By Akilah Robin
Manager, Paper Group
How can a brand’s innovative and interactive package enhance a customer’s experience? The Paperboard Packaging Alliance’s (PPA) annual Student Design Challenge (SDC) taught enthusiastic collegiate students to do just that! Future packaging engineers and industrial and graphic designers took on the challenge to design an innovative package using paperboard – a recyclable and renewable resource.
This year, 220 students from 14 of North America's top packaging and design colleges and universities participated in the SDC, designing an interactive package for a fitness tracker that allowed customers to try on the product. Students explored electronic packaging, market research and incorporated unique functionality that enhanced customer experience. All 66 entries can be viewed here.
The 2017 SDC award winners include the Rochester Institute of Technology (first place & third place) and California Polytechnic State University (second place). PPA recognized the award winners and participants at its annual luncheon held in conjunction with PACK EXPO Las Vegas. More than 150 students, faculty and industry representatives attended the event, which was live-tweeted from @PaperBasedPkg, using #paperboard.
An interview with this year’s SDC guest judges, Cameron Fasola, formerly of Fitbit, and Nancy Battaglini, formerly of Amy’s Kitchen, was live broadcast via the PPA Facebook page. Mr. Fasola emphasized the importance of participating in packaging competitions and networking while in school to help secure a packaging job in the future. Ms. Battaglini encouraged students to never stop asking questions and to continue educating themselves on packaging even after graduation. The full interview is available here.
With continued support from the AF&PA and the Paperboard Packaging Council, PPA gives future packaging designers hands-on, “real-world” experience with the innovative and renewable substrate of paperboard. We look forward to seeing what SDC alumni will do in their careers!