – hand tools. It’s difficult because the products are heavy, requiring substantial re-enforcement so the weight of the tools don’t deform the packaging without the help of devious hands, you can see this happen with less well-designed blister packs in the same department.

The other fabulous feature of this packaging is that it allows the customer to actually touch the products. We  all know that touching leads to buying – win! Sadly this feature is overlooked when the shrinkage fear gets dialed up.

The corrugate material especially works well for this line as it imbues a sort of toughness or work-readiness – while also saving costs. The corrugate’s color contrasts well with the chrome finish of the products, setting them off of the packaging even though the products are embedded within it. Without trying too hard, the packaging does a good job of selling the product while doing so in a rather green manner.

Structurally, it seems there’s a lot of thought in the layering of the corrugate – no doubt for strength as well as providing a more flat surface for printing. I wonder if the layer selection had also a price/performance component as well?

Sadly, though, the shrinkage monster does rear its head with the packaging. Seems that there needs to be zip ties to be installed, but what can you do, really?

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