Yesterday, I presented my first packaging design for Packaging and Display (also known as GD3). Our first assignment of three was to repackage a sport-related product. My professor's definition of "sport" was pretty loose and encompassed pretty much anything you might find in an REI or Dick's Sporting Goods. This was great because my classmates and I found a lot of interesting things to repackage ranging from darts, to a hiking compass, to a bodyboard leash. I decided to repackage the fire starters pictured right.
The original package is not very appealing, is it? However, the attractiveness of the packaging wasn't the only reason I decided to repackage the fire sticks. In both REI and Dick's, these fire sticks are hidden in the camping section next to speciality backpacking supplies like expensive, ultra-compact camp stoves and burners - not things your average weekend camper would likely be interested in. I did some research and interviews with people who are into serious camping and backpacking, and they said they would never use these fire sticks. They have their own techniques for starting fires like using cotton balls soaked in oil or the old fashioned flint and steel method. So why do these seemed to be marketed towards the more advanced camper?
My redesigned package (Above - the matches were a last minute added bonus for fun) aimed to make a more attractive product in a more convenient package - one that easily slips into the pocket of a casual hiker, camper, or outdoor adventurer. Because one fire stick can be used to start two or more fires, it wasn't necessary to have 12 sticks in one pack - especially for a more casual user. The smaller package is meant to be stacked and displayed. Aimed to be sold for less than $2.00, it would be a great product to put near the checkout area of a sporting goods store where small trinkets and other goods are sold and often purchased on impulse, rather than only being hidden in the back of the store. Moral of the story: remember that product packaging isn't just about being pretty, it's about your audience and how it is marketed as well!
P.S. The Dean's Reception for incoming 2013 CDes freshman is this Saturday! Unfortunately I am not able to attend, but there will be a lot of others bloggers and faculty there for you to talk to. Make sure to attend!