Bhavika: Paper and sustainability go hand in hand

Bhavika of Beyondesign explains how the fundamentals of packaging have changed from aesthetics to functionality and sustainability

28 Nov 2020 | By WhatPackaging? Team

Bhavika of Beyondesign

The key aspects of sustainability
There are two important aspects that designers have successfully mastered. First, “Do more with less” and the other “Create with a purpose”. These two thought processes help brands achieve their goals, says Bhavika, founder and creative director, Beyondesign. Bhavika has been a part of several projects that have reduced packaging material, used sustainable material and has a few interesting projects in the pipeline for zero waste products, too. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, as a lot of clients are now more aware and open,” she says.

Over the years, the words sustainability  and paper have gone hand-in-hand when it comes to innovation in packaging, but it has not gained commercial success yet. “Paper is truly one of the most sustainable options we have today, but of course with its drawbacks. With major companies taking the less travelled paper route, the fundamental idea that packaging only concerns good looks has been discarded and instead it has been replaced with the modern idea of sustainability and functionality.” A prominent factor that drives paper-based packaging is biodegradability.

Compared to its packaging counterpart plastic, paper is any day the better choice, but one cannot wait to have a more feasible, sturdy option available. “This is a huge gap and I am waiting to see the next breakthrough here in packaging design materials. Paper-based packaging may not be outright feasible, but as more and more companies embrace this product its cost may reduce. On the whole, the different market forces should together dive into this prospect for it to be successful.” 

Working in the time of Covid-19
Brands and converters are increasing the adoption of digital technologies to ease their artwork approval processes. And such digital exchanges have become even more prominent during these Covid-19 times. But can the industry shift to a completely online packaging design and artwork approval process?

According to Bhavika, one major drawback here would be the lack of human interaction as somewhere in the shackles of technology a sense of human touch is lost. “A digital system may speed up the approval process, but it builds a sense of solidarity and overall a potential human connection gets a blow. Colour, to me, is the big advantage in printed artwork approvals, anyone in particular will still want to see the swatch and make sure it holds the strength and the design needs, too.”

The Covid-19 situation engulfed worklife into uncertainty and for a while, everything seemed out of control. But this is the new normal and it’s safe to say that most companies have adapted well, says Bhavika. “Not much has changed in terms of the design development cycles. The meetings, idea approvals, and design conceptualisation have taken a virtual setting and brands have well understood the space and deadlines required.” In addition, a lot of businesses even used this lockdown phase to their advantage and new ideas were born in these unprecedented times.

“The two key aspects of packaging we designers have mastered are do more with less and create with a purpose.”

Social media – the way ahead
Social media is a great way of launching new products and brands have already honed the art of a virtual launch, says Bhavika. “We already have several clients who use digital mock-ups for sale and as the attraction whereas the actual package is a lot simpler. With the astoundingly large impact that social media can create, this was an obvious shift and Covid-19 may or may not have been the catalyst that drove this change.” In as much, this will trigger a shift towards creating an appearance that will keep social media as its core focus.

“I definitely feel like we will have design elements for the sole purpose of promotion and marketing soon to stay relevant and cost-effective. One way of judiciously attracting customers would be social media. It’s a medium that promotes a contactless appeal whilst caring for hygiene and safety.”

And hygiene has become a topmost priority for today’s consumers. “It is not a physical relationship, but an emotional connection,” says Bhavika. Simply put, clean eats, greener packaging and overall a feel of safety inside out help the mind see it as safe packaging. “The end goal of design is a sale and the minute the content and visual convey their essence and story, you have a winner.” 

The creative design specialist
Bhavika is the founder of an all woman design company, Beyondesign, which has been in the business for the last 16 years now. She is passionate about the design world and believes that design should be real, relatable and relevant. With two decades of experience in the industry, Bhavika has extensive teaching experience and has been a jury member at various design awards. 


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