Many brands choose to pack their products in glass and people prefer what they eat and drink to be sold in glass. There are many good reasons for this. Glass is reusable and 100% recyclable, endlessly, so it responds to current concerns about sustainability. It offers unique and qualitative consumption experiences, preserves taste and is safe for public health.
But glass has been used for hundreds of years. So, when a brand thinks about innovative packaging for a brand new product, glass is not always top of mind: some design agencies in particular seem not to be fully aware of what glass can deliver in terms of design innovation. That is a perception O-I is keen to change.
O-I’s response is to offer a global pool of design talent within the organisation to help customers and their agencies understand the myriad options available to them and make the optimal choice for their brand. O-I Design Services can work hand-in-hand with a packaging design agency should the brand want to involve them (turning their concepts into reality). In many cases, O-I Design Services also acts like a packaging design agency and starts from a brief supplied directly by the brand itself.
All O-I bottle designers are skilled creatively. Their understanding of consumer trends is second to none. They know packaging does not exist in a vacuum but is influenced by a range of factors from the worlds of fashion and beauty, media, travel and technology. Current hot topics include gradient colors (now available in glass through modern coating processes) and a scaling down of ‘in your face’ branding. Consumer and societal concerns in relation to health, sustainability and social responsibility also impact on when and how brands redesign their proposition.
The final bottle design combines with graphics, label, closure and, often, secondary decorative packaging to convey a total brand image, story and values to a target audience whose frames of reference are constantly changing. Therefore, the O-I Design Services team takes into account the complete package when proposing its concepts.
To this wide-ranging perspective, glass designers add an expert knowledge of the capabilities of the O-I manufacturing network. As a result, they can provide advice and, ultimately, a design which captures the customer’s needs comprehensively. This design encapsulates not simply attractive shape, color and decoration, but also practical operational factors such as the most suitable closures, end-user convenience, filling line behavior and sustainability.
O-I designers use that expertise to create shapes that resonate with the end-user profile – whether it is the retro ‘oil can’ look of Rockers craft spirits or the convenient stability of Olé dips and salsa, using O-I’s patented Versaflip solution. Some sectors, such as Bordeaux-style wines or champagne, have distinctive shape cues within which designers must operate to retain credibility. Others, such as gin and rosé wines, allow the designer much greater scope for imaginative treatments.
In terms of color, O-I designers think way beyond the standard clear, green and amber options. It still surprises some design agencies that glass can be black like Hendricks Gin, deep amber like Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, red like Skol Beats or even multicolored, such as the award-winning extra flint and blue wave bottle for Yaguara Cachaҫa.
Some of the most interesting developments have been in the field of embossing options. O-I can design complex embossing of words, pictures and abstract designs on the neck, across the full body and even in the push-up, using the company’s proprietary Mira range of wine bottles. While most embossing and engraving remains on the outside of the bottle, O-I can also design and create internal embossing, such as its Vortex glass bottle.
Public desire for personalization is having a massive impact on the design world. In the glass industry, we are seeing more and more demand for small-scale rebranding and limited editions. Digital printing technology, which is behind O-I’s latest service innovation, O-I : EXPRESSIONS will be part of solution and O-I designers are fired up by the new possibilities that are opened to them with these advances, such as the tactile experience that O-I : EXPRESSIONS RELIEF can bring.
O-I Design Services bring far more to the customer than simply taking the design agency’s brief and making it work, important though that is. A skilled designer is the catalyst which creates the perfect reaction as brand, consumer, market trends and commercial necessities come together in the melting pot of New Product Development.
We hope this has fired your imagination about what a glass redesign could achieve for your brand. If so, O-I invites you to meet your local O-I Design Service team*, whether you want to discuss individual projects or simply to take part in a creative glass workshop. German soft drinks brand True Fruits used just such a workshop to help create its new Smoothie Bowl. The one-day workshop involved key brand stakeholders (marketing, technical and agency personnel) along with O-I’s NPD and design experts. The O-I designers had worked up concepts from earlier discussions and worked on these throughout the day with direct customer input to create a shortlist of pack concepts which True Fruits could take to consumer testing.
At the London Packaging Innovations fair towards end of 2018, one of the UK’s leading distillers implored design agency staff to get a better understanding of what manufacturers can offer. As far as O-I is concerned, this is all part of the service. Come in, take a look at the latest manufacturing techniques and see for yourself how decoration options, colors, secondary packaging choices and O-I’s expertise make modern glass packaging the number one choice for excellence.
Explore O-I Glass Catalog and enter a world of glass.
* please note that minimum quantities apply for the production of proprietary bottles