Designer: Bryant Yee - University of Michigan School of Art & Design
Location: Troy, Michigan, USA
Award: Student Runner-Up
INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE BOX: REDESIGNING LED PACKAGING
This project aims to bring awareness to socially responsible LED packaging. Current packaging does not maximize sustainable materials or construction, while also failing to clearly convey information. My packaging design uses only post-consumer recycled paper, promotes recycling old bulbs, and supplies the consumer with updated information through modern graphic design.
A thoroughly researched and frequently revised foundation is essential when perfecting something as delicate and complex, as a glue-free, sustainable box. While designing the package for the LED bulb required a deep knowledge and investigation of paper, folds, and graphical language, the prospect of developing a package capable of recycling dead bulbs, and still retaining its beautiful object-like qualities was exhilarating. As a result, I was able to develop a springy, protective, interior core made only of folded paper. This interior piece cushions the new or old bulb so that it remains in place and can handle disturbances during transport. The resulting combination of a durable outer shell and a flexible inner body creates a perfectly balanced box.
Core77: What's the latest news or development with your project?
I've been featured on TheDieline.com, PackagingOfTheWorld.com and ID-Mag.com. I will also be featured in September's issue of 'Computer Arts Projects' magazine in the UK and I will be published in Gestalten's upcoming book 'Boxed and Labelled 2.'
What was your process like? What inspired and challenged you?
For several months, I explored the potential of various papers. I experimented and tested for durability, flexibility, and memory. I compared and organized several papers until I had retained enough knowledge to match the appropriate papers with my vision for the packaging graphics. From here, I studied historical packaging techniques and paper engineering. My main historical reference is Josef Albers and the design movement he was a part of at Bauhaus. During my private research, I studied under Matt Shlian, a current University of Michigan professor and internationally known paper engineer.
Then I began production and created countless iterations of my design with curiosity as my driving force. I had a desire to test every possibility and from that curiosity grew a specific set of challenges. How few tabs are required to bind the paper together? How much force can one type of paper sustain over another? Which direction of forces would be most threatening to the bulb and how can it account for those forces? Often by answering my own questions, my curiosity only expanded. Not only does it drive me as I produce iterations, but it compels me to do further research.
Also, one time the laser cutter was broken for a day and I was like fml...
Read on for full details on the project and jury comments.