Metsä Board’s packaging services team has a golden track record: in less than three years they have won three Hong Kong Print Awards in Asia, a PCD (Perfume Cosmetic Design) Award in Paris, and an iF Design Award in Germany. “The recognition by the prestigious iF International Forum Design GmbH in particular was warmly welcomed, as for over 60 years the iF Award has been recognised worldwide as a badge of design excellence,” explains design and innovation director
iF’s high-profile international jury assessed more than 5,000 entries from 53 countries in order to determine who would receive this coveted seal of design excellence. Metsä Board were among the award winners, for a package that Cyril Drouet and his team designed for Victorinox.
Working the magic
To achieve such recognition, the packaging services team works their magic on every aspect of the packaging design: visuals, structure, branding and overall efficiency of the manufacturing process.
“We usually meet with the customer several times. First to receive their brief, and later with our counter brief. For these meetings we usually put together a few mood boards based on market research. With the customer’s reaction these mood boards as a starting point, we begin the actual design process.”
The outcome is usually three different versions of the same packaging – a superb idea as customers love to be presented with options. Usually these vary in ambition level from a “standard” to an “all-in” version.
“For example the all-in version highlights the brand and provides the consumer with a real experience,” says Drouet.
Sustainability is another important aspect of the process; packaging materials and the ways in which the products are manufactured also support sustainability. The chosen paperboard can bring lightweighting benefi ts or the packaging can have a glue-free structure, for example. “An important aspect of the process is incorporating Metsä Board’s materials for the best possible end result from every point of view."This box won the Championship for Environmentally Friendly Printing in the Hong Kong Print Awards 2014 and a certificate for sustainable development and respect of the environment at the 2015 Packaging of Perfumes, Cosmetics & Design exhibition in Paris. The glueless rigid box demonstrates how innovative packaging can be made using 100 per cent recyclable paperboard, avoiding plastic wrapping, while the inner cartons provide a unique user experience.
Trends and innovations
The packaging must also have contemporary features that catch the consumer’s eye – as well as that of the jury. “This is driven by market benchmarks and innovation. We aim to be a few steps ahead of the game.”
Innovation is more than just a word for the team. Recently, they filed for a patent on a new design for bag-in-box packaging.
Naming a recent popular trend is easy for Drouet; he immediately nominates exceptionally sharp corners with no overlapping corner folds. “This is what we made for the iF Design Award winner. It really sets that package apart from traditional rigid boxes.”
Winning awards is a major point of pride for Cyril Drouet and his team: “They show that our packaging service team in Shanghai is able to help customers enhance brand value by delivering sustainable, secure and innovative packaging solutions. Our aim is not only to win awards but primarily to help brand owners to be more successful in their markets. For example, since the launch of the new packaging, Victorinox’s Rescue Tool tripled in sales,” he says.
The team is small and the members come from different countries. This widens the perspective the team can deliver to the customer. Cyril Drouet is French; Adi Gunawan, senior graphic design specialist, is from Indonesia; and Viki Lin, graphic design specialist, comes from Taiwan. There are also two Chinese members: Alan Li, structural designer, and Freedom Song who works as a senior photo retoucher.
The services of the packaging team are off ered to Metsä Board’s key customers. The service network is global, with a presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia. This way, the same design can be adjusted easily to different markets.