Hammerhead is a New York-based firm whose mission is to construct the best biking computer systems.
They approached our design studio, Guacamole Airplane, to reimagine the structural packaging for his or her latest product, the Karoo 2, a handlebar-mounted good GPS unit. Particularly, Hammerhead was trying to keep away from non-recyclable EVA foams, which they’d relied on for the unique Karoo 1 packaging.
Not solely would we be packaging the GPS gadget itself, however Hammerhead additionally wanted to incorporate a handlebar mount, wrench, USB twine, lanyard, and instruction guide. Hammerhead required a design appropriate for transport in all of their goal markets and strong sufficient to outlive direct-to-consumer shipments.
Plus, we would have liked to get rid of the usage of pointless plastic foams whereas concurrently crafting an unboxing expertise acceptable for a well-engineered product. With the backing of a company dedicated to good design and impactful sustainability measures, we started working.
Unfolding the Prospects
We started by conducting an audit of related sustainable packaging supplies and processes, offering samples and manufacturing context for every part from mushroom-based foams and potato starch-based trays to extra standard supplies. We additionally explored the deserves of various sustainability methods—minimizing quantity to decrease carbon footprint in transport, and much more importantly, designing for curbside recyclability.
As soon as we had aligned on a sustainability technique with Hammerhead’s design, logistics, and administration groups, we took to the drafting board. Tons of of sketches grew to become a sequence of a dozen tough prototypes. From the preliminary sketches and tough mocks, we arrived at two totally different ideas to construct out as high-fidelity prototypes.
Idea 1 – The Slant Field
The primary idea was the Slant Field—an angular geometric package deal consisting of two die-cut paper containers that slot along with an outer sleeve. Because the sleeve slides off, the gadget is nested right into a prime drawer that shows the Karoo 2 gadget. A drawer opens from the outer field to disclose the secondary parts and mounts nested into die-cut paper trays.
The sustainability advantages of this idea are twofold. For one, it is fully paper-based, that means the parts are curbside recyclable. Secondly, by nesting the 2 containers collectively to keep away from pointless house, the general quantity of the package deal shrunk from 97 cubic inches to 59 once you examine to the unique Karoo 1 packaging. This lower in quantity interprets to an incredible discount in carbon emissions throughout transport.
Idea 2 – Topo Map
The second idea was a Topographic Map made with a PaperFoam tray—a sustainable different to molded pulp constructed from waste potato starch. We designed the tray to match the terrain of Compassberg, the very best mountain within the Karoo desert, after which they named the gadget. The type of the highest trays supplies an emotive reveal, and a tab within the profile of Hammerhead’s brand permits the tray to raise and reveal the secondary parts in die-cut paper trays printed with related topographic patterning.
The environmental advantages of this idea rested closely on PaperFoam as a fabric selection. PaperFoam requires 85% much less vitality to provide than standard molded pulp trays, because the waste potato starch is injection molded at a low temperature reasonably than cooked in large ovens. PaperFoam carries a comparatively distinctive distinction of being each compostable and appropriate with paper recycling. That idea minimized quantity by nesting the tall portion of the handlebar mount beneath the elevated peak of the tray. That method, we might keep away from an unnecessarily giant carbon footprint in transportation.
Tireless nights ultimately become a candy, candy actuality—after over 145 prototypes and refinements, Hammerhead determined to go along with the Slant Field for the Karoo 2 packaging. We labored in tandem with the producer to refine the ultimate dielines and make sure the package deal met drop-testing necessities, as Hammerhead’s Artwork Division nailed down the ultimate graphics for the container, specializing in a smooth black on black graphic language with minimal ink utilization.
On the finish of the day, with a sequence of humble folding cartons, we packaged a posh sequence of merchandise with out the usage of plastic foams or trays. They launched the package to glowing opinions from the biking group, and we’re pleased with the packaging that successfully elevates the product with out doing any pointless environmental harm.
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