How to Retain Customers Through Outstanding Product Packaging Design
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Over the past ten years, the eCommerce brand market has undergone significant change. With a total market value of $61.55 billion anticipated by 2025, the demand for custom product packaging solutions to manage shipping and logistics as well as to create a distinctive customer touchpoint has increased concurrently.
The most direct point of contact and connection with a customer for an eCommerce business is during shipping and fulfillment and this begins and ends, of course, with the package design and product packaging itself.
Additionally, one of the most underutilized marketing opportunities is this one.
While the primary purpose of packaging is to protect goods during shipping, concentrating only on that purpose means ignoring the packaging’s potential marketing benefits.
If done correctly, the product packaging design and memorable unboxing experience you create give you the opportunity to deliver and give your target audience a special experience.
Why do top businesses invest heavily in custom packaging design
Above all else, product packaging is a useful tool, but it also means much more to the product and brand it represents. Through its design, the packaging persuades a customer to buy a product or not and creates a beautiful unboxing experience.
There are many reasons why packaging design is important, but the following are the ones we consider to be most crucial:
1. You have one chance at a good first impression – take it!
As we’ve already established, first impressions matter, especially when your product needs to stand out in a crowded market of rival products.
Thanks to an appealing custom packaging design, your product will stand out from rivals on the market, whether it is on store shelves or on the pages of an eCommerce website. Utilize your first chance to impress clients and introduce them to your brand to the fullest. Explore some cosmetic packaging design ideas.
2. Give your brand that signature look and feel anyone would identify with even before they see your brand name
Your brand has a history and an identity that you have worked hard to develop. Packaging design is the most efficient way to emphasize brand identity. In the end, it’s what customers notice first and what gives them the unboxing experience they love.
Use fonts, colors, and brand-specific trademarks to make sure the packaging design accurately represents your brand. Make sure your brand logo is prominently displayed. Customers will be able to recognize your products wherever they are if you do this.
3. You want to interact with clients every step of the way, don’t you?
No matter how your creative process is during your custom packaging design, keep in mind that it must also provide information. To persuade customers of the value of the finished product inside, it must communicate with them and provide all the information they require.
The following questions must be addressed by good packaging design:
- For whom was this product designed?
- What is the purpose of this item?
- Where can I find out more information about the maker?
- When does it end?
- How can this product make my life better?
How to create the best product package design that stands out
Making your 2D designs 3D doesn’t have to be frightening, even though designing your first piece of packaging can seem like a daunting task.
This is your comprehensive quick-start guide to packaging design, covering everything from understanding different packaging shapes and styles to knowing which software to use.
Additionally, you’ll learn how to set up your 2D artwork for printing and we’ll go over a few of the print finishes that you can use on your creations.
Let’s get started if you’re prepared to create your own gorgeous packaging designs.
1. A box is not just a box
A box is just a box, you thought? Rethink that! Find some examples of packaging around your home or place of business; you’ll notice that nearly all of them will be boxes of some description.
The sizes, depths, and shapes of these custom boxes can vary, and they may have flaps that are integrated into the design or even a separate lid.
Although they can take on a variety of shapes, setup boxes and folding cartons are the only production formats that matter for technical purposes. Due to their higher production costs, setup boxes are only used for high-end products like retail packaging, specialty candies, and gift boxes. Find the best product label design ideas.
2. Establish a dieline to guide your product packaging design process
A dieline is the term for the flat template for the package. Usually, the packaging designer will put this together in a vector program like Illustrator using only straight lines and shapes.
The dieline should specify where the packaging template should be perforated and cut (an impression is made by a machine, ready for folding).
Since the cutting (trim) lines and perforation (fold) lines are two separate pieces of information for the printer, cutting and trimming will occur at various stages, it is best to place them on separate layers and as spot colors.
Additionally, you should rename the dieline layers in your Illustrator document to ‘DO NOT PRINT’ to make it clear to the manufacturer that these layers are meant for post-print editing.
Making your own packaging dielines from scratch can be challenging at first, but with practice, it becomes simpler. Take apart a box that closely resembles the measurements you want for your own packaging design, measures it, and then reassemble it as a good practice tool.
3. Select the appropriate software for the task
You should carefully consider which program is best for the task before you begin designing your packaging. Most packaging designers send their 2D artwork in a vector format to the manufacturer.
The line and shape tools in vector software like Adobe Illustrator make it simple to make dieline templates and vector files scalable.
When you want to see your graphic design as a 3D object, it can be a little more challenging because the majority of vector software is designed for creating 2D images. However, you can find plugins or other programs to assist you at this stage.
At All Time Design, we recommend you give Canva a try. Canva is a graphic design platform with millions of templates, you can get your product packaging design ready in a few minutes.
4. There Are Numerous Types of Box Closures
Yes, just as you start to understand box formats, you realize there are a ton of different ways to close the box of your product package design. There are dozens of different closure types, similar to how sailors tie knots. Many of these are made to be both a reliable seal for your box and simple to open when necessary. The following are a few of the more typical closures:
- Common/standard Tuck End
- Backward/reverse Tuck End
- Complete/full overlap Seal
Examine a few of the finished packages you have lying around your house. Can you tell what kind of closure each one has? No closure type is inherently right or wrong, but some are simpler to design than others, and some more complex closures can function without being glued, which can reduce production costs and time.
Additionally, some particular box packaging types have formats and closure types that are accepted in the industry. Here are just a few of the most typical examples:
Pillow boxes are straightforward curved boxes with matching curved closures that are typically used to package candy or cosmetics – not pillows. 😉
Used to put point-of-purchase merchandise on shelves and counters.
Edge-locked sleeves are the sleeves that cover prepared meals and other food products.
Book-shaped product boxes
Book-shaped packaging boxes with hinged lids are frequently used to package specialized software, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, frequently as samples or limited-edition products.
5. Open your mind to alternative product packaging design and methods
There are many different types of packaging to suit various purposes, so it’s not just limited to product boxes. While designing a box shape as a 2D template might not be too difficult, designing for less angular objects like tubes, pouches, and wraparound bottles might be a little more challenging.
This is where precise measuring and 3D modeling are useful because they let you accurately predict how the design will appear, even on curved surfaces.
6. Create an awesome design!
Making something “awesome” is no easy task, but with a few wise suggestions, you can be well on your way to coming up with an amazing design.
Make sure the product’s brand and purpose are crystal clear as your first priority. You can achieve this by giving the logo, product name, and product description top priority on the package’s front-facing side. The consumer will skim over packaging that doesn’t make it clear what it actually contains and instead choose a product that is more obvious, so this is without a doubt the most crucial thing you can do while designing packaging.
Additionally, you must confirm that you are designing for the intended audience. Many professional designers get caught up in creating packaging that they would probably purchase, which undoubtedly produces a beautiful end product but may alienate your target market.
In addition to conducting market research on packaging in the same industry to get a sense of the colors, graphics, and typefaces that feel appropriate for the product’s market, speaking with the client will help you learn more about the target consumer.
Designing your packaging from an emotional standpoint is another excellent suggestion.
Every day, we come into contact with dozens of packaged goods, and since we are inundated with visual information, it takes something with a strong emotional pull to get our attention and ultimately convince us to buy it.
Emotional design can target feelings of ambition, nostalgia, excitement, or even physical attraction in a variety of ways. Consumers will be more compelled to buy your product if you keep emotion at the forefront of your design.
7. Consider adding promotional stickers, barcodes, and symbols
Make sure to leave room for a few key pieces of information once you’ve your custom packaging design with graphics, color, and typography and created a dieline.
First, leave some blank space on the side of your design that faces the front. White space is just an uncluttered area of the design without any significant graphics or text; it doesn’t have to be completely white.
Numerous retailers will run sales and promotions and create their own stickers to promote discounted prices. Leave at least one corner of the front of your package clear so that the store can attach the sticker without covering any crucial information.
The second item you must make room for is a barcode. If the client has already registered for a barcode number, you might need to use that number to generate an image of the barcode using an online tool. You can use the EPS image that is created as part of your design. The height of barcodes, which must be 16 mm, must comply with international standards and are frequently found on the side or back of packages.
Additionally, you must allow space on the back and bottom of your package for a variety of symbols that describe the packaging materials used to make it, whether it complies with local, national, or international recycling and waste standards, the product’s ingredients as well as whether it complies with any association standards.
When you are designing a package for a client, they will likely instruct you on what information goes where, but before you can be certain of everything, you need to know what the packaging will be printed on.
Back-of-pack symbols are available as a vector set for download. These symbols include a bin symbol (which indicates that the product shouldn’t be disposed of in a typical household waste bin), Mobius loops (recycling symbols), and a use-by symbol (to indicate the amount of time after opening that the product must be used). Check out the detailed guide for sticker fonts.
Additionally, you can download the top three association marks. Which are:
This indicates that no animals were used in the product’s testing.
The soil association
The Soil Association is a group that establishes environmental requirements for a variety of industries products.
The presence of this logo indicates that vegetarians may use the product.
8. Design a Mockup
By creating a 3D mockup of your packaging artwork as part of the design process, you and your client can see precisely how the packaging design would appear in real life. A mockup can be made in two different ways, each of which serves a different function.
The design can be grafted onto a photorealistic image in a digital mockup, which is a great way to show a client how the final product will look. This is only a tool to help you and the client visualize how the design might look when it is displayed on shelves. You can either purchase a ready-to-use template or start from scratch to create product mockup images in Photoshop or Illustrator for a more photorealistic appearance.
The second technique for making a 3D mockup serves a more practical, technical purpose and is meant to assist you in determining whether your design is the proper size. To do this, print your template out and assemble the printed version.
Simply print it out on regular printer paper and don’t worry too much about the print quality to create a mockup that is as simple as you like. This exercise is only intended to help you evaluate how the product folds and stays put. It also enables you to determine which aspects of the design will be most noticeable to customers when the product is displayed on a shelf.
This is also a crucial step in determining the type size of your design. It’s amazing how text can appear to be much smaller when printed on paper.
Adjust your digital design as necessary, then print and put together a final mockup. Once you’re satisfied with the outcome, you can take this to the printers as a tool to describe precisely how you want the package to be put together. Check out the finest guide for eco-friendly product packaging ideas.
9. Recognize the Different Print Finish Options
Now that you’ve made your dieline, embellished your template with design elements and symbols, and produced a mockup, you’re prepared to move on to the printing stage. Printing can be the most intimidating step in the design process for many aspiring packaging designers. It can be a little unsettling to entrust the production of your cherished designs to a third party, but there are steps you can take to ensure the quality of the final product.
Once you’ve located a printer, you ought to go see them in person and bring your mockup with you. With a prop in hand, it is much simpler to describe exactly how you want your template to look.
Inquire about the best print stock (the material on which your package will be printed), taking into account the weight of the product inside, the level of durability needed for the package, and the best print quality that can be achieved on different paper weights and coatings (matte or gloss) (a heavier paper weight, measured in GSM, results in a stronger, sturdier stock).
The printer can also suggest print finishes that might work well for your design. These coatings, which are applied after the template is printed, can give your package an additional textural and aesthetic dimension. The following are a few of the most popular packaging design finishes:
This finishing makes a portion of your design, like a logo or brand name, appear high-gloss.
Ths creates a window effect by cutting out a portion of the package.
With lamination, additional coatings are applied to the package’s surface to increase gloss or offer protection.
Hot or cold stamping
A portion of the package can be given a metallic or unique colored effect using hot or cold stamping.
Embossing or Debossing
In order to give flat graphics texture and a 3D appearance, packaging can be embossed or debossed to create a raised or depressed area.
10. Get ready to print
After sending your creative brief, discussing your printing requirements, and coming up with some stock and print finish options, you should ask the printer for a quote on the project. The cost will vary depending on the packaging materials used, the time required to trim and fold each package, the quantity, and type of post-print finishing, and the print run size.
Get quotes for a variety of quantities because larger print runs are typically more cost-effective than smaller ones. You might be surprised to learn that you can produce twice as much packaging for only a small premium.
Your final files must be sent to the designer in any other file types that they support or in press-ready PDF format for the printer. It may also be a good idea to send the source files (the original artwork files, prepared in, for example, Illustrator). This means that the printer might export your artwork again if the PDF file hasn’t been set up exactly right.
Always use 300 DPI images that are of the highest quality when exporting artwork, and convert any RGB graphics, text, or color to a CMYK colorspace. When exporting your artwork, choose the PDF/X-4 preset from the menu of PDF options.
The layers of your artwork are preserved by this preset, which makes it simple for the printer to set up different print runs for CMYK, spot colors, and print finish layers.
After your packaging has been completed by the printer and the packages have been trimmed, folded, and adhered to, you should be vigilant in inspecting the quality of each package in the batch that is delivered. Any misprinted or oddly colored individual packages should be reported to the printer, and they should be replaced.
You’ve created a cutting-edge product and are eager to share it with customers, but you’re also aware that the competition is more fierce than ever. Every week, a new product enters the market, forcing retailers to expand their shelves and forcing brands to fight for valuable front-and-center shelf space.
The possibility of getting lost in the crowd is very real. Today, it takes more than just a great product to stand out. A great packaging design is necessary. Your brain is overflowing with information if you are here, which is the only explanation.
As you can see, a great package design creates much more than just a straightforward cardboard box or plastic bag.
It’s an effective marketing tool that can give your brand the reputable image it needs to thrive.
Using the information above to design your interior packaging solutions and make a new package design that can help your brand stay competitive.
Moreover, All Time Design can assist you with your product packaging design needs, which may surprise you.
ATD is a professional packaging designer that has the best product packaging ideas for your brand, made by the finest graphic designers, from cardboard boxes to rigid boxes with hot stamping!
At All Time Design, we will assign you a team of professional designers to bring your goals to reality and create your product packaging design that turns ideas into an actual package ready for shelf impact.
Frequently Asked Questions About Product Packaging design
How much does package design cost?
Packaging design agencies generally cost from 3,000 to 10,000 USD for smaller firms and up to 50,000USD for larger specialized firms. DesignBro view: Prices range from $624 to $1474 depending upon how often the design is selected. It costs less to hire a freelance graphic designer.
What are the 4 types of packaging to sell products?
The different packaging techniques include anticorrosive packaging, pharma packaging, plastic packaging, and eco-friendly packaging.
How do I design a product for packaging?
The first rule is to make sure the design compliments the item inside, then follow the guide above.