Gifts and design-projects – The development of the Krones Sports-Bottle

After 20 years in the plastics industry, you will have seen many trade fairs. Machines are almost always running to demonstrate show their capabilities, and sometimes giveaways are produced. Things that you might be able to use for something or things that you might only look at as a nice gimmick and maybe even throw away while you are still on the show.

But what should be the salient features of a good gift? In general, a good gift should create a connection between the giver and the recipient. So what would be the perfect giveaway for a company exhibiting at a trade fair?

In my opinion, there are three major criteria involved.

It should be something of value for the recipient, so that it is not thrown away immediately. It should be of use for a lengthy period. It also should act as a reminder of the company; this is usually done by an attractive imprint on the gift. And ideally, it should show something of the company’s capabilities and so make for effective sales promotion.

It was on the basis of this thinking that the idea for the Krones Sports / Cycling Bottle was born.

What a great thing it would be for our company to make a gift that is produced and printed on Krones machinery. And one that every valued customer can use, since everybody has to drink and hydrate. A bottle that fits a bottle holder in a bicycle, one that can stand up to dishwasher treatment and that really has a cool and stylish look, so that it is worth being presented on the top of the table. A bottle that makes an appealing advertisement for Krones, and can be created in a bigger variety of designs, that can add up to a collection.

But as you know, nothing happens without motivated and capable people working on a project, and so this project had to wait for a small group of highly motivated design student apprentices until it was finally translated into reality. In the winter of 2014, finally, the students “Krones Sports / Cycling Bottle” project kicked off. The core team members were the industrial design students Stefan Plath, Stephan Jaeger and Laura Wittmann (OHT Regensburg) who were at that time doing an internship at Krones. With lots of fun and commitment, different bottle concepts were developed, not least by playing around with the topic of “go to work by bicycle” (a health insurance campaign in Germany).

It was not the only challenge to develop a dynamic shape for the bottle, but different Krones technologies should be shown in this project too. To quote Stephan Jaeger: ”Our target was to create a “giveaway” for Krones employees and trade fair visitors with real added value for the user. And in line with precisely this aspiration, (added value, a gift with real practical value), a special focus was devoted to certain aspects. Sturdy, washable, with a good flow for drinking, squeezable: these were the requirements. Not to forget aspects like an aesthetic pleasing shape (incorporating the Krones logo), an ergonomic grip section, and the possibility to make a collection with different print designs. During a six-month creative process, the young designers worked on developing a consumer good complying with all the relevant requirements of sporting activities and daily use. “Our focus is on the user”, says Stefan Plath, whose concept made it to the final phase.

Finally, in the summer of 2015, a bottle concept was finalised that gives an impression of how much know-how Krones can apply to a single concept bottle. It not only looks good in the bicycle bottle holder. This bottle is persuasively fit-for-purpose can convince in the gym and outdoors too. And the options for different decorations made with DecoType (digital direct bottle printing by Krones) make possible a variety of different new looks that can be used within the framework of this concept. The design student Laura Wittmann was responsible for the graphic elaboration of the different print designs. The topic “bicycling” is picked up in different designs, and these different motifs under the same topic make for a harmonious collection. The colourful designs emphasize the sporting character of the bottle, and demonstrate the potential of the DecoType technology.