When I first started this project, I went to the grocery store to look at local product that I would like to repackage. Milk was my first choice, however I changed my option when I saw how spices are packaged. Since we live in a culture that consumes spices on a daily basis I thought that it would be relevant to me and my interest.
Product design / concept
I wanted to package spices for people at my age that are both locals and residents in Qatar. I was thinking since people nowadays are also really into the idea of meal preparation. And initially I was thinking about a package that would hold a lot in it and will take less space in storage. I was thinking of tin as my material, and I was thinking about something bright and colorful.
I went online and started to search for packaging inspiration, I liked how some of the packaging had some fun and playful approach to it. As I was thinking about what style I would like to work with. I was at the same time thinking about the idea of sustainability, how something could be recyclable or up-cycled.
When I first suggested my ideas to both my classmates and professors, I thought about different ways to package spices other than plastic bags. I wanted stainless steal (tin) packaging to work with, but I couldn’t find them in stores in different sizes. Levi suggested to look at cheese packaging, and from their I was inspired to create my packaging form recycling cardboard roll. I found a very long one in campus, cut them into different hight at the wood-shop, went and cutout lids to seal the top and the bottom. Which was a tricky phase for me.
After that we were asked to work with type. At this point I realized that my packaging that I worked and spent all my time with is not doable with type. Especially that I wanted to include the Majbos recipe as steps into different packaging. I tried different solution to make it work, but it seems that I was working with the packaging more than the type. So, Danielle advised me to use a ready made package that i can hack and make it mine. I went with that advise because a. it will let me design a better type on packaging b. less time designing a package. I choose to work on a packaging that is made of cardboard (same idea) but also in a smaller scale and all in one package.
When it came down to type, I used many different typefaces both for Arabic and Latin. The challenge was to balance the different fonts in this small packaging, and try to keep both languages dominant. I was trying to apply everything i learned from type1, grids, alignment, size of text, thickness.
When I was trying to find a brand name for my packaging I was brain storming different names such as (Spices and Recipe, Zaki, Bzar, Bhar) Since I was packaging mix of spices all in one container, I chose Bzar as my brand name because it is an arabic/local word for mix of spices. I thought that the name will resonate with people that live here, and will make it clear what is in the packaging it self.
I took measurement of my one in all package and started to experiment with different layout and color palettes. I thought I was solid when it comes to color palette, but I was wrong I kept changing my colors through out the project. Also, I planned to include some patterns and playful geometric shapes to symbolize every spice that was included. Turns out what I did was too abstract that it was hard for people to understand that it’s spices (that what my classmates said).
In term of layout, I was struggling on how to divide the surface that I was working on, since it was round and literally any side could be front or back. I didn’t know what to do, I started to research again since I changed my packaging concept. I though that might help me figure out thing that I am not quite sure about. After researching so many examples, I started to work on my layout and slowly I kept adjusting on it.
One thing that I learned that whatever you do will look different when you print it on paper and when you project it on a bigger screen. Throughout prototyping I was able to decide on so many thing such as type and colors. In term of colors originally I started with the color yellow, in my head the color was making sense with what I was packaging. But when I showed it to other they thought that yellow is not a good color to package food with, so I turned it to bright red. I didn’t like that as well, because it didn’t really mean anything, so I went with the color orange (represent what the spices inside looks like), but slightly brighter one than turmeric.
Photography was a real struggle for me, as well as my fellow classmates, the weather was gloomy and most of us wanted to use the day light of the sun. I wanted to photograph in a marble table and in a kitchen. However, the light in the kitchen is not so good, so I went back to studio photography.
Over all, this project was a real struggle for me. Trying to understand type in a three dimensional form was kind of hard to imagine at first. Also at the begining I didn’t understand why we are doing packaging in a typography class. But now, after so many trial and error I understand that type is not only meant to live in screens but it also exist almost everywhere. Seeing how type react with physical object is really interesting and beneficial lesson to learn and understand where is the environment that the type will live in.
It was interesting and extremely beneficial for us that we went through different phase in this project. From researching, to coming with a concept, and prototyping it and finally going through production. I liked how we get to work both on and off screen, making sure that we use almost everything that we know to produce this product.