8 Tips for Creating Great Packaging Design

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As many of us already know, the packaging is an important part when distributing a product. As a matter of fact, packaging is considered the science, art, and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. With that, we can really tell that packaging is important.

And what’s important about packaging? Its design. The packaging design does not only protect the product from the outside, it also informs what the product is all about and can be a huge aspect to consider for consumers whether they will buy it or will they just going to walk pass through it.

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Designing packaging may not be as easy as choosing a product on a store, but if it is taken seriously and designed well, it can make the product look even better. To help you with that, we have prepared 8 useful tips to help you create a great packaging design.

1. Be Clear and Specific

The best way to boost the market for any product is to design a packaging that accurately tells what the product is all about without even opening or reading its details thoroughly. The maximum average time a potential consumer has to look at the product on the shelf is less than 4 seconds, and if they don’t find the value of that product or if it confuses them about its content within that time, they don’t even bother to take a closer look and see what the product is.

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So, within that 4 seconds, the product packaging design should be good enough to describe exactly what the product is. When consumers can easily identify the product, then they have more reasons to take a closer look and even buy that product without a second thought.

It is really important that every time you design a product, it should be clear, specific, and is not confused with the product itself.

2. Be Relevant

Every time you design a product packaging, the image, color scheme, fonts, and designs should have relevance to the product and should be appropriate to the type of product you are selling. One of the reasons why consumers get confused and would not buy the product is because the product packaging design did not go along with the product inside.

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When you design a product packaging with incorrect image or design, you will mislead the consumers and discourage them from buying the product. That is not good for your business and for the product as well.

3. Strive for Unique

Another thing that attracts the consumers besides the clarity and simplicity of the packaging design is the uniqueness and the creativity of it. Many brands today are looking to find ways on how they can make their packaging design more unique to increase desirability among their loyal customers.

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The simplicity of the product packaging design may have a huge impact on the consumers, but how your packaging design stand out from the rest can really capture the consumers purchasing decision. Apart from that, when you go creative on your packaging design, it will increase the chance of your product to be noticed by people. Especially when you effectively use the product as a part of the uniqueness and creativity of the packaging design.

Even if they don’t need that product, as long as your packaging design is creative and unique it will be purchased by those who care about beautiful design that makes a statement (i.e., everyone) because they find it amusing and fun. In other words, it should be surprising and suddenly a must-have.

4. Consider Practicality

It is not enough that your packaging design is just simple or creative, it needs to be practical. People nowadays are more meticulous on the shape, size, and functionality of the product packaging or container. If they find it easy to use, carry, or store, then it will be more likely to be purchased. The more practical it is, the more it will sell.

Let’s use the Heinz ketchup bottle as an example. In earlier days, their bottle was the same any other bottle, but when they turned the ketchup bottle upside down and made it a plastic squeezy, their sales went up enormously. It is not really hard to see why. People would obviously prefer this kind of bottle because it solved an everyday problem, making their product easier to use than their competitors following the usual upright glass bottle. Which is why a needs analysis is so important.

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However, practicality is the most overlooked aspect when designing product packaging, simply because designers know that consumers would still go to the traditional way of selecting a product, which is quite not common these days. The truth is, people will buy it if they have no choice.

Once you redesign your product and optimize it for practicality, thereby distinguishing it from your competitors, you’re set to dominate the market. So, every time you design a product packaging be sure that it is practical or at least think how you can make it more useful.

5. Be Honest

Most common mistakes committed by product packaging designers is by being not true to their packaging designs. They will do everything just to make sure that their product looks great on packaging, and that includes depicting a product hundred times better than the original product.

They will show you an ice cream with lots of toppings and drenched in chocolate, but in reality, you are just buying a simple chocolate-flavored ice cream. Or they will show you a cookie with lots of chocolate bits on top of it, but in fact, there’s only one tiny bit of chocolate present.

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Imagine the harm done by violating expectations. By following this kind of strategy, you are actually misleading your consumers and ultimately providing them with great disappointment, which only results in poor sales performance. This is considered as false advertising and gives your brand a very bad image.

Always remember to be honest with your product packaging design. It is okay for consumers to buy simple, inexpensive products and they have nothing against it. As long as they know what they are buying, then they are good with that. They might prefer a “face lifting” but not to the point that the product doesn’t look exactly like what’s on the packaging.

6. Extensibility Is Key

Another important thing to consider when designing a product packaging is that it should allow for easy introduction of a new product line or variation under the same brand. It’s critical that you think ahead. Do not just design a product packaging that is only appropriate and looks good on one line of a product. You might never know that in the future, a business proposal will call for something new with the product (like new flavors, styles, limited editions, etc).

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When you design packaging only for a specific line of product, then it may not be useful for other product lines or variations. For example, your business sells apple juice and you created a packaging that only relies on apple to work. Later on, your business decided to launch orange juice under the same brand name.

This where the problem comes in, how can orange juice look good in a packaging that was created and designed to work on apples? You see, extensibility can really have a huge impact. So now, every time you design a product packaging, always look ahead and think with the future in mind.

7. Typography

The poster fonts you use in your packaging design also plays an important role. Since the text on the product packaging is always there to support the images and the design, it should also have its own style. Plain and boring fonts that do not go along well with the packaging design may not make the product as effective as its design.

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It is always a good practice to give a little extra effort on choosing the right font that works well with the design and the product as well. Considering that the text on the packaging provides the consumers with information (such as nutrition facts, instructions, description, etc.). It is better if they have the right fonts that are easily readable and create a long lasting impression to the consumers.

8. Shelf Impact

And finally, the last thing that you want to consider when designing a product packaging is how your product will look like when placed on the actual shelf of a store. From a shopper’s point of view, it is really hard for them to identify your product, simply because when it is placed on the shelf, it will be arranged in rows and columns and become surrounded with other products.

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So, you might want to design a product packaging that will stand out from the rest. This is something retailers call “shelf impact,” and can make a huge difference in product sales.

You can test your product with the shelf impact by placing your product packaging design on a shelf and surround it with other products. See if it will stand out. The more distinctive it looks, the better it sells.

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