Saturday, May 15, 2010

Degree Project: tsp bakery

I'm officially done with undergrad! It's an exciting and sad feeling all the same, but mostly a huge sigh of relief. With the prototype of tsp bakery completed, it's ready to appear on (CAKE)therapy. I've been working on this project for the last 6 months and am really proud of how it has grown.

The project began from the simple question: How can the experience of baked goods be enhanced through the packaging?

From working with the 5 senses, to promoting knowledge, the project evolved into tsp bakery; a bakery based around the concept of educating consumers about ingredients, nutrition and alternative baking methods.

The packaging line for tsp bakery is neutral in color. Avoiding superficial colors, the packages were handmade using paper I had made from recycled bags and paper. The appearance of these boxes and sleeves lend themselves to a natural, raw origin. What you see is what you get. While the ingredients of each item vary in color, I used this as an opportunity to influence the versatile, interchangeable inner packaging.

Included with each product is an informational coaster. The coasters describe the ingredients used, nutritional benefits and ideas for incorporating them into daily meals. Each coaster represents a main ingredient and takes on those colors and accents. Consumers are able to collect all the different bits of knowledge, giving them a second life as drink coasters in their own homes.

It was important that the packaging be both simplistic and multipurpose for the various baked goods. Cake boxes become cupcake boxes with a simple insert. Cookies can be rolled in parchment sleeves. A single cupcake container can hold a dozen cookies. In an effort to minimize waste, and increase usability, the idea for round packaging came into play. Round packaging relates more to the natural, organic influences of the baked goods. There is also a delicate quality to a round package. The cake boxes become stackable storage boxes in the home.

Testing the concept on the public, I found it to be well received. It raised questions and ideas with many people with whom I interacted. People seemed to enjoy taking away a piece of knowledge. Consuming the baked good now included thinking twice about its relationship to the package and reading about what was eaten. Some people however, were still quick to snatch up a cupcake before looking at the packaging or even considering what they were consuming. It would be interesting to continue testing the concept of tsp bakery with different demographics in different regions.

As an expansion of the project, a web presence lies somewhere in the future, as well as a refined menu design and other bakery collateral.

Happy Baking

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