Victoria University acm2009 International Design

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Victoria University


International Design

Tutors: Jaime Hoe and Natasha Dwyer

Assessment One

Food Packaging Design:

Energy Drink

Danielle Mulcahy


Victoria University’s International Design class were asked to come up with designs for an energy drink. This began with fifty quick graphite sketches and refining our designs from there.

We were given free-range creativity and as a class were able to generate all kinds of shapes in order to achieve a container suitable for an energy drink.

Honing in on specifics, we were advised to refine three of the fifty sketches. The task as then to develop the designs and then have them peer reviewed for opinion regarding the strongest shape and most appealing aesthetics.
The question is put to the class: “Why their design would supersede other energy drinks in the current market?”
Through this essay I aim to reveal the thought processes and inspirations behind the concept I have decided on for the energy drink project, and explain why it is my product is superior in design.

50 Sketches/ 30 minutes

The class were allowed to generate various shapes in order to achieve a container suitable for an energy drink.

Honing in on specifics, we were advised to refine three of the fifty sketches.
The task as then to develop the designs and then have them peer reviewed for opinion regarding the strongest shape and most appealing aesthetics.
Drawing upon the project criteria that our energy drinks were going to be designed for ‘ well off ‘ young adults, I decided to opt for designs that weren’t uniform with the average soda bottle or aluminium can.

The shapes I created within those thirty minutes stemmed from brainstorming ideas and symbols relative to the concept of energy.

The first sketch I jotted was an incorporation of the Reiki symbol for energy and empowerment. It seemed appropriate as it comes with a straw! However I could see later on the base may be a problem in relation to stability.
Evolving on previous thought streams, we pondered the conceptual elements of utilizing of time or timelessness, spirituality, blasts and bangs as a translation of the definition of energy.
I wanted to create a vessel that encapsulated a life force.

Some of the containers look like hearts, some look like hour glasses, and others like kettles, beakers, flowers, fractals and army tanks.
Others were whimsically made without much adherence to any particular idea, and more about creating a receptacle that held function over aesthetic.
I chose to brainstorm logo names based on simple concepts that pertained to the definition of energy (Pictured left).
Target Audience
As the brief states the target audience for the project are ‘well-off‘ young adults, it was important to note the competition within the current market today as well as the preferences of the upcoming generation.
Despite this, myself and my colleagues believed that the design I have chosen for my energy drink project is something that people of many ages will enjoy because of the combined benefits of functionality, flavour and recyclability.
My peers and I discussed that the target audience would be late-high school or early university aged and likely to have busy lives, either studying or working.
This is an ideal market for implementing designs of functionality and practicality as they are just starting out and learning how to properly streamline their lives.
Brought up in discussion was also the fact that so many people drop their drinks.
Since energy drinks are so highly carbonated, this gave validation to the idea that the drink design would have a handle of some description that would allow for the transport of the product from one location to another without actually having to use any hands at all!
Having a bottle that provides mechanisms in order make it easier to carry just makes sense if you’ve got your hands full with bags and folios.
This is also a great design function for thirsty people who are injured or disabled, as they are also fall into the target audience category and account for twenty percent of the Australian population.

Competition and Other Energy Drinks on the Market

Majority of the energy drinks on the market at present are aluminium - tubular, plain and slippery. They often too slim to fit into drink holders in cars and since they often have no ability to close often end up in a sticky mess at the bottom of the car.

In citing this alongside the suggestions and opinions of my peers, I was able to see that the design of an energy drink that supersedes the current line of popular energy drink-ware should in fact be quite a simple task. I have found that the simple twist top or clip-close mechanisms are usually the most effective in avoiding spillage.

Despite the demand for energy drinks in today’s society by undergraduates and their peers, the energy drink industry is lacking in innovation, health benefits and functionality.
It is important that there are healthy and eco-friendly alternatives available for informed young adults with growing awareness, and a way of informing those unaware about how they can help.
The design to fit the brief should include eco-friendly packaging, both reusable and reconstituted materials to ensure no wastage occurs.
Ensuring that this product is exemplary in design and function, the design should incorporate aesthetics which benefit the

‘person on the go’ as well as those who find moving much at all an issue.

Through the opinions and suggestions of peers, I have been able to analyse aspects implicit within the design process in order to ascertain what is required to make a successful product within the energy drink industry.

Image Reference:

Red Bull:

Reiki Power Symbol:

Chinese Energy Symbol: 

All other images supplied by author.
Information References:

Tripwire Magazine - 35 Packaging and Eco-Friendly Recycling Ideas: for Inspiration:

Eco Adhesives:


Australian Aluminium Council Ltd:

Recycled Compressed Paper:

How Glass is Recycled:

Gingko Biloba:
Tetra Pak® Recycling:

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