Backwards Package Design


Britta Lewis, Oahu Crunch cereal package

Britta Lewis, Oahu Crunch cereal package inside

Kirstin Mullins, Yoi Sushi takeout box

Jessica Dawson, Corad Co. Fishing Lure package

Emma Heinz, NASA Galactic Glow Star Package

Level: , ,
Duration: 4 weeks
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Bookmark Project

Project Brief

In the real world of package design, the design is directed and revolves around the product, its category, the target audience, the position of the competition and the product’s particular position within its genre of products.

As an exercise in lateral thinking, this project will be approached from a different point of view. You will choose a pre­ existing package die, decide what kind of product will work in it, name the product, create a logo and design the details of the package. This includes colors, texture, typography and all government­ mandated information.



Learning Objectives

  • Gain an advanced understanding of how all aspects of physical packaging affect: Brand reinforcement and consumer recognition.
  • Sales strategy in a retail setting.
  • Understand how traditional and unusual packaging materials can influence the conceptual positioning of the product/brand.
  • Develop an understanding of vocabulary and jargon specific to the packaging industry.
  • Develop an understanding of various industry specific production processes including relative budgetary impact.
  • Have created a design “program”, or series of contextually consistent materials, representing a hypothetical business and its products.


You will be required to create a dieline for the selected package and build a prototype of the package (structure without artwork) before completing the final package.

Final presentation must include the physical package, and high­ quality images of the package.


Suggested Reading

Package Design Workbook: The Art & Science of Successful Packaging by Steven DuPuis and John Silva.

Suggested Web Resource:


Overall, the assignment was successful. Having students photographing their package design has provided them an opportunity of practice their photography and art direction skills.

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