Last week I had the honor to participate in the AmeriStar Packaging Awards in the role of judge. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity of judging package designs in the Student Category and I must say I was impressed. When we work in package design we consider numerous points and cover a lot of details. The result may appear to some as just a “pretty graphic” solution or as some would phrase it, “a very clever idea”. Back when I was in school a friend of mine told me how envious he was of me because I got to sit around all day and draw pictures and listen to music. I’m sure that description, or some form of it, still gets put out there today to students by their friends, but we know better. When we studied all the core classes that came with design we pushed to sneak into working studios to see first hand how it all came together. We were anxious and studied with high expectations. That hasn’t changed but the amount of knowledge acquired by design students today far surpasses what I remember from years past.
When I viewed the entries I first read through the design brief that posed the problem (or challenge) at hand. After reading it, I reviewed the design solution. The visuals varied in degrees of both presentation and conceptualization. As I found the solutions interesting I was more impressed with the amount of data the students provided that justified (or led them to) their solutions. Issues about construction, material, manufacturing, prototypes,recycling, sustainability, logistics and price points were common throughout the entries and actually a pleasure to see. Now these area of design may seem boring to some but they are extremely key elements in the design process of packaging.
So after reviewing the submissions I cast my votes knowing that solutions for packages in the future were in good hands. And I also look forward to both seeing those solutions and hoping to be a part of them, working with these students when they become professionals. Good work.
At CTI, we’re always looking at packaging problems as opportunities and regularly seek partners to work with us.
Chuck Miller, www.ctipack.com