Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Quick Dip into History

What is Packaging?

·       Packaging is a co-ordinated system of preparing goods for transport, warehousing, logistics, sale and use.

·       It is the art, science and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale and use.

·       It also refers to the process of design, evaluation and production of packages.

The earliest packaging was used to preserve and to wrap goods for trade bundles for transport using animal skins, woven grasses, baskets, wooden crates and boxes.

At the end of the 19th Century, American Robert Gair discovered the folding carton, known as the cardboard box, by accident and soon began producing cardboard boxes for Bloomingdales, Colgate and a few cigarette companies. And over the years, the demand for cardboard boxes grew and grew.

The first known envelope was nothing like the paper ones we know of today. Dating back to around 3500 to 3200 B.C in the ancient Middle East, hollow, clay and spheres were moulded around tokens of the financial variety and were used in private transactions.

Paper envelopes were developed in China with paper invented by 2nd Century BC. “Chih poh”, known as paper envelopes, were used to store money as gifts.

Today there are Windowed envelopes, Mailer envelopes, Padded Mailer envelopes and the more recent addition to the envelope family is the Laser Printer envelope.

The 1900s was the beginning of “friendly face” packaging, a phenomena that would become commonplace even today. Effective package design breaks away from the standard rules we are accustomed to. With one chance to make a great first impression, designers and marketers collaborate to create something that will grab a customer’s attention using illustration, colour and typography.


For example:



The Nike “swoosh” (sometimes mistaken for a tick) is a long established corporate logo, originally designed by Carol Davidson in 1971. Clean, smart and simple, it inspires images of approval, progress and victory.

A pair of trainers purchased will go into a logoed box before being put into a paper carrier bag with the logo imprinted on. With 3 ways of advertising, the brand becomes widely known and recognisable with just the swoosh. In 2003, the packaging sector represented about 2% of the gross national product developed in countries. 12 years later, it just keeps growing.


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