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  • Writer's pictureRekha Padmalaya

Zag Packaging

Discover 5 packs from around the world that were designed to disrupt their categories.

Designing packaging that stands out in a category yet incorporates familiar category and brand codes that are important for a shopper is a challenging task. We looked around for packaging designs that use innovative ideas to create something fresh, unique and useful for shoppers. Here are a few examples from round the world to get you thinking.

1. NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T: An iconic bottle, use of the color red, the famous Spencerian font and so many more design elements have made Coke a case study to follow when it comes to design. What’s equally remarkable is how Coke experiments with different kinds of technology to create distinctive experiences on shelf for its customers. Recently, Coke released Thermochromic Ink cans in Turkey that have easy, summertime visuals on them like that of a sailboat, butterfly, beach ball, headphones etc all in white. As the drinks get chilled, the thermochromic ink on the pack changes color, transforming the white visuals into colorful art.


2. GO BRANDLESS: How do you create a brand that doesn’t want to be one? The packaging of Brandless is a fantastic example of bringing alive the purpose of a brand that wants to change consumption habits and make quality food affordable. Brandless sells different kind of products like food, kitchen supplies and beauty products, all for $3 or less. They say this is possible because most food in the U.S. has a BrandTax, a markup in tax that makes food brands 40% more expensive than their cost price. By selling these products as a commodity and not as a brand, Brandless can offer them at a much cheaper price. Brandless has created a packaging architecture that helps customers identify the distinctive Brandless look but at the same time, find the specific product category they are looking for. The packaging uses a single color for each product with a white standardized design on it. The name of the product goes on the box along with product information that customers want to know such as No GMO, No artificial preservatives and so on.

Source: Brandless website

3. LIGHT BULB MOMENTS: Light bulbs are a heavily commoditized category ripe for disruption. Packs are a sea of sameness - most have the visual of the bulb with multiple RTBs, all captured in bold fonts on the pack. (Just Google 'light bulb packs', see it to believe it!)

Belarus electrical company, CS worked with designer Angelina Pishikova and illustrator Anna Orlovskaya to create beautiful, illustration based packs that seamlessly integrate the bulb into the pack design. The designing duo inspired by Thomas Edison's words that a firefly is an ideal cold light source, juxtaposed different types of insects with different kinds of light bulbs based on their size and shape. Dragonfly boxes were used to store long, thin bulbs while the energy saving bulb became the abdomen of a bumble bee. The range is stunningly beautiful, sure to stand out on shelf.

Source: www. Photograph: Yuri Rumovski

4. SIGHT NO MORE: Most packs rely on the use of colors, textures, fonts and other visual elements to get people’s attention and guide them to what is important for them to know about the product and brand. But how does one create packaging that can help the visually impaired to find what they need in a grocery store? As part of her graduation project, Alexandra Burling decided to challenge herself to create packaging that removed a key design element – sight.

Her aim “To provoke discussion and pave the way for innovative thinking about how packaging design can appeal to more senses than sight.”

Source: Alexandra Burling website

5. MATCHING NOTES: The right collaboration can be a great way to stand out especially for limited edition or seasonal offerings. Jimmy Brings, an alcohol delivery service based in Australia, tied up with Spotify to launch the limited edition Songmelier wine collection that pairs the perfect Spotify playlist with each kind of wine in the collection. The playlist is accessible via a code on the pack label. All customers have to do is to scan the code using the Spotify app and discover the tune that perfectly matches the notes of each wine.

Source: Jimmy Brings website

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