Delivering delight

On Bluefrog Creative by Aline Reed, 06 March 2013

Aline writes up a presentation given by Deputy Creative Director, Richard Young, to the BF creative team. Richard suggests looking to other design disciplines for inspiration.

What does designing packaging have to do with fundraising DM for charities? Well, when you look a little closer, there are ways at looking at packaging that translate well.

For example, packaging exists to…

  • Contain
  • Protect 
  • Preserve
  • Transport
  • Inform 
  • Sell

Much like an envelope. Good packaging, however, does more.

“Most people would rather buy into an experience than just simply buying a [physical] product.” Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Apple.

And so the two worlds come closer still. After all, we as fundraisers don’t really have a physical product to sell. We can however potentially offer a tremendous experience, which involves bringing about real change.

To get us started, Richard shared some inspiring examples of packaging.


Clam shell

Sorry, my little joke there. Those were examples of stupid packaging and here’s another that misfired.

Sun chips
Lays had the best of intentions when they designed this packaging for Sun Chips. The bag looks attractive enough and biodegrades in 14
weeks in a hot compost pile, BUT…

So that’s what happens when packaging goes wrong, but what about when new thinking is successfully applied? Richard shared these examples:

Coca-Cola square bottles

Coca Cola square bottle
These prototype square bottles are 66% smaller, using up less materials. They are also structurally more robust, stack and transport more efficiently, and can be more easily crushed for recycling.

Coke bottle 2

Shoe boxes

These three designs attempt to bring a sense of delight to a familiar format. A smile in the mind, if you like.

Shoe box 1

Your football boots are already on the pitch…and when you open the box, you hear the cheer of the crowds.

Shoe box 2

Your walking shoes have pretty good grips!

Shoe box 3
These Star Wars trainees come in the same packaging as the action figures…

So where does this leave us?

To quote Jonathan Ive again, “You design a ritual of unpacking to make
the product feel special. Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story.”

And so we can ask ourselves, what is the story for a donor as they ‘unpack’ what we have sent them? How can we make it special, memorable and meaningful?

Here’s an example:

We wanted to give these to face-to-face recruits who had decided to support CARE International these:

…and these…

…and they were asked to make different uses of them. The seeds were to show what their support might do (help people grow food) and the stickers were to be sent back with a message from the donor and passed onto children at school.

This envelope with two compartments provided a way of packaging this for the donor, making the process of responding an experience with a story.

Envelope 16-38-53
If you’re interested in packaging, here are some links recommended by Rich.



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