Students Design Eco-Friendly Packaging Solutions for Local Brewery

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Graphic Design students at the University of Worcester are helping local company, Oldfields Orchard Cider, to design more sustainable packaging for its bottles.

Oldfields’ parent company, Hobsons Brewery, got in touch with Worcester lecturer Andy Stevenson after hearing of similar eco-packaging projects that students had undertaken on behalf of companies such as Weston’s Organic Cider, The Wye Valley Brewery and Lea & Perrins.

Alison Chadwick, Cider Product Manager at Hobsons Brewery, challenged the students to develop new packaging concepts to allow people to safely display and transport six bottles of the company’s beer or cider. Crucially, the designs had to lessen material and ink use and have a creative re-use option.

Mrs Chadwick recently reviewed the students’ final submissions, and was delighted with the innovation and quality on show.

“I gave the students the same brief I would give to a professional designer and was extremely impressed how well they incorporated our brand guidelines into their work,” she explains.

“The final packages were very well made giving me, their client, a firm feel for how the packages would perform in the ‘real world’.

“It was also great to hear the students’ ideas of how social media could be used, just one of many things we plan to incorporate in future packaging, hopefully with more input from some of these very talented people.”

The Oldfields team are currently reviewing the work and hope to be able to take the students’ design ideas forward.

Mr Stevenson, who has worked extensively to develop teaching in the field of sustainable practices, added: “Some of the student concepts for this brief are really impressive; I’m genuinely taken aback with the range of treatments they’ve incorporated.

“Many of the ideas have been developed on the back of their research and linked lecture visits to partners such as the Centre for Alternate Technology in Wales – Europe’s largest Eco Centre.

“Alison has been great with the students too, and has kindly given up a lot of her time to feed back on their ideas ongoing and their final concepts. The students have clearly thrived on a brief that’s both has a real client and that also has a set of genuine sustainable design challenges from the client.”

Third year Graphic Design student Luma de Oliveira was one of those to work on the brief, and she said: “This project was inspiring in many ways; not only because we worked in close contact with a real client on a live brief, but also because we were able to learn more about sustainability, a subject that doesn’t get taught very often on Graphic Design courses.

“This project was a huge wake-up call with regards to environmental issues and how designers have the opportunity to make a difference by designing products that can not only be, recycled but also re-used."