Four interdisciplinary teams of Cal Poly students earned awards in the Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) 2018 Student Design Challenge, a contest where entrants from across North America showed off their innovative design, branding knowledge and business acumen.
The competition required each team to create a subscription box for either travel-sized cosmetics, on-the-go snacks or fitness gear essentials. The contest’s rules dictated that all entries had to consist of 70 percent paperboard, with outer and inner packaging unique to the chosen product. The PPA also encouraged teams to feature paperboard’s “renewability, recyclability, versatility and innovative qualities.”
Teams created and submitted a package prototype along with design elements and a complete marketing plan.
“Harvest”—a team comprised of Industrial Technology and Packaging students Mitchel Salles (SLO) and Amanda Truong (Rosemead) along with Art students Andrew Fulton (SLO) and Audrey Gerughty (Los Altos)—chose “on-the-go snacks.” Their project aimed to alleviate the common consumer struggle between immediacy and necessity by facilitating a low maintenance relationship with healthy snacks. Team Harvest placed in the top three and, as a result, they presented their project at Pack Expo Chicago and at the Paperboard Packaging Council’s fall meeting in Atlanta, where they earned second place in the nation.
“Terra,” a collectable outdoor fitness subscription box, was honored as one of two runners up. The “Terra” box is designed to prepare hikers for a specific tourist location, like a national park, with products—like maps, gear, weather-appropriate clothing and more—tailored to that location. This project came from the minds of Industrial Technology and Packaging students William Hogg (Carlsbad)and Danny Waite (San Rafael) alongside Art students Leann Hillegas (San Diego) and Daniel Kammerer (SLO).
A travel-sized cosmetics subscription box called “GEM” received an honorable mention. The GEM package is designed to feature three high-end, natural, social-media friendly cosmetic products. The box’s jewel-like shape is multi-functional, with a suction cup built in for easy mirror access. GEM was developed by Industrial Technology and Packaging student Nolan Newland (SLO), Art students Annamari Jaaksi (Los Altos) and Kiana Kraft (Nevada City), and Food Science and Nutrition student Kelsey Matsune (Pleasanton).
A second honorable mention went to “GoVelo,” a subscription box for biking enthusiasts designed to enhance the unboxing experience. “GoVelo” featured three biking products housed in a compartmentalized package called the “Pentagon Tool Pack” for easy storage and reuse. “GoVelo” was created by Industrial Technology and Packaging student Rob Brewster (Pismo Beach), Business Administration student Richie Choi (San Francisco), and Art students Kelli Chollar (Murrieta) and Jackie Nguyen (San Jose).
In true Learn by Doing fashion, the teams planned and developed these projects as part of their Cal Poly coursework, specifically for ITP 408: Paper and Paperboard Packaging and ART 437: Graphic Design III.
Packaging Professors Irene Carbonell and Javier de la Fuente, and Graphic Design Professor Mary LaPorte served as faculty advisors for each team.
To learn more about the 2018 Student Design Challenge, visit their website.