Project Overview
Identify a product design flaw and fix it. Add value to the product through the package design. Collaborate with a student from the Product Design Engineering Technology Program to design and make a better package.
Company Background
The General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational company. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry. Today, GE is best known for its work in the Power, Renewable Energy, Aviation and Healthcare industries. The General Electric Company was founded by Thomas AF. Edison in 1889. The logo for GE is known as the monogram. It has existed since the Edison era of the 1890s and remains largely unchanged for 125 years.
Key Message
“We rise to the challenge of building a world that works.”
GE brings to market innovative solutions that deliver essential energy, healthcare and transportation infrastructure. We work with the highest integrity, compliance culture and respect for human rights while also reducing the impact of our technology and environmental footprint.
Tone and Manner
Tagline: “Imagination at work”
Clean, industrial, modern, innovative, and bright.
Competitive Audit
By doing a competitive audit, we were able to see what other brands were doing that worked well and what their short comings were. This also allowed us to see how we could stand out from the other light bulbs on the shelf and in advertising. GM’s top three competitors are Siemens, 3M, and Hitachi.
Almost everybody uses light bulbs. According to CNBC, approximately 5.6 billion light bulbs are currently being used in residential settings. Since almost everyone is a user, we had to look at the two extremes.At one end of the spectrum is a frail, old woman. At the other end is a young body-builder. By looking at these extremes, we can create a package suitable for everybody.​​​​​​​
Understanding the Users
Users revealed opportunities as they walked us through what is was like buying a light bulb. To aid in users choosing GE LED Light Bulbs over competitors, we decided to utilize opportunity points in the new packaging. 
Best Practices — DIY
People have already started solving the problem of light bulb packaging. Many people will take the bulbs out of the package and store them in something else that is more accessible. Christmas ornament and apple storage containers are commonly used to restore light bulbs and has proven to keep the bulbs safe and is accessible.
*With advancements in technology, less and less people are storing their light bulbs. With that in mind, we don’t have to be as concerned about making the package easy to store for extended periods of time. But how people are storing light bulbs gives us a look into how they would prefer the bulbs to be packaged.
Best Practices — Packaging 
We looked at packaging for other light bulbs and similar products. This helped us get an idea of how protected the bulbs would need to be and how other people have solved this problem. We found some unique ways other people (not companies) have suggested the light bulb packaging problem be solved.
We started on Reddit
On reddit we found that most people repackage light bulbs when they buy them. On reddit we found best practices for how customers were already storing them. We realized that the packaging was a real problem from here since users were turning to their own devices for storage.
We asked users
What do you think of GE's current packaging?
We talked with an expert
After interviews with users, I took a trip to Lowe’s where I interviewed an employee about light bulbs, and turns out he has been following the industry for years. 
What do you think about modular packaging that would make storing light bulbs easier. 
I think ten to twenty years ago it would’ve been perfect. But now LED light bulbs exist and have ten times the lifetime of a normal light bulb, so people are buying less light bulbs than before. 
Have you ever struggled with getting a light bulb out of the box? 
Yes I have, which you wouldn’t expect. I am never concerned about the safety of the light bulbs though since they’re not made of glass anymore. Some of my friends have arthritis and having so small of a space to grab the bulb is not efficient for them. 
What do you think about the look of the packaging?
I’m not a person who’s ever really concerned with the look of a package, so I think that the design is okay. It tells me the information I need to know about a bulb nowadays. However, I don’t like how long it takes me to grab a box since they all look the same.
We took feedback and turned it to sketches
Flipped Box 
A box that would allow for the light bulbs to lay down flat into grooves made out of foam.
Pull Tube 
A tube that allows for lightbulbs to be pulled out of a container that slides out of the packaging.
Christmas Ornament Packaging 
Taking from users on reddit who said they repackage into Christmas ornament boxes, we thought that could be a best practice for showcasing the bulbs.
Pull Back Packaging 
Since users expressed difficulties grabbing the lightbulbs, we thought of the idea to have a pull tab from the back where the lightbulbs would be sitting.
Pull Back Packaging
User Feedback 
“This might be over-engineering” 
“I like it, but I think it will still look the same as others on the shelf” 
“How would the pull back stay closed when not opened?” 
“It’s too similar to the current packaging.” 
While this packaging idea made it easier for users to get out of the package. The look was too similar to the old packaging. We decided this route may not be the best route to go, leading us back to an older idea of our pull tube packaging.
Tube Packaging
User Feedback
“This might be over-engineering” 
“I like it, but I think it will still look the same as others on the shelf” 
“How would the pull back stay closed when not opened?” 
“It’s too similar to the current packaging.” 
Users were much more enthusiastic about this packaging, But we had to tweak the design based on our feedback. We now had to focus on the label sticking out, and the lightbulbs staying in place.
Design Iterations
Apartment Building
For all of these designs, we wanted to play off the light the bulbs give, or GE’s tagline “Imagination at work”. The idea here was to have the windows show the bulbs into an apartment where people would be working. This design was to difficult considering the overlaps on the windows.
Soft Gradient
For this design we wanted to keep some of the traits the current design had but tweak it to feel more modern. We used a soft mesh gradient depicting the flow of light. Users expressed that this design was too similar to the current packaging, and they wanted something new to see on the shelf.
Bathroom Vanity
This design was inspired by putting the lights into their actual environment while still in the package. The inspiration came directly from an image of a bathroom vanity. The idea here was to show light bulbs are being used.
Paint Splatter
The idea behind the paint splatter was a play off of GE’s tagline: “Imagination at work.” This would be a series of different packages that utilized different creative materials. These could be anything from paint to cooking ingredients. After trying out different materials other than the paint, we realized we were straying from what the design should be representing.
Sketched Lines
Using the tagline imagination at work, we thought to create a more humanistic design that looked like sketched art. This was also pulled from the inspiration of one line drawings. Users were enthusiastic towards this design, causing us to move forward with the design but with a more clean approach.
On a Tube
Before we made any decisions, we mocked up our low fidelity designs onto a preexisting tube mock up. This allowed us to look at our designs more critically, and gave users an easier way to see the product in action.
The Final Design
The Label
Since users expressed enthusiasm for this design, we knew we had to move forward with it. The previous iteration was too chaotic so we worked on cleaning it up and giving the lines purpose as well as aesthetic. The lines wrap around important content and when the label wraps around you can see the lines connect to create a seamless sketched design.
The Model
Working closely with our partner Casey, we were able to create a model to visualize our design. The top of the container pulls up exposing the light bulbs. We ran into a couple of problems displaying the design on the model. Casey came to the rescue and rendered our design for us with multiple angles. 
The material of this model is made of low-cost cardboard. And since the container holds three lightbulbs instead of four, the cost of the packaging would not increase. 
Added Value 
This design offers the added value of a new fun design for customers to see on the shelf. Moving away from the current design means that GE lightbulbs are going to be the first design seen by a customer.
Physical Prototype
While we weren’t able to make a functional physical prototype, we were able to create a prototype that we could test on users for the design. Using the lighting set provided by the school we were able to take photos that could be used by the company to announce the new packaging.
Showcasing the Design
Using our rendering of the packaging, we photo shopped the packaging into a photo of a light bulb display at the store. As you can see in a field of bulbs, our unique shape and color stand out on the shelf. 
To further test the effectiveness of our design we showed this image to a group of ten users. 8/10 users noticed our packaging before the others. The other two noticing the stripe of yellow boxes down the middle. In the future we would experiment with a brighter color palette to add a more noticebale design for everyone.
Social Media Posts
Using social media we can effectively showcase the new design. Using phrases such as imagination at work or relax with related the packaging to GE’s brand but also lets loyal customers know their favorite bulbs will look a little different in store now.
Moving Forward
In design the project is never done, and for us theres some things we would like to improve moving forward. The timeline may be done, but our brains never shut off. 
One thing we would do to improve our product is implement more testing. While we tested throughout the duration of the project I am sure there are new issues that would arise through a new round of testing. 
Light your Imagination Scholarship 
With this new design of the packaging, an idea that we came up with along the way was to have a scholarship program for GE. Students would create an artistic design for the packaging, and three to five designs would be chosen as designs for the year. The winning students would receive a college grant and a display in stores.
Final Thoughts
In Product Design Engineering Technology, we spend a lot of time in CAD software designing anything including packaging, plastic parts, and even new inventions. Throughout our time in Product Design, we do not get to look at the graphic design side of things very often as we are so focused on the part design. When I was given the opportunity to work with the graphic design students, I was excited and wanted to be a part of the project. Working with Sienna and Mackenzie truly showed me another side of design that I haven’t done too far into. It also was great to work alongside them as it was just like working with a customer in industry.
As I made CAD models, we would look at them and critique them along the way making changes to make the product the best it could be. Working on this project was the closest to industry I could get while in a college class. It was a great experience and I am glad I was given the opportunity.
I really enjoyed working on this project. It was an awesome experience getting to work with Casey from the PDET class. There are multiple things I took away from this project. The main one being that you have to communicate differently with people from different specialties. Overall, this project came together great. With all of us working as a cohesive unit, we were able to create an amazing packaging solution for light bulbs.
Mackenzie (me)
While this project started out rough for us since we were stuck on the idea of repackaging yarn, I took some valuable lessons from this project. Working with someone from another program made me nervous, but Casey, Mackenzie and I were a powerhouse together. We were all bouncing ideas off of each other constantly and I truly believe we came out with a great product due to our cooperation.

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