Glassware Packaging

Overview
Timeline

Created a one-piece cardboard stemware carrier for a house warming party. Focused on the clarity of user touch points and balancing utility with aesthetics. 

October 2018 (4 weeks)

The Problem
A balance between aesthetics and utility

When someone brings a gift to a house party, it is difficult to find packaging that holds a balance between aesthetics and utility to bring a satisfying gift but also be able to protect and transport the object.

The Goal
One-piece useful packaging that becomes part of the gift

When someone brings a gift to a house party, it is difficult to find packaging that holds a balance between aesthetics and utility to bring a satisfying gift but also be able to protect and transport the object.

Process
Researching how to protect glassware

I looked at cardboard packaging from stores and learned that usually the packaging tried to stay as a one piece. There would be multiple pieces of cardboard usually put inside of a cardboard casing to act as a buffer and prevent the object inside from breaking. With this, I started sketching my ideas and creating multiple prototypes of how to approach this problem. 

After experimenting with creating circular indents in the top and bottoms of a glassware or constraining it in vertical sections of cardboard, I found that folding the cardboard over the stem was the most secure. 

Creating the chosen design

While I was creating the prototype, I came into the problem of not being able to effectively secure the cardboard at the stem in an overlapping formation. After many times of trial and testing, I came up with the solution of cutting tabs at the bend to hold the overlapping cardboard pieces together (as seen in the right image).

To make the visual cues clearer, I cut an opening above these tabs to allow users to be able to see these tabs. 

This took a long period of time, but it trained myself to consult with others when facing difficult design problems, and to stay open minded when persisting on solving a design problem. 

Going back to the challenge of making a packaging visually appealing yet functional, I wanted to express the character of the glassware (such as its delicateness) and also allow users to see what is inside the package. I cut rounded holes at the top and a stem like form on the bottom to represent the glassware. 

It's important to be able to show what your design is about, however, a design should not be too obvious for the user to create mystery and amusement for the user to discover what is the product on their own. My first cutouts were almost too representational so instead I used the most basic forms of a wine glass. 

To increase the utility, I expanded my carrier horizontally to carry more glasses and made each glass be able to open individually. I included details to make to over packaging more user-friendly successful such as adding a folded layer for better hand hold, an indented rim to hold the lip and bottom of the wine glasses, and tabs that secure the top of the glass in increasing length (seen in the photo below). 

From this experience, I learned the importance of visual cues: how simple but hard to come up with they are. Just by creating a gap above the tabs that secure the stem of the wine glass would allow easier use for the user. Also, how to balance making a product pleasing yet encourages user's to explore the product, and it being effective. 

To read more, click to visit my medium page

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