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e s i g n at t e r s p la n n i n g pa c ka g i n g
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START BROAD, GO NARROW, AND THEN
FAN OUT AGAIN. PUSH A LARGE RIVER
THROUGH A NARROW CANYON AND YOU
MOVE BOULDERS. LIKE A RIVER, THE
PACKAGING DESIGN PROCESS NEEDS
TO FLOW FROM WIDE OPEN TO NARROW
AND THEN BACK TO WIDE AGAIN.
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Starting broad means seeking to understand all aspects of the category
where the package will reside. Moving on with secondary research, then to the
primary research, and fi nally to anything you can get your clammy mitts on will
help you gain the global perspective of your packaging endeavor.
Now, start to narrow the river of knowledge. Get to the essential items that
will help defi ne what this product and package will mean to consumers. Seek
specifi c answers to specifi c questions and the river of knowledge will start to
narrow itself. Pieces will fall away and others will become much more impor-
tant. The creative energy around certain aspects will start to move aside the
mental boulders, and ideas will start to surface. The idea is continually refi ned
until it becomes a gem fl oating atop the river. This gem of an idea inspires
many other ideas that fl ow directly out of this intense ideation process. Ideas
are engineered, tested, and further refi ned until they reach a point of execution
and delivery, all of which are dependent upon the talented people involved.
The cadre of individuals who explore new territory is always better when
equipped with diverse skills and perspectives. Following the river metaphor, no
one would rationally choose to be accompanied by rocket scientists on a white-
water rafting trip, right? Nothing against rocket scientists, but can they swim,
handle a paddle, or fi ght back the wildlife? Having them around might be fun,
but what you really want is a bona fi de guide. You need someone with muscle,
a map reader, and even a happy observer who can simply watch for rocks to
avoid—multidisciplined, multiskilled, and multitalented.
With a budget in hand, as well as clear objectives and the right catalyst, your
process has begun. We’ll work out the details as we go.
RAP I D S EVE N
A R IVE R G U I D E
WOU LD E NJ OY
The Flow of a Process
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