The Science of Better Packaging

Better Boxes

When we set out to create this micro-documentary on “The Science of Better Packaging” our goal was to help consumers understand why every board wall, every millimeter of fluting, every fold in every box is there for a reason. There’s no waste, no excess for its own sake. We wanted to reinforce that packaging is primarily about getting things to them safely, securely, and economically. Secondarily, we wanted to remind them—and all of our stakeholders—that paper-based packaging is a technology, and a highly innovative technology at that.

To find the perfect partners for these messages, we needed a facility that checked a lot of boxes. It had to be independent. It had to have a strong reputation and work with the kinds of brands consumers know and interact with on a daily basis. It had to have the full range of performance testing equipment (and enough room for our eight-person production crew and their gear!). And of course, it had to have a staff that represented the smarts, dedication, and diversity of our extended industry.

We hit the jackpot with Westpak, Inc., a package testing facility with locations in California. Founded by Herb Schueneman, whose compelling interviews help form the backbone of the piece, the lab is now run day-to-day by Herb’s daughter, Nora, who takes viewers through the fundamental principles of package testing. What made Westpak even more unique is that it is now collectively owned by its employees. Every one of them, from top management to entry-level employees, has a share, and a stake, in their company’s future. Maybe that’s why we found everyone at Westpak so enthusiastic and helpful before, during, and after production.

We had a lot of fun, and ate a lot of pizza, making this one, and we think it will have a long shelf life—the proverbial evergreen content—whenever we need to reinforce these key messages.

The Science of Better Boxes