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Shelf Impact! Anne Marie Mohan

Plastic Ingenuity

We specialize in creating innovative packaging solutions through vertical integration with unmatched speed to market.

Plastic Ingenuity

MiraCure® soft touch UV coating from Henkel

A little softness, big impact, and the perfect finishing touch.

Henkel Corporation

Free kit: Find out more about your innovation options

Fort Dearborn offers a variety of options to support your packaging related innovation efforts. The kit also contains various label samples highlighting innovative ink, coating and substrate examples.

Fort Dearborn Company

New square bottle, with shrink sleeve label, adds an edge to bottled water brand

TalkingRain Beverage Company created a stronger brand presence on- shelf for its ActiVWater® brand with new square bottle, full-body shrink sleeve label, and package redesign. Printed with metallic inks, the new label design has easy-to-read graphics, bold flavor-specific colors, and displays well at retail.

WS Packaging Group Inc.

Rigid container project in the works?

New! Download this free, 50-page Rigid Container Design Playbook jam-packed with strategies for success, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid. Whether your job involves package design or package development, download this playbook now.

Packaging World

Shelf Impact! Advisory Board

Our packaging experts help shape the content and provide independent analysis.

November 11, 2011
In This Issue

thumb Holistic design may just be the answer

Is anyone else tired of being blamed for every poorly designed package in the marketplace?

thumbPackage Gallery

Tween-tastic package design

By Rick Barrack, Chief Creative Officer, Partner, CBX

Tweens: They're feisty, opinionated, razor-sharp, brutally honest, slightly awkward, and very, very important for your brand. My oldest daughter is just about to enter into this demographic (9 to 14 years old, "too old for toys, too young for boys," as they say), and as a parent, I'm bracing myself for all the craziness that comes along with it. But as a creative, I couldn't be more excited for the opportunities that tweens present. Creating and designing products that reflect this group's multifunctional, fast-paced lives is one of the most thrilling challenges out there for those working in the marketing and branding worlds.


Sales of products for tweens currently exceed $200 billion annually. That's quite a few Justin Bieber posters, eh? But reaching this audience is not as easy as one might think, because tweens are full of dichotomies:

  1. They aspire to be older, but are still children.
  2. They want to be unique, but also still fit in.
  3. They have strong ideas about what they want to buy, but need parental involvement and approval to purchase those things.

My company, CBX, is familiar with the challenges facing tweens. Our work for U by Kotex—a brand for 14 to 22 year olds said to have revolutionized the feminine care aisle—was so successful that Kimberly-Clark turned to us to help design another product line, U by Kotex Tween, that specifically targets these young consumers.

By conducting a deep dive to get into the minds of tween females, we discovered that our target audience wanted:

  • Copy that speaks to her honestly and openly
  • Windows that let her see the product
  • Packaging functionality that speaks to how she expresses herself
  • Portability that lets her take products with her wherever she goes
  • Bold colors, a pleasing fabric, and fun textures

The resulting design spoke to a tween's desire for freedom and self-expression and to her mom's need for reassurance and safety. And those facets—freedom, self-expression, and safety—are also evident in several other new products currently being marketed specifically to tweens.

Read the full article



Holistic design may just be the answer

By Brian Wagner, vice president, Packaging & Technology Integrated Solutions & Jim Peters, executive director, Packaging Education Alliance

Is anyone else tired of being blamed for every poorly designed package in the marketplace? Somehow, every packaging professional takes heat for all the incompetent companies out there that clearly do not care about their consumers. Consumer Reports blasts us with their Oyster Awards. Brand managers lose track of what is really important to their businesses and fail to understand the value of packaging. Over 80% of products continue to fail globally. Somehow—way too often—productivity, cost savings, reduced pilferage, and other factors take precedence over positive brand perception and consumer experience. Balance is important, and so many of the obvious answers are provided in holistic design and universal design approaches.

Meet Kay, Brian's mother-in-law, who in Brian's words is "wonderful and healthy." She is widowed, lives alone, and has some arthritis in her hands. She's one of 50 million people in the U.S. alone who suffers from arthritis. Kay stopped buying apple juice because she can't open the bottles. She bought and tried several opening devices, and for a long time she would wait for her son Joe to come over and open some packages. But she finally gave up. Then, one of Kay's adult children found a device with U.S. Patent Number D538,119 - 7,582,350. It's a container opening device. Simply put, it works. What's wrong with all of this is that Kay had to go out and buy a gadget to do what packaging should do.

We as packaging professionals should be providing help to the projected 70-million-plus people who will be aged 65 and older by 2030. They may be challenged with dexterity, failing eyesight or other frailties, and our ability to develop packages that work holistically will help everyone.

Read the full article

Nutrition 'keys' key to Meals to Live meal packaging

By Jim Butschli, Features Editor, Packaging World

Dallas-based Meals to Live takes a healthy approach to packaging graphics for its line of frozen meals marketed primarily to diabetics and other health-conscious consumers. One look at the eight frozen Meals To Live entrees makes it clear that packaging graphics are instrumental in singing out to consumers interested in making healthy meal choices. Individual tabs on the outer carton are clearly printed with "nutrition keys" that list each meal's amount of calories, saturated fat, sodium, sugars, fiber, and protein. Italicized graphics indicate other healthy choices, such as no preservatives, gluten-free, 0g trans fat, etc.

Printed cartons are supplied by Ultimate Paper Box Co. A contract manufacturer, considered proprietary, fills product into paper-based trays, applies a top layer of film, and packs the trays into the outer cartons. Products have a 12-month shelf life.


The single-portioned 9-oz entrees were launched in September 2010 and are sold in more than 2,000 retail locations within 22 states, and at, typically priced between $3.99 and $4.99. Dallas-based Meals to Live aspires to sell the products nationwide.

While there are other healthy choices in the frozen food category, Meals to Live began by focusing on the growing number of diabetic consumers. The company's Web site tells the story well: "Meals to Live was founded in 2008 by Cole Egger, a businessman in Dallas. The concept for the company was prompted by a family friend who complained of difficulty finding packaged meals for people with diabetes or other special dietary needs. ...While an abundance of weight-loss products [sic] were available in nearly every grocery store, he couldn't find any prepackaged food items for the diabetes community. Diabetes testing kits and sugar-free products existed, but those weren't the solution his friend was seeking. It was clear that people with diabetes and other specific dietary needs had to fend for themselves when it came to meal planning."

Says Egger, "The meals are geared toward consumers looking for a healthier option, a consistent nutritional balanced meal. More than half of our meals are gluten-free, which is a big market these days. We tried to set ourselves apart from the other guys out there by maintaining nutritional standards across all of our products. We don't know of another product commercially available that specifically targets the nutritional needs of anyone who is living with diabetes. That is a differentiator."

Meals to Live worked with consumers and various health groups to develop packaging for the frozen meal line. Consumer feedback indicated that finding amounts of calories, sugars, etc., on printed packaging was often a time-consuming process.

Read the full article

Package Gallery

A closer look at the newest trends in today's packaging.

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Olive oil features five-star-worthy bottle design

Recently pastry/savory/beverage ingredient manufacturing company Amoretti launched its first olive oil product—an organic olive oil infused with the aroma and flavor of kalamata olives. It's a product for foodies and the first of its kind on the market, so the project called for a premium package that looks like it belongs in a five-star restaurant, says Amoretti. The solution, provided by Berlin Packaging, features:

  • An antique green stock glass bottle from Italy with a unique pedestal base, distinguishing the product on the shelf by both color and shape.
  • A graphic design with an unusual typography treatment by Berlin Packaging's Studio One Eleven division.
  • Branding that carries over to vinegar products that are also packaged in the same bottle for a common look.
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Muted colors capture natural essence of seaweed-based personal care line

Seavite of Ireland has relaunched its skin and haircare products based on organic seaweed. The range comprises moisturizing products for the face, revitalizing products for the body, and illuminating and replenishing products for the hair. Products are packaged in 500- and 250-mL HDPE tubular bottles, a 250-mL Quartz jar, and 75 and 250ml tubes—all from M&H Plastics. Packages were printed in-house by M&H in soft, muted colors that are in line with the natural positioning of the brand. Says Seavite co-founder Kaye Mulrooney, "Seavite products are all about making people feel good in both mind and body. We believe this new range will help unwind, de-stress, and revitalize. M&H helped us develop packaging across the whole range which we believe conveys our brand essence in a distinctive style." Seavite products are widely available in department stores, pharmacies, and health food shops across Ireland, and can also be purchased via Seavite's Web site.

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Premium vodka in stylized distillery sample bottle

Fryd Food & Drink of France tapped QSLD Paris to create the brand identity and packaging for its new brand, Vod-k, a premium caramel and truffle-flavored vodka. The agency worked on the name research, the graphic identity, and the volume design. In order to evoke tradition and purity, QSLD designed a bottle reminiscent of a distillery sample bottle. Says QSLD founder and president Denis Boudard, "I wanted to reconsider, premiumize, and modernize the distillery sample bottle. The bottle of Vod-K is cylinder-shaped, heavy, and weighted to underline its premium character. This character is highlighted by the matte finishing of its matte brown anodized metal cap. The bottom of the bottle is truffle-shaped. The concept of Vod-k has been through from the beginning to the end to create a constant universe. Vod-k is a modern interpretation of the 'demijohn.' Unique by its shape and its graphic design, Vod-k is also a decorative object. Thought to be exhibited, no detail has been left to chance."

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Featured Video
For brand impact, 'less is more'
Ronald deVlam, CEO and global managing partner for brand strategy and design firm Webb deVlam, examines how the concept of "less is more," coined by architect Mies van der Rohe, can be effectively expressed in brand packaging.

Sponsored by Owens-Illinois
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