5 Things to Consider When Designing Packaging
22 January 2018 | By Brianna Nixon
Packaging is the container that houses your product, keeps it safe and tells the world what’s inside.
It could be a box, a packet, a tin, vacuum-sealed or even edible. If you want your product to stand out, be attractive and influence people to purchase it, it needs to look good. Bad branding or the absence of it on your packaging leads to distrust of the brand.
First, you need to understand your exact product specifications and brand story prior to developing packaging concepts. Now that you’re ready to begin the packaging design process, here are five things to consider.
1. Ask Yourself Who Is Buying the Product
Your intended audience needs to be front of mind when designing your packaging.
Imagine your audience are sustainably-minded coffee drinkers and you’re selling coffee beans. You wouldn’t house the beans in environmentally unfriendly plastic, you’d opt for eco-friendly materials.
“Your intended audience needs to be front of mind when designing your packaging.”
Being a modern mum seeking a simple yet sophisticated moisturiser, it’s clear the creator of Cinch knew her audience. Pared-back and practical design with a name that solidifies the product as quick and easy, the clean pump bottle appeals to its intended audience—busy women.
2. Complement What’s Inside
Cohesive design and contents make for a brand you can trust.
The packaging should match the product inside. Illustrative designs with a distinct summery feeling on the packaging of Tea Drop perfectly suit the blend of natural ingredients inside.
Authenticity is important to any consumer, and no one wants to feel tricked into buying something. Always aim to be honest and enticing.
3. What Is the Experience?
Opening packaging is a sensual experience.
The way it looks, feels to the touch, smells (and even tastes and sounds) all contribute to how the product is perceived.
Weight often signals quality and luxury. Many layers can feel like opening a gift, where the experience to get to the product is part of the product itself. Think opening a book to find a bottle of aged liquor inside. For something more inexpensive or eco-minded, many layers can have the opposite effect and feel wasteful.
“Buying is an emotional experience.”
Consider the texture and finish of the material used—is it rough, smooth, raised, shiny, matte? All of these small cues influence our perception of what’s inside.
Our senses trigger an emotional response, and as anyone who has pined for a pair of shoes knows, buying is an emotional experience.
4. Product Specifications
Your product will have requirements to consider when it comes to its size, shape, robustness and environment it needs. As creative as you want to be at this stage, don’t forget the practicalities of keeping what’s inside in the best condition possible.
Cakeagram is an example of needing the practicality of housing an elaborate cake to be delivered, without skimping on the creative. It’s sturdy, yet light and communicates the fun and joy of the brand using a vibrant colour palette.
“The most important thing is to effectively communicate what’s inside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be cheeky, creative or bold.”
5. Think Outside the Box
Ask yourself—is this innovative packaging design? Or does it look like every other product like it?
The most important thing is to effectively communicate what’s inside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be cheeky, creative or bold.
Now that you’ve considered the most important aspects when it comes to packaging design, you’re ready to start drafting. Remember, packaging design only works if you have a good brand strategy behind it.