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We’re Sharing Some Dog-gone Exciting News from Paula Deen!

Davison News, Hugs Pet Products, Inventionland, Package Design

The excitement continues to build for our friends at Hugs Pet Products around their on-going partnership with Paula Deen! Just today, Deen announced on her own website that her General Store soon will be stocked with the dog food that the two have partnered to create!

Not only are our tails wagging for our friends at Hugs, but we’re also pretty pumped about the fact that you can clearly see our logo on the back of the Paula Deen pet food bags, too!

Though we can’t hold a candle to Paula’s cooking in the kitchen, at our creative design facility, we designed and developed the packaging for Deen’s entire dog food line!

If you’re interested in treating your pup to Paula’s recipes, she’ll start showcasing the dog food in her General Store next week. And, if you can’t wait that long, our friends at Hugs are selling it now!

Copyright Davison, 2015

High School Student Adds Innovation to Otherwise Ordinary Bottled Water

Innovation, Innovative Inventions

If you’re a bottled water drinker, you’ve likely never noticed anything too fancy or particular about your favorite brand’s packaging design.

Well, leave it to Russian high school student Anastasia Shtern to change all of that with her idea for VITA, a fictitious new vitamin water brand that, if actually invented, could forever change the way we look at a bottle of water.

According to Design Taxi, a leading global creative network, Shtern’s vitamin water invention may initially look simple enough, but it has a special cap that houses a flavored vitamin capsule.

Whenever a VITA drinker twists the cap, the capsule is released and its colorful, flavorful contents swirl into the water below.

Design Taxi says that Shtern’s packaging design idea “is to offer the consumer a unique, visually stimulating product experience by getting them to mix the vitamin with the water personally.”

Inside of Shtern’s imagination, VITA is available in various brightly-colored varieties. It is not yet available in stores, but we see no reason that this eye-catching packaging design shouldn’t be available on store shelves in the future!

We commend Shtern for her out-of-the-bottle thinking that could provide a Better Way to enjoy an everyday drink of water!

Read more about Shtern’s VITA packaging design at Design Taxi.

Copyright Davison 2014


Iconic Packaging Design: Heinz Ketchup

Package Design

It’s everywhere. In the United States and across the pond, on tables in diners everywhere, it’s used on hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries alike. This iconic condiment, otherwise known as Heinz Ketchup, is used everywhere and it all began in 1869 when founder Henry Heinz packaged his first product.

But, before the idea of ketchup was even thought of, Henry Heinz first packaged freshly-grated horseradish. Unlike the packaging design we see today, his first product was packaged in a clear bottle, so that customers could see the purity of the product. This, in essence, was the first of his many innovations that would later come down the line.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most poignant moments in Heinz Ketchup packaging design history!

In 1876, the first bottle of Heinz Ketchup was created and made its debut. But, it wasn’t until 1890 that the iconic packaging design of the glass bottle that we see today began to take shape.

Ketchup lovers, eat your hearts out, because in 1970, the Heinz Company introduced some “big” changes in packaging design, when the 32-ounce “Keg O’ Ketchup” made it to store shelves.

Thirteen years later in 1983, the innovation of Heinz rose to the surface when the company released their innovative packaging design of the first squeezable Heinz Ketchup bottle.

Innovative packaging design wasn’t solely devoted to the original Heinz ketchup bottle; rather, in 2000, the company developed green ketchup in EZ Squirt bottles to appeal to kids. It wasn’t a surprise when the new packaging designed geared towards kids became a huge hit.

If you were to open your refrigerator at this very moment, chances are good that you would have an upside-down bottle of Heinz Ketchup. However, this innovative packaging design of the upside-down bottle didn’t appear on the market until 2001; and, since then, customers have loved the convenience and easy storage that this particular packaging design offers.

When you hear dip and squeeze, you might think you are in the midst of an aerobics class. However, in 2010, Dip & Squeeze Ketchup was born and offered fast-food consumers three times the amount of ketchup, as opposed to traditional 9-gram packages.  The following year, the product was introduced to store shelves everywhere and once again offered consumers an added element of convenience and the freedom to take Heinz Ketchup anywhere they pleased.

Now, most Heinz ketchup packaging designs are that of the squeezable bottle. However, glass bottles are still in diners and restaurants everywhere. In last week’s blog, we talked about companies that are following the green initiative and Heinz ketchup is another great example of a big brand trying to make a big difference in the environment. In 2012, the company released their PlantBottle packaging design, which is made from up to 30 percent renewable plant material and is 100 percent recyclable.

Throughout the world, Heinz sells over 650 million bottles annually. In addition to their iconic brand and their prominence on store shelves, audiences everywhere should keep an eye out during the 2014 Super Bowl, because Heinz will air its first halftime commercial in 16 years! We can’t wait to see how much creativity Heinz has “squeezed” into their 30-second spot!

Copyright Davison 2014



Green is the New Black

Innovation, Package Design

We see it everywhere; people and companies alike are committing themselves to going green and doing better for the environment. So, we wanted this blog to focus on those companies that have been working hard to create packaging designs that are just that, environmentally friendly.

We are going take a look at how some well-known companies are taking the necessary steps forward, all the while lessening their carbon footprint towards a healthier, greener society.

Let’s take Nivea, a very popular soap manufacturer, for example, and see how they have ‘cleaned’ up their act. To start, Nivea’s Milk Bar wasted seven grams of paper per package. That may not seem like a lot but, that translates into 3,950 pounds of waste per shipping truck! So, how did Nivea combat this waste? They came up with a dissolving product packaging design. The packaging design works when a consumer takes the entire box into the shower; and, once the water hits the packaging, it dissolves completely. This change in packaging design is working to reduce the waste that was previously being produced.

There is a “method” to the madness; and, the cleaning product brand, Method, is committed to producing products and packaging designs that are environmentally friendly. The brand continually works to integrate sustainability in their packaging designs. There isn’t a particular product that exhibits green qualities, rather, all of their products are green and their bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic. Furthermore, Method places a large focus on the aesthetics of their bottles, because they believe that the product actually “lives” in your home. What do they mean by that? They believe that people are very house-proud and do not want to have ugly cleaning bottles around the house. So, while Method is environmentally friendly, their products are also aesthetically pleasing, which seems to be a win-win for consumers.

When you buy a pair of sneakers, they usually come in a big cardboard box that is, more times than not, thrown away within minutes of getting home. In 2010, Puma came out with a packaging design created by Yves Béhar of Fuseproject. At the forefront of this project was the idea to reduce the size of the common shoebox, which led to the invention of a “clever little bag.” This packaging design is made of a cardboard sheet and the bag uses 65% less cardboard than the common shoebox. Additionally, there is no laminated printing or tissue paper; it takes up less space; it weighs less in shipping and replaces the everyday plastic shopping bag. Puma wasn’t done there; in fact, the “clever little bag” was cleverly made, because it is non-woven, which means that less work and waste were put into the manufacturing process, because it is stitched with heat.

Even the iconic Coca-Cola brand followed suit when, in 2009, they introduced their innovative PlantBottle in the United States. To learn more about their innovative packaging design, read our blog, “The Bottled Up History of Coca-Cola.”

Now more than ever, companies are finding ways to lessen their carbon footprint, all the while protecting the environment for generations to come, through their innovative and creative packaging design ideas and products.

Copyright Davison 2014





Simple Yet Iconic: Cheerios

Package Design

As a kid, Cheerios might have been your go-to snack every day. This deliciously simple cereal that doubles as a healthy snack for toddlers and adults alike has been around since 1941. Since then, it has become one of the most popular and most recognized breakfast cereals on the market.

Simplicity goes a long way for this brand; from its ingredients and shape to its packaging, Cheerios continues to deliver quality in every box.

Cheerios were invented by Lester Borchardt and a team of people at General Mills in 1941. At that time, they not only invented the cereal, but they also had to invent a machine that could be used to create puffed cereal like puffed wheat. After lots of time and money were spent on this project with no results, Borchardt’s boss wanted to call it quits. But, knowing that this was a good idea, Borchardt continued with the development of his invention. And, after two months, Cheerios were born.

Did you know that from 1941 to 1945, what we now know as Cheerios were originally called Cheerioats?

Innovative thinking was necessary when it came to Cheerios’ packaging design. Since the cereal itself was simple, General Mills had to come up with new ideas to market and sell their cereal. In order to compete with Kellogg’s, under the management of James Bell, the owner of General Mills was inspired to sponsor a radio show that targeted children with a moral in each episode. It just so happened that at the time General Mills was sponsoring a radio show, the creator of the Lone Ranger wanted a sponsor for syndicating the show throughout the U.S. in 1949. The common association between the Lone Ranger and General Mills continued for 20 years and helped catapult Cheerios to the top spot as one of the most popular breakfast cereals.

General Mills continued to ride the momentum train as they worked to invent more advertising innovations behind the idea that the packaging for Cheerios shouldn’t contain only the cereal. So, the marketing department at General Mills successfully co-branded their boxes of Cheerios with the Disney Company through the late 1940s and 50s and offered exclusive discounts on comic books.

During the mid- 1960s, Cheerios used its packaging to promote a new social and charitable endeavor that was started by General Mills, known as “Project Head Start.”

However, the majority of the time, the Cheerios packaging design has remained the same, with Cheerios written in black font and a picture of the actual cereal on the front of the yellow box.

More recently, in 2012, as one of America’s most iconic cereal brands, Cheerios invented a “Better Way” to give club stores like Sam’s Club, Costco and others more cereal with less packaging.

General Mills brought to the market new technology that packs cereal more densely. The packaging design technology reduces the size of the packaging and saves more than 200,000 pounds of paperboard each year.

As a new year is underway, General Mills has announced that they will release a new product. In response to consumer demand, there will be Cheerios on store shelves that are made without genetically modified ingredients. The original Cheerios packaging design will now be labeled with “Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients.”

Although changes have been made to the ingredients of the product, the simple yet iconic packaging design of original Cheerios has withstood the test of time.

Copyright Davison 2014



These Products are Breaking the Packaging Design Mold

Package Design

Last week, we wrote a blog about five examples of creative product packaging designs and how they stand out among competitors. So, we decided to focus this blog on brands, like Toblerone, EOS and Pringles, that stand out on the store shelves.

Let’s take a look at some creative and out-of-the-box packaging designs and how these products stand out among other brands!

Toblerone- The triangular-shape of Toblerone candy has a very distinct packaging design and has become a symbol of Switzerland and airport duty-free shops.

The unusual shape of this packaging design is very commonly mistaken to be inspired by the Swiss Alps, more specifically, the Matterhorn. However, the candy’s creator, Theodor Tobler, based the idea of his packaging design on the Folies Bergere in Paris, whose dancers ended their performances in a pyramid formation.

In 1908, the Tobler Company came up with the honey and almond nougat recipe and its unique shape, which was patented a year later. It’s rumored that the person who granted the Tobler’s the patent was Albert Einstein, who at the time worked at the Swiss patent office.

EOS- So there you are in your local drug store, searching high and low for the perfect lip balm; you see different tubes, some in little cardboard boxes and others perfectly lined up, waiting for you to pick one up. Nothing catches your eye, until you see a little egg-shaped container that instantly puts a smile on your face. That’s exactly what Evolution of Smooth, otherwise known as EOS, was working towards when they created their egg-shaped packaging design for their product. Also known as the “Smooth Sphere,” EOS wanted to create a unique packaging design that would make the consumer smile.

Pringles Can- You’ve probably heard it before, “Once you pop, the fun don’t stop;” although they are lacking in the grammar department, the Pringles brand is excelling in the chip aisle. Aside from their taste and variety of flavors, Pringles are primarily known for their packaging, the tubular paperboard can that is lined with foil and a plastic lid. This package design stands out among the countless brands that package their product in bags. Throughout the years, Pringles have turned to advertising campaigns that compared their product to conventional potato chips. For instance, they were once marketed as the “Newfangled Potato Chips” and had a small silver pop-top to open the can. Since the 1980s, those pop-top cans have been replaced with foil tops. The Pringles remained fresh and unbroken and the package design of the can holds as many chips as a bag. Their curvy shape allows them to be stackable, which was the inspiration of their slogan, “Other potato chips just don’t stack up.” Touché Pringles; we see what you did there.

The stand-out packaging design of the Pringles tube was invented by Fredric J. Baur, an organic chemist and food storage technician, who specialized in research and development and quality control for Cincinnati-based P & G.

From triangular-shaped chocolate, spherical lip balm and a can of potato chips, these are just a few of the creative and out-of-the-box packaging designs that stand out among other brands because of their unusual shapes and sizes!

Copyright Davison 2014



‘M’m! M’m! Good!’ Packaging Design

Package Design

From the traditional can, to the microwaveable cup, to the pouch of soup, Campbell’s continues to set the bar in the world of packaging design.

Let’s take a look at how this brand has transformed its packaging from a traditional can, to a one-cup serving, to a soup pouch, all the while reinventing the rules of the soup game.

Campbell’s was founded in 1869; but, it wasn’t until 1895 that the first can of ready-to-eat soup was introduced to the world. Two years later, in 1897, the first can of condensed soup was introduced to the public.

In this day and age, we can recognize the Campbell’s soup can from a mile away, because of the red and white label. But, it wasn’t until 1898, after an executive at the company attended an annual Cornell vs. Penn football game and became intrigued by the red and white uniforms of Cornell. So, he went back to Campbell’s and convinced them to use these brilliant colors on their soup labels. Did you ever wonder what the significance of the gold medallion is on each label? That gold medallion signifies the award for excellence that Campbell’s won at the Paris Exposition in 1900.

As time went on, the original label was updated again in 1999 for Campbell’s three top-selling soups- Chicken Noodle, Tomato and Cream of Mushroom. The packaging design was updated by moving the signature gold medallion to a more prominent position on the can. Additionally, the red on the colored band was intensified and photos of the soup were added.  Other varieties of condensed soup also received the graphic adjustments as well.

In 1998, Campbell’s created the microwavable cup and in 2002 the convenient on-the-go “Soup at Hand” was introduced to their product packaging repertoire.

In 2012, Campbell’s released their limited-edition Warhol-inspired cans at Target. Andy Warhol, a very famous pop artist, painted his first Campbell’s soup cans in 1962.

Also, in 2012, soup sales began to decrease; so, in order to find a solution to this problem, executives from Campbell’s hit the pavement to find what makes consumers, particularly young people, tick. And, through their travels, they came to the conclusion that cuisines that were once considered to be exotic, like Brazilian, Indian and Thai, were the norm and that younger consumers who dined out more often weren’t as skilled at making ethnic home-cooked meals. The solution was the innovative pouch of soup, otherwise known as “Campbell’s Go Soup” that comes in flavors like Coconut Curry, Golden Lentil and Creamy Red Pepper.

The company needed to revamp their brand after it was losing market share to private label brands and small competitors in 2013. In order to make the brand “cool” again, CEO Denise Morrison spent millions upon millions of dollars reinventing the company’s packaging and marketing, which included their to-go soup cups that were designed for the Keurig coffeemaker.

Although the packaging design continues to change, in order to keep up with the consumer’s needs and demands, Campbell’s has continued to grow their brand and their products to meet those needs. With 2014 underway, consumers will have to wait and see what Campbell’s will come up with next.

Copyright Davison 2014



The ‘Bottled’ Up History of Coca-Cola

Package Design

There is nothing quite like an icy-cold and refreshing Coca-Cola. For more than 115 years, there have been countless new bottle designs; however, the quality of the brand has never wavered!

Let’s take a look at the evolution of the packaging design of the Coca-Cola bottle, from its inception to today.

It all began in 1894 when a Mississippi shop owner by the name of Joseph A. Biedenharn began bottling Coca-Cola, after seeing how impressive its sales were! So, he capitalized on Coca-Cola’s success and began selling the drink to customers in a common glass bottle known as a “Hutchinson,” which was equipped with a wire loop and rubber stopper and was returnable after a person used the bottle.

Have you ever wondered where the term “soda pop” came from? This name came from the popping noise that the Hutchinson bottles would make when they were opened.

However, the first go-around of the bottle that we know today came to be in 1916. This bottle, known as the contour bottle, was created when bottlers worried that a straight-sided bottle like the Hutchinson didn’t offer a distinction from other brands and that Coca-Cola was being easily confused with “copycat” brands. So, glass manufacturers were tasked with creating a unique packaging design for the new bottle. The Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, came up with a prototype design of the now famous contour-shaped bottle.

Earl R. Dean was the designer of the first bottle. A prototype was made for the bottle design and a patent was given in November 1915. However, the prototype never made it to production, because the middle diameter was larger than the base, which made it unstable on a conveyor belt.  Just like any other invention, Dean found a “better way” to make the bottle and solved the issue by decreasing the bottle’s middle diameter; and, the contour shape that we know today was born.

Where exactly did the packaging-design inspiration come from? The contour bottle was inspired by the grooves and curves of a cocoa bean.  So, if you didn’t know, well, now you do!

The contour bottle continued to receive minor updates throughout the years, but nothing too notable!

So, let’s fast forward to 1950 when the Coca-Cola bottle was the first commercial product to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine, which then established Coca-Cola as an international brand.

Five years later, for the first time ever, people could purchase different-sized bottles of Coca-Cola. Shops began selling, in addition to the traditional 6.5 ounce contour bottle, 10-, 12- and 26-ounce versions. The introduction of various bottle sizes marked the shift in packaging innovation for the brand.

Also, the late 1950s Coke used ACL or “Applied Color Labeling,” which included the white Coca-Cola script on both sides of the bottle.

After the 1950s, the contour bottle received a few changes here and there dealing with trademarks and script on the bottle.

But, in 2000, Coca-Cola hopped on the green initiatives and introduced the ultra-glass contour bottle that was created for improved impact resistance, due to its reduced weight and cost. The new packaging design of the bottles, which were 40 percent stronger and 20 percent lighter than the original bottle, saved about 52,000 metric tons of glass in 2006.

Their environmental initiatives continued into 2009 when Coca-Cola released their innovative PlantBottle in the United States; that was a completely recyclable PET container made of 30 percent plant materials, including sugar cane extracts.

From the first Coca-Cola bottle in a Hutchinson bottle to swapping out its iconic logo with Great Britain’s most popular names for the 2013 summer-long ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, the packaging-design of the Coca-Cola bottle has continued to evolve and will continue to evolve through the years!

Copyright Davison 2014



“Illinois Outdoors Television Show” Tunes-in to AWAY

AWAY, Package Design, Product News

illinois outdoors television show banner

Host of Illinois Outdoors Television Show Don Dziedzina, who has been involved in the outdoors industry for nearly 35 years and has published columns in 11 weekly newspapers, three monthly outdoor magazines and one bi-weekly outdoor newspaper, recently tried Davison package designed AWAY products to keep pesky bugs at bay. What he found was nothing less than a miracle.

Don writes:

Host of Illinois Outdoors Television Show Don Dziedzina“Being in the outdoors industry for so many years I’ve come across many bug repellent options. Electronic, aerosol, creams, wipes, pump sprays and more are all on the list. And I’ve tried them all. But finally, I’ve come across one that’s simple and easy to use. No need to buy batteries and this one is okay with the environment.”

“AWAY Bug Repellent is all-natural. It comes in small packets that you can easily have in hand and use practically anywhere.”

“Deer season is upon us. Southern Illinois is where I’ve hunted and it’s still warm down there. Mosquitoes, ticks, spiders, and other things that bug you are out now. If it stays warm, they can even be seen in November. AWAY is the answer.”

“In that the ingredients are all natural, it won’t hurt your chances of getting a deer. They won’t be scared off by any unnatural smell or odor. But best of all, you won’t be swatting mosquitoes, brushing off spiders, or picking ticks off your arms, which can scare off a deer that may be out of your sight, but they can see you. This is important for deer hunting… being still.”

davison package design away bug repellent“Late season, early morning anglers can have a problem with skeeters, too, at this time of year. I’m in the south suburbs of Chicago and still see those pesky buggers in my back yard. AWAY has small packets that you put into a small tin. Place one or two in the boat and you’re bug free. At the end of the day, cover the can and continue to use it on your next trip. My wife still continues to use AWAY while picking the never-ending tomato crop from her garden.”

Davison package designed AWAY deters pesky bugs without spraying harmful chemicals or setting off dangerous fog bombs in your home. Specially-formulated with all-natural ingredients, AWAY is proven to keep bugs away! AWAY offers a bevy of bug-repellent products, including: Flea Pouches, Stinkbug Pouches, Moth Pouches, Bug Pouches and the Bug Repellent Tin.

New Hydro Bone packaging making a splash!

Davison News, Featured Invention, Product News

Davison products

The ever popular Hydro Bone has a brand new look and, in a word, it’s awesome! The Hydro Bone and Hydro Ball are now packaged in a blister pack that highlights the great features of the freezable water-soaking rubber toys. The corporate team’s goal was to visually communicate the liquid and ice aspects of the product so the consumer would instantly be able to tell what it does, said the corporate design manager. They definitely succeeded.

Davison inventions“It looks great,” he said. “So far it’s getting some pretty good reviews from everyone who’s seen it.”

The design was originally used on the four-pack, which went over big with retailers as well as the Hugs Pet Products, the manufacturer.

“Hugs liked it so much they asked us to put the same packaging style on all the Hugs toys,” said the manager.

The products are being shipped in the new packaging, with the distinctive blue ‘D’ on the back, to everywhere they are sold. The hydrating chew toys are sure to make tails wag wherever they are found.

pet inventions“The new packaging tells a much better story of the hydro line,” said Davison’s VP of Licensing. “Great work to the design team!”

In addition to the product design, the team created the eye-catching graphics and packaging.

Congratulations to the entire team on a job well done!

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