Package Design/Paper


The purpose of packaging is to provide a visually appealing, interest arousing, marketing tool for a product. Remember that your product should pique the interest of a consumer and make them want to pick it up to find out more about your product.

The assignment is to create packaging for a product of your choice, which is constructed out of paper. We will practice and study several approaches to paper packaging to prepare for this assignment. Our main goal is to investigate how complex three‐dimensional objects can be made up of two‐dimensional surfaces, and simple shapes can be combined or manipulated to create complex forms.


STEP 1: Select Product to Package

Keep in mind the scale of your product and the strength/durability of paper. At critique, your packaging must function, meaning that the consumer should be able to handle it and the product must stay secure within the packaging.


STEP 2: Research

Research your product and record your findings in your sketchbook (print photos from the internet, cut out images from magazines, and glue these into your sketchbook). Who uses it (this specific population’s age, gender, class, race, sexual orientation, ability, etc.)? What do they do with it? Where do they use it? Where do they typically purchase it? Why do they buy it? When do they purchase it? (is it only available at certain times?)

Does the product come in different sizes or shapes? What specific size/shape are you addressing? How has the product been packaged in the past? How are you changing the packaging and why? Find as many images as possible, print them off and stick them in your sketchbook.

Also research others who use paper as packaging. Here are two artists who push the medium in different directions:

Geometric Paper Animal Sculptures By Wolfram Kampffmeyer

DIY Geometric Paper Masks That You Can Print Out At Home


STEP 3: Brainstorm

You will come up with at least 10 ideas for packaging your product using paper. This process forces us to think beyond our first impulses. You will use thumbnail sketches to communicate your ideas (these don’t have to be ‘good’ drawings – they just have to get the idea across to the class). If you prefer to make paper mock-ups instead of drawing, that’s fine too, but keep in mind that speed and volume (not quality) are the goals of brainstorming.


STEP 4:  In-process Critique

Select your 3 strongest ideas and create rough paper mock-ups to present to the class. The class will provide feedback. You will use this feedback to decide what your final packaging will be. Sketchbook work will also be graded at this time.


STEP 5: Final packaging

You will execute 1 version of your final packaging in white paper/card-stock, and 1 version with color/text. Be mindful of craft – make sure edges are cleanly cut, etc. Please take into account the following criteria for your product packaging:

  • Make your packaging visually appealing
    • Unique shape/design
    • Color coordinated
    • Make people want to know more about your product just by looking at it
  • Make your packaging informative
    • Include the name of the product
    • Include any safety/allergy warnings
  • Provides Appropriate Protection
    • The package opens and closes easily but won’t spill
    • The shape of the packaging makes it easy to deliver/ship
    • The product is stored appropriately for shelf-life and stability (physical, chemical, microbial)


STEP 6: Critique

We will hold a critique of your final packaging.


STEP 7: Self-Reflection

You will take all of the critique feedback into consideration and complete a short-answer quiz online where you reflect on how the packaging turned out, and how you could improve it.



5 points – Brainstorming/Research (notes, collected images, sketching/mock-ups)

5 points – Visually appealing (the packaging grabs your attention/interest – you would pick it up in a store)

5 points – Informative (all required info is present / accessible)

5 points – Functional (This packaging is protective to the product, as well as consumer and manufacturer friendly, )

5 points – Craft (this packaging is cleanly executed)

8 points – Self-Reflection via online quiz