27/02/17: Paper engineering research.

This morning I had a chat with Mazin in regards to my brief and ideas about tea packaging. He suggested that I should draw upon the criteria of what makes each companies packaging functional and distinctive. I have already analysed various some package/caddy designs from Harney and Sons and Whittard teas, which has allowed for me to draw together similarities and differences in both companies products. Also, due to my research on tea caddies throughout the 17th-18th century, I am able to see a historic influence that is drawn out in both of the companies modern designs today.

From here, I want to explore the notion of making a 3-D caddy design that draws upon not only the European aesthetics of each companies package design, but to use  paper folding or origami-style techniques to create an actual 3-D caddy. I wish to use this material because it is easy to source given the length of time for our project, but mostly because I feel that it would incorporate the Asian influence of where tea sourcing began. Paper is also an appropriate material as this was first invented by the Chinese!

So, this afternoon I went off to the library and discovered these four books here which can help further narrow my research on how I could possibly begin to design my very own tea caddy.


From top left: Paper Engineering, 3-D design techniques for a 2-D material. By Natalie Avellla. Experimental formats & packaging. By Roger Fawcett-Tang & Daniel Mason. Cut and fold techniques for promotional materials. By Paul Jackson. Folding techniques for designers, from sheet to form. By Paul Jackson.

After going through Experimental formats & packaging, I know that I need to consider the form, function, folding and material of my design. One line quotes ‘Contemporary packaging is all about economics and logistics…Practically, it has to look good, protect the contents stack neatly in multiples and on standard pallets, and not fall off the shelves at point of sale.’ This an important statement and definitely a focus point to consider within my own designs.

“Packaging can play an important part in re-establishing a new desire”

The packaging should also have the ability to protect the contents within. Another thing to consider is how it could be recycled; environmentally friendly, reusable in another way? etc. 


Paper Engineering, 3-D design techniques for a 2-D material  contains a section about the properties of paper which I read through. Things to consider with this material would be choosing a sturdy GSM that will not be opaque and can be folded yet withstand as a 3-D object. Consider the grain direction when folding and printing. Also paper is a material that cannot get wet, so if the actual finished product was to be made of paper, how could we seal this and protect it from water damage? This would need to be considered if I had a lot of time to work on this project.

The other two remaining books I skimmed through the pages, taking in the 3-D designs shown. This was more a visual research basis for inspiration and ideas on shape and form.



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