Exam expectationsPacked lunch containers is the theme for the designquestion on the 2013 written paper and this presentationis designed specifically to support this. Paper/card is thecompulsory material so always expect questions in theexam to relate to this topic. This is often linked to aquestion on packaging. Packaging is also a topic on itsown and you are expected to know about a range ofpackaging solutions and the materials and processesused.
What to design?• The preliminary material tells us that the context forthe designing question is: Packed lunch containers• If you look back at past questions like this candidateswere asked to design mainly using card• Think about who the user might be - children, adults,such as office workers, athletes etc.• Think about what might need to be contained – drink,sandwich, yoghurt, fruit etc.
Where to startPotentially this is a large topic to investigate so concentrate on:• Paper and card containers• The use of new materials (alternatives to oil based polymers)
The functions of packaging• Protect• Inform• Contain• Transport• Preserve• DisplayI PICT PDIf you can remember these you can write design criteria,explain the purposes or functions of packaging
Best answers?Purposes/functions ReasonsTransport It will be important to be able to easily transport the foodfrom the shop to where you want to eatContain The food will need to be contained and may need to beseparated – sweet and savoury for examplePreserve Keeping the food fresh and maintaining the correcttemperature will be important
Function 1: ProtectThe packaging needs to protect the food fromcontamination but often needs to protect the user fromgrease. The outer layer in this case is made fromcarton board or solid white board. The card needs tobe food grade.
Protecting the sandwichThis type of packaging protects, preserves and displaysthe product. These sandwich wedges are made fromsustainable Kraft board with a 100% compostable linerand a window made from cornstarch. They aresupplied flat for easy storage and assembly is simple.
SecurityTo avoid any form of tampering sandwich cartons aresealed so that customers are confident that the producthas not been tampered with in any way.
Security• Pret a Manger use colour coded security labels sothey can check and remove stock which has been onthe shelf too long. This is helping to protect theconsumers from potential bacterial hazards.
Function 2: Inform• Most lunch packaging is generic and would not contain agreat deal of information. Windows are often a feature sothat you can see what is inside. Windows are usuallymade from Cornstarch like the sandwich example shownearlier.
Key information• Nutritional information is found on some pre-packagedfood but you are unlikely to be asked to do anythingmore than suggest a space on the lunch container.
Symbols• Informing consumers that the food is suitable forvegetarians or vegans is important to many people.There are a wide range of symbols used for thispurpose and some are shown below.• You are unlikely to be asked to do more than suggestthe position of such symbols on your container
Symbols• As lunch packaging is unlikely to be used more than oncemanufacturers are often eager to inform customers that itcan be recycled. Variations of these symbols are oftenfound on this type of packaging• You are unlikely to be asked to do more than suggest theposition of such symbols on your container
Symbols• It is common to see an anti-litter logo printed onto thepackaging. The symbol on the right is the more usualKeep Britain Tidy version whereas the one on the left isfrom the Love Where You Live campaign• You are unlikely to be asked to do more than suggest theposition of such symbols on your container
Symbols• The FSC logo provides the consumer with a guaranteethat the card board has been made from timber whichhas come from a sustainable source.• The forest will have been evaluated and certified asbeing managed according to agreed social,economically viable and environmental standards.
SymbolsThe German ‘Green Dot’, has little environmentalsignificance. It only means that the manufacturer haspaid a fee towards the packaging recovery system inGermany. On lunch packaging this is usually shownin a single colour
Function 3: Contain• Food needs to be contained. This is particularlyimportant if the food has strong flavours or is in smallpieces.• The most common material used for this type ofinsert is PET. This tray has been vacuum formed.There are now alternatives to oil based polymersbased on plant starches
Alternatives to plastics• This container looks as if it is made from normal Kraftboard. Many such containers have a plastic lining andtherefore are not compostable.• This version is from sustainably sourced paper boardwith a water-based coating, made up with leak-proofwebbed corners and fold-in flaps to give a secureclosure.
Environmentally friendly• These sandwich wedges are fully compostable, beingmade from brown Kraft board with a compostable linerand PLA window (made from cornstarch).• Grease proof lining like the previous example.• They are supplied flat and assembly is very simple.Kraft board uses unbleachedpulp so is moreenvironmentally friendlythan solid white board.
Environmentally friendly• These PLA Sandwich wedges are 100% compostable.• Made from clear PLA renewable plastic which is plantbased.• This is ideal for packaging as it starts to decompose verysoon after use.
Bucket meals• This approach to packaging lunch has been madefamous by KFC. This waxed card solution is only reallysuitable for food such as pieces of chicken.• KFC have been heavily criticised because the wood pulphas been found to come from rainforests.
Function 4: TransportThis type of card container is one of the most popularchildren’s lunch containers and is often printed withdecorative graphics. Solid white board is best ifprinting in full colour
Deli box• A more adult lunch container simply made from Kraftboard with a locking handle. Made from recycledfibres, this is an unbleached board which is a palebrown colour.
Handles• If the lunch container has a handle you will need toconsider anthropometrics• If you design your box to fit your own hand it would belarge enough for younger children
Deli box• A folded deli box, again, made from coated Kraftboard.• Designed to hold wet dishes such as curry, pasta etc.• The corners are folded, then glued to prevent leaks.• Locking tabs keep the carton closed
Flat pack• To save space many food containers are produced to bestored flat and simply opened up into their final form.
Function 5: Preserve• Pizza boxes are very good examples of lunch containerswhich are very simple.• They are made from corrugated cardboard which islightweight, stiff and a good insulator so the food ispreserved at the right temperature.• The layers also do a good job in protecting the consumerfrom grease.
Temperature issues• Traditionally manufactured from expanded polystyrene,this type of food container can now be made from abiodegradable bio-plastic such as Ecovio L Foam.• Foamed materials are great insulators
Aluminium trays• These trays are sealed using a foil lined card lid andprovide a very cheap solution.• Whilst they can be recycled, in practice they are oftennot separated and just treated as general waste.
Function 6: Display• This type of packaging is often displayed in refrigerateddisplay units and rely on the window so the customer caneasily see the product inside.• This window is usually made of cornstarch nowadays asit is compostable.
Display• Many suppliers brand their packaging.• In the case of McDonalds the designers were asked totry to persuade the consumers that the products weremade from high quality ingredients.
Appealing to the customer• It will be important that the packed lunch container isappealing to the customer.• This might be achieved using printing or clearwindows.
Nets• Cardboard cartons are made from nets.• These flat shapes are printed, cut, then folded andglued to create a 3D box.
Your net• Make sure that you can draw an accurate net which willglue together to make a 3D carton• This example uses folded corners rather than traditionalglue tabs
Practice drawing• Practice drawing and making both the 2D nets and the3D cartons
Practice drawing• This is a very popular net for children’s packed lunchcontainers.• Practice drawing and making this.
Sandwich wedges• Practice making sandwich cartons (or wedges)• Try designing and making your own nets
Adding dimensionsMake sure that you know how to accurately show the threemain dimensions. Use projection lines then neat arrowswhich touch the projection lines. Measurements shouldbe in millimetres.
Adding colourPractice applying colour with coloured pencils.Experiment with tone as this is a simple way to get agood effect.
Offset lithography• Flat aluminium plates (speciallytreated)• Photographically exposed thenwrapped around roller• Exposed parts attract water• Non exposed parts allow ink tostick• Print onto plain roller to reverseimage• Transfers to card or othermaterialsThis is the bestprocess to specify forprinting yourcontainer if you areusing solid whiteboard
Flexographic printing• Uses a printing plate made of rubber, plastic, or some otherflexible material.• Ink is applied to a raised image on the plate, which transfersthe image to the printingInk TroughImpression cylinderPaperFountain rollerAnilox rollerPrinting cylinderThis might be the best process tospecify if you are printing simpleinformation onto Kraft board
Die-cuttingDie-cutting is the method cartons are cut out. In thepackaging industry the cutter is known as a cuttingforme. A rounded blade creases where the carton willbe folded.PlywoodFoam layerCard to be cutBlade
Final remindersBe prepared to:• Adapt your design for different lunch products• Target different groups of users – children, adults,athletes etc.• Draw 2D nets and 3D cartons• Apply colour and graphicsRemember:• The functions of packed lunch containers• Keep the design simple• Detail materials and construction details