Playing With Paperboard – Origami In Folding Cartons

The recent past has seen very interesting creations in folding cardboard or better still folding paperboard. It is as if the Japanese origami culture and the traditional Chinese paper cutting have influenced many a packaging designer. This means that some packages made from paperboard have the most fantastic structures, sometimes complex, sometimes brilliantly simple, catching the eye of the consumer by their adventurous shapes. I made a (not complete) overview of the most eye-catching paperboard packages, not in terms of graphics, but in terms of structure.
In several articles I give a range of examples. There are many more, too many to publish all, some so gripping that it looks like art.

Enjoy the inventiveness of the designer and use them as bases for your own creative ideas.

Wu Xing Fortune Cake
The innovative New Year gift packaging, the Pineapple Cake Packaging, designed by Taiwanese designers Amone Hsieh and Feng-Chuan Chen, is more than just a box containing a delicious treat. Inspired by ancient Chinese astrology and the five elements (Wu Xing), the typical Taiwanese flavours and Chinese traditions are blended into this red pentagon shape. Each side represents an element and its corresponding animal: gold – chicken, wood – dog, water – pig, fire – goat and earth – cow.

In addition, this multi-purpose box, manufactured by HongLuBao Co Ltd. in Taipei, Taiwan, is also a traditional Chinese paper cutting, so it can be used as decoration during Chinese New Year to bring fortune and luck. And each of the five sides can be used as bookmarks, surrounding you with luck and fortune all year round!

The Wu Xing Fortune Cake packaging was an iF Award winner at the Interpack 2011.

But it isn’t only the Japanese or Chinese who are able to cut paperboard in the most fantastic way. Let’s go to Iceland and meet Helga Björg to see what she designed for Örflögur.

Örflögur Microchips
Örflögur microchips are healthy, no fat potato chips. They are not fried, but baked and dried and salted with the sea. A pure product of nature. This Icelandic brand of chips eliminated the problem of the loud crunchy noise of chips bags, as well as the dirty hands digging into shallow chip bags. Its packaging is a box that folds out into a bowl.

The box which contains the Microchips transforms into a bowl when it is opened, making them easier to share with friends. Once the chips are consumed, the box’s interior graphics reveal information (in English and Icelandic) about the potato and where it is grown.

The box is designed by Björg í Bú in Reykjavik, a design bureau that focuses on designing Icelandic products and using the opportunities which can be found at Icelandic companies. The design bureau is run by Edda Gylfadóttir, Guðrún Hjörleifsdóttir, and Helga Björg.

This chips box was designed in collaboration with innovation-centre við Innovit, and Matís, the Icelandic food and biotech R&D, and funded by the Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannis)

From Iceland we go to Kansas in the USA and from potato chips to cinnamon.

Ceylora Cinnamon
An identical box structure we see for Ceylora Cinnamon, an all natural cinnamon which is packaged in an all natural container.

Designed by graphic designer, Dominic Flask of Danger Dom Studios in Hays, Kansas/USA, the packaging for dried cinnamon sticks, is made with paper only, and using no glue, the package compliments the product, folded into the shape of an apple.

From the cinnamon in Kansas to such a dull packaging format as milk in cartons, but the all-natural milk from Organic Valley is an exception. Perusing the milk aisle at the supermarket is rarely a memorable event. Existing milk jugs and cartons are not exiting packages catching the eye of the consumer. The current trend of “going organic” creates, however, an exciting market ripe for beautiful and environmentally responsible packaging for otherwise basic commodities such as milk.

Dressing Up Tetra Pak Milk Packs
Achieving an environmentally responsible package starts with the material. Tetra Pak is made entirely from recycled and/or renewable resources that are also 100% recyclable. The designers applied an uncoated, untreated paper to the outside of the container, adding a distinguished, earthy aesthetic that not only captures the attention of the environmentally conscious consumer but stands out on the shelf amid other cartons as well. The aseptic component of the Tetra Pak allows the Organic Valley shelf-stable line of organic milk to be distributed and stored without the use of refrigeration.

Designed by Lisa Ellerin, Alicia Prentice, Olivia Duval, Chris Yoon, Amy Ross, and Blake Sanders, this concept, done as a part of the 2011 IOPP (Institute of Packaging Professionals) Repackaging challenge, offers a break from the monotony of the milk aisle through colour systems, form and material.

From the USA back to Europe, where a Belgian designer put French champagne into a nice folding ice bucket.

Clicq’Up – An Origami Inspired Design Object
This year at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile (Milan, Italy, April 12-17), during Veuve Clicquot’s Milan Yellow Week, Veuve Clicquot showed their latest design collaboration, “Clicq’Up”, an origami inspired design object by Belgian designer Mathias van de Walle.

Clicq’Up is the first foldable Champagne ice bucket and is based on a concept of origami on ice, marrying form and function to create a contemporary, reusable design object that can be folded for easy transportation, set up, and storage.

For the last design of this article we go to Germany.

A Shape That Hadn’t Been Used Before
STI – Gustav Stabernack GmbH, in Lauterbach, Germany, had the task to develop a packaging concept that could be assembled by a machine, was of a shape that hadn’t been used before, and could automatically adapt to the volume of material it was holding.

Using diagonal slits, a pre-assembled, mechanically produced, foldable square box is able to adapt to different volumes.
By changing the straight, diagonal slits to a concave or convex alignment, a softer shape can be developed and a slit window can be harmoniously introduced. The easy to use, re-sealable opening mechanism is the finishing touch on this packaging concept.

7 responses to “Playing With Paperboard – Origami In Folding Cartons

  1. Pingback: Some Crunchy Numbers – 2011 In Review « Best In Packaging·

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  3. Pingback: Potato | Ivča Vostrovska·

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