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square jars

Behind the scenes...,
our 250ml & 500ml containers.

Why change is good and why.

We have been using the distinctive 250ml and 500ml containers with the large black cap for over 25 years and manufacturing them ourselves for nearly as long. Although the shape was iconic within the art indutry we felt there was room for improvement (specialy in the mechanics of the lid sealing and its small narrow thread), so we set about redesigning the containers to new environmental standards with more user-friendly features.

The decision for the changeover came about for many reasons but none involved just out of impulse.

We take pride in being a green aware company so the container needed to be created from environmentally responsible materials. Information available at that time showed us that the best option to meet our needs was a type of plastic known as PET, as it is strong enough to withstand packing and transportation (ENVIRONMENTAL CODE OF PRACTICE 1997) and is compatible with most standard recycling programs. PET has the added benefit of being clear thus allowing the colour of the paint or medium to be visible.

PET sounded like the perfect answer except for one point - aperture (mouth) size. Our manufacturer was not convinced that they would be able to create an aperture as wide as required, so we requested molds with the widest aperture we could using the technology available at the time. Hopefully in the future will allow for greater variation - even over the 3 years we looked at PET, the technology changed considerably.

Economy of space on shop shelves was also found to be a critical factor in retailers and distributors stocking our product. Naturally, they wanted the maximum number of products to take up a minimum of shelf space. A great jar with a huge mouth is not much good if it takes up so much shelf space that no one will stock it. We found that creating a square shaped container saves over 30% wasted space at point of sale.

jars shelfThe square shape also had space benefits for packing and transport. Freight costs can play a large role in the cost of our products in areas way from our base in Sydney. These costs are compounded by weight and damage. Our new 250ml and 500ml square format PET jars are much stronger than the old round jars whilst being considerably lighter and taking up less space. This all adds up to savings that can be passed onto our customers.

The amount of paint in each container has also been positively affected. All containers have what is called a “fill line”; the level to which 250ml or 500ml of paint comes to in the jar. The fill line on the old round jar was approximately half way up the "thread" which left very little room to overfilling (which allows for "shrinkage" and tolerance levels of the filling machines). Our new square shaped container has a fill line on the shoulder for the 250ml and well below the shoulder for the 500ml (it is the line just below the "arch" on the sides). This allows us to overfill the jar, which means bonus product for our customers.

Moving forward, in 2016 we also decided to change the containers for our 1 Litre, 2 Litre and 4 Litre packaging. These were previously presented in semi-opaque plastic bucket style containers with a press seal lid. Always looking to improve, we experimented with several new container prototypes before deciding upon a large sturdy screw-top PET container for a number of reasons. Firstly, both the container and the lid are completely recyclable, which is very important to us. Secondly, the containers are now clear so the colour can easily be identified and lastly, they are sturdier and the screw cap leaves less room for the container to remain accidently unsealed.

Despite all the benefits these changes have provided, we will continue to research and develop ways to refine our packaging requirements keeping always in mind our customers base experience when purchasing and using our products, environmental responsability, packaging technology trends and the art market evolution.

round jars


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