Nokia currently makes and sells over 250 different products around the world, and in many cases the packaging is the first thing that people see. It’s important and it’s a feature that Nokia has been paying a lot more attention to recently.
The packaging for Nokia’s latest accessories has proved particularly innovative. “Accessories packaging has a difficult challenge, because the packaging really has to sell the product. It has to stand out, and it has to differentiate and communicate all by itself,” explains Chris Merrick from Nokia Design.
“We have to decide what it is we want to inform the customer about, why this is the best product for you. If we look at many of our competitors and ourselves in the past, packaging design has looked super busy: banners, stickers, icons, flags, you name it, completely un-coordinated. It begins to look like a Nascar team car, and if you’re looking for particular information, it’s overwhelming and indecipherable, a real turn off.”
The design team had to come up with something simpler then, but the packaging still had to communicate particular information. “From the outset we knew we had to create something that celebrates our product, feels like it comes from Nokia and presents itself in a calm, confident manner, helping you find exactly what you need, quickly, easily and with maximum reassurance,” adds Chris.
“What we have now is an easily viewable product. A concise product name supported by a short sharp descriptive headline, explaining the product and its benefits. This is the first read, to either introduce and/or identify quickly that this is the product you were searching for.”
“At a secondary level, we have a category label on the side panel to identify the segment this product is within – so if it’s a charger, a dock, a headset, it tells you exactly that on the side of the package.”
“Last but by no means least, we have a set of icons, which we call our ‘accessory vocabulary’, those icons are the same icons found across our devices, so there’s a familiar language there. This helps build awareness across all our products.”
Using new materials and design processes
The materials that Nokia uses have also changed, allowing the packaging team to be more adventurous with its designs. Ulla Uimonen, from Nokia Design explains: “We previously used 3D vacuum formed plastic parts that created the windows for our packages. We now use die cut foldable plastic parts, which enables us to create windows that go around the corners of the package.”
“The bigger windows bring much more light to the product and allows narrower packaging,” says Ulla. “We can showcase the product better. There’s a nice detail where we’ve used curved white cardboard underneath the product, so the card actually deflects light, creating a backlit effect. It’s only possible with a particular design.”
With the same features used across all of Nokia’s product packaging – from the shape, to the windows, to reflective mate
rials, labels, icons and more – it’s now easy to spot a Nokia product from a distance. It’s easy to see exactly what the product is, what it does, and what it has to offer.
Chris adds: “We have a package that elevates product design, showing off a product in all its beauty. It looks great. When you walk into a store, or purchase one of our devices, and you buy a Nokia accessory, it looks like we’ve got our house in order.”
Nokia’s latest products are also a lot more environmentally friendly, building and innovating upon the company’s stringent policies. On average, the packaging for Nokia accessories has been reduced in size by around a third, and on Nokia level plastic materials have been cut down to less than 3 per cent. The fact that all the materials used are recyclable is particularly impressive
This may not sound like much, but when you’re producing 25-30 million accessories alone, it has the potential to make a massive difference to the environment. So not only can the brighter, more colourful and more intelligent packaging help Nokia to sell more products, it can do so without having a negative impact on the world we live in.