Interactive Product Packaging: The Future of Packaging Design

By Lauren Pettit and Tsai Lu Liu.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Product packaging has six functions: containment, security, protection, convenience, information, and marketing, according to DuPuis and Silvia (2008). Two out of six functions of packaging, information and marketing, involve the communication of information between the customers/users and the manufacturers. Conventionally, the communication has been a one way process where manufacturers design and display the information on packages for the customers/users to retrieve. If there are questions, especially related to the particular customer’s individual situation or needs, people have to seek further assistance outside of the packaging. However, with the advancement and availability of many new digital technologies, especially in wireless communication, a new era of interactive product packaging is on the horizon. The interactive product packaging system should be able to facilitate two-way communication between customers and marketers on both general and individually-specific information. The system will assist consumers to make the most appropriate purchase decisions by reducing the confusion and uncertainty during the selection process. This paper will start with the history of product packaging and point out the trend towards an interactive product information communication system on packaging. The study uses nutrition labeling on food packaging as an example to illustrate the feasibility of future interactive packaging design. The trend provides industrial designers a new platform to create products that are more user-centered and user-friendly.

Keywords: Packaging Design, Industrial Design, Interactive Packaging Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.395-420. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.563MB).

Lauren Pettit

Graduate Student, Department of Industrial and Graphic Design, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA

Lauren Pettit was a graduate student and teaching assistant at the Department of Industrial and Graphic Design in Auburn University. She graduated from Auburn University with a Master of Industrial Design degree in 2009. Lauren is an industrial designer working for Generac Power System, Inc. in Wisconsin.

Prof. Tsai Lu Liu

Associate Professor, Department of Industrial and Graphic Design, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA

Tsai Lu Liu, associate professor of Industrial Design at Auburn University, graduated in 1985 from the Department of Industrial Design at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. Liu also holds an MBA degree from Georgia State University and graduate industrial design degree from Auburn University in the United States. In 1992, Liu commenced work at Design Principles of Huntsville, Alabama, for three years before returning to Taiwan and working for several corporations, managing product design and corporate marketing. Liu’s teams developed and introduced gaming machines, toy cars, and computer systems to the international market, some of which are still on the market today. In 2002, Liu started his own company designing and manufacturing products for disabled children. In 2004, Liu returned to Auburn University as a member of the faculty of industrial design.


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