Nicholas Johnson

  • Doctoral Researcher

Nicholas is an inquisitive and creative industrial designer holding a first-class honours degree from Loughborough University. He focuses on real-world qualitative data collection methodology with specialisms in design management, human-centred design and visual perception application to design research. He is currently undertaking a PhD in Design Innovation Management with focus on developing better organisational design practice frameworks for FMCGs packaging design for new product development.

He is a specialist practitioner in the research and development of designs for low involvement FMCG products. He has a wealth of knowledge having worked within the FMCG sector executing creative solutions for both premium and value products, innovating and pushing the boundaries working closely with internal and external NPD, marketing R&D and brand teams for a wide range of consumer brands and European retailers.

Title of thesis: It’s Got To Be Eye-Catching: The development of a design tool to assist FMCG packaging design practice.

Recognising the value design has to offer has been of great importance for effective development and launch of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). Packaging design is acknowledged as a significant success factor in the FMCG industry to help provide clear product differentiation and competitive advantage in saturated and complex markets. The search for approaches to maintain or improve market share is driving the field of consumer research over the last few decades.

The potential to influence consumer perception of a product through visual design is well documented in the literature. Packaging design relies on effective management of symbolic, semantic, aesthetic and visual information elements. Stakeholders have been increasingly demanding of design practitioners to provide a clear rationale and accountability for their design proposals in this risk-averse industry. However, limited research has been produced to address how packaging design and development is managed; and, how design practitioners frame and interpret consumer interactions.

The research looks to address this neglected area of research through the study of design practitioners in ‘real-world’ FMCG design practice.

Supervisors: Dr George Torrens, Ian Storer.