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DAAP Student Wins Second Place in National Packaging Competition

DAAP student Rachel Eckberg recently won second place in a national packaging competition. Perhaps even better, she received the good news about her win while currently studying abroad in France.

Date: 4/17/2011
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided by Rachel Eckberg
For University of Cincinnati junior Rachel Eckberg, a classroom project has become a competition winner.
UC's Rachel Eckberg is studying abroad in France.

Eckberg, 21, of Anderson Township, a student in the nationally and internationally ranked industrial design program housed within UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), created product packaging as part of a class led by Peter Chamberlain, assistant professor of design.

She then entered her design into the Institute of Packaging Professionals 2011 AmeriStar Student Package Competition, winning a second place and a $500 prize in addition to publication of her work as well as presentations of it at participating trade shows.

Says Eckberg, “The best part about participating in the contest and taking a prize is that it will open doors for new opportunities.”

It's especially rewarding considering the Eckberg had to build up her courage in order to even enter. That’s because her product package design is for tampons: “My packaging product can be an awkward subject to present to others. Society stigmatizes menstrual cycles. However, it affects almost all women, which is about half the world’s population.”

Eckberg created packages that resemble clutches (mini purses). Each is about the size of a wallet and can easily be stored within a purse, book bag, desk drawer and suitcase. She explains, “It’s the type of packaging where a woman doesn’t have to stress about awkwardly transporting it to the restroom. The clutches aren’t typical feminine-care packaging but stylish.”

She envisions that a lightweight wrap would hold three “clutch” packages together for purchase – all while enhancing the Tampax Pearl brand, a brand that is currently targeting young, independent women with a touch of luxury.

Eckberg created her design in a spring 2010 course when she was a prejunior. She entered the contest and recently found out she was a winner while she is currently studying abroad in France, taking industrial design classes as part of an exchange program with ENSAD (Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs).

That experience, while a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, is even more challenging than the packaging competition. States Eckberg, “The most challenging part here is the language barrier! All my classes are taught in French.”
Three mini-purses in one clutch for purchase.
Three mini-purses would be offered in one clutch for purchase.

However, she quickly adds that she is indeed learning the language, the culture and new lessons in design: “I am also learning the power of making connections here that will last well into the future and my professional career.”

And while her study-abroad experience means that she will not be able to travel to a May 10 awards banquet in Chicago sponsored by the Institute of Packaging Professionals where her design will be on display, she is taking advantage of her time in Europe to travel there as much as possible.

So, for her, the competition prize and the study-abroad experience in Europe can definitely be described as a “win-win” in terms of her design education.