5 Keys of Packaging Design

5 Keys of Packaging Design

I’ve always been a design nerd. I can look back and fondly remember being a little kid and always taking the time to study the cool graphics on the boxes of toys my parents bought me. Most kids would rip open the packaging, throw it to the side and just dive right in to play with the toy. Not me, I loved to see the colors, illustrations, photography and clever words that were used in the design on the box.


There is a well-known gourmet grocery store locally where I shop for my groceries from time to time. I arrive with my grocery list in hand determined to be in an out, half hour max I tell myself. I should know better than to tell myself that because I’m a design nerd. I end up being easily distracted by a beautifully designed piece of packaging in one of the aisles. I fall into a packaging design wormhole, walking the aisles eyeing jars and bottles wrapped in handsome looking labels. Smart effective packaging, however, is not about being pretty at a glance. Great packaging design should be recognizable at a distance and make a visceral connection with the shopper. At close range, packaging must navigate the viewer’s eye through its visual design, allowing the consumer to make an informed purchase.


Great packaging design should be recognizable at a distance and make a visceral connection with the shopper


5 Keys of Packaging Design

Packaging design of consumer products is one of the most important aspects of marketing. The packaging identifies the product and reassures consumers that their purchase is the right one. However, this only occurs when brands match the qualities of the product’s packaging with what consumers desire. The packaging should never prevent consumers from making a purchase. To avoid these pitfalls, here are some tips that marketers and design experts should apply.


1. Research

Before putting pencil to paper or firing up Adobe Illustrator, the design and marketing team must take time to do some research on the product and brand. The data they gather will inform the process, provide context, and establish a strategic foundation as they move forward with the package design. Client evaluation, competitive analysis, and defining targets, are all part of the initial research that goes into developing packaging design solutions. The design team should be asking questions and listening to you, the client. Every brand has its own very personal journey and the design process must focus on the needs of the client.


2. Avoid Trends

5 Keys of Packaging DesignTrend inspired packaging design is a surefire way to date your design. Trends aren’t built to last, so they’re guaranteed to fade quickly as one trend dies and a new trend comes along. So if you keep jumping from trend to trend you end up wasting critical design energy chasing what’s hot in design at the moment, instead of solving and delivering smart insightful design solutions. I find that designing to trends is like working backwards. By falling in love with the hot trendy design of the moment you tend to abandon that strategic foundation I touched on earlier. That foundation is built on research, insights, and the needs of the customer. Trendy looking packaging may attract some oohs and aahs but rarely does it result in a sale. And at the end of the day that is what matters most, getting that shopper to take your product to the register. Focus on the shopper insights and deliver the brand promise in an organic, visually compelling way and you will achieve those results.


3. Be Original

5 Keys of Packaging DesignOriginality, character and memorability are at the heart of great brands and great packaging designs. It’s pretty easy to understand why – there are hundreds of products out there on the shelves of stores, all competing for the consumers’ attention. The only way to ensure your design stands out from the pack is to be different, but you need to do it in a way that is original and fresh. It’s tough to give advice on how to “be original,” I’ve found that originality is a direct result of creativity and exploration. When a packaging design project lands on my plate I like to immerse myself in the brand and category I am designing for. Mining the brand history helps the designer tell the brand’s unique story. Studying the product category and getting real about what customer’s want and why that product is the best choice for the customer can uncover hidden gems you can use in the packaging design process. Be bold, be different, and look into other product categories as well for unexpected sources of inspiration. You will find those types of exercises will strengthen the authenticity and originality of your packaging design.


4. Teamwork

Open communication between the design team and the production team at the start of the packaging design project is so beneficial, but often overlooked. Designers tend to eagerly dive into attacking the design problem without consulting others on the team. Especially if you have an experienced production designer on your staff, it is critical that you bounce your ideas off of them and hash out a production strategy beforehand. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back from the process and include others who may open your eyes in solving design hurdles you hadn’t thought of or who can make you aware of potential problems and the feasibility of certain ideas. This can help a designer avoid serious mistakes upfront that could derail production down the road.


5. Strive for Production Perfection

5 Keys of Packaging DesignWhen it comes to the final design and mass production of the packaging, color is always a critical factor. Inform yourself about substrates, finishes, film laminations, and color control methods used in production. Finishes have their own tints ranging from the glues used in film lamination, UV inks, or varnishes. Each finish adds it’s own signature to your print. Allot time in your production schedule to request and review proofs on the appropriate stock with final finishes applied so you can see what the final product will look like before you commit to a full print run.


  • Debra Apple Reply

    Packaging is attributed for some of the most natural resources consuming elements in the retail industry, and most of the traditional packaging materials had no other way but to get wasted taking those resources with them when their usage had finished.

  • Chris N. Hause Reply

    Sale of a product is based on the divergent features of packaging of a product. How much the product will be decorative and unique, the product will be the source of inspiration for customers to pack up their products in the packaging with the same ratio. The feature of perfection is the most significant aspect that can never be ignored. The highly advanced die-cut technology is used for best cause of customers in order to provide them with perfect boxes.

  • Vanessa Blair Reply

    My sister wants the design of the packaging of her products are attractive for marketing. It was suggested here that it should be original in order to be memorable. Moreover, it’s advisable to consult professionals for quality packaging design services.

  • Braden Bills Reply

    It makes sense that packaging design would be really important. A poorly designed package can easily draw customers away, after all! Having a unique design is sure to draw eyes closer.

  • Sariah Meagle Reply

    My sister wants to have her products to be packaged well. It was suggested here that the packaging should be original and coordinate with the design team. Moreover, it’s advisable to talk to professionals when dealing with packaging.

  • Taylor Bishop Reply

    Interesting article about packaging design. You mentioned that it’s important to have memorable designs. This sounds useful if the design can also help enforce your brand so that it can be easily recognized.

  • Rohit Reply

    Great article, Kazim. I totally agree that if businesses want to make an impact, then a creative packaging design is a must. This will help make their products stand out from the rest. Thanks for these tips. Very useful!

  • Rahul Jain Reply

    Well said! The most important point is to make your product stand out to grab the attention of maximum shoppers.

  • packaging supplies nz Reply

    I want to share my words with you to admire your post. I can say that I also posted my blogs about the same in my thoughts and it was better response from others. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Ellie Davis Reply

    I like that you point out that you should always be doing research on the brand and packaging. Having the right packing machinery seems very important to a business. Hopefully, anyone needing to get some packing done looks into finding the best machines possible.

  • Sariah Meagle Reply

    You’re right about saying that a commercial product packaging should be recognizable at a distance. I’ll make sure to avoid trends when designing my product packaging. As far as I know, I’ll be able to have product perfection if I have my packaging printed by a good printing service so I’ll look around for such companies and get my packaging printed there.

  • customboxeszone.com Reply

    Being original along with attractive designs is the key to get inspiring packaging for product.

  • Larry Weaver Reply

    Thanks for explaining how originality comes down to creativity and exploration when it comes to packaging. My dad is looking to start a business that will ship books, and he is trying to find a creative way to package the deliveries. I’ll give him this tip about creativity and exploration as he looks into options for packaging.

  • Mattie Scott Reply

    Thanks for your helpful tips. The main thing is Custom packaging looks attractive and and this is the one of the key of Business advertisement.

  • Yoshiko Flora Reply

    I find it cool when you said that a company that is designing product packaging should base it on shopper insights and deliver its promise in a natural, eye-catching way. If I wanted to start a packaging business after reading this article, I would also ask for help from a local market research company. With their help, I can keep myself updated with the printing industry in order to find more ways to innovate with my competitors.

  • packaging Reply

    Thanks for sharing all of your experiences!

  • Benjamin Andrews Reply

    I found it interesting that you suggest avoiding trends. My son is working on opening a small business that sells jewelry made only from organic items, and is in need of a packaging strategy. I will send this information over to him, so he can look for a folding carton design service to get him set up with something to ship his product in.

  • PakBoxes Reply

    Thanks for sharing a great piece of information. Customized packaging design is undoubtedly one of the major aspect that help in standing out the product in market. Spending time in selecting right packaging with complete market research is much important.

  • Liquid Printer Reply

    Wonderful article about packaging. Thanks for sharing such a great post.

  • Jackson Bush Reply

    I like how you mentioned that you should avoid trends when designing custom packaging. My wife and I want to start selling our old clothes but we want to make our packaging look unique. I’ll be sure to let her know that we shouldn’t stick to trends because they’ll fade out quickly.

  • Discountcustomboxes Reply

    Thanks for sharing very informative article about packaging design. Wonderful article about packaging.

  • Cigarette Boxes Reply

    Amazing post! Thanks for sharing and keep up the wonderful work.

  • dnpackaging.com Reply

    Thanks for sharing such informative post. You’re always giving your readers something new. Therefore, I’ve bookmark it and I’ll definitely recommend my friends to read this information post.

  • Jones Murphy Reply

    Thanks for sharing useful tips on packaging designs! great article!
    We at boxesxperthub have a wide range of quality packaging for gift boxes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.