Time for package design to open up

I read with interest your recent article on packaging (A design of the times, MW April 7). In common with most articles on this subject, there was a lot of talk about image, identity, desire and emotion, but very little about the mechanics of packaging within the overall product experience.

If packaging is “the brand in the hand”, then much of it fails to address the specific touch points such as tactility, texture and the pleasure of discovery. How many times have packages fallen apart in your hands or required industrial strength to open them? This is a vital part of the brand experience, a foretaste of the product experience and a critical failure point – remember Tetra-pac milk cartons?

There are some good experiences out there, and you won’t be surprised that Apple Computer leads the way. Not only does the packaging seamlessly communicate the brand and product message, but the product experience is engaging. Every part reveals itself with just the right amount of effort and a minimum of fuss and plastic. A true pleasure.

Packaging designers, please consider all the aspects of what you are designing, as it will make for a richer product experience.

Stephen Anderson

Director

BDP Design

London EC1

E-mail address for letters: mw.editorial@centaur.co.uk Please include your home or business address

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