OLIO (Student Project)



Designer: Christiana Theophanopoulos
Project Type: Student Project
School: Pratt Institute
Course: Graduate Thesis
Tutor: Eric O’Toole
Location: New York, USA
Packaging Contents: Olive Oil
Packaging Materials: 3D printer powder material, cork, paper

OLIO is the capstone project to my graduate design thesis, titled Persona Packaging: Digital Made Physical

Design Opportunity: Packaging fills our personal space > Packaging is mass-produced > How personal is our personal space if it contains all this mass-produced packaging?

This thesis aims to create personalized packages for olive oil that are entirely informed by their users’ online behavior. By collecting data, OLIO transforms content into form, thus reflecting each individual’s taste and aesthetics. Turning packaging into data visualization, each OLIO container is derived from four people’s real social media profiles: Carl. Sibi, Josephine, and Laura. Additionally, the logotype consists of two identical symbols reflecting the two binary digits.

By merging two seemingly different worlds – the digital and the physical – OLIO creates a ‘phygital’ packaging system that is largely generated through a digital platform. The delivery of the product – its physical end – creates an element of surprise to the user. As a result, packaging ultimately acquires another dimension, as it ceases to only contain and protect products and is regarded as a valuable object. At this point, the question “What can a brand tell me about itself?” becomes irrelevant, and what rather be asked is “What can a brand tell me about myself?”.

What’s Unique?
The very nature of OLIO is the idea of being unique. This series of packages is the result of a defined system that converts data and content into structure and form. As a designer, I established some rules and parameters and let the system, rather than my intuition and taste, guide me in the creation of these containers and their logotypes. No two bottles are alike, and the possibilities are endless. Furthermore, the concept of packaging reflecting data is relatively new, as packaging usually serves as the median between the product and the consumer.

These containers are 8″ tall and were 3D-printed in a material that looks and feels like ceramic, the first material to ever have contained olive oil.