The Designer's Tray

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The Designer's Tray

School:University of Wisconsin Stout
Team:Ethan Myers, Lukas David, Zach Hoffmire

A walk through the beverage section of any store will show the same few package designs. Any multi-pack will be fully enclosed or is held together by difficult plastic rings. This packaging doesn’t feel welcoming to the consumer, and if Coca Cola uses branding of “Share a Coke”, shouldn’t the packaging feel ready to share? Rather than presenting someone with a challenge, they should be presented with the beverage.

This is the goal of The Designer’s Tray. By holding the cans from the bottom, they are fully visible, welcoming the customer in. This is accomplished by using holes which have been specially measured to be slightly smaller than the can, but with a small slit coming out of one side. This makes it possible for a can to warp the board and slip in. With one hole, the can is held securely, but by having two separate holes that are spaced apart, the can is resilient enough for a customer pick up one of the two cans and shake vigorously, leaving both in the tray.

Despite the cans being secure, the removal process is simple. By slightly twisting a can, the slit on the holes will buckle, opening. After removing both cans, the packaging remains perfectly intact, looking presentable even while empty. This allows a customer to save the package, and remember the moment they shared with someone… but why would someone want to save the packaging?

The Designer’s Tray has one of the most unique and bold branding opportunities, which will not only entice consumers, but cause them to begin collecting the packaging. All four sides of the tray can be fully customizable with popup’s that extend beyond the bounds of the tray. This makes advertising more attractive and collaborations more interesting, all with no changes to the amount of material used. Nowadays, limited runs, exclusive drops, and serialized products are incredibly popular. In addition to custom popup’s, digital printing and embossing can add to the uniqueness of the tray. The easy customization of The Designer’s Tray allows for rapid changes and new print runs, keeping collectors hooked.

One of the challenges faced with limited or exclusive print runs, is the cost that comes with it. Often, an exclusive package will be sent to a co-packer so that it can be hand packed and shipped out to stores. That is why The Designer’s Tray has been optimized specifically for co-packers and hand packing. While still able to be fully automated, by requiring no glue, tape, or extra pieces, the packing process can be done with ease.

The Designer’s Tray goes beyond standing out in the beverage aisle, it stands out in the entire store. It beats seasonal products at their branding, it beats toys at enticing eyes, and even beating trading cards at their collectability. With shareability being the forefront of the design, The Designer’s Tray encompasses the goal of Coca Cola, while simultaneously bringing marketing opportunities to stand out beyond the rest of the store.

Design Rationale Document