Design careers – packaging

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Packaging designers shape so much of the shopping experience, but there can be an element of taking what they do for granted.  When we look at something like a cereal box, do we appreciate the hard work and creativity that’s gone into its design?

Producing something that gets noticed without being over the top, that’s stylish without being too subtle, and that at all times represents the values of the brand.  That could be your job if you choose to go into packaging design.

I recently met with Chris Tart, the senior packaging designer at Benson Box in Bardon, Leicestershire. His company has links with local universities and provides many undergraduates with their first steps into the packaging industry.

Watching Chris brainstorm ideas with his two interns, I had one of those ‘this job looks great, why didn’t I go into this?’ moments. I then remembered that I have zero artistic ability. Coupled with this, I was the last in my year at infants school to be moved from pencil to pen – something that still hurts to this day. In summary, my chances of doing well in a design-based career are slim.

This didn’t stop me designing my own jar for mayonnaise and other jarred sauces. It would have a lid at both ends to make sure you got as much out as possible. If someone’s already done this, I apologise. However, if you hear of any big company doing it in the future, remember it was my idea first and I want my 25%. I’m prepared to accept 10 though.

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