Apr 17

Forever recycled

Posted by Packaging Sense in Design | Trends | Typography | Uncategorized

I have already written about cardboard and aluminium as packaging material. This time it is steel. Plastic and glass are still on my list, as all materials have a role to play in the world of package design. I like them all, but when it comes to longevity and protection, steel is a clear favourite.

Steel is the most recycled mono material; it lends itself to a very fast and efficient filling process for cans and is so strong that it requires virtually no outer (secondary) packaging. It is the most tamper-evident material and offers 100% protection against light, water and air. Food packaged in steel has equivalent vitamin content compared with freshly prepared products and requires no refrigeration during transport and storage.

So much for the technical side of steel packaging. Now, as www.packagingsense.com is about communication and design, here are some of my favourite steel packages:

Steel is by far the best material for special edition packages we wish to keep and re-use for maybe other products. My preferred ones are the Kambly and Oreo biscuit tins which have been embossed to amplify the structure of the two products. I specially like the attractive surface which furthermore does not need any label!

Second on my list of preferred steel packaging are all NIVEA tins, be it the standard small size (see special article about the NIVEA identity), or a special edition such as “SWEET moments”.

Great timeless steel packages are Jean-Paul Gaultier’s products such as perfumes, aftershaves, etc. They are excellent examples of how to stand out in one product category by choosing a can typical for another product category (preserved food).

What I specially appreciate with steel packaging is the simplicity achieved when a label does not cover up the surface as on many preserves. I love the Amici tin from Illy, the Standard Vodka (there are also many whiskies packed like this), the beautiful Japanese Sapporo beer.

A package communicates through shape, illustrations and texts, but the most memorable property is no doubt the touch, specially the combination of structure and temperature. The steel pack gives a chilled touch that communicates freshness.

Long live steel packaging!

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