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Bringing A Real World Package Design Experience to the Classroom

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As part of Eyelight’s ongoing commitment to foster local design talent and support community education through its long-standing partnership with Conestoga College, we collaborated with the Graphic Design Program faculty last month to hold an organic food packaging competition for the second year students.

The Goals

To help students:

  • learn more about how each element of a package design helps communicate the product’s message and sets the esthetic for it.
  • understand the consumer who purchases the product and what they’re looking for.
  • experience what it’s like to pitch their idea to a ‘client’ in a real-world setting.

The Challenge

To develop a creative concept and execute a realistic package design for an organic food item.

The package design had to be for a realistic product, be appropriate in size and brand (although the brand could be fictional), and include all relevant, legal and domicile information. It had to be unique and professionally mocked up to look like it would on a store shelf.

The class was split into six groups of five and assigned one of the following organic categories:

  • Meats & Dairy
  • Pet Food
  • Condiments
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Cereals & Grains
  • Beverages

Groups were then asked to brainstorm ideas and research organic brands, consumer attitudes, package design, die-cuts and containers, as well as materials and sustainability, before starting their individual projects.

To add a real-world experience to the competition, each student had to give a short presentation in Eyelight’s boardroom to a panel of judges (including College faculty and Eyelight Account Managers, Art Directors, and Designers) justifying their design execution and how it would appeal to their assigned target market.

The Results

It was really hard to select the winners from 30 entries. Everyone did a great job and should be congratulated on their efforts.

In the end, the students whose creative A-game won them top marks were:

Morgan Rose First
First Place: Morgan Rose – Bread Packaging
Kevin Tome Second
Second Place: Kevin Tome – Meat Packaging
Lauren Brazier Third
Third Place: Lauren Brazier – Rice Packaging
Brooke Pasher Hm
Honourable Mention: Brooke Pasher – Drink Box Packaging

What the Students Had to Say About the Experience

"I got a professional experience out of it and felt like I was actual presenting to a client. It helped to show me in a small step what the future might look like."

“I was able to experience the interview process, preparing for similar situations in the future. It also helped in practicing PR (Public Relations) skills, speaking to employers, and learning more about how a design agency runs.“

“I learned what makes an environmentally friendly package. It was also a great experience working with a client. It has made me feel more comfortable with my designs and the idea of working with a real client.“

"I learned that there is a delicate balance between personality and professionalism that should be expressed. Eyelight was very welcoming and treated us like professionals.”

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