New packaging reference point for Hewlett Packard

Hewlett Packard is one of our oldest clients, as it became our client in 1990 when we were hired to work on the design of what was later known as its last ink-pen graphic printer (plotter). We have also worked on virtually all the ink-jet plotters, on large format printers as well, on digital photography and on many other products and services.

HP and many of its collaborators have undoubtedly been deeply influential in our mode of understanding the profession and in the evolution of CDN and Loop. In 1993, we had a trip organized to their headquarters in Palo Alto, we were even able to know and meet William Hewlett, one of the founders who died in 2001. On the same trip, we travelled along the whole west coast visiting companies like Apple or the foundational moments of an incipient IDEO.

In 2002, we carried out a project focused on revaluing printing platforms that have already been redeemed from a technological viewpoint; that is: technological platforms replaced by HP ones that either printed faster or had a higher printing quality. Every time the client launched a faster printer or a printer with a better graphic resolution onto the market, it left previous products obsolete since the value was exclusively centred upon technology, instead of the consumption moment or the consumer.

The project was focused on the search for new value drivers beyond technological provisions and it detected numerous consumption niches to be subsequently exploited. The case we are presenting today is the result of it: The conceptualization of HP Deskjet 3425: a printer for mass consumption which made it possible to customize its cover with a mass consumption product introduction and packaging.

One of the contributions of this project was the design of a new packaging. Almost all printers have been packaged in cardboard boxes and Porex material so far. In order to emphasize provisions over the new product’s technology, it was decided to define a package that would be 100 % mass consumption and that would allow the localization of the product within the areas reserved for computer consumables. Today this fact is common for many products but this was a genuine pioneer.

As base material PET was chosen because of its great transparency, its resistance and its cost. (The same one used to bottle water); the briefcase-shaped package contained the printer and displayed openly the cover customizable by the purchaser. The final product met with great acceptance in the market and it actually started a trend in the packaging of this typology of products.

In 2002 it received the American Star Winner 2002 award, awarded by the Institute of Packaging Professional; one of the most important awards we have received for our work with Idea Award from IDSA (Industrial Designers Society of America).

 

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Mª Luisa Vives – Jaime Gross

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