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Theoretical part:

1.1 – Definition and analysis of the term Packaging.

“Packaging is that branch of marketing where study activity is carried out together with design and the creation of packages ( in English, package ,or, more simply, pack) aimed at product differentiation in order to make it easily recognizable by the consumer” ( Daniele Cocuzza). A guided comparison between the correct interpretation of “packaging” and its graphic aspects allows students to get acquainted with application fields, analysis phases and creative phases, technical topics and design topics.

Suggested bibliography:

Il buon packaging – Laura Badalucco;
Good design – Bruno Munari.

1.2 –Basic Semiotics.

Semiotics are used as a “sign” analysis tool. A good understanding of the perceptive relation that takes place between the message and the user is fundamental in planning packaging design for a product; both  while defining a message and when selecting the correct graphic and technical applications.

The intention is to supply students with the main fundamentals of semiotics and the possibility to identify and manage semantic elements within the on-going projects.

 Suggested bibliography:

Oggetti in azione. Semiotica degli oggetti: dalla teoria all’analisi – Michela Deni;
Elementi di semiotica – Stefano Gensini;
Semiotica Marketing e comunicazione visiva – Jean-Marie Floch.

1.3 – Basic marketing

Marketing works on which is the best possible way to position a product in the market. Packaging is that branch of marketing that works on which is the best way to preserve and dress a product conveying its identity. By comparing them,  guided by case histories, we wish to supply students the bases for preventive analysis and reasoning needed for any graphic project.

Suggested bibliography:

Il posizionamento. La battaglia per le vostre menti – Al Ries, Jack Trout;
Homo consumens – Zygmunt Bauman.

1.4 – Packaging materials, production techniques, production ethics  (recyclability), regulations.

Facing the condition of production in their territory, puts students in the position to have the necessary bases to deepen, also autonomously, the technical and productive topics inherent to packaging. The intention is to put students in touch with professionals in that area with visits to companies, visualizing artifacts elaborated during the on-going creative project. A physical support turns inevitably into waste and it must be a fundamental principle of a graphic designer, an ethical principle on production themes, of recycling and of sustainability of what we are about to design.

Suggested bibliography:

Eco-design e prevenzione per l’imballaggio cellulosico – AA.VV.

Design part

2.1 – Projects for approaching the subject

The first exercises require formulation of brief “casuals” their analysis and the graphic project of connected packaging. The practical tests are used to expose students to particular project themes. They will be supplied with briefs combined at random, that must be developed in class during the 4 hours required by the course and completed  with a graphic project during the following weeks. It will be necessary to discuss together with the students on the main points to be developed in a “type” project and on which will be their order of relevance. The  test limited time  helps to improve the knowledge of personal instinctive project ideas and to elaborate them following a coherent and logical thinking. Presentation of projects will be done in class after the test.


2.2 – Product or service packaging design

The course will cover contemporary merchandising topics. Formal and ethical product packaging aspects will be analyzed as well as formulation of contents to be communicated. Ethical production and container recyclability will be fundamental themes, as well as re-use and after-sales dynamics. We wish to show students a project process that indicates a path, point by point: project analysis, brief drafting, container creative and technical elaboration, graphic design, project communication. A practical approach of all themes covered is fundamental; creativity shall also build a mockup. By the end of the course students must be able to formulate a packaging project with understanding, knowledge of topics and project path. Project representation for the final exam is a key component of graphic design and third year students must be well trained on this topic.

Methods of evaluation

Project topics will be decided together with the students. Each group shall submit a subject based on a general merchandising topic that will be defined by the teacher and that will be the same for everybody. This project will start after the completion of the previous one and shall be evaluated together with the final exam at the end of the course. Projects will be guided and reviewed during class and elaborated during the following week.