Packaging design is about the experience. It’s about impact on all senses – about textures, colours, patterns and even scents. I love the physical reaction, the raised pulse that the colour of a box from Tiffany creates. Or the humour and style of Marc Jacobs, combined with the heritage, quality and luxury of the brand that is reflected in Louis Vuitton’s packaging. I don’t have one favourite packaging design, but I have many favourites, where the packaging is an integral part of an experience. It’s near impossible to separate out the packaging from its content and purpose.
Fredrik Ahlin, Executive creative director, Hotel Chocolat
If I close my eyes and try to remember a single piece of packaging I keep coming back to the same image, a tin of brown liquid for polishing metal – Brasso. My mum used it, and her mum would have used it before her. The striking red, white and blue design is like a beacon of Britishness, keeping the Empire shiny. The same packaging has been used for more than a hundred years, now there’s brand longevity for you. Which reminds me, my letterbox is a bit mucky.
James Webb, Designer, Webb & Webb
I love design that brings out the irrationality of the consumer. I feel this is best typified by Tetley’s round teabag – the teabag with the ’all round flavour’ – which was introduced back in 1989. It was a huge success, revolutionising the category, with sales increasing by a third within days. Yet did it really taste better? Or did it just feel like it would? It just goes to show how much of our shopping we do on feeling.
Natalie Alexander, Founding partner, Butterfly Cannon
Excellent packaging is defined by what makes it special, but is there anything that can make it a favourite? Could it be how it’s made? How it feels to hold? How tremendous it looks? Inspiring to others? If you look at what ticks most of these boxes, you’d do well to better the banana skin. It’s visually striking, waterproof, biodegradable, uniquely shaped, smells good and lends itself well to album covers.
Jesse Boyce, Director, Lethal
You either love it or hate it and for me it’s part of the British constitution – Marmite. It’s an iconic piece of packaging design both structurally and graphically. While to most consumers it appears unchanged, it has redesigned, created limited-edition variants and even launched its own pop-up store. It is a design that is forever changing.
Avril Tooley, Partner, Brandopus