Students' Sustainable Packaging Design Wins First Place in National Competition
The theme for this year's challenge was sustainable packaging for sustainable business, and the Cal Poly team chose to focus on a local business to reduce packaging costs.
After a year of research and development, a team of Cal Poly students gained hands-on experience designing new sustainable packaging and labels for a San Luis Obispo-based gourmet cupcake and dessert business — and took first place for its effort.
Seven graphic communications students participated in the Phoenix Challenge, a yearlong project in which students help a local small business rebrand and market itself with materials using the flexographic print process, a technique that uses a flexible plate to print on a variety of materials.
The students, Naomi Furuya, Mandy Ko, Isabel Lao, Kaitlin Sakae, Ashley Rubens, Madeline Wales and Sadie Curdts, won first place at the college-level competition in March against teams from across the U.S. This year’s theme was sustainable packaging for sustainable business, and the students focused on helping a local small business reduce packaging costs and make their brand stand out.
They chose to work with a small San Luis Obispo-based business, SeaBreeze Cupcakes & Sweet Treats, to develop and design a cupcake carrying box, a three-pack extract box, and labels to help the business reach out to specific groups of customers and expand to new demographics.
“I learned a lot from the experience of iterating on a printed product with a team,” Lao said. “I feel like that hands-on experience prepared me for working in a similar setting in industry."