Ergonomics in Bottle Design (Part 02)

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When we take a walk along the supermarket aisles and look at the PET beverage bottles, the consumer can’t be impressed by the design, as almost all have a same dull shape as if they come from one stock pile. Sometimes you see an interesting design, a twitch, a turn, a screw or whatever, but that doesn’t mean that any attention has been given to the ergonomic aspects of a bottle.
It is even worse. When you look at the bottles, try to imagine how to handle it. I know, as I wrote in my previous article, they feel sturdy and reasonable rigid. But imagine how they feel in your hand, if you’re able to hold one in your hand, after opening and the pressure inside the bottle is released through the bottle neck. Try to imagine what happens when you have to squeeze the almost flexible wall of the bottle to keep it under control, while pouring the beverage into cups.
Don’t be surprised when after opening a part of the liquid is splashing out of the bottle, because you hold the bottle in one hand and automatically the wall is squeezed after opening, as you try to maintain the bottle under control in your hand, when the inside pressure diminishes.

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What is missing in many a bottle is the ergonomic aspect of structural design. Many a design agency will tell you that bottle design is a balancing act between creative design and technical feasibility. They seem never to have heard of ergonomics. What is missing in the proclaimed balance between creativity and feasibility is the interaction of the bottle with the consumer. In other words the way the consumer is able to handle the bottle conveniently.
Does that mean that implementing the laws of ergonomics into bottle design, gives us even duller designs than we already have? Of course not! Let’s take a look at some examples.

The Silhouette Bottle
Italian designer Martin Broen intended to create a packaging that offers an ideal gripping geometry, a distinctive shape and strong presence. The back part is dedicated to maximize the handling comfort by offering in the centre a reduced gripping area, located at a height that allows outstanding handling with different liquid volumes inside the bottle. At an angle the grip area facilitates the pouring action, providing besides the grip a spherical lower surface that fits in the palm of the hand and an upper surface that helps loading the weight on the hand reducing the grabbing force needed.

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And still there is sufficiently left for marketing as the design generates a distinctive front and back of the bottle. The front facade offers two single curvature surfaces for labelling, the upper one reserved for immediate brand recognition and the lower one to place the supplementary and legal information.
The bottle is done in PET to allow a shiny finish, while the curves reflect the light of the translucent body, emphasized by translucent labels.
As a matter of fact for all the other bottles I will show you today, you can use a similar argumentation as with the Silhouette Bottle.

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Tridimage is one of the few designing agencies in the world, which really have an eye for ergonomics in bottle design. See for yourself as I collected four of their recent designs.

Ergonomic Bottle Designs
First we have the bottle for Arcor Corn Oil in Argentina. The new structural design of the PET bottle, created by Tridimage, is inspired by the ear of corn, represented by three-dimensional segmentations that make a clear reference to the origin of the product.

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Additionally, Tridimage emphasis was on generating an ergonomic grip that gives the consumer a comfortable, secure grip when handling the container. Providing security is a particularly important aspect as the product is used during cooking. The design significantly reduces unwanted situations, such as losing control when pouring directly from the bottle.

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The second bottle designed by Tridimage is for Aguazul, one of the most prestigious and purified mineral waters in Honduras.

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Being a prestigious brand, Tridimage said it worked with pure forms, simple, iconic, and strongly related to ergonomics, but which in turn is intended to convey a refreshing sense, and the delicacy of water as a natural and healthy drink.

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The structural design of the PET bottle is anchored in the “osmosis” concept, the technological principle behind water purification. To communicate the precision associated with this process, a polygonal transition is used at the slender waist of the bottle. It reflects both sides of the filtering process, reinforced by the shiny facets and refractions.  The 3D shape of the bottle showcases drops functioning as windows to the interior of the bottle.The bottle waist as well as the moulded water drops make for a perfect fit in the hand.

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The next is the structural design, Tridimage created for Mexican ACH Foods. The Capullo canola cooking oil got an ergonomically designed PET bottle.

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The last out of the Tridimage series is for G.Berro in Spain with a comprehensive image of the new soya oil Koipesol PET bottle. The ergonomic grip of the bottle, which follows the fingers when holding the bottle, is also supposed to imitate the general image of oil extraction.

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So, these were some examples of ergonomic bottle design.

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