REI Outdoor Equipment (Student Project)

Derrick Lin


Designer: Jonathan Biehl
Project Type: Student Project
School: Academy of Art University
Course: Package Design 1
Tutor: Kathrin Blatter
Location: San Francisco, USA
Packaging Contents: Outdoor Equipment
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Craft Paper
Printing Process: Inkjet Printing

I’ve always had a connection to the outdoors. From ages 6–18 I was highly active in the Boy Scouts of America, where I had the opportunity to go on numerous outdoor adventures. Through my experiences, I’ve come to understand the importance of sustainability and functionality of gear. Having good gear that serves a dual purpose is especially important when backpacking. The goal was to create a dual purpose so that the packaging could serve another function besides just to transport the product from the shelves to the customer’s home. This idea of creating a dual purpose was the inspiration for this project.

I used craft paper as the main material for the packaging to the give natural and sustainable look and feel. Using photography from my own experiences hiking, I was able to bring the feeling of the outdoors to the packaging. The geometric shapes overlaying the image were used to bring some vibrancy and energy to the design. On the side of each package, there is an infographic explaining the dual purpose of the packaging itself.

What’s Unique?
Identifying a target audience and aligning their needs to the design decisions of this project allowed me to create a design that would not only be sustainable, but functional too. The dual purpose of the packaging system is something that is rarely seen in this market but would be highly accepted. Not only is the dual purpose feature functional, it’s also something that will entertain and excite people.