A seed represents a starting point; the start of an idea that grows into a crop of action or even a representation of life itself. Much like seeds, people will be swept up by a gust of wind called life, and end up in a city far from where they started. Eventually, they will plant their roots in a new city that they will grow to call home.
The Montreal Public Market is a public market that has 15 different market locations scattered all across the city of Montreal. They pride themselves on being able to provide those who live in the city the opportunity to shop local organic products. In their mission statement, they proudly uphold the historic tradition of Montreal Public Markets.
The Montreal Public Market is planning on releasing a line extension of seeds that invites the consumer to plant their roots both mentally and physically by purchasing their seeds and starting a garden. The association is looking for well-designed packaging that is both representational of the city of Montreal and of their brand as a whole. A specification they set in regards to the material is that it must be environmentally friendly.
As a starting point, I began to research The Montreal Public Market and its historic significance in Montreal, the fresh tea plants, and the possibilities of folding paper.
After reading about the Montreal Public Market’s company values, I was instantly inspired and began looking at Victorian-era plant illustrations from botanical books.
I came up with the concept of designing seed packaging that makes the consumer feel as if they’ve been transported to the earliest Montreal public markets. I used the covers of the botanical books to see how type and hierarchy were executed. One aspect that stood out was how the type was often inside of a box in the centre or an illustration was in a box on the cover. I made the decision to explore having the type in the box while having watercolour illustrations of the plant behind the box.
As for material, due to the specifications put in place, I decided that paper would be the best option in respect to the specification. I didn’t want to go for the usual seed envelope. I became inspired by paper envelopes with rivets and strings in the back. This would give the consumer the option to easily reseal the seed packaging to save any unplanted seeds.
The plants inspired the colour palette. The chamomile, mint, and sage need three different colours to differentiate each packaging without the consumer needing to read. The colours were inspired by different aspects of the plants. A yellow-orange for chamomile, green for mint, and purple-pink for sage.
The final product resulted in a packaging line extension that reflects on the city of Montreal and the Montreal Public Market, while also being environmentally friendly. The packaging allows the consumer to feel as if they had been brought back in time to the first public markets in Montreal picking out some seeds with refreshing illustrations and carefully bound with string to prevent any seeds from falling out.