As a Graphic Communication major, I always appreciate innovative and quality design solutions (whether it be packaging, print, web, etc.) and recently I’ve really come across some interesting concepts. This quarter in school I’ve actually acquired a more than decent schedule despite the budget cuts, tuition raises, professor salary cutbacks and implemented mandatory furlough days, one of the most enjoyable being Marketing for Print and Web. Our assignment is to take on an already existing printing company and create a new, fictitious marketing plan starting with creating a brand new product for its market, ours being packaging and more specifically a local branch of a wine label printing company. Our vision: combining sustainable materials with customizable labels.
I was surprised to learn that PET plastic (a kind similar to that used for plastic water bottles) is now being adopted for wine bottling. Sure we’ve all heard of boxed wines (which-don’t discriminate-is no longer always an indication of cheap wine contained) as an eco-friendly packaging alternative, but the PET is truly making quite an impression on the wine industry. It preserves the classic silhouette of the lustrous, elegantly slender wine bottle while providing portability (they won’t break!), reducing shipping costs and fuel emissions (weighing only a tenth of glass bottles!), and recyclability. What’s more, although there is concern the quality of wine might degrade with oxygen being more permeable through plastic, there are solutions to keep the wine fresh. It’s always interesting to notice a brink of new technology or paradigm shift such as this, to be aware of the change and wonder what might follow. Will wine enthusiasts accept this new casing, a wine bottle something different from a traditional wine bottle? Will plastic replace glass?The packaging world slowly (while gaining pace) but surely paves the way for acceptance and maybe even preference towards sustainable solutions rather than potentially harmful, traditional ones. I believe once those with the power to make global change–the printers, manufacturers and large corporations–become fully convinced themselves, they will make the shift for the rest of the world to follow in its ecological footprints (or hopefully lack thereof).