Yeongkeun Jeong – Hongik University, Korea
Butter! Better! is a new and convenient way to take your butter on the go. This functional, single serving has a knife built right into the disposable packaging so you can scoop and spread butter without the hassle of bring cutlery out of the house.
Yeongkeun Jeong – Hongik University, Korea
Seohyun Park – Students of Material Engineering Science, University of Yonsei
Mark Christou: This concept would have been great for a jam or jelly brand. As designers, we must keep challenging ourselves – How can I push it further? Does it make sense? What can I improve? I felt that this just wasn’t the case here…A lovely concept that wasn’t fully thought through.
Melanie Wiesenthal: Creating a top that is also a spreadable knife is such a cleaver idea and the graphics are fun and inviting. We wondered, however, how often people really need butter-on-the-go and thought this might be more appropriate for ice cream, or peanut butter. Also, I personally love seeing the 3 colors, but wonder if this will be confusing as colors often suggest a different flavor to the consumer.
Joshua Handy: A nicely realized convenience package that uses utility to drive the form. We thought a little more attention was required on the product proposition to really elevate this format, but on the whole, a beautifully executed project.
Joe Marianek: The design of the form couldn't have been butter. But seriously, the product should not be butter. It should be flavored cream cheese or frosting or anything else. Overall idea is superb and the applications brought it to life.
Marianne Klimchuk: Clever concept that has great potential but could be pushed further. Although the simple graphics effectively create a pinwheel when positioned with the set - would they really retail in this format? In addition, the graphics seem to be on the wrong side of the knife.
1. Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the challenge posed to you? Did it get you excited and why?
The idea for 'Butter Better' came to me when on a picnic with friends. It was a really lovely day and we were sharing food, drink and each other's company when I realized that I had forgotten to pack a knife with which to spread the butter. Although eventually able to see the funny side of trying to spread butter with a floppy foil lid, I realized that this could be simply remedied with a small change to the lid of the packet. One product that combined both butter and knife would be functional and appealing. As I considered how to improve a long-standing and well known product, I became aware that modernizing the product at the same time would enhance and change an everyday food item - bread and butter - into something much more special. A very simple picnic; bread and butter could be transformed into a special memory by including 'Butter Better' in a variety of colours and designs.
2. What point of view did you bring to the challenge? Was there anything additional that you wanted to achieve with this project or bring to this project that was not part of the original brief?
The most important factor I strived to achieve was designing a simple product that is both functional and convenient. I feel people respond positively to products which succeed in solving a problem they find annoying, especially if it is solved in an easy, simple and unexpected way. I wanted to adopt this logic to my design concept and I endeavored to find the ideal shape, colour combination, material and size to support my idea.
In addition to the functionality of the product, I wanted this product to satisfy people both sentimentally and emotionally. This is a parallel to my belief that eating is not just a behaviour to achieve satiety, but involves all the senses. I set about to achieve this by thinking about how the product could appeal to various people. I believe I achieved this mainly due to the design: the materials used in the product, the way of representing logo, the colours etc.
3. When designing this project, whose interests did you consider? (Discuss various stakeholders, audiences, retailing, manufacturing, assembly, distribution, etc., for example.)
I focused mainly on how 'Butter! Better!' would be interpreted by the consumer, so the audience was my primary concern. 'Better Butter' needed to maximize ease of use as well as appealing aesthetically. The package needed to attract potential purchasers visually, suggesting that this product is essential for alfresco dining. Its small size and compact shape are important to consider; they need to be appropriate so it can be transported easily for lunches and picnics. The design of Butter Better also suits it’s function; being able to take off the lid to save packing two separate items.
The second could be described as the ‘point of purchase’. The package will be the first thing to be seen, therefore it is crucial for ‘Butter Better’ to be simple but attractive. This will encourage passers-by to pause, focus and appreciate the product. Each package fits when placed together in a specific way, the packets form a flower pattern. I wanted to link colours to particular flavours. for example, yellow colour represents honey butter and Pink represents strawberry flavored butter. I have considered this from the early stages as this will be useful for the manufacturers and distributers as it links into one simple package.
4. Describe the rigor that informed your design. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) If this was a strictly research or strategy project, please provide more detail here.
I have spent much time designing a suitable shape and selecting appropriate material.
Firstly, I needed to think about the ideal shape which could satisfy both knife and butter container since these two needs to be combined. I also had to consider the knife tip which needs to reach the corner of the butter container. Additionally, I had to think about the angle and direction of the knife blade so that it is natural to use the inside of the knife for spreading after scooping. There is a preference for right handed people as this is the majority. I decided the final shape of the knife after experimenting with 11 differently shaped prototypes.
There were two key materials available, that is plastic and wood. I asked some students in Material Engineering Science, University of Yonsei, practical questions like maleficence, sustainability and the cost of the materials. I also questioned 150 people about their feelings and emotions towards plastic and wood. Based on this information I opted for wooden material for the knife.
5. What is the social value of your design? (Gladdening, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, labor-mindful, environmental, cultural, etc.) How does it earn its keep in the world?
'Butter! Better!' is a cheerful yet useful product that can be adapted to suit all ages and occasions. It provides a humourous answer to an age-old problem - where's the butter knife? By using biodegradable materials it is environmentally friendly whilst still addressing the social needs of providing a labour-saving. The tried and tested packets of butter are universal across the globe. This product will earn its keep by taking over that role.
6. If you could have done one thing differently with the project, what would you have changed?
My original design plan included an outer transparent plastic covering; however, I was unable to include this in my final design. It was not practical to have it in my final product, as I had insufficient money and also didn’t have the correct equipment to add the outer wrap to the packets of ‘Butter Better’. So I feel something wanting about it.