CES 2015 Packaging Spotlight Best in Show: Griffin

During the 3 days, that I walked the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I ended up taking 68,738 steps...about 30 miles (information courtesy of my Pulse activity tracker by Withings). I saw a lot of product packaging, but not much worth telling you about. One of the worst violations being lack of originality, which is odd for an industry known for innovation. Sure, I saw loads of amazing products, but as for the design in which these products will be displayed at retail, let's just say it's obvious where they spent their energies. Not a bad thing I guess but some companies put a lot of work into how their products would be received, explained and presented to John Q Public and to those companies, I tip my hat. Of all of the packaging that I've seen over the course of last week, one company soared above the rest, and that company is Griffin out of Nashville.

Clay James came on board as the Creative Director of Griffin earlier this year and one of the first things he tackled was the consistency of the product packaging. Griffin has always had really nice product and packaging design, but the growth of the company has been as organic as the evolution of their look so as a line their packaging had many inconsistencies. So, together with Lead Packaging Designer, Sean Hood, they performed a line review with the purpose of unifying the packaging under one design language which included not only the visual design elements but also the structural design.

It's the details that I found so impressive from our discussion. They used design to create a premium feel that didn't impact costs while at the same time greatly improved the experience the customer has at retail. For example, by adding ridges and cavities to their inserts they were able to create a tight seal that "clicked" when the insert slid into the paper sleeve. This is made possible by utilizing the overlapping of paper and glue that occurs in a normal paper box construction, they just decided to use an otherwise overlooked element.

Also, during Griffin's line review they broke out the different product segments with color and original identities while keeping the overall packaging design unified under the Griffin orange. They did this by changing color on the sides and key elements to indicate line changes while keeping all of the topped orange. This is very smart when you consider that most of their products are merchandised below eye level so from the top everything looks like Griffin. It's little touches like this that make this packaging review so interesting. Griffin toiled over the details from dieline cuts in the outer jacket to highlighting the products key features, to diecuts in the inserts to allow you to touch the product; this packaging line is elevated from really good to awesome. 

Nice work Clay, Sean, and team, I love what you've done.


by Jamie Capozzi from Theory Associates