The need for distinctive packaging to drive sales forced manufacturers to develop new materials and structures. Packaging designers, with specific professional capabilities and experience, were needed to extend existing designs not only to new packaging forms but to apply the federally mandated requirements as well.
Through the mid-1960s, the U.S. economy grew rapidly. Production exceeded consumer demand, so competition increased. New products entered the market swiftly, but product failures increased as profits diminished. Sophisticated consumers became harder to reach; they showed greater shopping selectivity, were suspicious of false claims, and appeared totally unimpressed with superficial product or packaging changes.
As differences in the products themselves became negligible or even nonexistent, manufacturers began to look for ways to distinguish their products from those of the competition. There were also improvements in the distribution and selling of goods, while technological breakthroughs advanced new production techniques, processes, and entirely new material concepts. The challenges presented by marketing and technology ushered in an era of ambitious new product development.
In 1966, designer Alan Berni urged manufacturers to concentrate on the development of metal surfaces to provide designers with greater creative flexibility in creating unique packaging. Other designers, including Hayward Blake, suggested that more attention be directed ...