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This vacuum formed insert for a box of biscuits holds the contents in place, prevents breakages and presents them well. The forms are complex and the recesses deep, especially when we consider that they were made by stretching a single sheet of plastic into this configuration.

Sadly this sort of plastic is a growing ecological concern as little of it is recycled.


Click on  “Burger Tray”  for more details                            


The increased shipping of goods throughout the 20th century expanded the need for packaging to protect and preserve the items. This resulted in the need for complex shapes to act as separators and cushioning devices. At the same time the growth of supermarkets fostered the development of individual products with strong visual presentation which lead to the rapid growth of packaging design. So much so that packaging now represents some 2% of the GDP of most industrial societies, a good proportion of this is made up of packs for food.


The plastics developed in the 1940‘s and 50‘s provided cheap, effective and highly visual packaging solutions. The simplest plastics fabrication process is undoubtedly Vacuum Forming. A hot flexible plastic sheet is clamped over a mould and is sucked into it as the air is removed. The deformed sheet is quickly cooled and becomes rigid. The moulding is then trimmed and stacked ready for use.

This technology is not only used for packaging inserts, larger items such as fridge liners and baths are also vacuum formed from plastic sheet. 


The two views of the tray make an intriguing composition especially as the object is not clearly defined. So, at first, the viewer may wonder what is being depicted.

The translucent Biscuit Tray is viewed against a bright light source which shows how the foil is thinned and stretched  as it is pulled into the mould. The top rim and the thicker base remain darker while the thinner walls are lighter. Brief glimpses of light reflecting off the corners of the base can be seen and outlines of the separators can be viewed,  if only dimly, on the end view.

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