AN APPLE CIDER A DAY: Re-envisioning Packaging and Promotion for Saratoga Apples

AN APPLE CIDER A DAY: Re-envisioning Packaging and Promotion for Saratoga Apples

As part of her semester project in Design for Sustainability and Resilience, first-year student Sowmya Iyer chose to re-design the packaging and promotional strategy for a local, farm-based business in Upstate New York called Saratoga Apple. Her goals were to use design to help the business educate its customers around the topic of local farming practices, along with enhancing the user experience for customers visiting its tasting room.

Sowmya came up with the idea when she travelled to Upstate New York on a weekend retreat for the course. There were several opportunities to experience personal connection with local business owners/farmers, their work environments, and the challenges faced in food-related businesses. One such business was Saratoga Apple—a family-operated apple orchard and cider mill. The orchard grows apples with great care by using low-spray techniques and micronutrient fertilizers, such as sea minerals and rock dusts.

During the conversations and tour of the orchard, there was a lot of emphasis on how the tasting room should be promoted. The owners wanted their customers to experience the rich ambience of the tasting room, and take home beautiful memories of their experience. The owners also wanted sustainability to be a driving force in Sowmya’s design process. They hoped she could reuse materials and products from the orchard—such as cork, wooden crates, cardboard boxes and tissue paper for packaging.

 

How might we promote the brand among hard cider drinkers and make them aware of the farmer’s community, while enjoying the experience of the tasting room?

 

"How might we promote the brand among hard cider drinkers and make them aware of the farmer’s community, while enjoying the experience of the tasting room?" With the above question in mind, Sowmya began exploring and creating different branding and promotional products.

 

 

Experience
“From Farm to Bottle” was one of Sowyma’s goals when designing the labels and packaging. Depicting farmers, cider mill workers and their equipment, the visuals give the consumer the opportunity to see the hard work, dedication and personalized care that goes into creating each bottle of hard cider. Additionally, the packaging includes a brief history of the orchard. By giving the products and services an identity, the consumers form a personal connection with the brand.

 

 

Engage
Sowmya designed puzzle coasters—a set of coasters that tell the complete story of the orchard. This is instrumental in bringing customers together at the tasting room, as it is a medium of interaction between strangers. It is also a fun way to get to know more about the origin of the cider produced by Saratoga Apple.

 

 

Cherish
In addition to the above materials, Sowmya realized that she needed to integrate the customer's experience in the overall plan. With that in mind, she designed a giveaway package with the following items: a bag of handpicked apples, a voucher which customers can redeem the next time they visit the tasting room, and a beautiful wooden box made of recycles crates which contains personalized postcards. The customers can go on a traditional apple picking tour around the orchard and they can post their pictures on Instagram (social media promotion). The photos are then printed and made into a set of personalized postcards, on which customers can write about their experience at the orchard and tasting room.

Sowmya's next steps are to get constructive feedback on the feasibility of the project from the business owners. She hopes that she can travel Upstate in the near future to test out these concepts and observe how customers react to the products. She would also like to attend a tasting session at Jimmy No. 43, a cider-tasting event in New York, to get a better understanding of the taste and preferences of hard-cider lovers in the city. 

See more of Sowmya Iyer's work at www.sowmyaiyer.com, and contact her at [email protected]

 

JUSTICE BY ALL: Revitalizing Civic Engagement in the Judicial System

JUSTICE BY ALL: Revitalizing Civic Engagement in the Judicial System

Julia Lindpaintner’s thesis work was inspired by her own experience of serving on a grand jury in Manhattan during the summer of 2016. It profoundly changed her understanding of the judicial system, and in particular, the way she saw her role in it. “My mental model shifted,” Julia states. She further explains, “Instead of seeing the judicial system as an autonomous force over which I had no influence, I felt viscerally the way in which we, as citizens, are collectively responsible for the system and the outcomes it produces.”

AWE AND ASTONISHMENT: Wonder in the Age of Democratized Magic

AWE AND ASTONISHMENT: Wonder in the Age of Democratized Magic

Josh Corn’s master thesis, Awe and Astonishment: Wonder in the Age of Democratized Magic, aims to inspire wonder and awe through the design of products, services, and experiences. Josh asserts that the door to people’s curiosity and wonder is closing due to the evolution of technology. Josh states, “science pushes on to understand the world around us and as technology continues to innovate, we have seen a diminishment in the value we place on the unknown and the mysteries around us.”

FINDING THE WILD: A Visceral Approach to Sustainability

FINDING THE WILD: A Visceral Approach to Sustainability

Jenna Witzleben’s Master’s thesis, Finding the Wild: A Visceral Approach to Sustainability, explores an alternative future trajectory—“rewilding”—and how physical and emotional reconnection with our natural environments can inspire lifestyles of environmental stewardship.

What Is Design For Social Impact?

What Is Design For Social Impact?

Design for social impact is the practice of interrogating systems—institutional, economic, social, political, interpersonal—in order to define opportunities for change that give voice to those who has been disenfranchised or marginalized by design. In essence, this field of study provides a methodology for examining domains of power through Socratic inquiry, structural and systems-based design thinking, and solutions-based design making.

EYE POSTURE: How Staring Down at Your Phone Can Affect Your Health

EYE POSTURE: How Staring Down at Your Phone Can Affect Your Health

Eye Posture is a striking photographic series – created by student Chris Rand, to raise awareness of the ill posture that New York City commuters maintain habitually while looking at their cell phones. This series emphasizes the risks of the behavior that people willingly participate in for an average of 2.8 hours per day during their daily commute.

 

[Smartphones] have negative consequences on the health of some 4 billion cellphone users in the world.

 

The idea for the project came to Chris when he was observing runners and cyclists who maintained ill posture while engaging in those activities. However, he decided to switch his attention to a common occurrence that he witnessed on his daily commute, and that he himself was engaged in quite often. “Many of us have observed how people sit or stand when they stare at their phones, and are aware that it’s not right. But then, we turn down to our own hand-held screens, and end up in that same posture,” said Chris. With that in mind, he wanted to bring attention to this silent behavior with eye-catching graphics that express what spine surgeons and occupational therapists say has negative consequences on the health of some 4 billion cellphone users in the world.

He wanted to develop vivid images of this behavior so that he could supplement the bland images that are currently being circulated by chiropractors and occupational therapists.

 

The weight of the average person’s head increases from 10 pounds to 60 pounds when the chin drops down by about 60 degrees.

 

To educate himself further of the health risks caused by such ill posture, Chris researched studies related to the subject matter. He came across findings by Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, a surgeon at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Hansraj created a computer model to simulate the amount of strain that people put on their spines when they lower their chin towards the chest for extended amounts of time (scientifically known as neck flexion). He found that the weight of the average person’s head increases from 10 pounds to 60 pounds when the chin drops down by about 60 degrees. This added weight, when prolonged, is what leads to consistent neck and back pain.

Using images of public-transportation commuters, Chris created visuals to show how much more weight is added to one’s head, depending on the angle at which they are looking at their phone. He stated, “By viewing these images and numbers, I hope that commuters will realize that an action as trivial as looking at one’s cell-phone can have grave effects on one’s health.”

 

 

[These graphics] would be a ergonomic means to educate multitudes of New Yorkers on how to maintain better posture, thereby taking better care of their backs.

 

In order to specifically educate subway commuters, Chris formatted his imagery/message in the graphic style used by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of New York City for their Courtesy Counts ads. Posting these graphics on the MTA platforms and in the subway cars would be a ergonomic means to educate multitudes of New Yorkers on how to maintain better posture, thereby taking better care of their backs.

Chris hopes his imagery will circulate throughout social media and printed advertisements to communicate this subject back to the 77% of Americans who use smartphones.

Moving forward, Chris will research the physical consequences of prolonged neck flexion in young children and teenagers, who are experiencing symptoms that adults have in their 30s. Through more imagery, he hopes to convey alternative postures and stretches that will be simple solutions to neck, shoulder and head pain.

Chris’ biggest success during the project was to not participate in the posture he was observing. Instead, he used his phone less and was rewarded a few times by unexpectedly seeing people he knew during the commute - a true serendipity that can occur when not absorbed in screen-time.

Racket: Products of Design Helps Out With Menstrual Heath Initiative

Racket: Products of Design Helps Out With Menstrual Heath Initiative

On Sunday, the MFA Products of Design helped out the amazing grass-roots organization Racket by providing space for one of their epic "packaging" sessions. In only three hours, a cadre of volunteers met at the department and packed kits of over 25,000 products—a record according to Racket founders Margo Seibert and Caroline Angell.

TRIAGE: Launches at Wanted Design for NYCxDESIGN 2017!

TRIAGE: Launches at Wanted Design for NYCxDESIGN 2017!

Students of SVA’s MFA in Products of Design present TRIAGE, an interactive exhibition that reframes contemporary urgencies through the lens of design. The work is part of the city-wide NYCxDesign celebration. We live in uncertain times, faced with a political climate where institutions that offer solutions to complex challenges are under threat, systematically undermined, and dismantled. TRIAGE consists of six roving design interactions that assess the socio-political priorities of visitors to the design festival. At the start of the exhibition, visitors receive a TRIAGE CARD that tracks and gradually compiles their unique profile.