I was incredibly lucky to land my first design job immediately after graduating from the University of Salford in 1998 with a BSc in Product Design and Development. I began my career as a design researcher working for a large packaging company based in Birmingham, UK. As part of a small team of young designers I was instantly immersed into a fast-paced, high-pressure environment developing innovative products for the UK's top supermarkets.
One such product was Pinch Pull, a product developed to address both the needs of supermarkets and consumers alike. Pinch Pull was a revolutionary system that aimed to solve the age-old problem of difficult to open plastic bags, whilst also helping supermarkets cut down on the number of bags used throughout the store. Replacing the traditional "bag on a roll", Pinch Pull is a cartridge-based system that enabled supermarket customers to remove bags one at a time with ease, with the bag being dispensed already open. The system was soon developed further to accommodate large carrier bags at the checkout.
It's rare to be involved with the development of a product that is so widespread and familiar to so many people. Although the product is almost 20 years old, and despite the introduction of charges for plastic carrier bags in the UK, Pinch Pull can still be seen today in a number of supermarkets. I'm proud to have been so heavily involved in its development.
The experience I gained during the development of Pinch Pull forms the foundation of my career as a designer. An immersion into the wider world of design within a manufacturing environment so soon after graduating from university has proved invaluable to me. Everything I learned during my time at Euro Packaging has stayed with me and I continue to build on those experiences each and every day.