In school we spent a lot of time thinking about plastic waste and becoming more aware of the effect that packaging has on the environment. We were tasked with finding a product in stores that had packaging we could improve on by minimizing waste. I came across drawing pencils that were buried within a tin case, between plastic dividers, under a paper sleeve, and all in a plastic wrapper. The potential for improvement was enormous, so I set out to create reusable, recyclable, guilt-free artist's pencil packaging.
looking for a challenge
Maybe it was my love of puzzles and attraction to difficult spatial problems, but for whatever reason I thought the requirements of the project—to simply improve overly wasteful packaging— weren't ambitious enough. I came up with four self-imposed conditions that my packaging had to meet:
only 1 dieline
Through creative folding I wanted to be able to make the entire package from a single sheet.
fit on 11x17" paper
By limiting the area I could work with I guaranteed that I would not use too much material.
The package must be functional and fun to use so that people would keep it instead of throwing it away.
All materials used must be recyclable, biodegradable, or non-toxic.
With lots of trial, error, and measuring I was able to design a package that met every one of my conditions. My final product, under the brand Articulate, is made from paper and magnets. While magnets don't decompose like paper does, they are not toxic to the environment and can be melted down and re-magnetized indefinitely to make new packages or other magnetic components.
articulate: make a statement
The name Articulate is a bit of a play of words. First, to articulate something is to express yourself to others, and this packaging allows for personalization as well as advertising that the user cares about the environment. Secondly, when something is articulated that can mean that it is made up of many joints and moving parts, like this packaging. Third, it has the word "art" in it...because this is a product for artists. Overall, this packaging is meant to promote self-expression, sustainable design. and awareness for a good cause.