AllPack 2016

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Packaging Design

Zen & the Technology of Japanese packaging: Women to the fore

Woman shopping at a supermarket in Tokyo
In the last of our third-part series of packaging in Japan, Stuart Hoggard examines the key role women play in the way Japanese packaging is designed today.

US coffee brand gets new twist on a classic packaging design

French Market Coffee new packaging design by Crown
US -
Customers of French Market Coffee have always associated the brand with its signature red coffee can, which harkens back to the company’s original Coffee and Chicory label introduced in the late nineteenth century. Recently, the brand owner decided to refresh its packaging, bringing new life to the classic can design.

Rhubarb Gin with a regal packaging design

Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin
UK –
The packaging design for the latest addition to the Warner Edwards portfolio, Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin, is a sophisticated tale of the spirit’s royal background.

Food and beverage packaging design trends in 2014

Fruit Tonic in Tetra Pak
Today’s consumers are increasingly busy, health-conscious, and looking for products that are tailored to their needs, engage them, are sustainable and safe, according to the new ‘Food & Beverage Packaging Trend report’ by Tetra Pak.

Insight Packaging Japan Tour lifts the lid on Japanese packaging

TOKYO - To provide a unique insight into Japan's US$77 billion packaging industry, the TOKYO PACK 2014 management is offering a one-day orientation program designed to help foreign visitors gain the maximum benefit from their visit to TOKYO PACK.

Evoking Japanese traditional styles for minimalist premium packaging design

Energi Kirin Cider
Engaged to develop the brand identity and packaging for a premium range of ciders from Kirin, one design agency has created a design based on traditional Japanese calligraphy and watercolour art styles.

New Japanese RTD tea product in bamboo-shaped bottle

suntory Iyemon tokucha a
Suntory Beverage and Food Limited (SBF) will launch a new ready-to-drink tea product in Japan that helps “to reduce body fat”, and has chosen a packaging design that communicates the product’s health benefits.

Takara uses UV released OP varnish to win Japanese label printing award

takara pac tuki no shizuku label
Takara Pac Ltd recently won the “Supporter's Association of Chairman's Award” at the Japan Federation of Label Printing Industries (JFLP)'s22nd Seal and Label Contest in recognition of its labelling expertise in the production of the “Tuki No Shizuku” (Japanese for “moon dew”) label.

Japanese cosmetics launches with special packaging effects

Japanese beauty line Aquagirl Cosmetics has launched its ‘Brightup Foundation’ in packaging that uses a special overmolding technology for an intriguing visual effect.

Zen & The Technology of Packaging Design in Japan

Zen-&-the-technology of-Japanese-Packaging-cover

Illustrated Analysis & Commentary
Author: Stuart Hoggard

Page Size: A4
Extent: 180 pp
Images: 200 +
Format: Pdf download only
File size: 5.6 mb
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THE ultimate illustrated guide to current trends in the world’s most advanced packaging market. 
The very latest in Japanese Packaging Design in the market, this report is more than just a photo-study of more than 200 exquisitely designed packages - it is an analysis of the latest in Japanese cutting-edge technological packaging solutions, going behind the classic visual graphic elements to analyze material construction, sustainability, market requirement and the main driver and motivation behind the development of each individual package.

Zen & The Technology of Packaging Design in Japan

THE ultimate illustrated guide to current trends in the world’s most advanced packaging market.

llustrated Analysis & Commentary
Author: Stuart Hoggard

Page Size: A4
Extent: 180 pp
Images: 200 +


THE ultimate illustrated guide to current trends inJapan’s US$59.4 billion product packaging market
An analysis of the very latest trends in the Japanese Packaging market, this report is more than just a photo-study of more than 200 exquisitely designed packages - it is an analysis of the latest in Japanese cutting-edge technological packaging solutions, going behind the classic visual graphic elements to analyze material construction, sustainability, market requirement and the main drivers and motivation behind product packaging in Japan.

This report examines the drivers of technology with an in-depth study into the impact and pressures on produst packaging of :

  • Japanese culture on consumer expectations
  • A rapidly ageing populationin in which 25% are over 65
  • A changing retail landscape the expansion of smaller convenience stores demanding reduced shelf footprint but more frequent deliveries
  • The world's strictest environmental and Circular Economy regulations driving the sustainability innovation.

With more than a quarter of the population now aged over 65 and an alarmingly fast declining birth rate, the requrements of the Japanese market are putting pressure on the product packaging sector to innovate to deliver new senior-friendly soultions.
Industry has deployed Universal Design (UD) solutions to solve the problems of accessibility and address the needs of this changing market dynamic: easy-to-read, easy-to-open, easy-to-use and easy-to-close packs address the problems of ageing - failing eyesight, arthritis. Single portion and portion-segmented ready-meal packs cater for a corresponding rapid increase in the number of elderly single-person households.

Japan’s Environmental Legislation is the most stringent in the world. Circular Economy legislation has been in force for more than 20 years, requiring householders to deconstruct packaging to be disposed of in up to 12 separate trash bags. The packaging industry has embraced this Zero Waste strategy by developing easy-to-separate packaging structures for even the most common retail packs.
Meanwhile Japan’s Extended Producer Responsibility regulations, requires manufacturers to pay a per-kilo fee on ex-factory packaging material shipments. As a result the pressure has been to light-weight containers well below anything seen in other markets. The combined impact has been that Japan’s industry now boasts the highest recycled packaging rates in the world:
The technical innovations prompted by the changing consumer landscape and the need for compliance have resulted in industry using less materials to deliver more value. Quite literally, Less is More.
Zen & The Technology of Japanese Packaging Design 2012-14 examines the impact of these issues, with photographs, charts and more than 200 real life examples of packaging already in the marketplace.

The 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster impacted the entire country - not just the East Coast. Tokyo experienced its first food shortages since the end of WWII – not due to lack of food, but because of shortages of packaging to perserve and transport it as the supply chain was put under strain.
In the emergency zones, it was found that some every day packaging formats actually impeded relief efforts, yet other formats contributed significantly and had surprising secondary uses in emergency situations.
Zen & The Technology of Japanese Packaging Design 2012-14 analyses the role packaging plays in disaster and emergency relief situations and offers solutions suggested by the Japanese experience.  
This 202-page report examines changing consumer trands and the regulatory environment for all key packaging end-use markets - food, beverage, spirits, confectionery, cosmetics, personal care, household, pharmaceutical, medical, electronics, industrial and logistics – and all packaging materials, types and formats.
Fully illustrated with more than 200 photographs of the latest innovative packaging technologies and solutions introduced in the Japanese market between 2012 and 2014 by more than 110 Japanese packaging manufacturers, design agencies and brand owners, Zen & The Technology of Japanese Packaging Design 2012-14 provides real-life market examples and case studies of how the Japanese packaging industry has responded to the changing market dynamic.
Many of the product packaging solutions developed by Japanese industry are relevant in Western markets where packaging and brand owners are begining to encounter similar challenges of changing demographics, sustainability and increased regulatory regimens


  • Understand the cultural cues underlying product packaging in Japan
  • Be inspired by the simplicity of minute market-oriented attention to detail
  • Find out how to sell to Japanese consumers, and by extension, other Asian markets.
  • Gain knowledge about the impact of Japan's legislation on packaging design
  • See what the EU's Circular Economy & Eco Design will affect packaging conceptualisation
  • Learn how sustainable packaging can be achieved without compromising design integrity
  • Discover an entirely new market niche by planning Accessibility and Universal Design into your production workflow
  • Be inspired by ideas for your own design projects


  • Packaging Designers
  • Brand Managers & Strategists
  • Packaging
  • Materials & Technology
  • Researchers
  • Packaging Buyers
  • Business and Markets Developers
  • Converters and co-packers
  • {tab Table of Contents}
    Behind the Image
    Key Design Influences
    Art & Religion
    Zen Buddhism
    Zen design
    Furoshiki the roots of packaging in a gift giving culture
    Mottainai Furoshiki
    Calligraphy: text beyond Typography
    Typography explained
    Font Families
    Calliagraphy: High Art-form
    WOOD BLOCK PRINTS the roots of commercial design
    Japanese Influence on Western art
    Industry data: Size & scale
    Chart: Paper Packaging Volume 2008-13
    Chart: Plastic Packaging Volume 2003-13
    Chart: Paper Packaging Value 2008-13
    Chart: Plastic Packaging Value 2003-13
    Chart: Metal Packaging Volumes 2002-13
    Chart: Glass Packaging Volumes 2002-13
    Chart: Metal Packaging Values 2002-13
    Chart: Glass Packaging Values 2002-13
    Japanese Perception of Waste
    Circular Economy Legislation
    Consumer obligations
    Marking & Labelling
    Designed for Deconstruction
    Producer obligations
    Extended Producer Responsibility
    Table: Recycling Fees 2014
    Extended Producer Responsibility in Operation
    Mechanically Recycled PET Pouches
    Is EPR Cost or Benefit?
    Mitigating the cost
    Realising the Value
    Standardising Eco Design: design for Environment (DfE)
    The DfE Process
    What is DfE?
    Chart: Japan’s Packaging Design for Environment Standards
    Regulatory impact on packaging Technology
    Chart: Packaging Volumes 2003-13
    Chart: Packaging Values 2003-13
    Mitigating EPR
    Package Material Migration
    Package Format Migration
    Ultra-lightweight PET Bottle
    PET Design
    Changes requiring new packaging designs
    A Growing Age Gap
    Household Size & Composition
    DEMANDS OF The New Market
    Youth Market
    Young Generation Homemakers
    Mature Homemakers
    Senior Market
    Realigning the product position
    Society Health Check
    Selling to the aged
    The consumer market: Women
    Cosmetic Packaging
    Delivering Consumer Delight
    The Cult of Kawaii
    What is Kawaii?
    Corporate Kawaii
    What is Universal Design?
    UD formalized
    Eight key UD Japan Standards criteria
    Examples of UD packaging
    What does UD Look Like?
    UD beyond packaging
    Universal Design in the CSR position
    Retail Ready Display Packaging (RSDP)
    Transport Packaging Innovating the carton box
    Key factors:
    Weight Reduction
    Easy-open, easy-close
    Enhanced functionality
    Lessons from the Tsunami
    Fragile supply chain
    Long-term Impact
    Packaging Role in Relief Efforts
    Packages that helped
    Packages that hindered
    Design changes