Finding The Green In Today’s Shopper



An Eye for Color:


Manufactured Packaging Products: ENVIROKRAFT 100% RECYCLED Corrugated!


MPP offers EnviroKraft boxes made with 100% Post Consumer recycled fiber! EnviroKraft boxes are printable and have the strength of 32 ECT. Conventional print options available on EnviroKraft include gradients and screen printing. Soy-based ink can be used to further environmental friendliness.

3M Bio-Friendly Packaging Tape

With environmental standards changing rapidly, Scotch Box Sealing Tape 3073 is designed to help stay on top of these sustainable changes in the marketplace. 

This product has a comfortable backing and offers consistent pressure adhesion & high-performance using a hot melt synthetic rubber adhesive system. 

This construction provides ten times the tack level than normal tapes and is made with 10% renewable component adhesive!

Standard Widths: 48mm and 72mm

Core Size (ID): 3in.  Made with recycled materials.

Lengths: 50m and 914m

Creativity explained:


The creative economy is a powerful and positive global force. Together, artists, industrial designers, and creative businesses produce and distribute cultural goods and services that impact the economy by generating jobs and revenue, while providing shoppers with heuristics that make the process of shopping a bit easier and a lot more enjoyable.

Not quite a believer in the power of the creative economy? Just take a look at the impact design has on Apple in both its product offerings and retail environments.

So what’s the secret formula for creating design that is both a delight and provides results? According to Alfredo Muccino, Chief Creative Officer at Liquid Agency, it involves a bit of logic, a touch of magic, a heavy dose of culture, and one part innovation. By understanding how these elements interplay with one another to create compelling design it becomes easier to create a design that influences shoppers and delivers results to the bottom-line.

“It’s no secret that innovation is the key element to a great design,” stated Muccino during POPAI’s 2011 DesignTrends. ” What we fail to take into account is how we are driven to achieve great design by seeking a logical solution to the task at hand. Often it’s a magical moment of inspiration and to a larger extent the influence that comes from the cultural events surrounding us.”

By using his formula as a lens for understanding the trends that are impacting today’s design aesthetics, Muccino offers up the following six trends that are taking the creative community by storm.

Technoaddiction The compulsive need to use the latest technology in order to connect with people who consume information in constantly more digital ways. Not quite convinced that today’s shoppers and designers aren’t a bit tech obsessed? Just look at the proliferation of mobile marketing, social marketing, and augmented reality to get an idea of how plugged in today’s shoppers and marketers really are.

Authenticraving In an almost allergic reaction to the creation of design using digital tools and techniques, today’s leading designers are returning back to tangible effects as opposed to virtual artifacts. In the age of Photoshop and virtual simulation it has become too easy and underwhelming to create anything the mind can imagine. However, today’s advent garde designers are creating truly spectacular design by returning back to creating things by hand.

E-Motionitis Today’s shopper has a tendency to be less engaged with static imagery compared to video and motion graphics. The generation that was raised on TV sat passively in front of the tube, but now they want to be the next Spielberg (hat tip: YouTube).

Individual Expressionism The era of mass production is giving away to the future of one-of-a-kind. Everyone wants to be a designer and have custom-made objects that fit their individual taste (or lack of). Not quite a believer? Maybe you can create a shirt on Etsy to express your discerning point-of-view.

Whimsical Eclecticism The juxtaposition of styles and ideas, arranged in a calculated state of chaos that is poetic, surreal, humorous and unexpected. Today’s designers are reinventing the past and making it completely modern in unexpected ways.

EcoCentricity A compulsion towards anything that makes one look like they care about natural resources. This condition used to be associated with kraft paper, and now is exemplified by the overuse of the color green. After all, nobody wants to be seen as not being green friendly.

Want to see stunning examples of these trends in action? If so, visit POPAI’s Online Library to download Muccino’s complete presentation.

What are common types of boxes you ask?

Regular Slotted Cartons (RSC)


These cartons are primarily shipping and storage boxes, and always require glue, tape, or staples to close. They’re more economical than die cuts (custom boxes), and combine functionality with protection in a single package. To add flare to your rsc boxes, printing can be added: your company name and logo in a few colors, or your own artwork in full 4 color lithographic brilliance.  FYI- ALL BOXES CAN BE CUSTOM PRINTED IF YOU WANT THEM.

Corrugated Mailers


Mailers are a one-piecebox with an attached, self-locking lid. Often used for CD, DVD and VHS shipping, they are ideal for promotional products for your company. Mailers lend a far more attractive and functional aspect to your product as they can be opened and re-closed without any damage to the box itself.

Folding Cartons


This style of box is perfect for boxes that are intricate yet need to be able to fold into a size suitable for storage. These are great for the retail level and can be print with detailed 4 color printing and high gloss UV coatings. Some assembly is required before the box is put into use, but don’t worry, it isn’t origami!

Bin & Storage Containers


These open tray -type boxes are ideal for maximizing your shelf space by organizing supplies, parts, magazines and newsletters.

How To: Measure a Box & Box Basics

Measuring boxes is as easy as 1-2-3. Box measurements always correspond to the inner dimensions of the box. This is done to ensure a snug and protective fit around your product.

Simply measure the length, width, and depth (or height) of what you would like to pack and express the measurements in milimetres. Make sure to give the dimensions in this order:

1. length
2. width
3. depth

Corrugated Carton

This probably is the most common style of box with fold over flaps to seal at the top and bottom. It is also one of the most economical styles of box in that it produces very little waste and requires no origination for manufacturing unless it is to be printed.


A very common style of box that is manufactured with the use of a shaped die-cutting tools. This style of box ensure higher degrees of accuaracy in size and consistancy and allows for almost any shape or style of box to be manufactured. When a special size or style is required a tooling charge will be incurred as a one-off charge.

Fittings and Internal Packaging

Internal fittings often form an important part of a packs overall design. The fittings can be simply seperator pads to complex multipart Die-cut divisions. They perform a key role in the seperation and cushioning of products and are fundamental to the overall performance of a packs design. Common types of fittings are pads, divisions and scored seperation and void filling fittings. The use and design of fittings is always driven by the product and distribution requirement.

Design tips from the designer’s mouth


Design tips from the designer’s mouth


  • Stick to the basic design rules, but try and be innovative, even if it is just through the use of different paper or varnishes. Be a Leader rather than a follower.
  • Always keep your design simple, never over-complicate the process. Always question why something is being done. Don’t design for design sake.
  • Gimmicks may look impressive initially, but will not give your brand longevity. Do not change your packaging often.
  • Make sure your name and branding, and message is strong.
  • Make sure that the printing and production costs of your packaging are realistic.
  • Do your research in the market; know your facts before starting the design process, as you don’t want to go through the same exercise in a hurry.
    Invest in your product by always using a specialist-packaging designer.

Future trends

  • Sustainability is the biggest world-changing concept at the moment. Turning life-draining wastefulness into green gold is the new Holy Grail. Don’t ignore its siren call. It will matter to every package designer on this planet very soon.
  • Bio-based, biodegradable and recycled materials are becoming more and more relevant. Internationally there is strong emphasis on environmentally friendly packaging, to the extent that certain noxious packaging materials being banned in some EU countries, that require certification of environmentally – compatible packaging.
  • Greening a product in the first place, of course, is the best way to reduce its environmental footprint. Companies are motivated to do so for a variety of reasons including increased consumer demand, pressure from partners across the supply chain and risk to the brand simply by being complacent. Adding the eco friendly banner to your product has become a strong sustainable marketing tool.
  • Technology has to become the designer’s friend, and designers must embrace these technologies. Package design on the whole is becoming more simple, but the message conveyed is more sophisticated, hardworking and streamline in design, and design quality. Design should convey a strong concept of lifestyle, and graphic imagery.
  • Good simple design, combined with more complex use of substrates, whether environmentally friendly or just unusual, mesh together with the use of interesting shapes and dyes, can culminate in some exciting printing technologies, results in great design. This is an exciting challenging time for designers.

Cost saving packaging tips

  • Planning design, and printing in advance gives you time to weigh-up your options and evaluate new suppliers. It’s good practice to regularly evaluate alternate suppliers. Look for suppliers that are willing to work with you to identify cost saving options the industry is capable of delivering.
  • Once the development process is complete and specifications agreed 80% of the costs are embedded, leaving only 20% of the problem to work on for those in manufacturing. Therefore major opportunities for saving occur in the design stage and this is where your designer can assist you.
  • A good designer will see a way of creating brand extensions, or streamlining your costs, through the use of good clever, well thought out design.
  • Continue looking at cost saving ideas even when you need them the least. A simple modification to your packaging specifications could lead to substantial cost savings over the long run.
  • Determine your production volumes annually. Unit costs decrease in accordance to volume. It’s more expensive ordering small quantities so rather order less frequently and let your suppliers carry the stock, invoicing only when it goes into production.
  • Most food products are perishables, (unlike good wine) and a stagnant inventory doesn’t improve with age. Excess inventory ties up capital and ‘hidden’ costs such as damaged, lost, redundant stock, warehousing, insurance and financing costs, all eat into the bottom line.
  • Insist on having a service level agreement in place. A simple way to measure your supplier performance levels is based on on-time, in-full and error-free deliveries. By regularly monitoring and managing your suppliers you can maximize the benefits of your sourcing strategy, and ultimately increase your profit margin.

Avoiding a mistake in packaging… How to…?

You invest so much time and money in product development, why not invest a little more and protect yourself from making a bad packaging mistake?

It is easy to make a packaging error that comes back to haunt you after you have packaged the product and sent it on its way to the retailer’s shelf.

We think about bad packaging when they hit the news. For example “Ecoli Outbreak Attributed to Packaging.” Packaging that on the surface seems like a good idea but then backfires due to some unforeseen circumstance that takes place. Why wait until it becomes an issue?

Wolfgang Puck found out about “bad” packaging the hard way when his new self heating latte cans hit the retailer shelf and started exploding. Was it his fault? Probably not, but the words “Product Recall” were shouted from the isles.

“Fabuloso” experienced a similar problem when it designed the packaging for its cleaning products to look like soda or beverage bottles. Children confused the “fabulous” colors with the real thing. A few poisonings later they realized they had made a huge mistake.

All packaging problems certainly don’t rise to the level of these two examples. A problem can be something of minor significance. Nonetheless, it is a problem and in many cases can be avoided or at the very least modified or anticipated. You would be surprised at how many people contact me knowing in advance that their packaging may have a problem yet they never do anything about it. Perhaps they will be the next big news story.

In any case, there are ways to foresee potentially “bad” packaging situations. A little forward thinking may alleviate impending problems. Here are some common questions that could pave the way to avoiding potential packaging problems:

Should I put my product in a plastic clamshell? The number one contested “packaging” issue revolves around the plastic clamshell and how difficult it is to open or penetrate without causing bodily harm. Can you anticipate this problem? You bet. Weigh your options when considering this type of packaging. Even with your best effort to make the clamshell easy to open, you may end up as an “Oyster Award” candidate and be labeled as one of the most difficult packages to open.

What is “green” packaging and how can I incorporate it into my packaging design? Whether to use green packaging or not should not be the question. What you should be asking is does utilizing environmentally friendly packaging materials make sense for my product?
Am I going green legitimately or just jumping on the “green” bandwagon to make a buck? Will I be mandated to use “green” packaging materials by retailers? What other options can I consider that aren’t “green?” You really need to take some time to analyze these and other questions before you advance your packaging development in the wrong direction.

My packaging is working now should I change it to new and improved or give it a packaging makeover? Remember my negative packaging trend for 07. Don’t fix it, if it ain’t broken. Consumers hate change. When they go to look for their trusted brand on the retailer’s shelf, you want to ensure they recognize your product easily. If they don’t, they may be forced to buy from the competition. Keep packaging consistency and continuity to make it easy for consumers to buy from you.

Who regulates what needs to be on my product packaging? The answer is just about everyone. Outside of the various regulatory agencies that tell you what can and must be placed on your product packaging you could be mandated by a plethora out outside influences. Here are a few examples.

Going Green? Better listen to what Wal-Mart has to say with their “Packaging Scorecard.”

Trading in the organic space? Better understand what the work organic means to your product and who is watching out looking for a mislabeled package or a claim that can’t be validated.

Making weight loss claims or dietary claims on your product packaging? Just about every one will be on your case. These claims are heavily scrutinized, not just by regulatory agencies but by consumers too. They are taking charge of their own well being. They “can” and will read them.

Pay attention to these common packaging questions to which many companies don’t find adequate answers before they embark on their product packaging. By doing so, you may anticipate potential packaging problems that could result in packaging problems. Do your homework. Use a little common sense and think about packaging issues relative to your product. Consider what you can do to avoid potential pitfalls before it’s too late.


Expensive and exotic packaging is a huge part of modern consumerism.

Manufacturers know that many purchasing decisions we make are based on the attractiveness of good packaging. This means they are prepared to spend a lot of time and money creating eye-catching designs that will stand out from the crowd.

However there is a heavy cost to this process. Although packaging is useful it does account for millions of tons of waste every year. Some of this is recycled but the majority of it does go straight to landfill. This is a huge waste of vital environmental resources.

The Future of Packaging

As we become more aware of our impact on the environment the high costs of packaging is becoming a major issue. A large number of consumers are now actively choosing the more eco-friendly alternative when they shop by opting for packaging that can be recycled. This means that for manufacturers it is now more possible than every to take a “greener” approach to packaging whilst still meeting their marketing objectives. The new trend in sustainable packaging is rapidly growing and spreading throughout the food, clothing and general goods markets.

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is designed to reduce wastage and conserve important resources. There are three main elements to this:

  • Reduce — a large percentage of the time packaging is designed to be larger than really necessary. Manufacturers use this technique to make products appear bigger than they actually are and also to make them more eye-catching. However this is a main cause of wastage. Simply by reducing the size of packaging a vast amount of paper, cardboard and plastic can be saved every year.
  • Reuse — many modern materials can only be used once. This means they have to then go straight to landfill once throw away. By selectively choosing materials that can be reused manufacturers can contribute greatly to reducing wastage. For example paper products can be reused successfully up to 7 different times.
  • Recycle — by recycling materials we can make sure they are reintroduced into the industrial chain and reused for another purpose. This helps to reduce the strain on the planet’s fragile resources and save on wastage. When we recycle materials such as paper, plastic and glass we can are actively working to reduce landfill and conserve valuable materials.

The Costs of Sustainable Packaging

Finding new ways to package goods can be costly but the benefits are there. Materials are getting more and more expensive these days. By cutting back on packaging size manufacturers can not only reduce wastage but they can also cut costs on the production line significantly. Also customers are actively seeking out sustainable packaging. By choosing this option it can be possible to gain an edge over competitors.

Another important point is that environmental issues are here to stay. The government can no longer afford to ignore the monumental task of cutting wastage and conserving resources. This means that in the future it is likely that more incentives will be provided for manufacturers that do present eco-friendly measures such as sustainable packaging.

Take steps now towards reducing landfill and protecting the planet’s resources by choosing sustainable packaging when you shop or design your packaging.