Centre for Arts and Technology’s Q3 Graphic and Web Design students are boxing clever with packaging projects for local Okanagan businesses.
A box is a box is a box… NOT.
Especially when the box in question is the receptacle for your carefully researched, targeted, developed and produced commercial product. This box needs to be designed as the perfect expression of your brand and all it stands for. Not an easy task; however, it’s one that the CAT Graphic and Web Design students were challenged with this term – for actual ‘live’ clients.
Local companies ‘Mount Ida Grain Products’ and ‘Fox and Filles’ were both looking for branding and packaging ideas for – respectively – their new pizza line and their candle ranges. Both companies had been part of a government initiative with Accelerate Okanagan earlier this year, who put them in contact with Centre For Arts and Technology.
“Both these businesses participated in the ‘Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency (DER3) Program’ launched in the Okanagan region in November 2020 and ran through to March 2021,” says Aidan Cole, Program Advisor at Accelerate Okanagan.
“There is always a great synergy that comes out of our connection with Accelerate Okanagan, and this time we were able to spread that energy to some wonderful local business as well.”
Deborah Lampitt-McConnachie, Program Manager, Graphic and Web Design, Centre for Arts and Technology
“The DER3 program was designed to help small-medium sized businesses expand into the digital economy. That could look different for companies depending on their size and stage.
It could range from helping them find service providers to build them their first website to helping them get all their accounting services online or helping them understand which social media channels were right to promote their business. The program really tried to reach businesses that needed help to move towards being more digital and we were able to match 200 companies in our region with local service providers and subject matter experts who could help them.
DER3 was funded by the Federal government’s Western Economic Diversification program, along with Island Coast Trust Economic Trust. The program was organized and delivered through Innovate BC’s network, including Accelerate Okanagan for the Okanagan region.
“We have worked in conjunction with Accelerate Okanagan numerous times, and we are always so pleased to get them involved,” says Deborah Lampitt-McConnachie, Program Manager of Graphic and Web Design. “There is always a great synergy that comes out of our connection, and this time we were able to spread that energy to some wonderful local business as well.”
“The packaging project in ADVPP 3011 includes the creation of three package designs, plus a corporate identity, and a couple of ‘merch’ (merchandise) items. Most years the students make up a fictional product and company. This year, however, we were approached by two local businesses looking for help designing items, so the assignment has been altered slightly to accommodate their requirements,” explains Jon Matlock, course instructor.
“Packaging presents a few challenges when compared to designing for the printed page or a screen. Packages not only contain a product, but they must also protect and preserve it, both during transport and while on display. A package also informs the consumer and ultimately may be the deciding selling factor when a consumer is choosing between one product and its competitors. All these factors must be taken into consideration when designing a successful package.”
“I think what I found most challenging was just laying out the template and picturing how the whole design would fit together so that everything would look right and face the right way,” say Sydney Webb, GWD student, “but at the same time it was really fun because it kind of felt like putting together a puzzle.
The most important thing also probably goes along with the whole layout of the box because we had to see exactly what we were designing for before we could start anything, to make sure that our ideas would actually work and make sense for the project.
We also had to keep considering the client’s budget and what would work best for them, so it was interesting having to edit down the designs and reel back all of the ideas to fit to that.”
“Fictional clients and products are fun – the sky is the limit! But it’s more valuable when students have the opportunity to work with real clients. There are usually stricter parameters set for real-world designs. Things like budget and logistical considerations must be taken into consideration,” says Matlock.
“I found working with real clients for this project to be really intimidating, but also really motivating because it made me want to put in a little more effort than maybe I would’ve if it was for a made-up company because I didn’t want to disappoint them or present something that I couldn’t be proud of,” admits Sydney.
“Getting to meet with them and hear exactly what they were looking for also helped a lot in focusing down on key features, and it helped me put more thought into every element that went into the whole thing.”
Designing packaging is challenging, but at the same time it was really fun because it kind of felt like putting together a puzzle.”
Sydney Webb, Graphic and Web Design Student, Centre for Arts and Technology
“I was so impressed with the students’ work; I thought they were all beautiful designs,” says Veronique Hudj, owner of ‘Fox and Filles’.
“They took what I said about my company and really paid attention to those details. I think there is definitely a chance I might use one of these for my business. They look really professional; it’s going to be hard to pick my favourite!”
“I’m extremely impressed with the students’ work,’’ says David Allard, owner of ‘Mount Ida Grain Products’ and ‘Panzudo Pizza’.
“All of the submission had elements that were really interesting. I’m going to have to put in some hard work having a closer look at the designs and make some decisions. Thanks so much to the students for all your hard work.”