The Tephra Collection

PPA Student Design Challenge 2014

The Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) is a joint initiative of the American Forest & Paper Association and the Paperboard Packaging Council.

The mission is to promote the benefits of paperboard packaging and products to influence preference for these materials in packaging design and selection.

Paperboard is a paper-based material that is generally thicker than paper.

It is easy to cut and form and is both lightweight and strong, which makes it ideal for packaging.

Paperboard packaging comes in several different grades that possess unique characteristics making each grade suitable for different packaging requirements and needs.

Our design team:


Wentian Chen  (Graphic Design)


Ryan Breton     (Packaging Science)


Vivian Wong     (Packaging Science)

Men’s grooming products are one of the fastest growing sectors within the beauty industry.


To meet the demand and attract new customers, top consumer product goods companies and traditional cosmetic companies need to introduce new products in the marketplace.


The Tephra Collection will be the first men’s collection gift set from a leading luxury cosmetic company.


It will use its packaging to communicate the user experience to the potential consumer.


After a full day of work and activities, the face is under stress just like magma, ready to erupt from a volcano.

Once the lava reaches the surface of the earth and begins to cool, it forms basalt columns.

Just like the first step of this process- the facial wash, it will leave the face feeling refreshed, just like cooled lava.


Then, the second step is to exfoliate with volcanic ashes.


The exfoliating scrub in the collection will leave the consumer clean and relaxed.


The final step is to apply the facial lotion.


Naturally, basalt rocks in normal environments will undergo weathering that will smooth out the column edges.

The lotion will help moisturize the
consumer’s face, carrying the smooth and refreshing feel throughout the day.


The Tephra collection is designed to mimic the natural phenomenon.

The Tephra collection is designed to mimic the natural phenomenon of the basalt column creation, while delivering the user experience to the consumers.

The dominant colors of the package are black, grey, and red.

They are traditional colors that are attractive to men.

Black communicates power, formality, and mystery.

Grey communicates calmness, composure, and relief.

Red is associated with passion, desire, and strength.

There are three components (excluding the products) that make up the package:

Telescoping Top – This component holds the whole package together.

It contains the tiered columns within the blooming base.

In the display, it also serves as the stand that the blooming base sits on.

It utilizes a hexagonal tuck flap design.

Tiered Columns – This component holds the products for display.

It is hexagonally tiered just like a medal-stand.


To fit the theme, the basalt columns’ graphics are printed on perimeter of the stand.

The regression of height indicates

the steps of the process with the highest tier as the first step.

Upon the purchase of the product, the columns can be removed as a stand for the consumer to place in the medicine cabinet or the sink counter.

Blooming Base – This component holds the tiered columns.

It has a hexagonal base with three webbed extensions, which also serve as the inner walls of the package.

When the top is removed, the base will bloom out as a surprise element to the package. Graphics will be printed on both sides with different stages of lava, a cooling crust exterior and fiery interior.

The webs and the fold-over flaps will prevent white edges of the SBS board from showing when the package is closed.

All three components to the collection are made with 18pt Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS) board.

It was chosen for its durability and printability.

While the columns and top are printed on one side, the base is double-printed with the glossy side as the exterior.

This package is decorated entirely with high quality graphic printing only.

Because there is no additional feature such as hot stamping, it is 100% recyclable

The package introduces a surprise element as the telescoping top is removed.

More lava graphics will be exposed and the base blooms out.

Once it is fully removed, the tiers of the basalt columns, with the products, are shown.

The Tephra Collection can sit independently on a cosmetic counter.

To fully display the package, the telescoping top can be removed and serve as a platform for the base with the products to sit on.

This way, the packaging and the product as a system has the maximum estate for display.

Even with this arrangement, the overall dimensions still fall within the maximum dimension constraints proposed in the design challenge.

© 2019 Designed by Wentian Chen