One of my passions outside of graphic design is origami and the art of paper folding. It’s a nice way to pass the time, challenge my brain, and the resulting product (if you’ve followed the folding instructions correctly) can turn into a nice little decoration for your home, or even just a small gift for someone else as a friendly gesture. Just this year, I have finally been struck with the idea to integrate graphic design and origami together. The discovery of bringing these two passions of mine together was prompted by a package design class I took this year and has turned into a rewarding way to channel my efforts to do good in the world. It’s my way of becoming an eco-friendly graphic designer.
Applying my paper folding interest to creating well structured, sustainable packaging for school projects wasn’t exactly an easy or a smooth translation from one to the other. I had found myself going from merely following origami instruction booklets, to inventing my own “instructions,” dielines, and fold-lines for packaging projects. With lots of persistence, dozens of packaging prototypes, several Exacto knife wounds, and paper cuts later, I started to get the hang of the process. Although creating some super well thought out, never-been-seen-before dieline wasn’t exactly required for passing the class, I made it required for myself to learn, or at least try. It was not only important to me that I did well, what was more important was how much I could apply myself so that I could hopefully influence others to try as hard as I had. As I learned the ropes of creating my own dielines I also began to understand the importance of sustainable packaging in being eco-friendly and how I could make a difference.
Something that was and is very helpful to me is a book called Folding Techniques For Designers From Sheet To Form by Paul Jackson. From ornate and geometric to extremely simple and even organic, the book covers over 70 techniques designers can put in their toolboxes. These techniques present endless possibilities when applied to packaging design. Here are a few images (after the jump), that were taken by Meidad Suchowolski: Read the rest of the entry >