Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When Design Solves Problems

The most successful kind of package design is one that solves a problem while appealing to its intended audience.  If you've got the latter down, you're in the game, but the former is where you can really take your design above and beyond.

Neal Fletcher, a student designer in the UK, was asked to design a concept for a difficult item to package.  He chose spaghetti.

via Lovely Package: "We were asked to choose one of five difficult objects to package, I chose spaghetti. I wanted to address a problem I always have when cooking spaghetti, that problem being that I always use too much. So I somehow wanted to build something into the packaging that aided portion control, so I came up with this Hexagonal Prism, 6 sided; thus there are six servings. It’s refillable and reusable and there’s also the potential for more shapes, for example triangle: 3 servings, octagon: 8 servings etc."

I think Neal's design is fantastic: it solves a common problem, it looks modern and neat, and adaptable to nearly any brand.  Aesthetically, it could use a little work.  Pasta is warm, hearty and comforting, and Neal's color choice is a bit too industrial, too contemporary—more suited to alcohol, mens fragrance, or a hot new beverage, than pasta.  If he warmed up the palette, I think he'd have a true winner here.

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