Thursday, March 5, 2009

Boxed water

Okay, so while I was prepping for a post about Penmanship, I got the Daily Heller in my inbox. Today's topic (see title link) is about a new brand of "eco-friendly" paper boxed water, AQUAPAX. Reading about it reminded me immediately of a project I did in my favorite and only packaging design class during my last year at the School of Visual Arts: design a brand of bottled water.

Roughly, the point of the project was to choose an audience and develop a brand of water targeting them. Remembering all of the crazy amounts of research I did at the time, I was mostly inspired by Military Ready to Eat packaging and other military items, as well as survival kits. While other classmates chose audiences of kids, modern design types, bar regulars, etc., I chose one interested in no frills,  just pure necessity and functionality. I named it Ration. I developed basic graphics to reference the hydrologic a.k.a. water cycle (remember that in science class?) and other utilitarian style design. 

Image by USGS, from Wikipedia

The type had to be very basic—I wanted to achieve the feeling I got from much of the industrial made military items—as if the person that made it wasn't a designer per se, but maybe military personnel that was forced to read "Handicraft Guide No. 10: LETTERING for use of U.S. Armed Forces Personnel Only." Four aluminum cans of water would be packed perfectly into a small cardboard box. In the research I did at the time, metal cans for the water seemed like a viable solution in the sense that contrary to popular belief, it supposedly wouldn't affect the taste of the water, it was easier to recycle than plastic (so I read), and it has a much longer shelf life than clear plastic or paper. Of course, I can't seem to find any of this information now. 

And there you have a bit of personal history. Here's the photo of the final project, as it was in my portfolio from 2005.

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