headline press information

Date 21st December 2009 / www.procarton.com
Title Get inspired!
Text Design is not just making things more attractive. Design is all about problem solutions, integrity and the courage to be different. Dr. Alexander Schubert (The Brand Union) highlighted the significance of sustainability in today's design and presented a number of Best Practice examples. Please click on the picture for download in print format.

Brand Union is a global network with a staff of 500 in 18 offices, covering all major markets and with over 35 years of experience in brand leadership. Brand Union is part of the WPP Group, the world's largest marketing and communications network.
„15 years ago, companies competed on price. Today, it’s quality. Tomorrow, it’s design.“ Robert H. Hayes, Professor/Marketing Expert, Harvard Business School, 1998, previously McKinsey, IBM

Design = Attractiveness?
Many products include the word design, because they "need" to. Good design is something quite different. Take the iPhone as an example - the design lies in the product concept, not the styling. It is media convergence, multifunctionality, a new type of user interaction, a sustainable business model which affects our lives, and therefore the iPhone is a prime example of exceptional design.
Exemplary design is based on the following elements:
1. Product
2. Simplicity
3. Integrity
4. Inspiration
5. Uniqueness

Some examples:

1. Product
In the beginning there is the product idea: Starbucks did not invent coffee, but a new "to go" coffee experience. We have become used to the fact that a cup of coffee costs €3, the price of a pound of filter coffee in the supermarket. And that without the need for classical advertising.
Or Jamie Oliver's Recipease: a completely different type of food store. Jamie offers know-how, no matter if you are an expert cook or a simple amateur or anything inbetween..get inspired!
Another example: "innocent" beverages, founded in London in 1999 by threee friends (Richard, Jon & Adam). Fruit mixes, free of additives, plus line extensions with water or milk products or as functional food, according to the motto: fruit is both healthy and convenient. Turnover in 2007 passed the € 150 million mark, and of course the products are available in cartonboard!
However, be careful: „You’ll never walk alone ...“ If you have a great idea, the copycats are not far off! Brazil's "Do bem" or "Fruit Rules" with a seven-digit turnover, or "Pur Pur" in Germany, and brandnew, "100%" by Valensina, or "Nudies" in Australia. Or "Chiquita - just fruit in a bottle" - at least the brand name is unique, if not the product.

2. Simplicity
All these ideas are characterised by simplicity. „Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.“ (John Maeda, graphic designer, computer scientist, university professor, author, 2006).
Simplicity meets style: for example "Voss" ("Waterfall"), invented by the Norwegians Ole Christian Sandberg & Christopher Hartlem, designed by Neil Kraft (Calvin Klein). „Water used to be refreshing. Now it’s also beautiful.“ Voss is the "in" table water, served at the Golden Globes, the Nobel Prize for Peace, the Sundance Festival etc. Made of BPA-free material (Bisphenol-A, which is contained in conventional polycarbonate bottles) it can be used with one hand only. "The container is the brand experience. We are passionate about pure water and its contribution to peoples' health and the earth as a whole. We are just as passionate about good design which inspires and motivates". (RKS Design, Eastman Innovation Lab)
Or "Huni" - a cosmetic range with honey. A simple idea, beautifully executed as a brand, including packaging (honeycomb shape), name, photographic style, concept and even the typo. Another example are the vegetable essences, extracts and chutneys by Andreas Caminada of „Schauenstein“ in Fürstenau, Switzerland. Chef of the year 2008 in the Gault Millau (18 points). The product was awarded gold at the European Design Awards.
However, simplicity is not just a topic for niche products. On the contrary - Coca Cola benefits too, as does another classic in terms of simplicity - "Nivea", introduced back in 1911 !

3. Integrity
Integrity is an authentic brand appearance which combines the elements of responsible brand management: sustainability. Fair practice with suppliers and employees, naturalness, and above all, honesty. „... development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.“ (World Commission on the Environment and Development)
A recent brand of natural cosmetics from the USA is reshaping the market: Pangea Organics - one the fastest growing manufacturers of natural cosmetics worldwide. They were voted into the Top Ten „Leaders of the Green Economy“ in the USA. Founded in 2001 by Joshua Onysko, referred to by Time Magazine as the „Green Groomer“, Joshua is a tireless pioneer in environmental matters.
All cartonboard packaging is made from 100% recyclable paper and thus produces 0 per cent new waste. The packaging includes basil seeds - simply tear off the label and plant them! Buying these products implies the support of sustainable agriculture and trade cultures, including organic farming, remuneration and the use of renewable, recyclable and reusable resources.
Another example is the "60 Bag", which degrades biologically within 60 days. The bag is made of flax viscose, developed and manufactured in Poland. Flax viscose is made of flax ballast material from industrial waste, no natural resources are "exploited" and the energy required for production is minimal. The product was presented with the Green Dot Award in January 2009.
The cartonboard "360" water bottle by Brand Image addresses the 60 million plastic bottles disposed of daily in the USA, of which 86 per cent end up in the refuse. It is a sustainable vision of the future and the first completely recyclable cartonboard bottle made of 100 per cent renewable raw materials. The bottle can be adapted to numerous consumer applications and is made of food-safe and fully recyclable materials, reduces energy consumption over the entire product life cycle without any loss in functionality: cartonboard packaging suitable for all types of liquids.
What used to be a major differentiating point of smaller manufacturers has now become a topic for the majors such as Virgin, BP, Honda, Wal-Mart or Deutsche Telekom. They are all spending considerable amounts of money to make their businesses more sustainable.
Virgin has set up a „Green Fund“ and invests millions into renewable energies, Virgin Fuels has committed to an investment of 1.6 billion pounds into alternative fuels. Tesco has set up a fund with 100 million pounds for the development of sustainable environmental technologies to reduce energy consumption by 50 per cent per square metre by 2010.
BP has originated a non-profit initiative „targetneutral“ to reduce CO2 emissions of drivers, compensating them pound for pound. The money is invested in the largest Clean Energy projects in India and Mexico. Wal-Mart's „Packaging Sustainable Value Network“ aims to be packaging-neutral by 2025, with all collected or recycled packaging equalling the amount of packaging necessary for the products on the shelves.
„Everything we do is as sustainable as we can make it (...). It’s part of the process, but it’s not the definition. We’re designing to create positive consumer experience, and while we do that – by the way – we are also making it sustainable. I’m on a mission to tell designers that sustainability has got to be a part of what they do.“ (Chris Hacker, J & J Chief Design Officer, May 2008).
Honesty is of prime importance. Deceiving consumers and „Greenwashing“ are out. „Honest Foods“ have made this topic their core message. An excellent idea with exemplary execution. The same applies to Daylesford Organic („Caring for our health means caring for the earth. The two are co-dependent and indivisible.“). Foodstuffs must be organic, fresh and locally produced - symbolised by a heart. Daylesford also organise events and courses on production in schools.

4. Inspiration
Markets are like conversation says the Cluetrain Manifest. This also applies to design - "Design is conversation". At its best, it tells stories, enters into a dialogue with consumers and leads to interaction. Good examples are „Puffy the eye bag slayer“ or „Bye bye miss american dry“ created by the cosmetic company Anatomicals.
Or the B.E.E.detergents, one of our examples, with product names like „I’ll make it all white – but I’m good to the environment“, „I’m one tough little squirt – but I’m gentle to the environment.“ An absolute classic in this field is Absolut Vodka. It tells the story of how Vodka is made and distilled.
An amusing example comes from the UK: Tyrrell's „Lightly sea salted“ potato crisps with mermaids romping on the beach. The beauties on the salt-free crisps are unclothed, but very discretely done. The crisps encourage consumers to send in their own stories, with photo.
Or „www.schokoladebestellen.de“: " As good as sex, but without complaining women", and "What gourmets are looking for when googling oral satisfaction". Sex sells? But they did receive an iF Communication Design Award 2007.

5. Uniqueness
As a final point and essential for every form of design: uniqueness. „Design against throwawayism“ (iittala, a company in Finland).
Uniqueness can also be a form of sustainability. For example „Y Water“, a drink for children with purely organic contents, minerals and vitamins. The bottle is 100 per cent recyclable, their homepage is of course „Green hosted“, i.e. supported by solar energy, and the bottles make up a play set (Designer Yves Behar/ Fuse Project) with names such as „Brain, Immune, Muscle and Bone“.
Another nice example is vintage design. „Blossa Glögg“, created in 2003 for a Swedish niche market with annually changing bottle design in limited editions in traditional style. 500,000 bottles in 2008, 1 million in 2009. Evian has been doing this for years, the 2005 bottle being sold among collectors for € 100.
Or „Glenfiddich 50 Year Old“: the luxury edition and second most expensive whisky in the world. 10,000 pounds were paid recently, a so-called "Investment Whisky".
Whatever conclusions one might draw from these examples, Apple's Steve Jobs rightly said "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works".


Dr. Alexander Schubert, CEO The Brand Union


Dr. Alexander Schubert, CEO The Brand Union

Dr. Alexander Schubert, CEO The Brand Union.


Richard Dalgleish +44 777 613 8510 dalgleish@procarton.com
Jennifer Buhaenko +44 (0) 1371 856 577 buhaenko@procarton.com
Background Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard to brand owners, the trade as well as designers, the media and politicians as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium.