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GRAV PACKAGING OVERHAUL

Background: Glass pipes have historically sat on shelves without packaging. Unboxing was rarely a form of the customer experience in that industry. With the popularity of edibles and vaporizers shelf appeal became more necessary. At the time of the overhaul GRAV was using cardboard boxes with outdated graphics. Over time Maria Hansen and myself were able to convince the corporate suite that a change was necessary.
Goals: When I began the creative process I reached out to every department to compile a list of goals and concerns. The quality control team wanted to eliminate interior bubble wrap. The sales team wanted product information listed on the packaging. The distribution team wanted to use smaller box sizes so that more items could fit in cases and as a result more items could arrive on shipments. In marketing we wanted to move away from the cardboard exterior and develop a new presentation for the individual pipes.
Challenges: A language barrier was the primary challenge on this project. We sourced samples from all over the world but ultimately chose to partner with a company in China. They were very accommodating, but at times we had translation issues. A surprising challenge was the printing ink. In China, it is common to use plant based inks which cannot produce consistent blues or purples. The solution for this was to source ink from India until the printing company updated their facility with new technology. We had a delay in the development process because we embarked on a company rebrand complete with logo and typeface update. I look at this as more of an opportunity than a challenge because it resulted in a final product that exceeded my original vision.
Results: The reveal of the new packaging was widely praised both internally and with our customers. It set in motion a new focus towards retail presentation including large scale display cases and table top solutions. The packaging design was adapted to the entire product offering over the next months unifying our customer facing presentation.
Roles and Responsibilities:

– I was responsible for the initial research and design concepts as well as communicating with the manufacturing company.
 Maria Hansen developed the ink drop prints that are on the interior box and finalized the initial design as well as adapting them to all 300+ products.
– Jose Saldivar created the two-weight illustrations during the rebranding process that were implemented throughout the packaging project.
– Travis Dodson was the primary communication link between the box manufacturing company and the glassblowing facilities.
– Kate Csillagi designed the doodle artwork that was originally considered for the interior box design.
– Tanya Rosenweig was the brand manager during the rebrand and was responsible for deciding the updated logo and typeface.
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Grav had been using brown cardboard boxes with bubble wrap to protect their pipes for years. The design had functioned in the past, but the evolution of the market required a more dynamic presentation aimed toward the customer experience.
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The initial concept shown here was a white box with product information and an image of the product that slipped over a secondary box that hid an artistic pattern and contained the pipe. The second layer of packaging served two purposes. First, it added an additional layer of protection to the glass. Second, it was an attempt to improve the user’s experience when opening the package.
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The pattern we planned to use was a drawing that fellow co-worker and artist Kate Csillagi had created. She developed the pattern while working on the previous year’s catalog. The glossy film over the product image was inspired by the packaging of an xbox controller. It reflected light and would draw your eye to the box.
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My dear friend Maria Hansen developed back lit ink patterns in a variety of colors for a different project. After seeing her work we decided to use the patterns throughout our collection of customer facing marketing materials. This included the interior layer of packaging. I believe this was a great decision and made the design more mature.
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This project was paused for 2-3 months as a rebranding project was green-lit for the marketing department. The outcome of that was an updated logo, new typeface, and product presentation. This again was seen as a positive by me, as the packaging design was once again elevated.
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The final product is shown above. We are very proud of this design. It was widely praised and set in motion a packaging overhaul of over 300 products sold by Grav.