1. An industry-related book.
A quick search on Amazon for books from 2021 about packaging turned up a bunch. Here are a few that caught our eye. (Feel free to shop around for copies available from other sellers.)
• “Sustainable Innovations in Food Packaging” (first edition!): According to book’s description, “This book presents eco-friendly packaging strategies to reduce food and plastic waste and address the end-of-life issues of persistent materials. It particularly focuses on the production of biodegradable microbial polymers and the use of by-products and waste from the agricultural and food industries.”
• “Don’t Panic! I’m A Professional Packaging Engineer - 2022 Diary”: The Amazon description says, “A funny customized 2022 diary work planner for a busy Packaging Engineer employee and team member. Give this keepsake book to a colleague, friend, or family member, instead of a throw-away greeting card to show how much they are appreciated.”
• “The Art and Science of Packaging: A Mini Encyclopedia”: This Kindle book on package design promises to be different. “This book is about all the lessons we’ve learned in over a decade of experience designing a wide variety of packages. But this is also about our peers, the designers, and strategists who create thoughtful packaging solutions with style, panache, and ingenuity in engineering.”
• “Secrets to Unforgettable Package Design: How To Get Started With Product Packaging Design (New Edition): The Packaging And Branding”: Oooo, who doesn’t like secrets?! This looks at packaging from a marketer’s perspective: “A product’s packaging is more than simply decoration; it’s all about the customer experience. This is precisely why a designer should make use of the product’s packaging design as a marketing technique in and of itself. Learn how to build packaging that will make customers fall in love with your business by reading about packaging secrets.”
• “The Evolution of Products & Packaging: How a Spec-First Approach is Revolutionizing the Way Companies Make Things”: This paperback or Kindle book tackles current issues like product proliferation and complex supply chains. “Over the course of [author Matthew] Wright’s own evolution from packaging executive, to business owner and software startup founder, the answer to this complexity seemed simple: to keep up, the professionals would need to embrace data to make better, smarter, more sustainable products and packaging. …You’ll recognize stories of packaging and product failures, the common pitfalls organizations slip into when it comes to managing their most important data, and a glimpse into the future of how data can drive the answers to some of our most pressing supply chain challenges.”
• “Tetra Pak: The Inside Story”: Peek behind the curtain at the world’s largest food and beverage packaging company. “This is a book about a ubiquitous company that everyone on this planet has bought something from them, not just once, but on average 25 times a year. …The rise and fall of Tetra Pak are told by ex-Tetra Pak executives. The author was once a Tetra Paker and from interviews of some forty ex-Tetra Pakers, this book spills the beans of what goes on in this incredible company.”
• While not packaging-related, my recommendation for a thoughtful, feel-good book that rewards the reader at the end: “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles.