1 The History

Humans have needed to gather, collect, store, transport, and preserve goods since time immemorial. Following is a brief exploration of how the advancements of civilizations, the growth of trade between peoples, technological inventions, and countless other historical events facilitated the evolution of what we have come to call packaging design.

From as early as the Stone Age, containers were fashioned from woven grasses and fibers, bark, leaves, shells, clay pottery, and crude glassware. These materials were used for holding goods—food, drink, clothing, and tools—for everyday use (fig. 1.1). Archaeologists' discovery of such objects shows that early economies depended on packaging for sharing and transporting goods. As various peoples transitioned from nomadic hunting and gathering to settled agricultural production, demand was created for goods that were only produced in specific places. Trade in such goods was the forerunner to modern market economies (fig. 1.2).


Fig. 1.1Neolithic jar.

The Sumerians, among the earliest of settled societies, dating back over five thousand years, developed a written communication system, initially consisting of a system of pictographs that enabled new forms of visual identification. With the Sumerian practice of year-round agriculture came a surplus of storable food, and pictographs served to identify these stored products (fig. 1.3 ...

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