Product Packaging Design: The Exquisite Marketing Medium
Table of Contents
Take a look at the tips and ideas on creating the best custom packaging design to market your brand.
Product packaging for unversed is equivalent to a void, while in the eyes of marketing, it is the final marketing message your customers will see before purchasing your product.
People erroneously assume that shoppers make rational, educated decisions when choosing a product. In truth, most shoppers buy products as per their instincts. Studies have shown that consumers, on average, read-only seven words in an entire shopping trip and instead buy products by color, shape, and familiarity with the brand or shopping location. Best sellers work by appealing to the reptilian brain that makes decisions before logic can take over.
And it is for this reason that packaging design requires the most time and effort from graphic designers.
Now, take some time and think back to your recent purchasing decisions. The milk carton, the processed food products, or the beauty products, most of these have ended up in your cart because – one you found the packaging pretty or two, it is a necessary product.
In this excerpt from the Forbes article “The Five Things Product Packaging Must Do,” Simon Preece says:
“Consumers act when a brand makes them feel something. When someone looks at you, you’re compelled to look back to determine the nature of the attraction. That’s your survival instinct at work.“
This blog focuses on the importance of packaging design and how you can develop your brand’s presence through a professional package design.
What is Packaging Design?
Simply put, packaging design is the process of creating product packaging designed to contain, identify and deliver a product securely.
And every product packaging has a story to tell – about the product, the brand, and how the product is useful for the buyer.
Also, designing a product package is easy. Professional designers or not, anyone can create a product packaging. Check out some food packaging design ideas.
Importance of Packaging Design
As stated, product packaging is one of the most crucial marketing materials for a brand, and it is the last effort to promote your brand details to your prospective customers.
Consumers today, more than ever, want a product that looks good. Think about it; you probably would have bought a product based on the packaging design. Of course, you might have needed a milk carton, but did you need that specific brand? The one with a cool cat poking its head out? No. But you still bought it because you thought it was cute and accomplished the purpose.
A good packaging design can attain instinctive reactions from consumers. They are sensory cues that affect our subconscious by generating emotion and action before the conscious part of our brain can respond.
Thus, when done correctly and creatively, the packaging is what sells your product. It’s more than just putting your logo on a package or creating excellent label designs or stickers. It draws attention, sends messages, and makes buyers feel a certain way. Find eco-friendly packaging design ideas.
Important Cues To Consider When Creating A Packaging Design
For a packaging design to work, it needs to win the consumer’s heart in the first impression. And to make sure that you create a good packaging design that does the job, check out these quick cues that will help you create a great packaging design.
Address the situation
Your packaging design is all about stating what you have to offer and what it will solve for your customer.
For example, take a look at the package design for McDonald’s product packaging. Be it the burger boxes, the french fries boxes, or the cola cups – each packaging design is created for the customer’s comfort and the best design for the product inside.
Stay true to your brand
Each brand has its own identity. And for your customer to easily recognize your brand among the competition, it is the best bet to use designs that follow your brand’s color, values, and design styles.
A great example is this Apple product packaging design.
Complement the product
Ensure that your design complements the product inside. Again, this option of letting your customer know what you offer apart from other specifications has a better shelf impact on your brand.
A great example is this product packaging by Kylie Cosmetics.
This PR box has all the products that the cosmetic company offers. But, at the same time, the product’s design convey information about what is inside and what they do.
Tell a story
If you want your product to have perfect packaging, then get your customers interested by telling a compelling story in your product’s packaging.
The packaging of your product can tell a dynamic, engaging story about your brand, highlighting a range of attributes.
Take this water bottle packaging design, for example. The brand brings out a great package design with a good story. Apart from selling boxed water, the brand also focuses on the growing troubles plastic products bring to the world. The brand is not just out for business but also trying its best to be environmentally friendly. Explore some inspiring packaging designs.
Use Patterns and Designs
Now your product packaging design needs content that will instantly attract customers’ attention. And one of the best design packaging options is using patterns.
Take, for example, this set of chocolate bars. Wrapped in multiple packages, the product packaging design, besides being colorful, also has intricate designs that will surely attract buyers.
Be Bold and Playful
Don’t be afraid to be playful with your packaging. A great way to stand out is to use colors that reflect your brand colors and shapes in an exciting pattern to stand out. The best choice is to use a limited color palette that will pop and convey precisely what you wish to say.
A great example is the coca-cola packaging design. The tin can has a simple design with a bold color. In comparison, the glass bottles have the package design wrapped around them.
If you visit your nearby stores, you will find that the brand products are marketed as a single piece or as a set in a cardboard box with a good package design.
Each step is product marketing; after all, using a bold color makes it easier for buyers to identify the brand quickly.
Think outside the box
Product packaging is, after all, a marketing strategy. Thus, it would be best if you thought out of the box to create an attractive, quality, winning design that will attract customers.
For example, check out this KFC advertisement where they created an eatable coffee cup.
Use interesting imagery
Interesting imagery that connects well with the product and packaging attracts buyers faster. For example, this beautiful packaging design by Twinnings tea is also one of our favorite packaging designs of the lot. Each packaging design has different imagery reflecting the product’s nature and use.
Make it relatable
To up your product packaging game, make the design relatable. Take, for example, this packaging design for a chewing mint. The attractive graphic design connects well with what the product does and its message.
“Four out of five dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.”
Consider the Interior packaging
Though a customer chooses your product by its outer appearance, you cannot miss out on the interior packaging. Take a look at this beautiful packaging design, for a beauty product. The interior packaging design complements the overall look and feel of the product packaging making the whole box a quality product.
How To Create A Custom Packaging Design?
Creating custom packaging designs is as easy as a breeze. One, you can choose to design your own packaging design with the help of free design websites like Canva or get the help of professional design agencies like 99 design, Penji, or All Time Design. Or if you are a relevantly popular business and already have a large audience, you can also start a custom packaging design contest and choose the best of the lot.
Here we will take you right from the first initiation of the packaging needs to the final product with any design and print organization.
The First Step
The first step of the process is to initiate conversations on your packaging needs. After all, you know your product and its offerings. Then, through the conversation, state the creative brief and finalize what, how, and where of the product sales.
Also, educate the team on – why did you create the product? Who is the product for? The size of the product packaging, What is the retail price? Your knowledge about the competition, How is your product and packaging design better than the rest? These and many other questions will let the team recommend different packaging design options to support your goals.
The Design Estimation
Once you have shared the requirements, the team makes initial suggestions on the overall packaging design and suggests the type of package design, such as – should it be a white paper, plastic, cardboard box, bottle, label designs, etc? Once you have decided on the designs, you’ll be notified of the creative time needed for the designs to be ready for printing and the materials that best suit the packaging design.
Post-delivering the design timeline, the team will provide any additional information you need to decide.
Once you have chosen to collaborate on the design process, you’ll be asked to provide all the details, such as,
What does your product do? Why is the product necessary for the audience? The product description. What does the product offer? What is the product’s shelf life? Do you have a product prototype, or are you still in production?
Give the design team an introduction to your product. How and why was it conceived? Is it an old product being rebranded, or is it a new product?
Irrespective of whether your product is one of the many products that you have under your brand or is a new product, tell them the brand’s guidelines. Share your brand values, colors, logo, typography, and more to be incorporated into the product design as well.
Introduce your audience. Who are they? What do they do? Why is your product for this specific set of people? The primary and secondary fringe, the gender profile, age group, and income. Answer every question that will let the packaging designer understand your audience’s needs.
Where is your product going live? Why are you targeting people from a particular region?
Who is your competitor? Why are they a competition? Your likes and dislikes of their packaging design.
We’ve created an online creative form that makes it easy for people to provide us with the information in one place, so everyone involved is aware of what’s going on.
A successful project depends on communication. Thus, the more information we have, the more understandable the project and the options it offers.
Another factor at All Time Design is that you are in constant contact with the creative team and your designated designer, who ensure there is no layering and the information is shared between the right people.
Apart from researching your product and its provision to the audiences, you should also study and understand the competitive market. Consider your sales channels, competition, and how you fit in the market.
Take store tours, and see how your competitors market their products in different stores. Understand the environment where your package will be displayed and how to make it stand out with its packaging design.
Packages are often designed in a sterile environment with no regard for competitor positioning or demographics.
We live in a digital environment; consider how to promote your product online and how a good packaging design will help.
The Design Process
The most important and creative part starts here.
The copy, label design, package structure, and visuals are decided upon in this phase, ideally with 2 to 3 review concepts. The design team will grasp all the information you have shared about your business, define, ideate, and then finally create a prototype of your product package.
The design style will comply, considering the target audience. After all, what attracts a teen might not work for a senior.
Here, you must decide on the package filling, seal, and life cycle. The designer will then create a dieline template for the packaging design.
What is a packaging dieline template?
A dieline serves as a package template that ensures proper layout for a printed product. It is a diagram that shows all the cut lines and folds of a package in flattened form.
The packaging dielines will help you decide if the package will be a multi-panel box, a bag, a clamshell, or a tuck-flap box; while also allowing you to decide on the material of the package.
Include your Brand
The packaging design is an outlook of your brand. Thus it will feature your brand, its logo, name, tagline, color, and other vital details placed on the front or back labels.
Take, for example, Amazon. The e-commerce giant packages every order with its business logos on its delivery boxes.
Fonts play a major role in design. The font style should complement the logo and be readable enough for the audience. For example, if you are a brand selling health supplements, then your audience must be able to read all the nutritional information about the ingredients present. It makes no sense to purchase your product if they do not know what they are putting inside their bodies.
Complementary images also work wonders for a product packaging design, especially if it is for a food packaging design.
Good content is essential to captivate the target audience thoroughly. The visuals will attract them, but the copy is what will keep their attention and make them purchase your product. Therefore, emphasis is placed on the message distilling the USP down to what will motivate a customer to pick up your package for more information.
Do not put everything on the front of the package. A cluttered package is left unread. Instead, keep the must-have information on the front of the package – like your product name, tagline, and brand name. At the same time, information like your address, product description, usage, ingredients, and others can be on the back of the package labels. And if you still have information that needs to be shared with your audience but does not have enough negative space, then you can take the help of a QR code that can direct your audience to your information page.
The packaging designer will e-mail the final files with a few different templates. This is to let you understand how a package design will look. You can give your input or provide them with your design references (ideally should be presented at the start of the design process). Once the final design is chosen, the designer will share the source files with you in different file types to make them more accessible during printing.
The final step is printing your packaging design.
Once your design is approved, the printer will use the approved proof to match the colors. After it has been printed, it will be sent to the die-cutting, gluing, and scoring department. With the custom-designed cutting dies, your packages will be cut and scored for folding. Then comes the gluing required for most boxes and cartons.
How to become a Professional Packaging Designer?
Professional designers work on creating impeccable graphic designs for packages that will attract customers’ eyes.
Whereas a packaging designer conceptualizes, designs, and executes a prototype for attention-grabbing packaging materials, using design elements such as shape, color, graphics, and typography to create a winning design that is functional and appealing to customers. Find some unique packaging design ideas.
After all, packaging makes a physical and emotional connection with the audience and helps market the product.
As a packaging designer, you must determine what the client needs from your packaging, the message the packaging will send, and who will use the product.
Any graphic designer can become a packaging designer. All they need are qualities that will set them apart from the rest.
- Concept Design: Any designer starts with concept work. The concept design can range from the entirety of a packaging design or product to something like the graphic design for an already established brand.
- Branding: If the product doesn’t have an established brand. The designer would conceive the product packaging as an integral tool for the overall brand by creating logos, style guides, packaging concepts, and more in line with the product’s or client’s vision.
- Graphic Design: The packaging designer works for all the graphic work involved with packaging design, i.e., logos, layout, illustration, typography, and more, and provides all the source files on time.
- Template Design: One requires some industrial design know-how to create a template. Designing the template means knowing how the packaging of a product (box, label design, bag, display, etc.) functions in the real world and how it needs to be manufactured.
- Others: Sometimes, the designer may need to understand print media knowledge to create other media related to the brands’ labels, product stores, shapes, or projects.
Keep some things in your mind about product packaging design you shouldn’t forget.
20+ Best Product Packaging Designs for Inspiration
How does All Time Design Help In Creating The Best Product packaging design
A good packaging design aims to ensure that your product connects with your audience on the first go.
People get attracted to a product first due to the packaging design and second to check out the business. A good product packaging design is a general indicator that will let you know how your product is performing in the market.
The key here is to design packaging that will make the audience think of you in the best way possible.
And the best way for your packaging design to attract your audience the best is through the help of impeccable designs. With the help of a design agency such as All Time design, get the best professional graphic designers to create world-class design and content for branding your business through a great custom packaging design.