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green box design brief

mehndiblogpic.jpg


Project Title: Mastering Mehndi


Describe the challenge:
The challenge for this project was to start with a wooden box and create some sort of product that incorporated the box using a “green design� approach. The idea was to tie the product with an eco-friendly theme by using as much eco-friendly or recycled material as possible.

Describe your creative process:
It took me quite a while to come up with an idea that I really liked. I headed in several different directions, such as a pill organizer for the earth and an animal adoption kit, before I decided on a mehndi kit. I found some very good informational websites for mehndi and ordered a kit from Earth Henna as a starting point. I shopped around for recycled papers and materials that I could include in the kit. I also did some list making for what would be included in the kit and some sketches of henna patterns and design ideas for the box exterior.

Describe your solution:
The kit I created, called Mastering Mehndi, is a complete kit for understanding and practicing the art of mehndi. I used the main products that came in the actual kit I bought, but I made up my own company and redesigned everything to make it original. It is sort of a starter kit for those who don’t know much about the art form. The kit has the supplies for making and applying the henna, as well as an informational booklet. I created my own designs for the logo, the booklet, and the stencils. I included both beginner and advanced stencils, in case the user feels they need more of a challenge. The bottles I received in the actual kit I bought were too large to fit in the box so I had to buy new ones and re-label them. The kit would have been more eco-friendly if I could have included the reusable squeeze bottle applicator, but I had to buy plastic cones instead to fit in the box. For the typography, I chose Bernhard Modern Std for the display face, and Optima for the body text. I thought Bernhard Modern had an elegant and somewhat middle-eastern look to it. I also thought the serifs looked sort of scripty, as if they could have been hand-done with henna. Optima was a nice contrast, but still had a formal look.

List the box contents + design elements:
~ Plastic cone filled with henna powder
~ Henna solution in glass bottle: new label design
~ Eucalyptus oil in glass bottle: new label design
~ 3 plastic application cones
~ Reusable stencils: my own designs- hand drawn, scanned and live-traced
~ Cotton swabs
~ Toothpicks
~ Rubber bands
~ Booklet: logo, mehndi/henna history and facts, instructions, and tips
~ Packaging: tag with logo

Outline the green design features:
~ Henna powder itself is a natural product which comes from the henna plant, so the art of mehndi is a safe and eco-friendly practice.
~ The henna paste can be used for tattooing for up to 4 weeks, so the materials are not quickly being used and disposed of.
~ The box has limited packaging so that limited waste is produced.
~ The decorative pattern on the exterior of the box was done by wood-burning; no harmful paints or chemicals were used.
~ Limited exterior packaging and decoration make the box easily reusable.
~ The paper is recycled and is made up of 30% post consumer material.
~ The stencils are reusable up to six times.
~ The plastic cones can be rinsed and reused.
~ The glass bottles can be reused or recycled.

List specific eco-friendly materials used in this project:
~ Henna powder, solution, and oil – Earth Henna Body Painting Kit - $14.95 + shipping
~ Professional Series Astroparche paper - Wausau Paper brand – Office Max - $7

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