abbyy finereader sprint plus Buy Adobe Audition 3 download microsoft streets and trips free interactive check boxes i adobe captivate Buy Adobe Premiere Elements 8 microsoft streets and trips 2005 updates adobe audition surround encoding digital output Buy ABBYY FineReader 10 Professional Edition adobe audition for radio adobe premiere elements preview error Buy Adobe Captivate 4 burning mp3 cd from adobe audition tutorial adobe audition 1.5 Buy Microsoft Streets and Trips 2010 adobe premiere elements dvd templates

Pangea Organics

Restricted to a shoestring budget, IDEO had to choose “off-the-shelf” materials for Pangea Organics’ packaging. But the design result looks anything but off-the-shelf.

Budget constraints, environmental concern, and skincare products so organic that the ingredients list reads like a food label were all factors in Pangea Organics’ choice of packaging design. Not only is the product 100% natural, the packaging is made entirely from post-consumer waste materials and is 100% recyclable or biodegradable.

Joshua Onysko, the 30-year-old founder and CEO of Pangea Organics, would not have it any other way. A man who believes in treading lightly on the earth, Onysko had earlier lived on the beach in Costa Rica, armed with a machete, to chase poachers away from the eggs of endangered green sea turtles. In 1999, at age 21, he bought a one-way ticket to Bombay, first stopping in Rhode Island to spend time with his family. While there, he spotted his mother’s book on making hand-made soap and suggested to her that they give it a try. They created a soap they called “Oatmeal Love,” which he gave to friends and took with him on his travels through India, Nepal, Tibet, Kashmir, and Southeast Asia. He came back to the States two years later determined to disseminate information on sustainable business and living practices by forming an institute he called Pangea, after the super continent that existed before a tectonic cataclysm broke it apart. To generate funds for his nonprofit cause, he began making soap in beer kegs in his garage and selling the cakes at various farmers’ markets.

Onysko made sure that every ingredient came from organically grown plants known for specific medicinal attributes-no petroleum-based ingredients, no synthetic preservatives, and no artificial colors and fragrances. One hundred percent of the ingredients inside were active, unlike many other skincare products that may have just 5% active ingredients.

The public appreciated what they got. With very little marketing, Pangea Organics took in about $100,000 in annual sales. While contemplating how to make Pangea Organics into a brand that would appeal to major stores, Onysko happened to catch a “Nightline” segment featuring IDEO. Afterwards, Onysko recalls, “I went on IDEO’s website and thought, ‘Oh, they are too big.’” Indeed. One of the world’s premier industrial design firms, IDEO is known for designing the Apple computer mouse and Palm V pda, among other groundbreaking innovations.

Onysko phoned IDEO anyway, several times in fact, hoping, at least, to arrange a studio tour. He succeeded and managed to tell them about Pangea Organics. As it happened, IDEO was giving more attention to integrating sustainable concepts into their design, and Onysko’s products sparked their interest. IDEO’s graphic designer Ian Groulx and writer Amy Leventhal were assigned to come up with a sustainable packaging design on Pangea’s very limited budget.

Groulx recalls, “Joshua said that his main goal was to get into every Whole Foods in the country. To do this, he knew that he needed to improve his packaging.” The original containers had a decidedly farmers’ market look. “Before the soap was in a chipboard box that had holes in it, but more like bubbles. The label was wrapped around the box,” Groulx says. “The liquids were in plastic bottles, frosted but not opaque.”

On the other hand, Groulx admits, “There weren’t a whole lot of options. In a perfect world, it would be ideal to have someone come in and design the box.” But given the minuscule budget and relatively small quantities needed, “we had to find something that we could get off the shelf.”

Nevertheless, Onysko had a few specific requests. One, the bottle for liquids had to be dark to protect light-sensitive ingredients. Two, the packaging had to be made from post-consumer waste materials and be biodegradable or recyclable later. Three, in keeping with Pangea Organics’ desire to fully disclose ingredients and educate consumers about ecocentric skincare, the packaging surface had to accommodate lots of information.

“We knew what our size was. We knew our target cost. We sort of went from there,” says Groulx. Aware that custom-shaped bottles were not affordable, Groulx gathered plastic bottle samples from different suppliers. “Joshua was very clear that he wanted us to use No. 1 or No. 2 plastic because those were the only grades that could be recycled into bottles.” Of the samples viewed, the team decided they liked the contoured shape of “Boston Round” the best. “Boston Round is totally common in the world of bottle people,” says Groulx. To personalize it for Pangea Organics, IDEO selected a distinctive color-a rich chocolate brown. There, too, they chose from the Pantone palette rather than formulating a custom color. Groulx admits they also wanted the screw cap to be a matching brown rather than translucent white, but cost and quantity minimums ruled that out.

To get away from the generic shape and color of the bottles and give the brand its own unique identity, IDEO silkscreened or printed the product labels in bright contrasting colors like tangerine, fuchsia, baby blue and teal. “The use of contrasting colors was purposeful,” says Groulx. “We explored different colors. Some were too earthy. We wanted to project a sense of fun. We didn’t want it to feel too serious, but serious enough.” The visual effect was instantly contemporary, elegant and in the tradition of natural cosmetic products.

The springlike shades not only helped to soften the masculine impression of brown, but suggest the cosmetic content. The different shades also helped to color-code products by the key ingredients inside.

The box to house glass containers for facial masks and cleansers presented its own challenges. Groulx happened upon the solution when he noticed a picture of packing material made from recycled molded pulp in a packaging catalog. Typically this unbleached newsprint pulp is used for egg cartons or for protective forms inside shipping crates. Its rough surface and mottled gray color never appealed to package designers, but to Groulx it felt “reused-that was one of the big things that I was trying to get across. It needed to feel like it was repurposed.”

Although the request was unusual, the manufacturer, UFP Technologies, loved the idea, and worked closely with IDEO to produce this novel molded pulp packaging. IDEO initially explored the idea of coloring the boxes chocolate brown, but again quantity and price made it infeasible. In the end, the box was kept undyed and unbleached, with a paper belly band in Pangea Organics’ signature colors used to convey product information and give the box a colorful shelf presence. The printing, of course, was done by an FSC-certified printer, with soy-based inks.

Using the packaging to educate consumers about ecocentric skincare was as important to Pangea Organics as the way the design looked. Groulx and writer Amy Leventhal worked closely on developing text that complemented the packaging. In reviewing other organic products, they found the “preachy” tone of the copy off-putting. “We came up with the motto: Teach don’t preach,” Groulx says. “We wanted language that was approachable; we didn’t want to make people feel guilty and alienated. Amy did an amazing job telling the right story.”

The finished box is made completely from post-consumer waste fibers and assembled origami-style without glue. And it is 100% compostable and biodegradable. To drive home that point, the box fiber is even embedded with basil seeds, so consumers can soak the box in water and plant it. Onysko explains, “If you aren’t planting your packaging, it is going to landfill, and there’s just too much stuff out there.”

“Thinking outside the landfill” is essential to Onysko. The company aims to extend the useful life of everything it possibly can. Styrofoam and packing peanuts that come in with other shipments are reused. Unused paper from printing operations is purchased from a local printer for repurpose. Pangea Organics’ manufacturing and office facility in Boulder, Colorado, is 100% wind-powered, and the interior is decorated with non-VOC paint and with carpets made from recycled soda bottles.

This ecocentric operating strategy has not hampered growth. Today Pangea Organics produces 41 skincare products, sold in 21 countries, and can be found in such upscale stores as Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and Anthropologie as well as in spas and fitness centers. Its packaging is winning consumers as well as design awards and proving that good design can result even from off-the-shelf materials.


  • Categories

  • Archive


    • IDEO is an innovation and design firm that uses a human-centered, design-based approach to help organizations in the business, government, education, and social sectors innovate and grow.

    • Good design inspires people to take action. Great ideas change the world.

    • Marketing and advertising tabletop photography. Food. Still life. Beverage. Portraits. Commercial films. Books.

    • Multidisciplinary design firm with offices worldwide, specializing in graphic design, architecture, interactive and industrial design.

    • Redefining What’s Possible Through the Power of Design

    • The “designer’s printer” of high-end corporate marketing materials and advertising. Consistent winner of the most prestigious printing and design awards.

    • San Francisco-based Studio Hinrichs, a multi-disciplinary design firm, annually releases a typographic calendar featuring twelve unique typefaces selected by international members of AGI. The 2014 Typography Calendar is available now.

    • Ziba is an innovation and design consultancy that creates beautiful experiences.

    • When it Comes to High-Efficiency,
      the Choice is Yours.


    This unique architectural typography book was recently released from designers René Knip and Janno Hahn.

    Gung Hay Fat Choy!

    Designer/illustrator Craig Frazier commemorated the “Year of the Horse” with this poster.

    Lettering Large

    Monumental typography
    is the latest book on environmental design
    by Steven Heller and Mirko Ilić.

    AIGA InsideOut SF

    Brian Jacobs of Brick Design created this Golden Gate Poster for AIGA InsideOut SF.

    Pretty Pictures

    A beautiful monograph of the work of Canadian artist Marian Bantjes created between 2003–2012.

    Sunbeam Rd. "Breathers"

    Music and graphics by Brick designer Clive Hacker, the new Breathers LP is out in 12” vinyl and digital download.

    Shadow Type

    The latest typographic book by Steve Heller and Louise Fili.

    Puffin Chalk

    "Chalk Queen", Dana Tanamachi, illustrated and hand lettered a series of gorgeous covers for classic stories published by Puffin Books.

    Deceptive Practice

    Showing around the U.S. a documentary that highlights the astounding visual magic of Ricky Jay.

    Boston Marathon Tribute

    The May cover of Boston Magazine, photographed by Mitchell Feinberg, needs no words to explain.

    A 20th Century Look at Environmental Design

    A look at the intimate relationship between graphic design and architecture in the 20th century by Richard Poulin.

    Gung Hay Fat Choy!

    Designer/illustrator Craig Frazier commemorated the “Year of the Snake” with this poster.

    Graphic Art & Design Annual 11–12

    DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion introduces its latest design annual from Tokyo.

    German Chocolate Packaging

    When you are in Munich visit Cafe Luitpold for fabulous coffee, cake with schlagsahne, and unique chocolate packaging.

    Spark Design Awards Annual

    The release of the first Spark Design Awards Annual is slated for August 25th.

    Primo Angeli’s
    Winning Poster

    This poster by San Francisco-based designer Primo Angeli was named the winner of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Committee poster competition.

    SFMTA Rebrand

    The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency recently unveiled it's new logo, designed by Paul Miller of Method Design.

    Girls Scouts’ 100th Anniversary Stamp

    Just released, this centennial Girl Scout stamp is designed by Craig Frazier.

    100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design

    One of a new series of books on 100 ideas That Changed Graphic Design, Film, Fashion, and Architecture by Steven Heller and Véronique Vienne. Bravo!

    The Build Network

    The Build Network is a resource for business executives that features a print publication, website, and forum. Its untraditional publication Build focuses big ideas a collection of page stories.

    Vote for Your
    Favorite Park

    Coca-Cola is hosting its 3rd annual "America Is Your Park" campaign, asking Americans to vote for their favorite park. Winning parks will be awarded $100,000.

    Great British
    Fashion Stamps

    This stamp, which features a Vivienne Westwood outfit, is part of a 10 piece set that honors British fashion legends throughout the decades from Paul Smith to Alexander McQueen.

    Another Book…

    Within the proliferation of design books, Stefan Sagmeister's innovative books always bring a wit, intelligence, and just plain fun to the world of design.

    Your Profit
    Is My Fear

    Jean-Benoit Levy, noted Swiss poster designer, created this poster concerning the powerless position an individual has facing the war effort throughout the world.

    Altered Lanscape

    Altered Landscape, a celebration of the Nevada Museum of Art's 80th Anniversary is now on exhibition in Reno, Nevada. A lavish book, designed by Brad Bartlett.

    Vanishing Species Stamp

    This commemorative stamp, featuring an Amur tiger cub, is the latest edition to the USPS campaign to raise funds for vanishing species. It was illustrated by Nancy Stahl.

    Limited Edition 9/11 Poster Available

    Studio Hinrichs has produced a limited edition 9/11 commemorative poster to benefit the NYC Firefighters Brotherhood Foundation.

    Spark Pro Competition

    The 2011 Spark Competition registration runs through September–November and is open to all designers, architects, and industrial designers.

    Happy Birthday Hatch Show Print!

    A Nashville original, Hatch Show Print celebrates its 132nd year as a letterpress shop. They have created posters for America's country and western stars for generations.

    Cheeky Covers

    Bloomberg Businessweek introduces two covers for the Valentines issue on the "Infidelity Economy". Click here to peek at the men's cover.

    Industrial Designer Stamps

    United States Postal Service announces the publication of 12 commemorative stamps on American Industrial Designers in July 2011.

    Happy Lunar
    New Year!

    @issue team wishes everyone a prosperous year.


    Back issues (single copies or complete sets) of @issue: Journal of Business and Design are available for sale from Corporate Design Foundation. Contact CDF here.

    365 Typographic Calendar

    The 2011 365 Calendar is now available for the tenth year. For more information, click here.

    American Craft Redesign

    American Craft Magazine, published over the last 70 years by the American Craft Council, boasts a new look and feel in the December/January issue.

    Water<Less Jeans

    A change in the finishing process let’s Levi’s cut water use by as much as 96% in its new Water<Less jeans line, a total savings of 16 million gallons of water by spring 2011.

    Twitter Cookbook

    Author Maureen Evans condenses over 1,000 recipes – from lemon lentil soup to biscotti – down to 140 characters or less.

    Unique Poster

    35th annual American Indian Film Festival

    “Day of the Dead” Tequila

    Dr. Lemon Tequila in Argentina marks Latin America’s Day of the Dead festivities (November 2) with this advertisement, designed by Plenty in Buenos Aires.

    Logo Licious!

    Peleg Top’s latest book on international logos has just been published; it’s an interesting array of global large and small firms.

    Hand/Eye Magazine

    Hand/Eye describes people, places, products, projects and ideas that bridge the worlds of art and craft, design and development, culture and commerce, and environment and ethics.

    Scout's Honor

    US Postal Service has just released a commemorative stamp celebrating the 100 anniversary of the Boy Scouts in America, designed by Craig Frazier.

    PUBLIC Bikes

    Rob Forbes, founder of Design Within Reach, has launched PUBLIC, a collection of modern bikes and gear for cyclists who want to ride in style.

    TO Watch

    From designer / architect Tokujin Yoshioka comes a sculptural stainless steel watch for Issey Miyake. The hands are interior faces that move independently to tell the time with hour etched on the outer face.

    Ammunition adds HeartBeats
    for Lady Gaga

    This is the latest extension to Beats by Dr. Dre highly successful headphone line. It's both a fashion accessory and a high-end audio product.

  • Recommended Links

    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote
    • quote