Le site de Lars Wallentin

Lars Wallentin est un des grands du packaging design mondial.

Il a traîné ses bottes dans tous les pays sous le drapeau Nestlé avant de le faire pour son propre compte.

Aujourd’hui, il anime un site en anglais dédié au… packaging : Packaging Sense.

Visite indispensable…


Lars pour ceux qui ont eu la chance d’assister à une de ses nombreuses conférences, savent quel talent de pédagogue il possède.
Avec lui tout devient clair, systématique et transmissible.

On en sort toujours avec des notes, des principes et des idées utiles et applicables.

Ce sont ces mêmes principes qui animent son site.

On y rencontre des conseils, des règles (souvent numérotées) et des images expliquées. Un vrai professeur !

Il ne faut pas bouder son plaisir puisque tous ces conseils sont donnés en ligne par le maître…

Deux exemples :


Voici les commentaires de Lars sur le dernier packaging de Barilla, qu’il considère comme réussi ; chaque numéro correspond au commentaire (pratique) :

1- clear branding ;

2- easy readable product denomination ;

3- appetite appeal ;

4- convincing RTB (reason-to-buy) “No 1 in Italia” ;

5- visibility of product/content ;

6- visible web-site for further information ;

7- stimulating recipes ;

8- clear preparation instructions ;

9- extra information,

10- any languages, i.e. economy ;


Autre exemple : une suite de bons conseils pour améliorer son packaging design, dont on ne donne ici que des extraits.

Quelle chance qu’un maître donne ainsi ses recettes, non ?

1. Understand the consumer
To find out what the consumer likes or wants, first of all think of yourself. What would you like ? A pack easy to open, a back panel text easy to read, a brand you trust, a clear product denomination, a pack easy to hold in your hands and easy to dispose of or recycle ? I

2. Understand the meaning of simplicity
The person who best formulated this was Coco Chanel some 80 years ago when she coined the now famous phrase : “Always reduce, never add” and the architect Mies van der Rohe who also coined the often repeated, but seldom followed sentence : “Less is more !”

3. Understand positioning
Call it what you like : genetic code, DNA, spirit, core value, brand essence, big idea, etc., a package design must strengthen the idea behind a brand (or product). There must be a synergy effect.

4. Understand hierarchy
There is always something that is the most important. It is very rare that two things matter the same, especially in package design. The responsible person for a package, be it the Marketing Director, the Big Boss or the Technical Director must be able to make a hierarchy list to follow for those who develop the package design.

5. Understand legislation
This is the area where things often ‘go wrong’ as we do not make a difference between a must (i.e. a legislative decision) and a guideline or rule or best practice.

• does the consumer really need this information ?

• does this information help to sell more ?

• is the information understood ?

• does the consumer really need a GDA on a can of CocaCola or a small bag of peanuts, and what about the carbon foot print (CO2 emission)

6. Understand material
Have you ever held in one hand a can of juice and in the other a carton pack (Tetra, Combibloc or Purepak) fresh from the fridge ?
Why not a bag-in-box in solid wood ?

7. Understand layout
There is a deep rooted syndrome among most marketing people. It is called ”the upper left hand corner syndrome” as marketing executives believe that a package is seen as a book and that one has to start ‘up left’ with the corporate brand. Nothing could be more wrong.

8. Understand ecology
Today we are ‘bombarded’ with nutritional messages often too complicated to be understood by the average consumer. At the same time we learn about global warming, the dangers of CO2 and the depletion of the ozon layer. Would it not be a good idea to use the packages to educate the consumers about ecology (not only recycling !) and how we all, by changing our life style, could participate to make this Earth an even better place ?

9. Understand 3 D
A full-fledged package designer cannot be only a graphic designer. He or she must fully understand shapes, forms and how to achieve them.

10. Understand total packaging, i.e. the SYNERGY effect
Until this day when I am writing these lines, after more than 40 years in package design, I have never been at a meeting where all of the following responsible persons were present :

• project leader (normally a brand or product manager) ;
• package designer ;
• technical packaging engineer ;
• advertising account executive or, even better, thecreative director ;
• legal adviser ;
• someone representing the trade.

To do this is not an easy task. I therefore often say : “Do not wish it were easier, wish we were better !”

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