A Special Carrier
Understanding form, structure, and aesthetics of designing corrugated cardboard carriers
Object: Gift-quality cookies (at least four)
Tools: 1-ply Corrugated Cardboard, Olfa box cutter, Masking tape (minimally to none)
Objective: “ The items we purchase often have unique characteristics that warrant specific structures that enable them to be carried, protected, and appreciated. We’re then going to build carriers for such items based on our understanding of the items’ needs. We’re also going to pay close attention to the roles the carriers play that extend beyond mere utility to include rituals, such as gift-giving.”
- What are the characteristics of a common carrier?
• Portable, lightweight, cheap, easy to construct, simple to use, doesn’t occupy too much space, reusable/recyclable, (sustainable), durable after use, aesthetically pleasing, above all **convenience
- What items found at a store would benefit from an improved carrier?
• Fruits/ Vegetables (individual groceries): bags can get soggy, wet, tear holes because of the thin plastic, difficult to transport, not reusable bags (plastic is unsustainable)
• Potted plants: no containers given to carry herbs/ plants home safely, often move around in the car, spill dirt in a car, leaves can get damaged without any protection
• Flower bouquets: Difficult to carry/ transport multiple at a time, flowers die without water after time, after removing from vase after purchase, no rigid container for them to stand, simply fall over and bend (ruins flowers), without any protection on the top flowers can fall off during transportation, cannot be placed anywhere without a base so if you continue shopping, it occupies one of your hands at all times
- What are the affordances/limitations of the carrier materials/construction?
• Must be affordable to mass produce (hence the use of plastic and paper)- cheaper cost to produce at expense of the environment)- unsustainable material use
• Limitations of construction- needs to be time-efficient and simple so few pieces necessary to put together in assembly, saving money, fewer workers needed
- How might the materials be used to address the needs of the items?
• Designed for the specific needs of item.
• Unwrapped Groceries: Material- plastic disposable bags because it is temporary, will be shortly thrown away after being transported to fridge; Size- is large to fit for different groceries; No holes to prevent leaks
• Nuts: Air-tight boxes, pieces don’t fall out, bugs don’t enter, don’t get stale
• Packaged groceries (mushrooms, cherries, grapes): Air holes in thicker plastic, plastic is not temporary, need air to prevent fungus from growing
• Chip bags: Vacuum-packed so that the chips stay crispy inside
- How might the carrier be constructed so that it’s useful/usable/desirable?
• Strong and sturdy materials- last longer; Reusable carrier to save consumer’s money and remain sustainable; Aesthetically pleasing exterior and interior design to freely display in public; Simple/easy to assemble and use, easy to understand; Portable, can easily be taken places and transported; Cost-effective to be affordable for people regarding the price of the actual product
- How might the form of the carrier align with what the carrier holds?
• For a cookie carrier, the ideal carrier should be portable, easy to use, cheap, simplistic, be adaptable for different sizes and shapes of cookies, and lightweight.
Research into already existing products
Sources: https://cakemerchant.com/wp-content/uploads/Cookie-Box-18.jpg, https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1131/1600/products/COOKIE_BOX_4feb3081-8f45-4640-9d54-abb5ae13bc30_400x400.jpg?v=1600277178 , https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0026/5469/9572/products/cookiebox4.jpg?v=1526499696 , https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0949/9506/products/bakers-sto-n-go-cookie-carrier-837335_2048x.jpg?v=1599055194 , https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71j4jDi9LdL._AC_SL1500.jpg
Exploring the properties of corrugated cardboard
Activity: Explore the joints of a cylinder with open ends
From this activity, I learned that cardboard has a lot more potential than I gave it credit for. Looking at the hemispheres some people built, I realized how powerful scoring and bending cardboard can be, to create some unique malleable forms. When working on my open cylinders, I learned the best way to create a soft edge was to score the sides vertically with my Xacto or Olfa knife consistently. I scored on the inside so that the creases aren’t evident from the outside to create a more smooth façade. To further experiment, for my next cylinder I peeled off the top layer of cardboard and revealed the more flexible thin wavy layer. I later tried to create a smaller cylinder with only my scissors, scoring it with the side of the blade, this time on the outside of the rectangle to see the difference it made on integrity and structure.
To attach the pieces, I created a protrusion on one side of the rectangle before scoring and cut a slit onto the other side of the rectangle, and simply slid the tab into the slit all the way to make it tight. I noticed many people exploring how to connect edges with slots and t-joints; I would like to experiment with different ways more in my next models to get a handle on the manners in which cardboard fastens well without tape.
Over the weekend, I crafted 4 sketch models for a more efficient and innovative alongside aesthetic cookie carrier. The hexagonal idea significantly evolved as I learned from the previous one’s pitfalls. I also explored other forms and ideas involving cubes and cylinders as detailed in the specific processes below. I reflect on the failures of each model and ways to improve for the next one…
These are some of the qualities I wanted my carrier to have:
- Be easy to use for everyone (not too many features that people are required to open)- not time-consuming or complicated: simplistic
- Be lightweight and portable (limit the use of cardboard to essential needs)
- Be efficient- adaptable for different sizes and shapes of cookies
- Be aesthetically pleasing (presentable appearance to be gifted)
Sketch Model 1
Description & Process:
After sketching some ideas in my sketchbook, I wanted to create a form that was hexagonal in nature to contrast the round edges of the circle cookies but also remains semi-circular in shape. The shape of this model was a regular hexagon with equilateral and equiangular sides. First, I measured the width of one cookie when it was standing upright, and made that the initial measurement of each side of the hexagon. On the outside of the hexagon base, I cut out tabs and folded them up to create the walls. I scored the sides so that I was able to bend the cardboard up. I created little tab slots on one side so that the sides would interlock with each other, and on the other side I hollowed out a section of the cardboard to wedge the tabs inside it. I created the windows on the sides for aesthetic purposes, for the consumers to see inside the box into the cookies inside. This would ensure they know exactly what they are purposing and are satisfied with their product. My intention with the interior compartments was for them to be rearrangeable to adapt to any size or shape cookie as well as quantities of cookies.
Failures & Things To Improve:
- My tabs to connect each side were not wide enough, so the model kept curling outwards and falling flat with gravity working against the cardboard, which is why I had to use tape, in the end, to reinforce the insides of the edges — in my next model, I will make the tabs larger or find a more efficient manner of connecting the sides of the hexagonal base.
- My interior compartments did not turn out rearrangeable as I originally intended them to be. Since I did not include interlocking features into the compartments, they can’t easily be moved around — I will incorporate interlocking t joints into the interior of the other models
- While I measured the width of the cookies to account for the width of each side of the hexagon, I made the height of the hexagonal pyramid a little too short, so the cookie would stick out when inside it
Sketch Model 2
Description & Process:
Trying a completely different approach, in contrast to the previous precise right and sharp angles, I wanted to follow the natural curve of the cookie and created a cylindrical shaped box. First I cut out a circle base (using the clock in the studio as a guideline to trace a perfect circle). After measuring the height of the cookies, I cut out a 6-inch tall rectangle that was a little larger than the length of the circumference of my base.
I also cut out little tabs on the bottom of the rectangle at every inch, and then stuck them into the circle base to connect the two without using any tape. Scoring the outside of the rectangle, I curved it along with the shape of the circle and cut slits into the base at the same locations where the tabs would go. I then fastened the rectangle side onto the circular base.
Where I struggled was formulating ideas for the top of the carrier. I also ran into an issue because I didn’t cut it attached to the rectangle for the sides, so would have to go through extra procedures to fasten it without tape. I ended up choosing this pattern because it follows the shape of the cookie by creating more circles within it. To fasten it, I used the locking method with 4 joints, one at the location the circle “appeared” to split to create a pattern.
Failures & Things to Improve
- The risen top leaves a gap between where the top connects with the sides — I will definitely cut out the top alongside the rectangle for the sides the next time.
- I did not particularly like the circle shape because it blended in almost too well with the cookies. Also, the cookies would have to lie flat to prevent wasting space inside the container. This would mean the cookies would be stacked which means people cant pick exactly what cookie they want.
- This particular lid looks confusing and distracting — very unaesthetic.
Sketch Model 3
Description & Process
Improving upon the first hexagonal prism I created, this design required no tape, and the top half was all one cohesive piece. First I cut out a regular hexagon as the base with a 1 cm extra buffer space. I then cut out one large piece with 6 rectangular shapes (the height of a standard cookie) connected with another hexagon (for the top) with 3 tabs (to close the lid). I also added little tabs to the bottom of each rectangle to use the slot method and make slits in my base and stick the tabs into the base so that the sides will stand up.
Unlike the ones in the past, this model was extremely sturdy especially since it was mostly one piece scored and bent together. I added compartments for cookies in the interior of the sketch model. This time I made them rearrangeable. So the vertical piece attached to the base has slits in it. The short horizontal pieces can be placed however one wishes, to adapt to the different sizes and shapes and quantities of cookies they wish to carry in this carrier. I approved of how the rearrangement aspect of the carrier turned out. I also liked the fact that the cookies could stand up, this would make it easy for the user to pick any particular cookie they wished to eat easily.
Failures & Things to Improve
- Windows on the top are a little too large, makes the structure weaker
- The base could be a little larger (more than 1 cm buffer) so that the slot method is stronger
- Add more slits in the interior area so the cookies can be rearranged in more ways
- Change windows on the side — appear too angular and rigid compared to the smooth cookies
Sketch Model 4
Description & Process
Wanting to explore a different manner of arranging the cookies within the container, this model is entirely different than the previous one. I made the base hexagon much smaller, almost one cookie size and not a regular pentagon, more flat on the top even though every side was 4 inches. Instead of making the base larger like the previous one, I made the height larger, stacking the cookies rather than standing them up vertically.
Using a similar process to the last one, I first cut out my base (with a 1 cm buffer), and then cut out one large piece with 6 rectangles with tabs on the bottom connected to another hexagon and fastened the two by cutting splits into the edges of the base to wedge the sides in. I scored the sides to fold them over on the outside and also decided to cut 2 square windows into each side to add more preciseness compared to the last one- the windows appeared a little large and chunky.
On the same parallel, the triangles on the top of the figure are closer to the center of the hexagon. This makes the border thicker than the margins in between the triangles which adds some variety and strength to the form, especially compared to the previous model.
After semi-cleaning my desk, this is what I was left with. I kept most of the elements that were big enough to be preserved. My first two sketch models were not as strong — I think particularly because I did not do enough planning to cut out the pieces as a whole big piece which made it harder to additively connect them without tape. Overall, I believe cutting the pieces out together with proper prior planning makes the form stronger and neater.
- Some ideas I would like to explore more — maybe a cylinder with pull out segments for each cookie
- Hexagonal pyramids but more spherical in nature so not a prism
- Adding handles on the figures, easier to carry
- Develop the rearrangeable cookie compartments
- Develop ideas targeting all of the different components of beneficial features of carriers
Creating 2 more sketch models, I focused on ensuring that the structure was strong without using any tape. I created tabs for attaching the sides to the bases and used hook-like joints for the sides and flaps for the top with the body of the structure. I also worked on figuring out good methods to create and attach handles to the structures. I cut out my pieces as large shapes to ensure I was able to have integrity and functionality in the models. I also focused on analyzing the efficiency and usability of the product by a user as well as the form flowing with that of a cookie — suitable for its use.
Sketch Model 5
This time I more detailedly outlined my process…
1: Drew out measurements, proportions, and shapes of the figures to cut out — analyzing the negative space, accounting for tabs. Marked where to score vs. cut. All one piece so it will be easy to fasten aspects together without tape. Drew hexagon using 6 equal triangles. Each segment I drew is 4 inches and there are 7 segments (1 extra to be used to attach the sides together including spare cardboard just in case I make a mistake).
2: Began to cut the basic exterior outline of my template for my model. Have not cut into the interior elements yet — this photo only features the exterior one shape. The tabs on the top and sides are evident. Used the top rectangle to trace and cut a hexagon of the same size for the bottom base. There are 5 tabs for the lid on the top, I may cut some of them off later. Each tab is 1 inch long- shaped like trapezoids. There are triangles drawn within the lid of the hexagon to cut out holes for the lid.
3: The interior sections of the model have been cut out including the slots for where the sides will connect with the base. These are all the major pieces in my model. There are 2 pieces, but I could probably make it all just one giant piece? The lid and sides are one piece for more structural integrity, and it connects to the base. The windows are slanted to match the geometry of the hexagonal sides. In this image, you can clearly see the gridlines I measured and drew in order to get precise measurements. One problem with cutting was being careful so that the middle windows are not accidentally cut out completely.
Specific Components Highlighted (Joints, Tabs, Flaps, Handles) without the use of tape
I experimented with different handles for the top of the model. I cut the triangles out of the lid after the handle was inserted to make sure the handle had a sturdy base to connect to. The handle I decided on goes into the lid of the cardboard (though slots on the lid). The handle has 2 tabs on each end, one folds right and one folds to the left so that when the tabs are bent over inside they balance each other out and keep the handle in place.
Downfalls/ Things to Improve:
- Attached the handle with flaps through the lid of the model. However since the flaps face downward, and wedge into the top, when you lift the handle to carry the model, it will just open. The weight is too heavy to carry the model without opening it. This means I would have to change the flaps to be horizontal instead of vertical so people won’t accidentally open the model while they’re trying to carry it.
- Don’t need the model to open on the top and the side — just pick one
- The tab connecting the sides of the hexagon is very easy to attach but is not as easy to take out. This means that people can only open the model from the top, rather than the side as I intended. I hope to improve this so that cookies can be slipped out of the side as well.
- Consider the “Design for Assembly” concept so that people know exactly how to put it together easily. If you put it together wrong, it is obvious that it is wrong.
Sketch Model 6
Description & Intent:
This idea revolved around finding a way to preserve every individual cookie and allow for them to stay intact without airflow, and the consumer to pick whichever one they like — similar to a cookie cabinet. Originally, I wanted to make it circular to fit the shape of the cookie and prevent excess waste of space in the corners of the cookies. The compartments can be stackable in different arrangements and refillable. Could also come in different sizes adaptable to myriad cookies. Would be suitable for a variety of types of cookies since they have individual compartments (ie. frosting wouldn’t get ruined)
Things to improve:
- Add horizontal flat sheets of cardboard in between every layer/ drawer so that it opens more smoothly
- I intended to make the shelves circular but then the exterior cannot be framed since it is a circle — unless the exterior is only a semi-circle… or maybe I don’t need an exterior? This means each shelf could frame the cookie without wasting the excess space around the cookie within the square.
Quick questions to answer in Breakout Rooms (Observations):
- Consider relevant to use, disposal > life of the product, disposed of, recycled?
- What is the primary value that you would like to design into it, purchase who is purchasing to like the packaging/carrier itself? What would elements be that would make someone like it?
- Clarity, Portability, Functionality
- Specific to the object’s variety- accommodates different sizes
- Make packaging indicative of what is inside, not take away from the object
- What is some unacceptable sin/offense that a carrier makes? What would repel people from a carrier?
- Not functional, heavy, not aesthetically pleasing
Criterion I wanted to address:
- Adaptability- Will work for various sizes of cookies and various types and quantities
- Clarity- Users will be able to know it is a cookie container when they see it
- Innovative- Aesthetically pleasing and interactive with the user
- Efficient- Properly holds the cookies, keeping them warm, sturdy
- Usability- Not difficult for the user to understand and use
- Cost & time effective- Easy to assemble for use, do not use too much cardboard
- Portability- Not too large that consumers cannot take around with them
Analyzing the feedback from critiques I received, and my observations of drawbacks from my previous models, I came up with an entirely different approach…
There are two components to the carrier I came up with: the interlocking hexagons (platter for sharing purposes) and the larger carrier they can be transported within.
Description & Intent:
- Each cookie or 2 cookies depending on size and thickness can be placed inside a small hexagonal container
- The hexagons are interlocking like a honeycomb; They can be shared with a large group as a cookie platter if numerous are interlocked together, but also can be removed and eaten individually as a plate.
- The interlocking hexagons can be of different sizes to account for different types of cookies
- Numerous hexagons can be added on to account for different quantities
- Each piece is shaped like a hexagon to fit the shape of the cookie but also contrasts the roundness with the sharp edges. Squares waste a lot of excess cardboard around their edges.
- Interactive and aesthetically pleasing for the user to be able to arrange their cookies in any manner they want.
- Easy to access cookies without getting your hands dirty since they are in different compartments, also easy to pick out what specific cookie you want
- Each side of the equiangular hexagon is 4 inches to account for the approx. 5-inch cookie diameter
- These compartments are sturdy and ensure the cookies will not break within them
While the cookie compartments interlock flat on the surface to create a platter for sharing or aesthetic purposes, they can also be easily stacked to decrease space and increase portability.
- The stacked hexagons can easily be placed within the exterior container which fit its size to ensure the cookies will not move around or melt
- The container is sturdy to ensure the cookies are safe and the sides are not see-through unlike the past to make sure that the cookies won’t melt before reaching their destination
- The top however has holes cut out so the consumer will know there are cookies inside!
- Inside of opening the container from the top, like some of my sketch models, this one opens from the side. This is to ensure that the compartments can be easily pulled out once you open the front latch. This also leaves space for a handle to be attached to the top (which I will improve for the next iteration)
Components of the life cycle to consider (mentioned by Steve):
- interaction with assembly
- interaction with loading into it
- interaction with the carrying it from place to place
- interaction with opening, receiving, identification, disposal
Refining Prototypes: Prototype 2
Observing things to change:
From peer reviews and self-reflection, I realized I used an extremely unnecessary amount of cardboard. I needed to simplify my model and make it less cardboard-heavy and intuitive to understand. In particular, I realized that the outer shell was unnecessary if I find a way to interlock the hexagons vertically as well when they are stacked. At the same time, I also had to add in a handle in order to make it easy to carry for people. Additionally, Stacie mentioned how less can be better, so I wanted to make the hexagons only 1 piece to minimize the time for assembly as well as minimize the amount of wasted cardboard in the process. One other thing I wanted to improve was making sure the tabs don't stick out of the sides of the hexagons like the previous prototype, so I cut a slot for it to bend inside when not being used.
Attempts to interlock hexagons vertically:
- First attempt: Create long tabs on the bottom of the net that would stab (slot) into the lower hexagon to keep them all together. This didn’t work though because the hexagons were the exact same size, so they wouldn't be able to stab into each other unless the hexagons were offset or if I cut into the cardboard — but Stacie and Steve mentioned this would ruin the integrity of the cardboard.
- Second attempt: I tried to offset the hexagons and then have the tabs slot into the base of the lower hexagon — did not look nice because the hexagons were oddly staggered and were not flush with each other and also left gaps open for the cookies to be exposed to the air.
- Third attempt: Made the tabs on the bottom longer instead of adding more on the other side to fit them inside the bottom hexagon — did not work because hexagons were the same size
- Fourth attempt: Make alternate hexagons smaller sizes (make some .25 inches smaller on each side so that the tabs of one will fit into the sides of the other when stacked — not reasonable to logically produce different hexagons and expect consumers to know how they fit together
- Fifth attempt: Give up on connecting them within the form itself, have an external piece just wrap around the whole structure, and keep the components in place.
How it works:
Feedback to Peer Review:
I agree with the feedback I received. To make the carrier more indicative of what it is carrying, I think I will cut a small window on the top of the lid so the consumer can partially see into the cookies. I’m glad that the assembly is intuitive, and the handle is stronger; I tried very hard to make each hexagon one piece to use up less cardboard than my previous model. I also agree that while the components protect the cookies, it may be easy for the cookies to fall if someone drastically turns the carrier. To fix this I will simply make the slits on the bottom of the handle so that the tabs on the bottom hexagon will just poke into it, securing it. These tabs already exist so cutting slits shouldn’t be too difficult. Looking at other people’s models, I am also considering working to find a way to interlock the hexagons vertically as well as horizontally because I think that would minimize the amount of cardboard necessary by a lot. Then the whole structure would only be one shape and definitely be intuitive to use. Regarding the honeycomb, an important element of my carrier was adaptability to different sizes and quantities of cookies. Making them individual allows smaller pieces to also be constructed. While they can be stacked up to gift or transport, the honeycomb allows the user to arrange the cookies in any arrangement they prefer — serving as a cookie platter for a group of people to simultaneously share.
Refining Prototypes: Prototype 3
- Each hexagon is made from only one piece of cardboard (bottom hexagon is connected to the handle, the top hexagon is connected to the lid)
- Hexagons stack vertically, connected with a handle that is connected to the bottom hexagon, to facilitate carrying
- Hexagons can be interlocked horizontally to act as a cookie platter to be shared with many people
- Hexagons can also be separated so can be distributed individually to different people
- Modular design allows the carrier to accommodate different quantities of cookies and sizes
- Hexagonal shape/form adapts to the round nature of a cookie
Process Outlined in Detail:
To ensure I created an accurate regular hexagon, I cut one out of tracing paper with exactly 60-degree angles for each equilateral triangle. Unlike my previous models, this ensured preciseness with the cuts and consistency from every side as the hexagon was both equilateral and equiangular.
I wished for every hexagon to be only one big piece of cardboard so I drew a long strip that is 1 inch tall and is scored in 3-inch increments. This was to create a hexagon with each side that is 3 inches. I then made 1 inch by .5 inch tabs for each side of the hexagon to stab into the bottom piece. The bottom piece was connected, and I cut it all out together. For the bottom piece, however, I made each side 3.5 inches to account for the depth of the cardboard when I cut out the slots, to ensure it was still sturdy.
The hexagonal shape is perfect to accommodate the round ABP cookies I chose which had a 4.5-inch diameter each. However, even if the cookie is smaller it will still fit in the hexagon, which is something I was aiming for. After drawing all my markings as shown in the picture on the left, I then cut out the tabs and scored the corresponding sections to punch out a cohesive piece ready to fold.
Each hexagon is made of only one piece of cardboard. Each interior hexagon has the same net. This allows the carrier to accommodate an unlimited amount of cookies, making a bigger platter to share with more people. The top hexagon has a lid component attached and the bottom hexagon has a handle component attached to it.
The nets actually have 7 sections because one serves to connect it to the other hexagons. I cut a tab into the hexagon so the same tab that connects it to other hexagons also allows it to bend back and not be visible.
After assembling the hexagons (easy assembly, simply have to press all the tabs into the hexagon base in an intuitive manner), the modular hexagons can be attached and arranged in a platter form. The first set of pictures shows how hexagons can be added on, accommodating different numbers of cookies. This means they could be arranged in a bigger cookie platter for more people to share. The second set of images shows how the hexagons can be easily pulled apart, and the connection tab can be tucked in. Each hexagon also stands as a stand-alone, so the hexagons can be easily distributed between people.
The bottom hexagon is connected to a handle that folds upwards (featured in the photo on the left). My previous design had a big flaw where a sudden movement would make the hexagons fall out, whereas this one is far sturdier and safer for the cookies since it is constructed from only one piece. Also, this uses less cardboard and reduces the number of pieces involved. The hexagons can be stacked for the consumer to carry by the handle. The handle closes with a latch/tab as portrayed in the last two images on the right. Gravity pulls the tab down tightly over the slot, working in favor to ensure the handle does not come loose.
More things to Improve
- Make box more indicative of what is inside
- Find a better way to connect the hexagons vertically when stacked so that they don’t just fall out when tilted
- Make the handle less rigid and more comfortable for the user
- The handle is a piece of the base, but turn the hexagon so that the handle folds up on the not pointy side.
Handle Insights from class:
- Think about the shape your hand makes when it curls up — creates a more circular shape
- The harsh edges may poke the user, not very comfortable for people to use
- When cutting a hole through the cardboard for the handle, don’t cut through it completely, have the inner piece fold up over the handle, aiding the ease of holding it
- A thicker handle with 2 layers from either side may be stronger?
Insights from Stacie at Office Hours:
- Consider connecting the hexagons vertically externally rather than struggling to connect the hexagons from within.
- Turn the base hexagon to have it fold flush with the side and have the handle weave its way through the hexagons
- I plan to also have lids for every hexagon so that it is just one same piece — much easier for consumers to use and assemble. Also then each hexagon can be distributed to different people.
Changes for Prototype 4
- Make each piece an exact perfect hexagon (realized that instead of tracing equilateral triangles or measuring 60-degree angles, it is more accurate to just trace one from my computer/ a template)
- To attach the handle: Cut long horizontal slits into opposite sides of the hexagon weave the handle through the slots
- Make all the hexagons have lids so that it is easier to distribute and all the hexagonal pieces are the same
- Cut out areas of hexagon so that the cookie shape is visible
Problems to fix (esp with handle/ stacking method that I ran across):
- Kind of difficult to stick a piece of cardboard through the slots on the edges, makes the tab weak and fragile (may break if you do it too many times)
- Also hard to weave the handle through because it will be long and thick — time-consuming
- To take out one piece, the user has to take out several pieces — inconvenient
- The slots have to be exact or else the hexagons will be staggered, misaligned with is not aesthetically pleasing
- The triangle cutouts on the top of the hexagon look strange because they are not the same size; they are distracting from the cookies. I tried to fix this by making the buffer in between the triangles smaller, but then it looked even less balanced.
- The top piece lid of the hexagonal pieces isn't a perfect hexagon, unlike the base, because it is slightly longer on the top to cover the front detachable tab
Insights from Nick & Alice:
- Perhaps instead of sticking the handle through the hexagonal base pieces itself (the cardboard may not bend that well in that manner), create slots in the handle to slip the pieces in like a shelf. This would also make the sides and tabs stronger. Also makes it easier for people to remove the pieces — don't have to remove all the pieces to get a specific cookie out.
- The cutouts are not necessarily necessary for the carrier to be indicative of what it holds and instead just distracting. They agreed that they could be forgone in the next model.
Featuring the hexagons stacked and evenly slotted into the side of the handle which is connected to the base hexagon. The slots are 1.5 inches into the side of the hexagon base pieces and 2 inches into the handle piece. This leaves .5 inches of space at the end to ensure the integrity of the cardboard as they are slotted together. The hexagons stack very succinctly and easily in this manner.
Prototype 5 Continued…
Experimenting with handles
The main idea in several of these was trying to use the inner cut-out piece from the handle to wrap around the inside and hold the two handles together. This would waste less cardboard and also be easier for the consumer to understand. This method would also provide a grip for the consumer and better fit to the shape of their hand. Some of the earlier models were more circular in their connection of the two handles which I believed contrasted the shape of the hexagonal container. If I scored it more times, the connection became more circular in shape.
I also thought some of the models were a little more difficult than they needed to be. The original connection I had designed used up a lot of space and was not visually appealing at all. I also learned that having the inside cutout piece fold over the bottom would be better than the top because the bottom was thicker in the shape I made it, so more sturdy.
I also contemplated if this shape was the best idea for the handle or if a rectangular handle would be easier. I decided that this shape would be more fitting alongside the shape of hexagons for the rest of the carrier. I also believed since someone’s hand is more circular, this shape would adapt to a curled hand shape more.
In the end, I decided all of the handles were too unnecessarily complex. All I really needed to do was to have the inside cutout piece of one handle fold into the other piece keeping them both in place with the thickness and sturdiness of the cardboard. I cut one handle out completely and the other was scored on the bottom hinge. This handle is very intuitive and simple as well as the inside piece that folds over fits the shape and flow of one's hand as they grip the carrier. Maybe I should cut the inside piece though? Seems a bit too large?
Nets/ Templates of the Carrier
Based on the feedback, each of the hexagonal cookie container pieces now has a lid (for more uniform pieces and easy distribution), and there are no distracting cutouts on the lid. The nets for each hexagon are the same, and they all interlock. Only the base has a different net to incorporate the handle.
Reflection: Was I able to overall fulfill my criteria?
- Adaptability- The modular design allows for various sizes of cookies and quantities (hexagons can easily be added). Also protects various types of cookies (ie. frosted)
- Clarity- Intended to make the hexagonal round shape indicative of the round shape of the cookie
- Portability- When stacked, the carrier is not too large that consumers cannot take it around with them
- Usability- Users can use as a sharing platter/centerpiece between groups of people, individual distribution, and stacked box for transport or gifting
- Innovative- Hopefully aesthetically pleasing and interactive with the user (user can add more hexagons to the honeycomb idea, rearrange them)
- Efficient- Protects the cookies, keeping them warm, sturdy, no air touches the cookies
- Cost & time effective- Easy to assemble for use because each hexagon is only one piece and has the same assembly. Downfall — does use ample amounts of cardboard, because each cookie is individually protected.