Dual-Purpose Packaging for Kultur 5
by Shawn Binder on 08/31/2020 | 4 Minute Read
To stay relevant means to always be iterating, and thankfully the packaging for Kultur 5 has this exact concept in-mind. The boxes for this stunning jewelry line have multiple uses and use multiple substrates, furthering the idea that this line will always be in-construction. The laser cut-away details bring an extra industrial element to the packaging that allows each consumer to have their own relationship with the brand; and what it could build to be.
In 2019 we were approached by Jonatan Härngren, former Creative Director of acclaimed fashion label L’Homme Rouge, to devise a visual identity for his new luxury jewelry brand: Kultur 5.
During our first conversation in our studio, it became evident that one of Härngren’s main themes was the concept of ‘work-in-progress’; the idea that Kultur 5 as an entity could never be finished. Always evolving, eternally under construction. He had a desire to create products with depth, through the process of exploring, documenting and defining what he called the ‘space in-between’ — the hidden rooms between different cultures, the interrelation between different people, the grey area between reality and imagination.
To launch the new brand we have put a lot of emphasis on the packaging. We wanted to create something that vividly expressed all of Härngren’s ideas and references. An homage to inquisition. We began tinkering by following a simple formula:
(1) define at what it is, (2) converse about what it can be, (3) find inspiration and practical support in the ‘everyday’.
Most packaging we come across are single-use — functional to the point where you have retrieved the product from its nest. It can be a beautiful packaging that ultimately arrives at the point where it is basically obsolete. What it can be, we thought, was a packaging that can be repurposed post-opening. A product in itself. We proceeded to find support for this notion by looking at everyday objects that a dual-purpose packaging in turn could support in some way. Our point of reference ultimately became the Solstickan Matchbox - an ordinary Swedish product used by the many for over 100 years. Often left resting on table tops and coffee tables. Our solution to crack ‘what it can be’ was to create a packaging that could be repurposed as a decorative cover for this matchbox. Creating the cover in silver, to create a symbolic link between the actual product and its packaging, proved too expensive. Aluminum gave a similar look and feel, at a fraction of the cost. We happened to stumble upon an aluminum tube with the exact proportions of a large Solstickan matchbox. We were, in other words, able to cut a ready-made product and then laser cut the details, thereby lowering production costs considerably.
To hold the product within the case we used the actual match as a reference and created a wooden ‘tray’ with an excavated hole to place the product in. In the timber industry, logs are often marked with spray paint during the process of scaling and grading the wood. Similarly, wood is often marked with a serial number when purchased at a retailer. We mimicked this by creating a rough stamp that we used to mark each tray. Post-opening, the tray can also be repurposed to showcase the jewelry in-store, or to hold the piece on a nightstand for example. To seal the different components of the packaging we found inspiration in the orange tape primarily found within the construction and carpentry industry. To us, it automatically referred to the ‘work-in-progress’ nature of Kultur 5. Here we used the same process — thinking about what it is and what it can be. In simple terms, tape is a means to an end when it comes to holding things in place. Such as a poster, for example. What the tape could be, we thought, was a poster in itself. By rasterizing images from Kultur 5’s first look book we were able to print poster-like elements directly on the tape.
Pahnke GmbH & Co. KG