Take an existing product, currently packed in any conventional packaging material, e.g. cartonboard, metal, rigid plastic or glass etc. and rework a solution that would use paper as a substitute. Give consideration to all products from food to retail and fashion that are being packaged and used widely.
Criteria for success
Consumer convenience: Functionality – opening, closing, handling
Innovation: Recognition for good ideas. Creative use of materials
Consumer market: Relevance to target audience and predicted uses
Display: Shelf impact: Shape, format and graphics that are appealing and eye-catching
Model: One good quality model to withstand transport and handling
Environment: Reduce pollution, re-use paper, recycle
My idea for this project is to recreate the packaging of a ring and more specifically the ring box that is used for presenting the ring in stores and as a present.
My main goal will be recreating the packaging with left over paper that was thrown away and considered garbage by most in order to prove that paper can serve many purposes and it can revive and transform itself into literally anything rather than just end up in the garbage or in the recycling stations.
Exactly this line of thinking make me want not only to turn my package design into eco -friendly but also produce it out of paper that was considered waste in order to show that there are other ways of ‘recycling’ that do not require the traditional equipment and chemicals.
RESEARCH ON PAPER AND PAPER PACKAGING:
Throughout this year I have conducted a lot of research on paper in general, but this time I want to introduce its most important characteristics and functions that relate to the subject of packaging.
The book that I started off with and I chose to use as an example is:
I chose this book not only because it is relevant to my subject but also because it makes a very important statement that my project evolves around, namely that paper is all around us and we need it in our everyday life. Paper is a complex material that exists in so many variations and can be treated in so many different ways that it can be used for almost anything.
Why not use it as an aesthetic tool in the world of jewellery production?
This book gave me a lot of information on the marketing side of packaging and the way packaging can be used as a marketing tool. Packaging can increase the ‘added value of a project which means it can provide benefits for the consumer that are additional to the product’s promised performance. Such benefits can be status value, aesthetic value, pack handling, innovation etc. This was ago very helpful in order for me to justify the way I chose my packages to be designed.
The following information I discovered in the book ‘ Fancy Packaging’ shown below.
Several organizations worldwide publish sets of industry standards for the design of structural packaging. The most widely used are the design code established jointly by FEFCO (European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers) and ESBO ( European Solid Board Organization) and the category style characteristics defined by the PPS ( American Paperboard Packaging Council).
In packaging design and manufacturing, a distinction is made between the following types of fibre- based materials:
Paper: material with a weight of less than 225 gsm (grams per square meter).
Paperboard: solid material with a weight of more than 225 gsm
Cardboard: solid material with a weight between 150 and 600 gsm; more rigid than paper and often coated
Corrugated Board:fluted paper glued onto or between paper or board. The most common corrugated boards are:
When creasing for folds in solid board, the crease should be on the outside of the planned fold line, i.e the fold folds away from the crease. However, for folds in corrugated board, the crease should be on the inside of the folder.
In many cases, the direction of the grain of the material ( of the flutes in corrugated board) is important as it can affect the quality of the crease and the overall stability of the produced package.
When designing a package, the most important consideration is the dimensions of the product to be packaged. However, there are additional mattes to consider, such as leaving space for protective padding or a liner, the outside dimensions of the package and how it can be stacked and/ or fit onto a pallet of shelf, material waste during production, and production speed.
Like most other forms of structural design, most package design today is done using CAD programs.
EskoArtwork is a world leader in the development of package design software. Their AstiosCAD software has been used in the industry for decades. This cutting-edge program provides a complete solution for package design in a professional manufacturing environment. However, for graphic, packaging and product designers who do not need the full functionality of ArtiosCAD, EskoArtwork;s software plug-ins for programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are an excellent and more affordable alternative.
The book ‘Fancy Packaging’ by THE PEPIN PRESS was a helpful tool that made me understand how packaging works and also see the difference between different types of packages produced according to the product they are supposed to display, protect and deliver.
Even though there are many interesting examples that helped me shape up my idea of what I want to do as a final piece non of the designs and templates is suitable for the purpose of ring packaging as it is (in my opinion) supposed to be even fancier and more presentable as well as more firm than the structure of those packages shown in the book.
According to Daniel Imhoff’s book ‘Paper or Plastic: Searching for solutions to an overpackaged world’:
The global market for packaging is estimated at $500 billion, with a growth rate if 4% per year.
The material of paper has been in the packaging industry for nearly a century because of its myriad uses, minimal storage requirements, relative ease of production, and other advantages. Paper consumption more than tripled between 1961 and 1998, with packaging accounting for the largest segment – nearly half of all paper.
This is not the reason why I chose to work on this brief. The reason why I decided to make paper packaging particularly for jewellery products is because I want to prove that paper has a much richer potential than most of the people imagine and that it can be used for so many purposes and reused in so many ways that there is almost no need in wasting it which will potentially reduce its production and traditional recycling methods. All of that will eventually lead to less plastic production, less energy spent on recycling and less forests being destroyed. Or even on a smaller scale – less waste all around us.
As a student in the field of arts I use paper all the time and I am often left with left over paper and cutouts that are simply not suitable for the standard purposes of drawing or book design etc so usually they end up thrown away in the bin. For some time now, I’ve been saving that paper waste I am producing with the potential idea to make something out of it until one day I got inspired and started playing around with it. That unlocked a whole universe of possibilities. One of them is jewellery boxes, which I am really excited about, as I have a passion for jewellery and have never been too keen on the traditional jewellery boxes that the jewellery and in particular the rings are being presented in. Most of them feel too plastic and far away from the nature of a jewel. And as it is written in the book ‘ Paper or Plastic’, the package can be considered as integral part of the product. It must accurately reflect the essence of its content and to feel “real”. This is exactly what I intend to achieve with my ring box designs.
PHYSICAL RESEARCH ON PAPER WASTE
This book was one of the most important sources throughout my research. It actually gave me a lot of useful information about paper production. Paper is usually produced by the combination of waste paper ( which is all the paper that has already been used – printed or not) and wood pulp ( which takes place at of just after the period of maximum growth int he life cycle of a tree).
This book helped me understand that contrary to popular belief, paper forestry and pulping are not necessarily detrimental to the environment despite statements made by pressure groups. Paper industry is not destroying rain forests – the industry makes use of a renewable resources. With trees taking between 7 and 75 years to reach the maturity required for pulpwood, papermakers plant many more trees than they crop.
All of this turns my paper packaging idea into ecology friendly but I also wanted to introduce the idea of a personalised way of recycling or reusing paper which did not lead the wastepaper into the paper production factories but takes it back to the market and the user.
RESEARCH ON PAPER RECYCLING:
As there is quite a lot of information on recycling and I have been using different sources in order to gain knowledge on the subject I will post the links below:
http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/science-paper.html – This website provides really symplified explanation of how paper is being recycled back to a state of use.
http://your.caerphilly.gov.uk/kidsgogreen/fact-zone/paper-facts – Some really interesting facts that are presented in a way approachable even for kids in order to educate them on the subject of paper recycling.
http://recycled-papers.co.uk/green-matters/lifecycle-of-recycled-paper/ – This is one of the most important links for my researach. It gave me a very important information about how many times paper can be recycled before it looses in qualities that played a huge part in the justification of my idea to find an alternative method for reuse of paper.
A very helpful source of information on paper recycling were the links available online and in YOUTUBE as they not only provide information but also help you understand it due to the visual examples that they give and the way they follow through the whole process.
Another very important discovery that I made thanks to my research is the fact that you can recycle paper manually and even at home with the help of a blender and a stencil screen (deckle). I am planning to try that later on ( not related to my project but I am going to turn it into a personal experiment and maybe even a potential hobby.
There are dozens of educational videos and online tutorials on the subject which makes it quite approachable and easy to learn.
ON THE HUNT OF WASTEPAPER :
With the help of the research I conducted on the subject of paper recycling I discovered that paper can only be recycled up to 5 times after which it looses its qualities and the fibers in it are unable to form a solid structure anymore which results in taring the paper and falling apart. All of this made me wonder what happens with the paper from the very beginning after its production.
I started my project by investigating into all paper suppliers.
After a brief visit to some of them and especially to John Purcell Suppliers I was surprised to discover that they trow away a huge amount of paper left outs after cutting the sheets to the market sizes. Some of the “waste” peaces were almost the size of an A4 and some were twice or 3 times longer.
My visit to the facility made me ask questions like:Can the left over paper or paper cuts be used for something else? Do all of us really need brand new paper? Can art be done with used paper or paper left outs? This led me think of a different ways to reuse paper rather than recycling it. And mainly coming up with artistic purposes for it and reusing the perfectly good paper material instead of buying a brand new sheet that you cut to smaller pieces which again results in producing more waste.
In order to make an example of my statements I decided that I will make my project entirely out of paper that is “saved from being thrown away”.
I decided to officially ask John Purcell’s manager for permission to go and collect some of their waste paper and even received a catalogue with all their paper types. After receiving their formal approval I revisited the facility armed with a suitcase, A2 folder and a plastic sack and with the help of a friend. The staff was really friendly and helped us look trough all the containers full of wet paper ( thanks to the rain that happened just before we arrived) but unfortunately all the paper there was already ruined.
We didn’t hesitate much after the staff proposed that we go inside and search through the piles of paper still left next to the guillotine.
They had all sorts of paper. Shapes and sizes. Colours. White and off white. Coated and Uncoated. We left carrying as much as we could.
Those are some of the white and off white pieces that I used for the box production later on.
DEVELOPMENT OF IDEA
After stocking on paper It was time for me to come up with the design of the ring boxes. In order to that I decided to look into the boxes available in the mass market at the moment.
It seemed that most of the boxes are square or rectangular. There were many circle ones and some heart-shaped as well but there wasn’t much diversity in materials or designs. Most of them were made out of wood or covered with fabric. The ring holders were traditional.
What stand out as a fact is that even more expensive companies and stores such as Tiffany use boxes that are very traditional and simple. There is nothing wrong with traditional as it usually speaks of style and class but I think there must be something as a unique recognisable signature of a famous brand. Or maybe even such design that makes a statement as the one I was aiming to produce.
Then I started looking for paper jewellery boxes in order to see what else is out there so I don’t repeat something that has been done already as I wanted to produce something classic but unique.
More paper ring boxes : https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=amazing+ring+box&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiS_vHekqrMAhVF0hoKHefHB5wQ_AUIBygB&biw=1517&bih=741&dpr=0.9#tbm=isch&q=amazing+paper+ring+box
I searched for inspiration in the internet by independent artist and designers who have created unusual ring boxes and a few examples really stoop out. Some of them you can see here:
Another thing that I did was to watch different DIY and handmade jewellery boxes tutorial on youtube. Most of them were either wooden or origami which was not what I was aming for but it helped me understand what other alternatives of the traditional ring box are other people doing.
Some more examples of ecology friendly paper packaging selected by Patricia Martinez I discovered in the book ‘Ecological Selection Packaging’ :
The next step was coming up with my original ring box design to be made out of paper.
I decided that I will go with a traditional square and circle shapes as they are more classical, elegant and widely accepted. I wanted to have at least one classic and traditional element in my design as my brief aims for it be a replacement of the mass market product.
I was thinking about the colour pallet that i could use and decided to go with natural colours as beige, creamy warm colours and base colours as white and black because the metal of the ring really stands out on black base and also because there are already a lot of dark coloured boxes on the market as black is again- a very classical and also unisex colour that is also neutral and can be used for every occasion.
DESIGN OF BOXES
1 Main square box body inside
I am considering 2 main box structure. One regular square 6 x 6 cm with a frame of 1 cm and regular depth and one with the same size but with gradual insides as the one shown on the right sketch.
2 Ways to hold the ring inside the box
Various quick sketches of ideas on how to hod the ring inside the box so it is centered. My main goal was to avoid the standard soft material ring holding bed that is used for most of the ring boxes and instead come up with personalised ring holders made out pf paper that are a part of the box design rather than just acting as a support for the ring.
Ring holder experiment made out of hand cut laced paper design.
This is what the same design would look like reduced to the size of the box which is 6×6 cm ( the white strip in the middle is where the ring would fit in order to be held in place.
3 Ways to decorate the outside of the box + closing mechanisms
As this project is an extension to my previous project Paper and Metal Jewellery, I want to make those boxes look almost like jewels themselves so they are worth saving instead of being thrown away which will automatically make the process of reusing paper pointless. If the box is saved it means the paper will remain at its current form and would not form any more waste and would not need to be recycled.
For the process of making the box “pretty” and turning it into a jewel I am planning to decorate its outsides with silver and brass.
I have been considering several ways for the box to be closed. In the beginning I wanted both the bottom and the lid to be slid into a metal hoop that will hold them together but then I realised that it wont be very stable and the 2 separate parts will be wobbly unless the hoop is really tight. But then if it was really tight is becomes difficult to take the box out of it which is not very convenient for a ring present. especially if it is an engagement one.
Then I decided that one reasonable way to close and open will be with magnets. I tried inserting a pair of 5mm magnets in both the lid and the base which made it pretty easy to open and close.
The third option I considered was with hinges. Handmade small hinges that could be a part of the outside decoration of the box. They were harder to produce out of metal but I think it was worth it as it gives the box much more sophistication and style and makes it look much more valuable.
I am planning to leave a small window in the top and bottom of one of the final designs so it shows some the of the jewellery details. I will probably cover the window with clear film in order to protect the ring inside and prevent dust coming in.
EXPERIMENTS AND PRODUCTION
My first step towards the production of the poxes was doing some physical experimentation with the ring holders.
The first box that I did was a long hand cut ring box that could fit a few rings. I did it just as an experiment to see what hand-cut is going to look like. I also used paper that had some printed lines on it( was already used).
After producing the big ring box I really liked the ring holder design I come up with so I decided to make a small one in order to see if it looks as good and tried photographing it with a really expensive diamond engagement ring in order to show the way paper really works well with jewellery. For the final photographs that are better quality I used rings of my own as I wasn’t able to take the diamond ring away in the photography studio.
For the production of the rest of the boxes I decided to create a vector file and laser cut it. I was really pleased with the result as the laser cut gave the edge of the paper a nice burned effect that even smelled like wood. When all the layers were put together it even resembled wood and looked much more professional so I decided to create vector files for all of the boxes and ring holders and to laser cut them.
The next step was producing the final pieces that would assemble the boxes ( the base with the ring holder and the lid of the box).
Those are examples of some of the unsuccessful tryouts that I did. In case of the white box, I did the flower holder manualy so It didn’t have the nice burned effect that I wanted for the final pieces. It also looked too thin and fragile and unable to hold a ring.
For the dark boo, I tried cutting it to size on the guillotine after I had put it together and glued it from one side which made it move due to the pressure from the machine and the final result was a frame that was too thin to be used.
Te dark round box is another ring holder experiment that I did with one of the final laser cut boxes. It has a hollow part that is filled with thin paper stings that are nest alike and it is all covered with clear film that has a thin cutout strip where the ring goes in.
After laser cutting all of the boxes I was planning to put together i decided to try and laser cut a 1 mm tick card that I had leftovers of and the result was really nice as the tick card when burned really looked like a wooden construction.
Before going on with the outside design and the metal work I tried a few new design variations out of paper for the outside decoration of a box.
For the design of the metal hinges I used two approaches.
1 Wax hand construction and design that is later cast out of silver
2 Producing it directly out of metal which is faster but much more precise.
I was unable to produce images of the actual work as I went on with it because the time of production I was able to use was very limited.
FINAL RING BOXES
After constructing the hinges out of wax and metal I cast them and glued them to the paper components of the box in order to shape up the final piece.
I did a few different designs in order to show the potential of the paper and metal made jewellery boxes to be diverse and unique.
The next step I am planning to take for this project apart form exhibiting the pieces in the final exhibition is to approach different jewellery artsits, producers and suppliers.