Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- work in a multidisciplinary project team with a real industry project taking into account the client, product, environment, and the user
- understand how a package can serve different stakeholders in different phases of the product's life cycle
- knows the principles of visual, structural and user-centered packaging design that complies with sustainable development
- evaluate the desirability and feasibility of a packaging solution from different perspectives.
- implement good project working practices and presentations skills.

Credits: 18

Schedule: 14.09.2021 - 17.12.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Markus Joutsela

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Teacher in charge:

Course assistant:

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course simulates multidisciplinary design projects common in the industry.
    The focus is on designing future packaging concepts and prototypes based on a client brief. Project work is supported by theme lectures, workshops, and excursions, as well as independent and supervised group work. The course ends in with a Pack-Age Gala in which the students will present their proof-of-concept prototypes to the audience.

    The main teaching themes are:
    - Visual communication design and user experience
    - Material technology and packaging engineering
    - Sustainable design and systems
    - Branding and consumer understanding
    - Package development, structures and model making.

    By applying to the course, student acknowledges that they will be working with a real client project. The project teams will be created based on the applicants' skills, backgrounds, and interests before the course starts.

    Teaching is based on collaboration between different teachers and schools, and industry. Utilizing competence and cooperation networks makes it possible to offer a more comprehensive approach to teaching and learning to work with packaging design challenges.

    The course is taught in collaboration between different schools: Aalto ARTS, Aalto BIZ, Aalto CHEM, Helsinki University and LAB. Pack-Age is organised by the Aalto ARTS Master's Degree Programme in Visual Communication Design.

  • applies in this implementation

    We will be working with three different cases this year and each student is assigned to one team with other students from different backgrounds. Each team has a unique real case and students will be working in teams of 4-5 people.

    First week we will be on campus all days. 

    14.9. Kick-Off & intro + teams
    15.9. Team activities and roles
    16.9. Clients come to brief the cases to teams.

    Later we will organise some of the lectures wit also remote connection (hybrid teaching), but in practice transdisciplinary team activites work best on site.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teamwork, presentations, prototypes and project report are evaluated 

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Total workload 480h of which independent and group work 290h. Lectures, workshops visits and excursions 100h, exercises 50h, mid and final critiques and presentations 40h.


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Recommended literature:

    Silva & Dupuis 2008. Package Design Workbook: The Art and Science of Successful Packaging. Rockport Publishing.
    Jackson 2012. Structural Packaging: Design Your Own Boxes and 3D Forms. Laurence King Publishing.
    Ambrose & Harris 2011. Packaging the Brand The Relationship Between Packaging Design and Brand Identity. AVA Publishing.
    Boylston 2009. Designing Sustainable Packaging. Laurence King Publishing.
    Järvi-Kääriäinen & Ollila 2007. Toimiva Pakkaus. Pakkaustutkimus PTR.

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course is open also for Bachelor's degree students. Minimum amount of students 10.

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Autumn I-II

    2021-2022 Autumn I-II

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: Sisu replaces Oodi on 9 August, 2021. Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture:

    Students apply to Pack-Age minor by sending a motivation letter to