Goods designs plastic-free, globally-recyclable packaging for digital paper tablet reMarkable 2
Why, despite being equipped with laptops, smartphones and tablets, do we still turn to notebooks and printouts whenever we attend meetings, lectures and classes? Magnus Wanberg, CEO of reMarkable, asked himself the same question before founding the Norwegian start-up in 2013. As a result, reMarkable produces innovative digital tablets that aim to replicate the pure experience of pen and paper, which in answer to the aforementioned question, help people to think clearer in today’s notification filled world.
The reMarkable 2, an improved version of the company’s original device, comes in at 4.7mm thick, features a display that looks and feels just like paper, and houses the ability to turn handwritten notes into text. To package the product, reMarkable worked closely with Goods – an Oslo-based design studio and sister company to Heydays that “focuses on balancing ethics and aesthetics.”
The resulting packaging unifies the reMarkable 2 with its host of accessories, including cases, markers and USB-A cables. Each product is encased within a plastic-free, custom-moulded box that features an embossed to-scale product silhouette on its surface, providing a thoroughly tangible and tactile experience. “We identified early on that forcing customers to recycle different materials is exponentially more demanding than recycling one,” Goods’ Creative Director Sandro Kvernmo explains regarding the decision to make reMarkable 2’s paper-only packaging from globally-recyclable materials. “Fibre-based materials are easily the most common fraction to recycle worldwide,” he adds.
Instead of industry-standard plastic-film, the reMarkable 2 comes wrapped in a bespoke, die-cut translucent paper sheet. “It took some great engineering work from the reMarkable team to pull off our idea of using paper to wrap the device, but in the end we believe we managed to do what is a world-first, protecting a screen device without any plastic in a manner that heightens the unboxing experience,” Kvernmo adds. In addition, the tablet’s packaging is half the size of that of the reMarkable 1, which not only reduces material use and product cost but also doubles shipping density thanks to a newly-introduced modular sizing system.
For the graphic dimension of the packaging, Goods worked with reMarkable’s existing brand guidelines, which includes the sans serif Maison Neue and a custom cut of Commercial Type’s Portrait known simply as ‘Portrait reMarkable’. However, they didn’t stop there, with hand-drawn scribbles added to the typography to reflect the multi-faceted nature of the product. The reMarkable 2 “isn’t only for reading documents and articles,” but also for “drawing and creating” and as “an annotation tool for PDFs, legal documents or long-form texts,” Kvernmo tells us. The scribbles add a human layer to the otherwise stark and serious packaging system, which utilises a range of greys to mirror the tablet’s colourless two-tone display.
Goods’ work for the reMarkable 2 and its accompanying accessories successfully captures the ethos of the product, while confirming that packaging can be produced without plastic with the appropriate level of craft and attention to detail. “My leaps are sealed!” Kvernmo concludes – choosing to remain hush on whether their work will inform the packaging of future reMarkable products.