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Box of tricks

01 February 2023

Greg Burton, Design Manager at Lesters, talks to DPA about the importance of packaging and why it is now one of the earliest considerations in product development.

Traditionally, packaging has often been an afterthought when designing a product, pushed to the back of the mind in pursuit of cost-effective production processes and speed to market. This has been a costly mistake thousands of manufacturers and machine builders have fallen into, but attitudes are changing – and changing fast. 

For Greg Burton, it is a wake-up call that has been a long time in the making and, for those companies that have made the transition, it is helping to reduce costs, improve customer experience and, importantly, avoid expensive logistical issues.

“I know you’d expect me to say this, but packaging really is a critical part of the design cycle for so many reasons.

“It’s the first interaction a customer has with your product and, depending on its specific use, can deliver different advantages. For example, in a retail environment, packaging shapes/contours and innovations are used to differentiate and catch the consumer’s eye alongside print and logos.

“In an e-commerce situation, the sale has been made, so the main factor here is to protect the product and provide an unboxing experience that feels good and, if possible, lives long in the memory. Apple, unsurprisingly, is particularly strong at this.

“The understated and biggest issue that is overlooked by engineers is when the product leaves the manufacturing site. If packaging can be tweaked to suit standard sizes to fit UK or European standard trailers or shipping containers, then the efficiencies can be unlocked, and costs dramatically reduced.”

Read the full article in DPA's February issue

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