Brand communication takes a leap into the future

In the PIDA 2016 brief, the challenge is to create a smart, futuristic and functional package for the premium electronics industry – and make use of new technology that allows a consumer to interact with the packaging.

There has been a lot of water under the bridges since the first barcode was scanned. This, by the way, was a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum back in June 1974. Today, technologies for data exchange cover a much wider scope of possibilities. Let’s take a quick look at three of the most common ones.

Radio waves

The brief for PIDA 2016 is called Electronic Connection. For the assignment, students have to explore and utilize technologies that may add value to a packaging design, for example NFC (Near Field Communication). It is a tech feature that utilizes radio communication to interact with smart phones. It is used for security and tamper-proofing. It can ensure a customer that the expensive perfume is the real thing, or that a whisky bottle has not been opened. Another area of use is enabling electronic payment systems – your digital wallet.


Holographic print is another type of protection against counterfeiting. The technique is widely used for security in passports, driver licenses and credit cards. A holographic image is very hard to duplicate, it identifies an object – such as a package – as the authentic thing.

A link to content

The most versatile, and common, technology is a QR code printed on the package. By scanning the code with your smartphone you can access any kind of pre-defined content: user instructions, info about a product’s origin, ingredients or manufacture; or entertainment such as games or film clips. For pharmaceuticals, the QR code can be used to retrieve the patient information leaflet. It opens up a gold mine for brand communication.

Get more on the site

This is what PIDA 2016 can be about. Electronic connection. But you never know. Packaging design students are innovative and imaginative. Be sure to expect surprises. While waiting for the outcome of the competition, check out for more info about packaging that talks to your smartphone.