NABA Students show industry collaborations at drupa, Düsseldorf

Read student interviews about their collaboration with the print & packaging industry

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Students from NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti worked with key players of the print & packaging industry:

GEMME: Koenig & Bauer - NABA
Presented at the drupa touchpoint packaging on June 6, 2024

In an exciting collaboration, Koenig & Bauer and NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, have joined forces to explore the future of packaging. We met with Marta Casati, Giada Casu and Giulia Chiò, the talented NABA designers who developed the Gemme project: an Italian luxury jewelry brand known for its exceptional gemstones and groundbreaking NFT certification system.

The Gemme unwrapping experience is designed to be unforgettable. The packaging seamlessly integrates a piece of jewelry and a card that activates the NFT and certifies the authenticity of the jewelry. Here's what the designers had to say about their experience:

Q: Creative challenges: What was the most challenging aspect of working on your packaging design for drupa touchpoint? How did the team overcome this challenge?

A: The most challenging part for us was finding a way to demonstrate the functionality of the Koenig & Bauer system while simultaneously reconciling the aesthetic aspect of luxury packaging with the central role of the card.

We also had to pay special attention to the technical details of a production that goes beyond the university environment. After numerous digital and material tests, we arrived at a solution that could encompass both the card and the jewel without one overshadowing the other, ensuring a luxurious unboxing experience.

Q: Industry insights: How did working with industry professionals change your perspective on packaging design? Were there any surprising insights or industry practices that you didn't know about before?

A: Working with industry professionals has significantly broadened our perspective on packaging design. One of the most striking changes was understanding the depth and complexity involved in creating packaging that is not only visually appealing but also functional.

Working with Koenig & Bauer introduced us to the innovative NFT system they had developed. We were able to explore a packaging function that went beyond simply containing a product, but also emphasized the importance of a secondary product, such as a card, that was almost as fundamental as the primary content.

Congratulations to Marta Casati, Giada Casu, and Giulia Chiò for their remarkable project and successful collaboration with Koenig & Bauer. We appreciate your insights and thank you for answering our questions. Your innovative approach is truly shaping the future of packaging design!

KADO: mondi & NABA
Presented at the drupa touchpoint packaging on June 5, 2024

NABA students Camilla Scaramuzzi, Sofia Tumino, Lucia Marina Tomasi and Simone Zalambani have developed an inspiring packaging solution for a premium perfume brand in collaboration with Mondi. Their project is a prime example of innovation and creativity in the field of luxury packaging.

Kadō is a luxury brand inspired by Japan to promote oriental philosophy in Europe through its products. The concept "Irregular harmony" is based on the second principle of Wabi-sabi, the Fukinsei, which affirms the paradoxical balance in an imperfect and asymmetrical composition.

Named after the Japanese art of flower arranging, Kadō, aims to encapsulate the beauty of irregularity in its products, in three fragrances symbolizing sky, human, and earth; Sky, is the first product of the brand, with the essence of the Iris Ensata.

The moment of unboxing is extremely important because the box has an internal structure with several layers reminding of petals, upon removal of the lid they will open and show the perfume, a unique and distinctive bottle thanks to its sinuous and irregular movements.

Three-dimensional embossed decorations and matt gold lend a luxurious elegance to the box, while the cut-out details of the petal paper add a touch of depth and charm, creating a product that is irresistible to the eye and to the touch.

Q: Collaboration experience: How did working with industry leaders influence your design process? Were there any particular moments or feedback that significantly shaped your project?

A: Working with the industry leader Mondi has significantly influenced our design process. By working closely with them, we gained a deep understanding of their materials and were able to make more informed choices from their wide selection of papers. An important moment was a feedback session where Mondi’s team shared insights about the properties of their materials. This helped us select the best options and incorporate sustainable practices into our design. While creating the packaging, we had the opportunity to communicate with Mondi to improve the design, making it realistic for production.

Q: Professional development: What skills or knowledge did you gain from this experience that will help you in your future career? Can you give an example of how you used these new skills during the project?

A: During this project, we acquired fundamental skills for our future careers. We deepened our knowledge of printing, special finishes, and different types of paper, skills that will enable us to tackle similar projects with greater competence and confidence. In addition, we have developed solid teamwork skills, improved our research skills, and honed our problem-solving abilities, skills crucial to solving complex challenges.

A concrete example of this perseverance was during the design of KADŌ's packaging. The packaging had to open and stop at a specific point, but initially, we did not know how to achieve it. To overcome this obstacle, we created a paper prototype, which allowed us to test the structure realistically and find an effective solution.

Congratulations to Camilla Scaramuzzi, Sofia Tumino, Lucia Marina Tomasi, and Simone Zalambani for their outstanding project and successful collaboration with Mondi. We appreciate your insights and thank you for sharing your journey. Your innovative approach to premium packaging sets a new benchmark in the industry!

HUE: Landa digital printing & NABA
Presented at the drupa touchpoint packaging on May 30, 2024

In another remarkable project, NABA students Pietro Cosimo Cappellini and Rebecca Casati have collaborated with Landa Digital Printing to explore the future of packaging customization. Their project, HUE, is a bold, colorful and customer-friendly makeup brand designed to simplify and enhance the shopping experience.

HUE's packaging uses nanography printing technology to achieve an unprecedented level of customer personalization and color accuracy, making it unique in the market.

Q: Learning outcomes: Can you describe a specific instance where working with industry leaders had a direct impact on your design decisions? What was the outcome of this influence?

A: The moment when working with industry leaders had an impact on our decisions was probably the final moment when the project needed to be completed in a way that aligned with our ideas and, at the same time, met their requests and expectations. For this reason, we sought to combine our creativity and design with the ultimate goal of highlighting Landa's printing capabilities and their nanography printing technique. This allowed us to carry forward a project that worked graphically but, above all, was feasible in all its parts.

Q: Future aspirations: How has this drupa touchpoint packaging experience influenced your career aspirations or goals in the design field? Do you see yourself pursuing a particular path or role based on what you learned?

A: The challenge was a great experience to dip our toes in the industry and to work alongside professionals. We can certainly say that the Drupa experience shaped our view of the industry, and we aspire to apply the principles we learned in our future endeavours, such as professionalism, technical skills, and customer care. We loved working on packaging products, and we will continue to explore this world in our professional careers.

Congratulations to Pietro Cosimo Cappellini and Rebecca Casati for their innovative project and successful collaboration with Landa Digital Printing. We appreciate your insights and thank you for sharing your experiences. Your dedication to customization and design is inspiring and sets a new standard in the packaging industry!

Thank you to the industry partners - Landa Digital Printing, Mondi, and Koenig & Bauer - for facilitating & collaborating on the creation of these incredible projects. Special thanks to Professor Luca Giulio Ferreccio for guiding and supporting the students, and also thanks to Rob Vermeulen, epda Board Member, for initiating contact and building bridges between the parties involved.