we design engaging pack structures
that build better brands
a.m. associates is a leading edge structural packaging design agency that focuses on real world environmental solutions to complex design briefs. Our clients include many of the leading brands in the world. We work in all packaging sectors, including food, beauty, automotive, toys, electronics and FMCG, giving us the experience and confidence to push boundaries and look for creative environmentally friendly solutions.
Creative Director, Laurel Miller
"Packaging is a powerful brand tool and a great facilitator. I believe that great packaging needs to talk to the consumer and be cost effective, sustainable, innovative and intelligent"
Laurel Miller is Creative Director of a.m. associates which she formed in 1992 with co-director Stephen Aldridge. Laurel has worked in all sectors of packaging from food to DIY goods, cosmetics, toiletries and household products. Every project has had new and varied challenges and her design solutions are always cost effective, practical and innovative. The scope of these projects has meant that she has worked on retail display, signage, interiors and furniture as well as products and packaging design, giving her a comprehensive understanding of materials and manufacturing processes.
In recent years Laurel has been focusing on environmental research and development projects, finding solutions to designing packaging and materials that are kinder to the environment. Alongside Stephen, Laurel wrote a definitive book, “Why Shrink Wrap a Cucumber? The Complete Guide to Environmental Packaging”, published by Laurence King in 2012. Designed for all those in the packaging industry including designers and retailers, as they guide the reader through the complex maze of environmental packaging to encourage best practice.
To spread the word Laurel runs Masterclasses in Packaging Design and Environmental Packaging and participates in seminars for conferences and businesses. She has spoken at events such as Prop2pac, The Fine Food Fair and the Zero Waste Conference in Vancouver. Further, Laurel has taught Product and Packaging Design at The Royal College of Art, Imperial College, The University of Sussex, Kingston University, Hertfordshire University and the University of the Creative Arts in Farnham and Rochester.
Design Director, Stephen Aldridge
"I believe that intelligently designed packaging can be material-efficient and a great facilitator, preserving and protecting products in transit and reducing waste"
Stephen Aldridge is Design Director of a.m. associates. Stephen and Laurel are experts in design and pack manufacturing processes, creating innovative engaging packaging that is environmentally friendly.
a.m. associates’ pack designs always stand out in a crowded retail arena and semiotics are used to convey brand message through shape - this they refer to as structural branding. When they worked on the Waitrose own-brand cake range the sales went up by 33% in just two months.
Environmental and sustainability issues are as high on Stephen's agenda as shelf impact. He specialises in environmental packaging audits and he has carried these out recently for John Lewis, B&Q and Liz Earle. These audits streamline the clients' current packaging offer, allowing them to reduce materials, costs and packaging waste. Stephen also works closely with many of the UK’s leading branding agencies delivering pack structures within the framework of their brand design briefs and brand strategies.
In recent years Stephen has been focusing on environmental research and development projects. His experience of working on food products extends into shelf-life longevity and barrier materials, both can reduce packaging waste by extending pack and food life. When a.m. associates partnered with the design panels of EcoMind and Design and Innovation for Business Sustainability, Stephen and Laurel were able to work with many local start-ups and SME’s to help them streamline their packaging for a more sustainable future.
Laurel and Stephen have won packaging awards including Design Effectiveness Award 2015 alongside Pentagram, Design Effectiveness Award 2000, Clio Award 1995 and a special commendation for structural packaging in the Design Week Awards 2003. Their definitive book 'Why Shrink Wrap a Cucumber: The Complete Guide to Environmental Packaging' was published by Laurence King in 2012. Designed for all those in the packaging industry, including designers and retailers, as they guide the reader through the complex maze of environmental packaging to encourage best practice.