While great packaging design creates a positive brand impression and improves brand recognition, bad packaging design leaves consumers confused and leads to a loss in profits. So, creating a stunning package design is as important as the product itself.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into how you can create a package design that compels customers to check out your products.
5 things to keep in mind before designing your packaging
Product packaging plays an important role in the creation of a successful brand, so you must keep in mind the following tips before you decide on a specific product packaging design.
1. Decide on your branding strategy
First things first, you must decide whether your product or company must be the centerpiece of your branding.
If your brand is globally trusted and has its own fanbase, the packaging should highlight your company logo more than the product itself.
But if you’re a manufacturer of multiple products that aren’t directly related, you should focus on product-specific packaging.
For instance, check out Dior’s cologne. It’s one of the best examples of good packaging design that highlights the company more than the product due to the brand being well-established and loved amongst its consumers.
Now, look at Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) brand Pantene. P&G’s original logo is not present on the product, and the packaging focuses on the product benefits as much as the company branding.
Another way to decide on a brand strategy is to look at the brand architecture itself.
If your brand is a part of the “House of Brand” architecture where each brand has an identity separate from that of its parent, its packaging should reflect its own identity.
But if the brand follows an endorsed brand architecture where the child brand derives its identity from the parent, the packaging should also reference the parent in some form. Check out this article on branded architecture to learn more about this.
2. Ask yourself what product you’re selling
This is the most obvious question, but designing packaging without thinking about the product you’re selling will negatively impact your brand’s bottomline.
So, ask yourself about the different product features like its size, logistic requirements, etc., to get a better idea about the packaging you should design.
For example, if your product is delicate, it will need sturdier packaging; if it’s oddly shaped, you might have to devise a creative way to package it similar to what Good Hair Day Pasta did.
The brand took advantage of the product’s shape to come up with creative packaging to secure the product and make it attractive to consumers. This makes it one of the most successful packaging design examples.
3. Remember your target market
Your product packaging must appeal to the ideal consumer, so it’s important to know who they are and understand their needs before you start designing the packaging.
For example, products geared towards the elderly may need larger text and easier-to-open packaging.
Check out this senior-friendly lunch meat pack from Atria Plc, a Finnish meat manufacturer. This is one of the best packaging design examples as it has a tab on the top of the package to make it easy for elderly people to open and close the box.
4. Determine where people will buy your product
Are your consumers purchasing your product in a retail store or online?
You’ll have to think about packaging differently based on where your customers will purchase the product.
If it’s going to be displayed at a huge supermarket among a sea of similar products, you’ll have to create packaging that makes your product stand out.
But if you sell your product online, you’ll need to ensure that your packaging is artistic and sturdy, so your product doesn’t rattle around.
You may also sell your product online and offline as Greenscape organic skincare does. Their packaging looks elegant, minimalistic, and luxurious to stand out on retail shelves and uses PET packaging to ensure there’s no breakage while the package is in transit.
5. Collect the necessary information
Make sure you collect the following information before you start designing the product packaging:
- Brand requirements: This includes the brand logo, color, typeface, etc., and it helps you adhere to the brand aesthetic while designing the product.
- Packaging content: If you’re selling consumer goods, your product packaging must include certain content like product ingredients, names, required marks, etc., to stay compliant with the regulations. So, ensure you get this content beforehand to design your package accordingly.
- Time: This is one of the most critical yet overlooked factors in packaging design. You don’t want to start designing intricate and elaborate packaging only to find that you’re going to exceed the estimated time and cause a product delay.
Note: You can use a workflow automation software like Artwork Flow to communicate deadlines easily, streamline your artwork design process, and accelerate your web-to-shelf workflow.
Packaging design stages
Once you’ve decided on the branding strategy, worked out the details and gathered the necessary information, you can start designing your product packaging by following the stages given below.
But you should note that these stages only provide foundational knowledge of the process, and your actual process may vary according to different factors, like the complexity of the design.
In this stage, you will brainstorm ideas for different packaging layouts and designs based on the available space.
For instance, ask yourself if you must create outer and inner packaging for your product or use the container that holds the product itself as the packaging.
You’ll also think about the materials you’ll need to use and the finish your packaging needs. The key is to be broad and not disregard anything to arrive at something actionable.
Once you’ve come up with rough conceptual design ideas for your products, evaluate them based on the following questions:
- Will this packaging layout make the product attention-grabbing?
Ideally, your packaging layout must be appealing enough to be noticed from a distance and compel customers to pick it up for more information.
- Does the packaging present the brand mission clearly?
Your brand should be clearly distinguishable throughout the label design, text font, and color scheme of the packaging.
- Does the packaging create an emotional connection with the consumer?
Your target buyers will be more likely to pay attention to your packaging design and connect better with your brand if the product packaging evokes positive emotions.
- Does the packaging capture and call out the product benefits?
Your packaging should highlight your value proposition and the product benefits to compel customers to make a purchase.
3. Contact your printer
You’re not going to be printing your designs until after the review and approval process but getting specific information about how the designer should prepare the files helps eliminate reprinting issues. Here’s what you should ask your printer:
- Dieline requirements: If your packaging is a box, your printer will give you dieline templates to share with the designer so they can design the dimensions accordingly.
- File format requirements: Typically, printers will ask you to share the label design in a Photoshop (.psd), Illustrator (.ai), PDF, or EPS format.
- Color options: This is an important question to ask your printer if you don’t want to end up with packaging with an out-of-gamut issue. While some printers can match any color, others may only be able to work with a limited color palette.
4. Create the packaging design
Now that you’ve evaluated your packaging designs and clarified things with your printer, it’s time to create the actual product packaging design.
The most important thing to remember here is that you’ve got to center your design around one central element that will appeal to your audience.
For example, Urban Pantry highlights “organic peeled tomatoes” on their package as it’ll attract the attention of health-conscious customers and compel them to purchase the product.
5. Send your artwork for review
Once you’ve created the packaging design, you must send it to multiple teams, like marketing and legal., to obtain feedback.
After the review process is complete, request your printer to send you a hard copy of the design so you can check it to see if it closely matches your predefined color reference chart.
This ensures that your brand colors are consistent, and you don’t have to deal with reprinting issues.
Once you’ve color-proofed the package, send the required design files to your printer to print your package.
How Artwork Flow streamlines your product packaging design process
Creating effective packaging design involves multiple stakeholders and teams, leaving room for miscommunication and product launch delays.
- Online proofing tools: Catch labeling errors like spelling mistakes, color, and font inconsistencies, with Artwork Flow’s free tools like spell checker, color extractor, font finder etc.
- Annotation: Collate feedback from all teams to reduce your revision cycles.
- Workflows: Inject accountability, distribute workload evenly, and check out what everyone is working on instantly.
- Checklists: Reduce approval time by ensuring your team members do a quality check of the design themselves before submitting it for review.
- Digital asset management library: Track all changes to creatives and restore any version quickly.
Creating product packaging that compels customers to buy isn’t a piece of cake. However, following some basic tips and ensuring that you follow a standardized process to design your packaging helps you nail your packaging design.
However, to create this standardized process, you’ve got to invest in a artwork management and creative collaboration tool like Artwork Flow.
It helps you optimize your communication process and reduce approval times and delays.
To learn more about what Artwork Flow can do for your organization, book a free demo right away.