Otília Andrea Erdélyi redesigned the lowly egg carton using the minimal amount of material.

The container flips open to take up very little counter space.

The elliptical openings allow the consumer to inspect the eggs without opening the package.

The package is held closed with a paper wrapper that provides space for branding.

The package extends over the sides of the eggs, to provide protection against breaking.

Fully open.

Fully open.

The Egg Carton Reinvented, To Save Space and Materials

Why redesign perfectly acceptable packaging? Because there’s room for improvement.

The standard cardboard egg carton has been around a long, long time, basically because it does a serviceable job of keeping eggs from getting broken. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be improved, as a Hungarian graphic design student shows with her smart redesign: a spare, stackable container made from a single piece of cardboard that cleanly flips open while maintaining a compact footprint.

“My goal was to design an innovative package using a small amount of material,” writes Otília Andrea Erdélyi, who is currently a master’s student at Moholy-Nagy University. Indeed, the carton is economical, with elliptical cutouts that allow consumers to inspect the eggs without opening the box. And although the sides are exposed, Erdélyi insists that package still provides ample protection, especially if it stays right side up. (We featured a similar, though arguably less successful, rethink last year.)

Quibbles aside, Erdélyi’s packaging stands as an egg-cellent model of how the “less is more” ethos leads to incremental changes that can have a much greater impact.

H/T The Dieline

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13 Comments

  • Rob

    This is a goodlooking design, but that doesn't mean it's a good design.
    I have given students the assignment to design an egg-packaging in the first weeks of their first year. One important part of the assessment was the real life test (involving a shopping bag, some groceries and a bike on a bumpy course). I fear this design would fall through as "nice to see, but no good in protecting eggs" 
    The smart thing about the regular egg-carton is that it uses the strength of the egg itself to protect it from breaking, while taking up as little space as possible. 

  • vincent_teng

    I don't see how this is a better design. Sure it looks pretty, and makes a good initial impression. But, what is the point of designing another carton? I think the designer should be thinking about changing the process rather than focusing on just packaging. 

  • Anjade

    Unless you are 5 years old you should not use  "egg-cellent" in any article unless it's Easter, ( and even then it's lame).

  • Ama Rama

    This carton seems ugly and bad. When I buy eggs and carry them in my bag this will allow them to break. The clasical one is way better. 

  • Nick Cecchi

    Another example of designing objects when we should be designing systems. That is, if a truly sustainable agenda is to be pursued. 

  • Lors

    Así es. Es necesario buscar una forma de eliminar los empaque y hacer sistemas de entrega diarios los cuales sean sostenibles, por ejemplo el uso de la bicicleta, y a productores locales donde el producto no se desplace en largas distancias. Una suscripción mensual beneficiaría dandole trabajo a productores locales y dinero extra a personas que dediquen un par de horas diarias en la entrega de los productos a los suscriptores. Lo cual sería también un beneficio ya que no contaminan el ambiente y de paso hacen su dosis de ejercicio diaria.

  • Nick Guarracino

    @ Bob, agree 100%. Its an aesthetic improvement at best. There's a reason the existing carton has been around as long as it has. Granted, everything can be improved upon to some degree, but the humble egg carton does a pretty good job and has been time-tested. Regardless, its nice to see designers rethinking the things we all take for granted. Thats the essence of art; turning the things we see everyday on their head and inspiring us to think about them in new ways. Keep it up, Otilia!

  • Bob Aretz

    Plus, this carton only holds 6 eggs so the cost per unit increases tremendously. The other increase I see is in the assembly of the package. Automation could prove to be a nightmare driving up costs even more. 
    Although the designer insists on ample protection, it is inevitable that eggs will break in shipping and handling. A "standard" carton is designed to better cup the liquid. 

    When designing, it is important to think through all aspects of the process including the economics and feasibility of production.

  • SpaghettiMitKnoedel

    The real waste in packaging is not in the single products but in the bulk packaging a normal consumer doesn't see. It's about 70% of all packaging.

    Also if you factor in the costs for changing standard tools in logistics to accomodate this new form factor you will see that this solution is not saving anything.