It's easy to criticize the newly available Little Printer as a somewhat frivolous or outright extravagant producer of waste: after all, one of the basic premises of digital media is that we can access and consume information without the baggage (or guilt) of printed matter. Why would anyone in their right mind want a device that takes the all-important "e" out of "e-ink"?
Why indeed: I'm certain that much more ink is spilled on far broader sheets on a more regular basis than that which could possibly be emitted from the coffee-mug-sized, ever-smiling printer. I bet I receive more paper in the form of junk mail than things I actually print on a daily basis, and it's simply a sad fact that saving the world will take more than boycotting a new gadget.
All of which is a long way of introducing Burgopak's wonderful packaging for BERG's product. We've seen some of Dane Whitehurst's (admittedly outlandish) projects in the past, but it so happens that his day job is in packaging design, and he is very pleased to present his latest project for his fellow London-based designers. Just as "the product itself 'lives in your home, bringing you news, puzzles and gossip from friends' in the form of a small personalized printed newspaper," so too must the packaging "encapsulate the charm and personality of the character."
Creating the appropriate first 'hello,' marking the beginning of the relationship between person and product was fundamental to the design. Despite the challenges in physically protecting fragile parts of the device, it was imperative to make Little Printer's friendly face the first thing you see.
Beyond the first introduction it was also essential to make every stage of the unboxing process feel considered and important. Detail is apparent in every element of the product and the design of the packaging was no different. Challenges such as finding a way to remove the main device and its power supply at the same time proved to be interesting problems in themselves.
To guide people through the unboxing process, the designers at BERG did a great job of developing delightful graphics to wrap around and introduce each part of the product. All of which connect as part of a broader narrative which encapsulates the cheery tone of voice which has become synonymous with the product.
The result consists of perhaps just slightly more cardboard than is necessary to secure the components of the Little Printer, which neatly fill the unassuming box. Naturally, Burgopak also considered environmental concerns alongside more pragmatic constraints:
As the initial run was relatively low in volume the packaging design had to take into consideration fairly challenging cost parameters. As well as minimising the overall footprint through myriad iterations of the arrangement and layout of each element, Burgopak also designed each part of the packaging to be delivered as a flat-pack item.This helped to significantly reduce subsequent assembly times as well as shipping costs and allowed the packaging to be stored efficiently for just in time assembly at the point of fulfilment.