Right after finishing undergrad, I started a food truck with an old friend in Manila. Given the takeaway nature of the business, we knew that our packaging was essential in providing the type of experience we wanted for our customers. After all, this is the only thing about us that they're going to see when they start eating (aside from the food, of course). To us, it carried the same level of importance as what restaurants place in interior design and ambiance. It was, however, nearly impossible to find the right takeaway packaging that fit our needs, especially since we were just a small food business. So I decided to take this challenge and develop our own takeaway box. I spent months visiting manufacturing and printing facilities, learning about the different production processes, and experimenting with different materials and folding techniques. Eventually, I found a way to merge what I learned about packaging production, my knowledge of design, and my experience of running a small food takeaway business into a service that provides creative packaging structures for businesses looking to inspire customers and extend their brand experience beyond their physical space.
While looking for packaging for a previous project — Guactruck, the first food truck in Manila — we were faced with a sea of boring box options. The only redeeming quality these boxes had was the level of creativity in its graphics. We wanted packaging that is memorable and easily identifiable, one that fosters spontaneous conversations and brings delight to a mundane day. Most of all, we wanted something that adds a different layer of experience to uncovering an object. Challenged by the lack of suitable options, we started questioning the fundamentals of the “box”. What is a container and how is its space defined? How can we utilize materials effciently to create an enclosed space without compromising aesthetic form? What are the essential and nonessential components that make a “box”? What is the relationship among the user, the packaging, and the object contained?
Redefining old concepts
Aphinitea takes the essential components of a box— a container for storage with a flat base and sides, erected upright, and sealed with a lid— and creates an enclosed space that marries function, form, and emotion. The result is a structure that breaks through conventions of the standard “box” by replacing the lid with a self-locking mechanism, encasing the whole space in a single material through clever folding techniques, and adding an element of theatricality to the act of opening a package. By doing so, we redefine the notion of the box and turn packaging into a memorable interaction in its own right, creating a deeper emotional connection between the recipient and the object it contains. At the same time, the clever folding optimizes the ratio between material and volume.