We all know how important first impressions are. When it comes to the products we choose to incorporate into our lives, the packaging provides the first clue about its precious contents, whether its a bedecked box or a clever reveal. Thus, the honorees in the Packaging category of the 2014 Core77 Design Awards are designs that not only invite the user to open and experience them but also to keep and reuse them. Read on to see which entrants the jury team—led by Isabelle Dahlborg Lidström, Creative Director and Managing Partner of NINE AB—chose as the honorees:
Student Winner: Fortune Pill, by Jeongdae Kim
Taking a daily dosage of medication typically isn't the highlight of one's day. University of the Arts Bremen student Jeongdae Kim designed a whimsical pill packaging that might change your mind. Every time you pull open a different pill package, you'll be greeted by a daily fortune. "We loved this concept, so much insight and care," says the jury. One jury member commented "My father would smile everyday and look forward to eating his pills."
Professional Runner Up: Budweiser Bowtie Can with Crown Tab, by Metaphase Design Group, Inc., Anheuser-Busch InBev and DCA
It's safe to say that the beer can hasn't changed much in terms of shape—you can always count on the classic can and the traditional tallboy. Metaphase Design Group, Inc., Anheuser-Busch InBev and DCA took a stab at innovating the can's form and came back with a Budweiser pop-top that does more than just look good. Their bowtie-shaped can mirrors the logo, bringing the brand to a whole new level of marketing. "A real innovation in the beer can category, and superb graphic design to enhance the concept and shape," says the jury.
Professional Runner Up: Google Chromebook 11, by Uneka
Google looked to Uneka to develop a packaging design worthy of the clean, simple laptop it would house. The Google Chromebook 11 packaging design is just that—and eco-friendly to boot. The jury appreciated the container's brand loyalty: "Super simple shape that says it all, the form and concept reflects the brand."
Student Runner Up: Spacklit—Smart Innovative Packaging Solution for Spackling Compound, by Muli Bazak
Bezalel Academy of Art and Design student Muli Bazak combined the power of minimal packaging and the efficiency of a built-in application tool with Spacklit. Spackling wall imperfections used to require multiple tools, but Bazak has simplified the process with an all-in-one solution. The base of the package is sandpaper, allowing the user to sand the wall area. By pulling the tab off of the back of the capsule, the repairer can squeeze the body and fill the hole with spackle and skip the mess. The jury team described it as "all you need," "really brilliant" and "a 'must have" feeling.'"
Professional Runner Up: Battement Cosmetics, by Lauren Hill
Lauren Hill's cosmetic packaging offers more than meets the eye. The visual branding is based off of a ballet move called the battement, a maneuver where the dancer begins with both feet together and sweeps one leg up—which is shown in the curved packaging art. The designer poetically attributes the packaging as adding "intrigue to the dance of getting ready." The jury's thoughts: "Conceptual and beautifully visualized. The materials are selected carefully and with a strong sense of fashion."
If you didn't already know what was housed inside of this tubular package, it would be hard to guess—from the name of the product, the logical assumption might be some sort of computer accessory. In reality, this intriguing packaging design by Uneka is actually home to an AI racing toy with a strong unveiling experience. The jury most enjoyed the package's size: "We all loved this packaging for Anki. It's big, dynamic and you just want to open it and get started."
Food waste is a major issue around the world, but sometimes bringing home leftovers can be more trouble than its worth—more often than not, you'll suffer some drip damage to whatever is unfortunate enough to be sharing a space with your second dinner. Gabriel Collins of Eco Products tried his hand at updating the way we tote our leftovers with his. Folia design. The containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes that are made of sugarcane and feature tear away flaps, leak-resistant side flaps that have the option to hold condiments and cutlery. The jury weighs in: "Responsible disposables packaging made of a renewable waste material is the future of food packaging. Folia is really a mix of good design and smart thinking."
Professional Notable: Modal Packaging Line for Best Buy, by Ziba Design
Ziba Design designed the packaging for Best Buy's newest house brand of mobile accessories. The line of minimal accessories in pop colors allows the customer to customize his or her look. The packaging concept was tasked as being "as flexible as the product they contain." The finished design features easy-to-open packages and transparent materials. "Great experience when opening and on the shelf," says the jury. "A mobile range that looks great and feels fun in the category."
Student Notable: EVH | 35 Limited Edition Packaging, by Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc.
EVH | 35 Limited Edition Packaging is a packaging design for Dunlop consisting three products: a guitar effect pedal, product manual and a limited edition certificate. The project was taken on to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the release of Van Halen's debut album. "High-end aesthetic and beautifully printed with careful typography—really good work," says the jury.
Student Runner Up: Exercise Ball Set, by SanPak Ng
Challenged by an SVA professor to examine packaging tropes and archetypes, student SanPak Ng decided to defy perception by switching the contents of a wooden crate package. The packaging houses three different kinds of exercise balls: juggling, handballs and hackey sacks. "Great idea and really good illustrations," says the jury.
Student Notable: Packaged Intangibles, by Jean Bolliger Wilczek
The Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg student Jean Bolliger Wilczek looks to package something that doesn't come in a physical product form. Packaged Intangibles are broken down by four ideals: Fulfillment, Patience, Common Sense and Zen. The various packages turn into geometric luminaires when opened. Each light has an element located at the center of the structure—a silver mobius strip in Fulfillment, a sand hourglass in Patience, iron pyrite in Common Sense and mini zen garden in Zen—that helps add meaning to each theme. "A beautiful thought and inspiring execution," says the jury.
Taking apart Lucy Plant's packaging design might actually be more fun than eating whatever is housed in it. The Falmouth University student designed a container system for the baked goods that looks good enough to eat. The containers include printed recipes on its shell, meaning it won't sit long on your shelf before it finds another use. After the package has done its functional job of protecting whatever confection lies inside, it can be used as a cake stand or display area for the sweets you spend so much time on. The jury appreciate its ability to be used more than once: "We would love to keep our cookies in a packaging as KNEAD—great unboxing experience and they stand out on the shelf."
Student Runner Up: Mindful Sustenance, by Teo Kean Loong
Shredding paper may be a therapeutic act for many, but not in the same way it is for Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design student Teo Kean Loong. Mindful Sustenance enhances the fun of methodical shredding paper with the Buddhist ideal of mindfulness. Users are required to assemble the product, giving them further insight into how it functions and is used. "Interesting concept of Taking and Giving—well executed," says the jury.
Ja Young Min—a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago—designed a refillable packaging option for a series of six different nuts: pistachios, macadamias, cashews, almonds, walnuts and pecans. The package consists of two boxes, where the outer one can be refilled for multiples uses. The color corresponds to the nuts that are housed inside. "Convenient and refillable storage with a good clear differentiation between the different nuts," says the jury. "Really good packaging design."