Innovation in corrugate: fun and functional

It has always been, and will continue to be important to understand and appreciate the crucial role corrugated and corrugated packaging can play in protecting our products and promoting goods at the moment of truth, but we should also now celebrate the endless creative possibilities for the use of corrugated.

Corrugated is also, quite rightly, seen as a great, sustainable material for packaging, with a recycling rate of 84%, the highest recycling rate of any type of packaging in the UK[1].

After reading a recent article in The Times on seeing the future being filled with boxes,[2] we were keen to explore the many innovative ways people have used this flexible, agile and, as I hope we can demonstrate, creatively stunning resource. 

Here are just some of the thought-provoking ideas we found:

  1. Fun for children – As well as using your boxes for good old-fashioned den or castle building, we found this great idea for all those wannabe pilots out there
  2. Making Art – DS Smith recently sponsored Cartasia 2016, the Paper & Cardboard Biennial contemporary art festival in Italy, which offered 400 artists from all over the world the opportunity to express themselves, creating over 75 works of art using one of the oldest tools of communication: paper & cardboard.
  3. Let’s store it – We all know that boxes have always made great storage devices, for those Christmas decorations, boot storage in your car or for moving house, but we found this great way of storing your clothes, whilst still displaying them in the wardrobe, making them easy to identify, a good spin on Retail Ready Packaging for the home!
  4. Don’t forget the pets – As well as using a cardboard box for a pet bed, a cat litter tray or even as a pet toy box, take a look at this creative interpretation of the playhouse for your feline friends, using varying combinations of cardboard box!

  5. It’s an architectural delight – A new international fabrication festival that celebrates design and making, FAB FEST, took place in June 2016 and was supported by DS Smith. The festival saw teams of students from across the world design innovative cardboard pavilions which just proved how adaptable and sturdy corrugated cardboard can be.

    Another great example of using cardboard architecturally, was this whole shop interior in Covent Garden, London UK for the Magma retail chain, created by DS Smith.

  6. Making memories – Many of us are probably already familiar with keeping our treasured possessions and photographs together in a decorated cardboard memory box, but we also found this nifty use for corrugated in the creation of an unforgettable Christmas tree!

  7. When a box is definitely not a box – At the top end of the creativity scale, DS Smith helped to make this full size origami inspired car.  DS Smith provided the Heavy Duty Calibre board which was crafted into the origami car, which has a fully fitted interior, functioning doors, headlights and rolling wheels. Thanks to an electric motor mounted on its steel and aluminium frame, it can even be driven!

  8. Pushing the design boundaries – DS Smith packaging designers worked with Giles Miller on his collaboration with Stella McCartney to produce a “pop-up display” in Paris, incorporating giant corrugated letters and fluted cubes with gold-leaf detail.

It is clear from these projects that corrugated packaging, as well as being both sustainable and strong, should also be recognised for its innovative capabilities and versatility.