Packaging: History of Development, Function, and Classification

Packaging – Sinaumed’s must be familiar with packaging, right? Yep, packaging, aka the packaging for a product, has various types depending on its contents. It’s even possible that Sinaumed’s has designed a packaging intended for a product, whether it’s at school or when working as it is today. Its existence, which is generally a container for a product, cannot be separated from human life.

Packaging produced by a large company or industry usually needs to go through several stages first, especially to determine the design and color. This is not only related to its function as a container but it also has an impact on the psychology of prospective consumers. Therefore, each container of a product is not only made based on trends, but needs to consider many things. So what exactly is packaging? Why should it be considered in such a way when its basic function is only as a container? What is the history of its development so that it can be as varied as it is today?

So, so that Sinaumed’s isn’t confused, let’s look at the following review!

Definition of Packaging

Based on KBBI (Big Indonesian Dictionary), packaging is a protective wrap in a product and comes from the results of packaging activities . This turns out to be directly related to creative design which is based on human creativity. According to Klimchuk and Krasovec (2006), revealed that packaging is a creative design that relates to shape, structure, material, color, image, typography, and design elements accompanied by product information itself so that it can be easily marketed.

The term “packaging” comes from the basic word “package” which means neatly arranged (wrapped). In the world of commerce, packaging can be interpreted as a protective cover for commercial products. Even though it’s only as a product protective wrap, its existence is not a joke, you know Because the container must be able to influence consumers to give a positive response and be willing to buy the product. Therefore, the ultimate goal of packaging activity is to create a sale.

Packaging is even often referred to as “ the silent sales-man/girl ”, because its presence acts as if it represents the absence of the waiter in indicating the quality of the product. However, in order for a container to be called that, it must have information that is able to communicate between the seller (company) and the buyer (as a consumer). In fact, many marketing experts say that the existence of a container design can be the charm of a product (the product charm) , because packaging is basically at the final stage of a production process. Since the container is at the final stage of production, its form must also be eye -catching as well as usage attractiveness .

Until now, there are three main reasons why companies or production factories carry out packaging activities, namely:

  • Meet the safety and benefit requirements, which are able to protect the product from anything (including damage due to weather) on the way from the producer to the consumer.
  • Can carry out marketing programs, because it is effective as a way for companies to differentiate their products.
  • Can increase company profits, especially if the manufacture is done as attractive as possible.




History of Packaging Development

Does Sinaumed’s know that this packaging activity has existed since 8000 BC? Yep, at that time it was still in ancient times so the packaging was done naturally, namely using natural materials in the form of clay, animal skins, leaves, bamboo reeds, banana stems, and many more. Then, how did it develop so that various product containers today can be interesting to look at? Well, here are the reviews!

Early History of Packaging

The early history of packaging design is said to have started from 8000 BC, when humans already owned goods and thought of covering and storing them using natural materials such as woven grass, tree bark, leaves, shells, and many more. Since at that time humans were able to think that their products or goods had to be stored in such a way so as not to spoil, they used the hollow part of the pumpkin and the animal bladder as the basic vessel.

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Gradually, the use of bottles, jars and earthen jars as containers for their products grew.

History of Writing on Packaging

The existence of writing that exists today does not just exist, but goes through its development first. Sumerian symbols or pictographs were allegedly a written language communication which then developed over time, namely to become syllable symbols so that they could be used as communication by many cultures for almost 2000 years.

Furthermore, the Semitic language which originated from the ancient Phoenician culture developed a single sound symbol to become an alphabet. These symbols in ancient times were also used to identify the container of a product even though the packaging was still simple, which was to identify social identity (who), ownership (who owned it), and origin (who made it).

The Beginning of Inclusion of the Trademark on the Packaging

After the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern world, namely the Renaissance, the concept of graphic design emerged. In 1500, a paper miller named Andreas Bernhard became the first person to put their name (as a trademark) on their products with a printed container. The packaging which is also the wrapper is said to be the first packaging design in the world.

Industrialization Period

In the 18th century, the European region experienced massive commercial expansion, accompanied by high urban growth as well as a widespread distribution of wealth. Not only that, the marketing of body care products has also increased and even the design of containers for soap products also reflects the value of luxury. At that time, wooden boxes and fiber bags were used as the main materials for packaging.

Due to the increasing demand for goods from consumers, the development of cans, glass, aluminum and paper bags as basic materials for packaging is also growing. Furthermore, in 1798, Nicholas Louis Robert succeeded in finding a paper-making machine so that he could produce paper more quickly and at a lower price. Then, in 1817, commercial cardboard boxes were also made for the first time in England until they developed into corrugated cardboard with a more durable quality.

New Economic Age

Around the 19th century, production and distribution methods emerged in terms of packaging. Precisely in 1899, Henry G. Eckstein managed to create a wax-coated container that provides a golden opportunity for manufacturers to continue to distribute their products and keep fresh for a long time.

20th century

In 1906, the Federal Food and Drugs Act appeared which prohibited counterfeit labels or writing that did not match the contents of the product. The legislation became the first regulation to discuss container design. Furthermore, the use of aluminum foil was also developed, especially when the first aluminum factory was opened in Switzerland in 1910. The use of aluminum foil as a container proved to be effective in protecting food products and medicines from outside influences.

Packaging Design Business Development

In the early 1930s, the existence of product containers developed into a major industry. Even some industrial companies set up a special department to develop product containers. Then followed by the presence of advertising agencies that provide design services.

Appears Consumer Protection Rules

In 1962, the US president, JF Kennedy, addressed his congress for the first time discussing consumer protection. In his speech, he acknowledged that consumers have the right to security, choice of information, freshness, and comfort. As a result, many countries also regulate consumer protection, one of which is Indonesia.

Advances in Design

Due to the development of science in the technical field and scientific knowledge, of course it will affect the progress of material and container technology. Starting from small candy boxes, freeze dried powder, aluminum tubes that can be squeezed, to beverage packaging made of laminated foil. Developments in terms of product containers are considered capable of providing protection, convenient access, and making products (especially food) more durable.

Then in the 1990s, many product containers included their trademarks. At that time, companies also realized that there was a greater need for product containers so they began to set up a special team as part of marketing to develop products as well as design packaging. Until finally in the 21st century as it is today, many product containers have developed with colors, typography and shapes that are increasingly unique but do not abandon their basic function, which is to protect the product so that it lasts longer.

Packaging Function

Basically, packaging functions as a product container so that it lasts longer. However, it turns out that with the development of the times, the existence of packaging does not only function that way but also as a promotional tool. Well, here is the function of the packaging of a product.

1. Packaging Protective Function

This function is related to protection or product security from things that might damage the product. Starting from climate weather, dust, bacteria, and many others. From the existence of this product container, it is hoped that it can minimize damage and the risk of defects in the product, which can be detrimental to both the buyer and the seller.

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2. Promotional Functions of Packaging

According to Kotler (1999), the packaging of a product fulfills four functions, one of which is as a marketing tool.

  • Self Service : product packaging can function to emphasize the characteristics of a product to be sold. Therefore, each product will definitely have a different form of packaging.
  • Consumer Affluence : consumers are considered willing to pay even more for the convenience, appearance, and prestige of a product’s packaging.
  • Company and Brand Image : packaging is a company brand image, aka corporate identity so that it can be better known by the public.
  • Innovation Opportunity : Innovative product packaging is proven to be able to provide benefits to consumers as well as benefit the company.

General Functions of Packaging

  1. To protect the product from damage, whether caused by biological, chemical or physical factors.
  2. Facilitate delivery and distribution.
  3. Easy product storage.
  4. Makes it easy to count, especially when going through the bulk packing stage.
  5. Means of information as well as promotion of the products sold.

Packaging Classification

Based on Content Structure

1. Primary Packaging

That is, the packaging materials directly accommodate the products, usually food ingredients in the form of milk cans, drink bottles, and others.

2. Secondary Packaging

Namely those used to protect primary packaging so that no damage occurs to the product. Example: cardboard, cardboard, rope, plastic, and others.

3. Tertiary Packaging

Namely those used to protect secondary packaging, especially when shipping products to long distances. Example: wood, cardboard, and others.

Based on Usage Frequency

1. Disposable Packaging

Namely the type that is immediately thrown away after opening in order to use the product. For example plastic wrap, leaf wrap, and others.

2. Reusable Packaging (Multi Trip)

Namely those that are usually not discarded directly by consumers, but will be reused. In fact, usually, companies will provide products in the form of refills to support this reuse. Examples: drink bottles, soy sauce bottles, floor cleaning bottles, and others.

3. Semi Disposable Packaging

Namely the type that will usually be used again for other purposes. In this container, companies rarely provide refill products for the same product. For example biscuit tins that can be reused as rengginang containers.

Based on Readiness Level

1. Ready-to-use packaging

Namely the type that has packaging materials to be ready to be filled with perfect forms, especially after leaving the factory. Example: bottles and cans.

2. Ready-to-assemble packaging

Namely those that still require the assembly process before being filled with products. Example: cans that are still in the form of flexible plates and cylinders.

Know What Is a Packaging Label

Previously, it was mentioned that there is a label which is usually listed with the trademark on the packaging. According to Kotler and Armstrong (2001), labels on packages can vary, from simple product identification to nutritional information graphics. At the last level, labels can identify products or trademarks.

Not only that, the label can also explain things related to the product, regarding who made it, where it was made, when it was made, how the contents of the product are formed, how the product is used, and when it expires.

Color function in packaging

Does Sinaumed’s realize that there are various colors on product packaging? Yep, color is an important aspect of packaging design and can even have a psychological impact on consumers. Consumers are considered to identify the color on the packaging first, then see the writing that contains product information. The use of the right color can allegedly attract attention and make it possible to differentiate from competitors, especially when placed on a retail shelf.

In the color association concept applied to product containers, each color is able to describe and communicate information to consumers. Here are some color associations that can be applied to product containers.

  • The red color is very often used in product containers because it attracts the attention of consumers. This color represents the intensity of a taste (roasted, spicy, hot) or the richness of a fruity taste such as strawberry, apple and cherry.
  • The color orange, can communicate a strong brand and the energy for information will taste fresh, spicy, or fruity.
  • The yellow color in the product case is very stimulating to the eyes so it is very eye-catching. In food products, this yellow color is often used to communicate the presence of a citrus taste or the presence of butter.
  • The green color in product containers is usually to represent mint, tamarind, apple and lime flavors. However, the green color can also indicate that the product is beneficial to health.
  • The color purple is usually used for product containers and communicates the flavors of berries, such as grapes and blueberries.

So, that’s a review of what packaging is and the history of its development so that it can progress as it is today.