Kit Hinrichs on Elevating Brands Through Masterful Packaging

GraphisMarch 27, 2024

The power of packaging cannot be overstated in the highly competitive world of brand marketing—this is the philosophy driving Studio Hinrichs' recent piece, "The Standard 7: Packaging Perceptions," which recently clinched a Gold in the Design 2024 Awards. Spearheaded by the acclaimed designer Kit Hinrichs for Sappi, this project demonstrates the studio's unparalleled creativity in print promotion. It underscores the critical role of tactile and visual sensory experiences in consumer decision-making. Through a blend of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design, Studio Hinrichs turns every interaction into a memorable experience that resonates deeply with consumers across diverse markets.

By: Kit Hinrichs, Founder, Studio Hinrichs

Packaging is the first opportunity for brands to establish their value with a consumer and is therefore vital to a company’s ability to make an impression—to make a first sale and then, hopefully, convert a consumer into a brand ambassador.

The Standard 7: Packaging Perceptions is the latest in Sappi North America’s educational/marketing series on their premium paper and paperboard offerings. The series is in its 10th year of production and is the company’s primary print promotion.

The Standard 7 concept was based on research stating that the perceived value of a product and its desirability to consumers is always elevated by a strong sensory experience—the visuals and the haptics—of its physical packaging. Industry research noted that one-third of purchasing decisions are made based on packaging alone!

Standard 7 is filled with unique packaging demonstrations in several product categories. Understanding that different markets need specialized product perceptions, like Precision (chronometer), Elegance (cosmetics), True (hair color), Practical (garden shears) Sophisticated (cologne), Handcrafted (tequila), and Traditional (English tea), was key in engaging the audience’s emotional resonance to the packaging.

While we certainly explored enhancing traditional packaging forms, we were particularly excited to create new shapes (an elephant box) and configurations (an origami box) to spark the imagination and to include production techniques like textured coatings (a woodgrain UV coating) and varnishes, specialty inks plus embossing, foil stamping, and rub-off chocolate smells to make each page of the promotion a delightful surprise.

Besides being a demonstration of the best in packaging production, each concept is illustrated by world-class artists and photographers and combined with an array of innovative typographic iterations. In addition, the inclusion of production notes provides a complete inventory of printing techniques for reference and use in their next packaging project. Standard 7 not only continues to extend the value of the series, but it also re-affirms the quality and reliability of Sappi paper to print, design, and marketing audiences across multiple industries.

Design: Studio Hinrichs

Writer: Delphine Hirasuna

Illustrators: Nancy Stahl, Mario Zucco, Mallory Heyer, Daniel Pelavin

Photography: Getty Images 

Printer: Jeff Hernandez, Classic Color

Social: Instagram, Facebook, X, LinkedIn

Discover more award-winning Design 2024 entries here. And don’t forget to enter our Design 2025 competition!

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