Cal Poly Students Sweep National Packaging Design Competition

Four teams of Cal Poly students took home first-, second- and third-place awards and an honorable mention in this year’s Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) Ameristar Student Packaging Awards Competition

The interdisciplinary teams combined industrial technology and packaging students with art and design students to create packaging solutions for a variety of consumer needs. Each team developed a physical prototype of their product complete with branded graphics.

“[Cal Poly’s] work is truly inspiring to our student community and packaging professionals,” said Jane Chase, chair of the AmeriStar competition judging panel and IoPP board member. “It gives students at the other packaging schools something to shoot for when we conduct our AmeriStar Packaging Awards 2017.”

The teams will be honored at IoPP’s industry conference PackExpo in November.

The first-place team created Jimmy Hats, a new approach to traditional condom packaging. Jimmy Hats feature a new design of the condom wrapper itself, and a sleek, branded box that differentiates it from competitors on the store shelf. The concept was created by industrial technology and packaging students Nacho Montez, Nick Kriley and Sean Gorman with graphic design students Remy Miller, Jade Zuspan and Pedro Rodriguez.

Another Cal Poly team took second place for The Merry Seedsters. The product featured seeds embedded in compostable paper strips to make planting easier. The design also doubled as garden labels to identify the planted vegetables. It was created by industrial technology and packaging students Emily Mallett, Nicholai Busch and Wilson Packard with graphic design students Skye Rainey, Ally Bender and Allison Freeman.

A third Cal Poly team earned third place for its sushi packaging concept, Oishi. Made of low-cost, biodegradable materials such as paper-molded pulp, Oishi is a convenient and sustainable package that protects the sushi roll and doubles as a stackable tray with compartments for sauces and chopsticks. It was designed by graphic design students Doug Huynh, Mari Eguchi and Mariana Lopez as well as industrial technology and packaging students Alex Yeo, Tom Hickel, Jack Hoffmann and Eric Findley.

Cal Poly students also received an honorable mention for their product, Cowler, which provides a convenient and easy way to spread cream cheese on the go with single-serving packages of different flavors. The lid of the package doubled as a disposable spreading tool. Industrial technology and packaing students Rebecca Kisch, Sarah Ma, Ben Bassett and Austin Turner collaborated with graphic design students Lauren Miller, Chris Ross and Jenna Castillo on the design.

The student projects were developed in Professor Javier de la Fuente’s IT 435: Packaging Development class and Professor Mary LaPorte’s ART 437: Graphic Design III class. De la Fuente, LaPorte, and industrial technology and packaging instructor Irene Carbonell served as student advisors.

For more information about this year’s teams, visit IoPP’s website at

Cal Poly Student Teams Place High at National Packaging Design Competition

Ameristart Award Winning Designs

(Clockwise from top left) Contact Solution and Lens Case; Ergonomic Pill Bottle; EZ Pour Funnel; No Mess-Scara

Four Cal Poly student teams placed high in the recent Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) AmeriStar Packaging Awards Competition.

The teams developed consumer packaging designs for health, beauty, pharmaceutical and other products through the Orfalea College of Business Packaging Fundamentals courses.

A Cal Poly team earned second place in the student competition for its design of an all-in-one contact lens case and solution bottle. The product was designed by business administration majors Kevin Chiu of Fremont, Rachel King of Granite Bay, Elaine Cohen of San Luis Obispo, and Rachel Berman of San Diego. In the design, the contact lens case sits directly above the bottle of solution, and a one-way straw delivers the solution to the lenses by simply squeezing the bottle.

Cal Poly students Mariah Barnum, a business administration major from Loomis; Tyler Beaty, a business administration major from San Diego; Arek Boloyan, an industrial technology major from El Cerrito; Scott Burbach, a business administration major from Mission Viejo; and Kathryn Cassidy, a graphic communications major from Santa Clarita, won third place for their redesign of a pill bottle that is both childproof and ergonomically designed for those with arthritis. By requiring palm strength to open, the bottle reduces stress on the wrist joint.

Two other teams from Cal Poly earned honorable mentions. Taylor Crump, a journalism major from Elk Grove, Rachel Day, a graphic communications major from Bonsall (San Diego County), Galen Dresser, a business administration major from San Luis Obispo, Sean Gorman, an industrial technology major from Atascadero, and Jonathan Han, an industrial technology major from Napa, developed the No-Mess-Scara, a flexible mascara bottle and wand that prevents clumps. Business students Aline Schmitz of Carlsbad, Jordan Sligh of Atascadero, Stephen Smail of Copperopolis (Calaveras County), Devadasi Stuart of San Luis Obispo, and Blake Tillery of McMinnville, Ore., also earned honorable mention for the EZ Pour Funnel, a sleeve-style plastic funnel built into the packaging of a standard motor oil bottle.

Cal Poly packaging Professors Javier de la Fuente and Koushik Saha advised the student teams throughout the year on their projects.