Discover what makes Brace Packaging special
Brace is an award-winning medical device designed to treat Pectus Carinatum (commonly known as pigeon chest), a condition that causes the breastbone to protrude unnaturally and affects approximately 1 in 400 children. While typical treatment for this condition entails uncomfortable and stigmatising metal braces, Brace takes a human-centred approach to provide a more pleasant, clinically successful, and concealed solution.
But what makes the Brace Packaging special and how does it compliment the medical device?
Carmen Wong, Lead Industrial Designer and Katie Forrest Smith, CMF Designer worked directly on the award-winning packaging solution for the Brace device. In this article, they examine how putting young patients' experiences at the centre of the design philosophy provides consumers with a more tailored, appropriate service in the comfort of their own homes. From exploring initial ideas to developing defined concepts, read on to find out about the creation of Brace Packaging…
Carmen says “At PDR we always have sustainability at the forefront so it was critical to reduce as many packing elements as possible. The idea was to have two simple components made out of recyclable pulp securing the Brace device in the centre - almost like if you pressed the pulp into the brace itself, so you'd get this simple and clean profile. We wanted to minimise its size and make it compact.”
Traditionally, medical packaging is quite clinical-looking and made of a lot of plastic. “Due to the age range of Brace users, we felt it was essential to avoid conventional medical packaging and instead concentrate on how we could make it more visually appealing and purposeful.”
Katie mentions how it was important to create an experience with the packaging and unboxing. “As Brace is created for young teenagers, we carefully considered the values of Generation Z and what they look for in a product. To avoid the user feeling alienated from their peers, we wanted to give the aesthetics and unboxing experience a playful feel.
“Typically, the user would require the assistance of a medical expert to set up a standard brace, but with this, we wanted the user to feel confident and empowered. We accomplished this by incorporating a phone slot into the packaging where the user can watch an instructional video about the brace from their own home. This gives them confidence in setting up the brace themselves with the support and advice from a clinician.”
Carmen and Katie discuss how it was important to consider the user journey with this service delivery. “In terms of language and graphic application, we paid close attention to the smallest details. For example, instead of printing instructions in a booklet, we decided to apply the instructions directly to the included brace storage bag as a playful graphic element. The packaging itself is covered in a bold graphic print that sets it apart from traditional medical device packaging. “It's the little touches that go beyond the traditional way of doing things that make this packaging special.”