In the past most electronic products and devices were packed in very basic designs – brown cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, etc.. Today electronic packaging has become a major discipline within the field of electronic engineering. Undoubtedly influenced by Apple’s slick, minimalistic design most manufacturers jumped the band wagon a few years ago, creating real package eye-candy to match their products and stir things up in the hard-fought world of electronics retail.
Fundamental characteristics of electronic packaging
To begin with, let’s explore the fundamental characteristic any electronic packaging design has to have. First and foremost electronics packaging has to protect the product it contains: taking into account issues such as protection from mechanical damage, protection from electrostatic discharge, exposure to weather and dirt.
Electronics packaging has matured
As stated earlier, the field of electronics packaging has really evolved during the past decades – “matured”, one could argue. Remember the first TV set or computer you bought? Do you remember the packaging design? Probably not, as it was little more than a cardboard box and some bubble wrap. When you pick up a new TV set from your local electronics retailer today, the packaging is much more consumer-friendly and more beautiful. Manufacturers of electronics have realized that the look and feel of their devices matter as much – if not more – than product performance. Packaging has become an integral part of the look and feel of any product.
Apple’s iMac G3 and the emergence of color
One of the first electronics companies that came to realize the importance of packaging was Apple. In fact, they were the first to put beauty and design at the forefront during the design process – the 1998 iMac G3 being one of the first manifestations of that philosophy.
Gone are the traditional brown cardboard boxes, enter colorful designs with bright, shiny pictures displaying the product in its full glory, topped by the company logo at the center of the box. Today, electronics packaging design is as creative and adventurous as any business, as the following examples illustrate.