Mar 02

About Packaging Sense

Technically, packaging keeps improving. They get better all the time. Less material is used, packs are designed using thinner materials, cost is saved, processes are shortened. Designs are made more clever, handling is improved, the use of composite materials is constantly developing. This is because packaging engineering is taught at universities.

Unfortunately, everything about packaging is not improving. This site is about an area with a clear improvement potential: communication. Some packages are just not understood. The text is hard to read. Or you wonder how much of the text is true. Or you can’t figure out what’s inside. Art schools don’t teach package communication. They may teach advertising. Students learn to design an ad but not a package.

How can we recognise a good package when we see it? It’s well designed, functionally. It takes the environment into account. Tactile qualities are considered. It communicates. And it’s interesting. Very few packages meet these demands to 100%.

There is a reason why the communication aspect is so important. In a modern supermarket, packages replace people. There is nobody there to introduce you to the various products, nobody to help you choose what’s right for you, nobody to explain the benefits of a specific product to guide you in your purchase. The packaging has to do all that. Communication in packaging design is about the capability of a pack to replace a living salesperson.

It follows naturally after Lars G. Wallentin’s 40-year career at Nestlé as head of packaging design that this blog will apply a focus on the packaging of food and foodstuffs. After all it is more interesting than the packaging of electric components, clothes, kitchen utensils or car parts. Because the function of food packaging is more complex, because the demands and requirements are set higher and because the behavioural pattern of the consumer is governed by more factors.

Hopefully, the lessons learned from this blog are applicable to other packaging as well. Just as they are applicable to other disciplines in market communication.

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