Meet TASCHEN's master of design and creator of The Package Design Book series

Back Meet TASCHEN's master of design and creator of The Package Design Book series

The Package Design Book series is truly one of a kind. Before you set out, what initially inspired you to create a series dedicated to packaging design?

All consumer products involve design at some point in the supply chain. It can be from the boxes where the fruits are put after collection to the refined packaging of sliced meats in a convenience store. Design is everywhere and in everything we consume. Package design, in particular, is a specific area of design which is undergoing a major transformation largely due to sustainability, the development of new materials, the development of direct consumer sales and the increasing effort of marketing and communication to reach out to people that are becoming more and more demanding. Having said that, package design is incredibly creative and a display of what design can achieve.

In your eyes, how important is the role of design in packaging?

Package design involves many areas and that is why it is so vital and so important to so many industries. It involves the development of new machinery and also the development of materials. For example, under new legislation for sustainability, companies are obliged to look at new technologies to fulfil the requirements for over a mental impact. Products are transported for thousands of miles until they reach the end consumer, that creates a challenge for every designer and for every institution to work together in order to achieve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Collaboration is certainly one of the key things that make package design so interesting. The demands of customers but also the demand of industries are so complex that working together is a must-have factor in achieving success.

Each book in the series is instantly recognisable by its iconic front cover. How do you decide which design makes the front cover and what does it take to make the cut?

Every book cover is very important and has to be treated with a lot of care. For the package design series, we thought that the covers had to be simple and iconic without too much typography creating a distraction. We had to go through the images a dozen times for each book to find the perfect one that would communicate both the complexity and creativity involved in packaging. But beyond that, what we always want to communicate is how creative the strife of package design is, in the very meaning of package design.

How much value do you see in the work of Pentawards for the wider design community?

The value of Pentawards is enormous. I can put that in a very simple way. Creative production is really overwhelming everywhere. From advertising to brand identity, from creative direction to photography, from product design to package design. A really good award creates a label of quality if it manages to involve the industry as a whole and is acknowledged by this industry as a whole. And this is what Pentawards has achieved. We need to have a parameter for quality and creative effort, otherwise, we would be not advancing in the field.

As the editor, you will have come in to contact with almost all of the winning designs since the inception of Pentawards. What are some of the most memorable designs and which one is your favourite?

It is really hard to choose from all the final amazing designs that are selected by the jury so I am a little bit reluctant to make a final call on one product. In general, I tend to love the Japanese and luxury French designs. The image that was used on the cover of book number four, which was a simple wrapping paper for toilet paper, is a demonstration of how genius and simple a great package design can be. By printing images of fruits, they made a simple product look quite refreshing and even tasty. I have to confess that I asked the company to send me some samples and so they did. I was so happy to have those toilet papers printed with fruit images in my toilet.

About Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann was born in Brazil, where he studied design and marketing and has lived and worked in Japan, Germany and in the UK. He is a Senior Editor for Design and Pop Culture at TASCHEN Publishing House – He has edited over 80 books in over 17 years at the publishing house, is a regular lecturer, contributor to magazines, and has been in the jury of several awards all over the world. Wiedemann’s publications have sold over 2 million copies worldwide, and among his most popular titles are History of Graphic Design, Jamie Hewlett, Information Graphics, Understanding the World, and the books about record covers and web design. His main interests reside in the intersection between culture, communication and technology. He lives and works in between the UK, Brazil, and wherever he has wifi and is a happy traveller.

About the Package Design Book 5

Attract, protect, inform, collect — good packaging is synonymous with multitasking. Creating these ultimate all-rounders calls for a deep understanding of the good, the market, the customer, the environment, the flow of trade — no easy task. Each year, the Pentawards spotlight the ingenious masterminds behind these complex containers and grant their coveted trophies to the cleverest and most innovative designs in the field.

This latest edition of The Package Design Book rounds up the winning designs from the 2017–2018 competitions. With introductory essays, product descriptions, and plenty of images, this book features more than 400 winners from over 40 countries across five main categories — beverages, food, body, luxury, and other markets — and no fewer than 57 subcategories. The result is an authoritative survey of the best of the best, and a rich celebration of packaging as a kaleidoscopic art form.

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