Through my 6+ years in the industrial design industry, I have mostly worked in smaller companies that require me to wear many hats and be involved in cross-team projects. I have enjoyed the process of expanding my knowledge and welcome the challenge.
It is because of this that I have had the pleasure of learning the importance of packaging, with its intricacies and technical requirements. It is my opinion that this knowledge and experience has made me a better designer.
Below are a few examples of projects that involved packaging or dieline work in some measure.
I was given the task of working with the Marketing Team to rebrand one of our best seller items: the Super Scratcher Plus. My goal was to add perceived value to the item, while keeping the cost down and providing more space for branding.
Through some research, I came across the idea of user-assembled cardboard toys. While studying the previous product and its manufacturing, I realized we were not maximising the use of cardboard in each production cycle, so I proposed using the extra material to create play elements.
The process started with some 3D sketch ideations, which quickly turned into prototypes and shape explorations. A challenge I faced was being mindful of the placement of fold lines and cut-away marks, so they didn't disrupt the graphics or text in the label.
I worked closely with the Graphic Design team to strategically place patterns and colors within the die-lines so manufacturing would not be an issue.
The Final Product.
TWIRL N' PEEK
Project Overview: To add value to our existing Mini Loco Motion electronic toy, while keeping the production costs to a minimum. Once again, I worked closely with the Graphic Design and Marketing teams to learn about packaging standards and label placement.
Through some research and observation, I came across the idea to add a cardboard box to the item to make the play experience more stimulating and engaging. This box would also be a part of the packaging, which would provide the necessary support for the electronic toy and real-estate for branding.
My process started with some quick sketch ideations to communicate my ideas to all teams involved. From there I moved on to an in-depth exploration of dimensions and materials. The challenge to overcome was to keep the packaging within a certain size, while making the box structurally sound and simple to assemble.
It took a few variations and prototypes to come across the box dimensions, fold lines, and materials to make this project manufacturable and marketable.
The Final Product.
GRIPPER BUILDING KIT
During my time at Wonder Workshop, I had the pleasure of managing the Gripper Building Kit. The scope of the project was to create an accessory for their best-selling Dash robot and their newest Cue robot. This accessory aimed to inspire creativity, tinkering, and engineering while being quirky and playful.
Within the project, I managed cross-team schedules, industrial and hardware design, content creation, user testing, manufacturing, communications, and quality testing. At one point, our Graphic Design team was running short on bandwidth, so I offered to assist.
It is with their guidance that I led the design and creation of the packaging, activity cards, and starter guide for this product.
This was a super fun project that required a lot of play and exploration. In our earlier versions, we toyed with the idea of including a user-assembled die that could be customizable (for education purposes). The challenge was to make the die simple to fold, include non-verbal instructions, and make it sturdy enough for play. It took a great number of prototypes, user testing cycles, and research until we found a viable solution - which we did!
In the end, we decided this would be more appropriate as a downloadable addition, rather than as a part of the kit. We used a foam die instead.
In addition to managing the project, I created the artwork, logo, graphic elements, prototypes, die-lines, and print files for the packaging, starter guide, and activity cards.
Through this process, I relied on quick learning, taking the initiative, and fast-paced work. We were running on a tight schedule, and didn't have time to continuously check in on our progress.
The Finished Product.
As the launch of the Gripper Building Kit grew near, the Marketing Team asked me to create an activity for the education expositions that could highlight the use of the accessory.
The requirements were:
- Packs into a small container (for easy shipping and storage).
- Polished, but should look like a DIY project - to inspire educators.
- Easy set-up/break down.
- Entertaining, exciting, and accessible.
To start, I gathered a few coworkers with creative minds [and some time to spare] so we could explore activities and games. I provided cardboard, building elements, markers, foamcore, and tape to mock up ideas and share. It was a wonderfully entertaining creativity exercise!
Through this exercise, I was able to formulate a solid direction and create prototypes. These went through various rounds of user testing - making sure it was engaging, surprising, and fun. I created graphic elements and textures for the final product. The manufacturing involved laser cutting each piece, then adding the artwork and laminating them.
The Final Product.
I was invited to travel with the Marketing team to various education expos, it was an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to chat with educators about the possible impact of the Gripper Building Kit in classrooms and I got to see the demo activities in action - they were a success! To date, it is one of the most rewarding moments in my career.