Exhibition project: Week 5

Mon17/09/18: This morning I followed up on Hamish’s offer to assist me with using the laser cutter. Over the weekend, I had sourced a variety of packaging examples, which to me, resembled the idea of a geometric, rock-like shape. My first idea is to explore making the shapes of the packaging resemble a ‘rock’ to coincide with the brand name, bring forward another essence of play into my brand and represent the material use of stone paper.

With these exmaples that I’ve gathered, I intend to adapt the existing designs to suit for a takeaway food package by adding on handles for carrying purposes, a secure opening and closing mechanism and a ‘no glue’ assemblage. This process will be worked out through drawing, remodelling and printing off mock ups to test whether my design adaptations are successful or not. Below is a slideshow of the different shapes that I found when going through Pinterest. Most of the images originated from an origami book which someone had scanned and posted online.

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From here, I placed the images into Photoshop to scale them up, level out the black and whites and then import the cleaned up imagery into Illustrator. Then, I drew up the dielines of each box in Adobe Illustrator using the pen tool. The slideshow describes what I have done in each screenshot. To prepare the digital linework for laser cutting, I had to make the lines thin (0.001pt) with the lines to cut out red and the fold lines light grey.

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The result with the power of the laser at 100% ended up with quite a lot of scorching, which would not be ideal as this would get all over the branding on the exterior. Although we aligned the laser correctly, I notice that we cutting was slightly off by at least 1mm on one of the sides of the die shape. Where the paper had finer cutlines, the laser left more scorching which resulted in the paper slightly wilting.

What I could do next is try turning the laser down to 50% and see whether this will result in no scorching. If not, then the best option for me is to simply cut out my shapes using a scalpel knife with care. I also have a bone folder which aids in creating a smooth finish to the fold.

Tue18/09/18: Today I continued to use Illustrator to draw up more box nets to explain my idea in tomorrows crit session. In total, I have ten designs to work with, which are now ready to print out first thing tomorrow. After printing, I’ll cut out and construct them so that I can get a feel for how each shape works. Being a visual learner, I find it easier to understand the way something currently works by holding it in my hands and opening, closing and studying it to decipher how I can adjust the designs to fit the specific takeaway needs. Instead of using my stonepaper, I will use normal print paper for now, as these are purely the first stages of understanding the current form/structure.

Using Adobe InDesign, I made up a quick diagram of the box nets that I had drawn using illustrator matched to the box shape that they make. This diagram shows the what nets for these original designs look like before I make any changes to them.

original boxes and dielines.jpg

My box nets drawn using illustrator matched to the originally sourced images that they came from, sourced through Pinterest and http://www.craft-craft.net/folding-boxes-origami-books.html

Wed19/09/18: During this morning’s crit session, I explained where I was at with the making of my box dielines/nets in Illustrator and that I had sourced the original shapes from an origami book scanned online. My intentions are to make the boxes up, then to evaluate and adapt each design through sketches. I mentioned my reasons for firstly exploring the idea of trying to get the box to resemble a geometric or rock-like shape, to which the feedback was that it could be an interesting outcome but not overly important and to remember to focus on the functions of the box in relation to the product. Then I showed the results of the laser cut on stonepaper. My question for the session was whether I should do another test with the laser power at 50% but the tutors said it would be better to just cut it out myself. I may still have a go just to put my curiosity to rest.Curiosity to rest. I also showed my sketched up logo concepts, receiving positive feedback regarding the brand name.

Wed19/09/18 pm: The box nets have been printed and cut out with sharp scissors. I used the back edge of my scalpel knife to score the fold lines. I then began to fold each box into its three-dimensional form to understand how it is constructed and began to understand what parts would need slits or tabs added to transform them into a ‘no glue’ locking system. As I went along, I drew up a new sketch of the net, adding or taking away parts that I think would help the box to work without gluing.

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Cutting out the box nets and preparing to score them to fold

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Example of box 6 mock up and modified sketch to its left

The box nets have been printed and cut out with sharp scissors. I used the back edge of my scalpel knife to score the fold lines. I then began to fold each box into its three-dimensional form to understand how it is constructed and began to understand what parts would need slits or tabs added to transform them into a ‘no glue’ locking system. As I went along, I drew up a new sketch of the net, adding or taking away parts that I think would help the box to stand, open and close without gluing. I’ve also added sections where I think handles or slits for chopsticks could be added to help the box be carried much easier. These sketches are shown below:

packaging adaptations

My sketches as to how each box net could be modified; tabs for a glueless fold, handles for carrying and adding/subtracting/changing tabs and lengths etc.

In doing this exercise, I have learnt the various strengths and weaknesses of each box design, which enables me to determine which shapes certainly would not work as effectively compared to others. For example, boxes 4 and 10 had a scalloped fold which was very difficult to bend into place, while box 7’s design was made to open from the bottom. This would not be ideal for holding food as the box shouldn’t have to be turned upside-down to access the food – the sushi would tumble about in the box and be ruined. Box 5 was odd in the sense that half way through the structure is a cut where the box does no fit together and its net design does not allow for space to add tabs to connect the box together. This means I will rule out that shape all together.

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Box 5 has gaping sides with no way to add tabs to lock the area. Not suitable as food packaging.

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Boxes 4 & 10 with scalloped sides which were difficult to fold neatly and accurately

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Example of a box with the indented sides, which limits room for food inside

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The weaknesses toward all of the original net designs (with the exception of box 9 which has a long rectangular base) were that their bases are quite small in size and at this stage would only contain two pieces of sushi. I would need to lengthen the base of the designs to get them to fit more. All boxes had points which required glue which is a no-go for recycling and so I had to think of using tongue tabs, slits and crash locks to my new designs. I referred to a book from the library called Structural packaging: Design your own boxes and 3-D forms by Paul Jackson to help me understand how to adapt the designs in my sketches.

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Inside Structural packaging: Design your own boxes and 3-D forms by Paul Jackson, which helped me to understand more about box nets and functions

Lastly, a couple of the more ‘rock-like’ designs which had indented corners – boxes 1, 2 and 6 – made their interiors have less room for holding food because they take up room inside. When sketching my adapted designs out, I was keeping in mind the most important attributes:

  • How many food items can it hold?
  • How will it be carried – with flaps or chopsticks as the handles?
  • How to make it open/close and construct with no glue?
  • As a flatpack, will it be able to be easily made on the spot for the customer?
  • As a premade container, will it stack on the counter neatly?

Boxes 8 and 9 are the best out of the bunch because they offer more opportunity for development in terms of adding on handles and carrying a larger amount of food. I’m currently thinking of further exploring boxes 1, 8 and 9 to see if I can develop and push their designs to suit the required needs above. At this stage, the majority of the designs do not seem to cater for all of the required functions that I need to make a successful takeaway food package. Because the majority of the results are weighted in a bit of a functional failure, I may need to make an executive decision to change my idea. Instead of focusing on creating a package with a visual rock-like structure, instead I’ll focus on fulfilling every functional need through a different type of package.  Instead I can focus on using my illustration or patterning instead to elevate the aesthetic of the box.

Thu20/09/18: Today I spoke with Anthony about my logo designs and he asked me to choose which ones I thought were working best and why. I stated that the more realistic hands were stronger graphically over the icon versions and that the linework was clean and more easily understood as a hand. We both liked the quirky nature of the hand with the chopsticks running through it because this ties into the unique and playful nature of my brand. The icons of geometric rocks, scrunched paper and sushi drawn in a minimal style matched the style of the hands and also stood out as strong images. Anthony agreed with my choices and asked me to draw up vector versions in Adobe Illustrator.

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Red circles around the images that Anthony and I think work best/are strongest for the brand

To draw my images, I simply scanned and imported my sketches onto a layer in Ai, then used the pen tool to draw over the top of them. Below are a few screenshots as I progressed with my work. This took me the rest of my day to draw and edit as I am only just getting more comfortable with manually drawing using the pen tool and my mouse to navigate.

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Final vectorised images, all drawn up and ready to send file through to Anthony

Afterwards, I began to play with adding type; using a combination of serif and sans serif fonts in various layouts to have a look at what a logo might tun out as. I think that fonts that are sharp and clearly read work well with the linework of the imagery. I think that the kerning between letters and playing with various sizes between the words is quite  playful and is quite effective visually. I’ll see what some of the tutors think next week. Looking at the sushi image with the text, I’m not really sure its working very well – it looks more like a donut at the moment? Yeah, it needs some work…

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Playing around with serif & sans serif fonts and layouts with type and image

Fri21/09/18: This week was quite productive as I’ve progressed with exploring and understanding where I could take my packaging. After constructing the original designs, I was able to adapt them and select a couple which I will push forward with next week. If these designs do not work, then I will move onto a new idea which is to keep the shape of the box quite simple and focus more on achieving all required functions instead. I’m eager to solidify my logo and imagery by the end of next week too. I did not get to do any further work today as I had a few errands that needed doing.

Reference list:

Craft.net. (2011). Folding Boxes: origami books. Retrieved from: http://www.craft-craft.net/folding-boxes-origami-books.html

Jackson, P. (2012). Structural packaging: Design your own boxes and 3-D forms.London, United Kingdom: Laurence King Publishing.






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