Date of Award

8-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Packaging Science

Advisor

Hurley, Rupert A

Committee Member

Darb , Duncan

Committee Member

Tonkin, Chip

Abstract

Past research has indicated that shrink sleeves can lead to higher product trial rates, better long-term sales, and greater likelihood of brand loyalty. A pilot study and a primary experiment were conducted to investigate the significance of distortion and the ability of the Human Visual System (HVS) to recognize it in packaging design. Distortion works primarily in shrink film on which an image is printed, so these studies dealt only with reductive distortion. The pilot study aimed to identify the absolute threshold, or Just-Noticeable-Difference (JND) for a change from no stimulus, for simple polygons. The primary experiment focused on graphic distortion in full body shrink sleeves (FBSS). Treatments presented each of the stimulus levels, along with a control for comparison, using a 2-AFC (Alternative Forced-Choice) Method. This study used a mixed 2 (labels) x 3 (bottles) x 5 (distortion increments) model, effectively 30 treatments in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Label was a between-subject variable while Bottle Shape and Distortion Percentage were within-subject variables. Data indicated that distortion has a significant effect at 100%, but that there is not a threshold at which consumers are guaranteed to perceive graphic distortion on FBSS. Men detected distortion better than women. Participants who said distortion would prevent a purchase decision had the same tolerance as those who reported that it would not. Bottle shape may only impact consumer acceptance of distortion with some percentages of distortion. Familiarity with a brand name label may increase consumer tolerance and acceptance of distortion, and may do so more on some bottle shapes.

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