Branding is by definition the use of a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature to identify a product or service and distinguish it from those of other producers. In the digital age, a strong visual identity has become increasingly important as businesses look for ways to stand out in an ever-crowded marketplace. And nowhere is this more true than in the world of product packaging.
A great packaging design can make all the difference in whether or not a customer chooses your product over the competition. But with so many different elements to consider – from materials and finishes to typography and layout – the process of designing effective packaging can seem daunting.
Nevertheless, in this article, we aim to demystify the packaging design process by providing a step-by-step guide on how to create eye-catching and impactful packaging for your products.
Before we get to the stepwise guide, there are a few key questions you need to answer in order to get started on the right foot. These are:
What exactly is a product?
A product can be anything that a company produces and sells – from physical goods like clothing and books, to digital products like software and apps. Is that all it is or is there more? What are you selling? Is it sturdy or perishable?
In order to create an effective packaging design, you need to understand your product inside out. This means taking into account not just what the product is, but also how it’s used, by whom, and for what purpose. Only then can you start thinking about how to best represent it through packaging.
These questions might seem like common sense, but they’re important to keep in mind throughout the design process. After all, your packaging is the first thing that potential customers will see – and it needs to make a good impression.
Who is buying the product?
Your target audience should be your first consideration when designing packaging. After all, the whole point of packaging is to attract customers and encourage them to purchase your product.
Think about who your ideal customer is, and what they’re looking for in a product. Then, design your packaging accordingly. For example, if you’re selling a luxury item, your packaging should be elegant and sophisticated. On the other hand, if you’re selling a child’s toy, your packaging should be fun and colorful.
Finally, you’ll also need to consider demographic factors when designing packaging. For example, if you’re targeting a young, hip audience, you’ll want to make sure the packaging is cool and trendy. On the other hand, if you’re targeting a more mature audience, you’ll want to make sure the packaging is sophisticated and elegant.
What are your product’s key features?
Now that you know what your product is and who will be using it, it’s time to start thinking about its key features. What sets it apart from other products on the market? What are its unique selling points?
Your packaging design should reflect your product’s key features, highlighting them in a way that is both eye-catching and informative. Use strong visuals and clear language to make sure potential customers know exactly what your product can do for them.
It might also be prudent to consider your packaging from a practical standpoint. How will it need to protect your product? Can it be easily shipped and stored? Is it durable enough to withstand repeated use? Answering these questions will help you make sure your packaging is up to the task.
How are people buying the product?
How your product is sold will have a big impact on its packaging design. For example, if customers are buying the product in-store, they should be able to pick it up and put it in their shopping basket with ease. On the other hand, if the product is being shipped directly to customers’ homes, the packaging will need to be strong enough to withstand the journey.
How will your product be used?
When you’re designing packaging for a product, it’s important to think about how customers will actually use it. For example, if your product is a food item that needs to be cooked before it can be eaten, you’ll need to include cooking instructions on the packaging. Or, if your product is a piece of clothing, you’ll need to make sure the packaging is big enough to fit the item inside.
When you’re designing packaging, it’s also important to consider the environment. For example, if your product is going to be shipped long distances, you’ll need to make sure the packaging is strong enough to withstand the journey. Similarly, if your product is going to be stored in a warehouse for a long time, you’ll need to make sure the packaging can protect the product from dust and other environmental factors.
Product packaging criteria
There are quite a few factors that you need to take into account when designing packaging for a product. Here are some of the most important ones:
The type of product:
Different products require different types of packaging. For example, fragile products will need packaging that can protect them from breakage, while perishable products will need packaging that can keep them fresh.
Size and dimensions of the product:
The packaging must be able to accommodate the size and dimensions of the product. If the product is too large or too small for the packaging, it will not be effective. Based on your intended customers, the packaging should also be able to fit into the average shopping bag or cart.
Additionally, you need to be able to accommodate for bulk shipping, if that is something you plan to do. This means that the packaging must be able to stack on top of each other and be stored in a warehouse without taking up too much space.
Branding and sales:
Your packaging should be reflective of your brand and what you are selling. The colors, fonts, and imagery should all be cohesive with your overall branding strategy. The packaging should also be eye-catching and appealing to your target market.
Think about how your packaging will be displayed in stores. Will it be on shelves? Hanging from racks? If so, you need to make sure that it is easy for customers to find and grab. The packaging should also include any relevant information that potential customers might need, such as ingredient lists, care instructions, etc.
More and more customers are concerned with sustainability, so it is important to consider how your packaging will impact the environment. Can it be recycled? Is it made from recycled materials? Is it biodegradable? These are all important factors to keep in mind when designing your packaging.
Your packaging needs to be functional as well as stylish. It should protect your product from damage, keep it fresh, and be easy to open and close. You also need to consider how your packaging will work with your shipping and fulfillment process.
Stepwise Guide to designing your product packaging
Understand your market and competition:
The first step in designing your product packaging is to understand your target market and what your competition is doing. What do your customers want and need? What are their pain points? How can you make your packaging stand out from the competition? These questions will help you narrow down your packaging design options and make sure your packaging resonates with your target market.
Creating a customer profile
Creating a customer profile helps you understand your target market on a deeper level. What are their demographics? What motivates them? What do they care about? By understanding your target market, you can create packaging that appeals to them on a personal level.
Once you have an understanding of your target market, you can start to narrow down your packaging design options. Consider their needs and wants when making your decision. For example, if your target market is eco-conscious, they may prefer packaging made from recycled materials.
Creating a competitive analysis
In order to make your packaging stand out, you need to know what your competition is doing. This includes understanding their brand positioning, target market, and packaging design. By understanding your competition, you can make sure your packaging is unique and appealing to your target market.
When conducting a competitive analysis, start by doing some online research. Look at their website, social media, and any other online presence they have. Take note of their branding, messaging, and overall tone. Then, take a look at their packaging design. Note the colors, fonts, and any other design elements they’re using.
Once you have a good understanding of your competition’s branding and packaging, you can start to develop your own unique identity. Remember to focus on what makes your product different and what your target market will find most appealing. With a little creativity and some outside-the-box thinking, you can create packaging that’s sure to stand out from the rest.
Design your packaging:
Once you’ve selected the right materials for your product and target market, it’s time to start designing your packaging. If you’re not a designer, there are plenty of resources available to help you create professional-looking packaging. Canva is a great option for creating custom packaging designs, and Moo offers print-on-demand packaging solutions.
When designing your packaging, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Minimal design: Keep your packaging design clean and simple. Too much information will just overwhelm customers and make your product look cluttered.
- Packaging should be an extension of your brand: Your packaging should reflect your brand’s values and personality. For example, if you’re a luxury brand, your packaging should convey that through use of high-quality materials and sophisticated design.
- Use of whitespace: One common packaging design mistake is cramming too much information onto the package. This can make your packaging look cluttered and confusing. Use whitespace to create a clean, minimalistic look that will make your product stand out.
- Use of images: Use images to convey important information about your product, such as what it looks like, what it does, or what it’s made of.
- Avoid using too much text: Use short, punchy phrases or sentences to get your message across. Too much text can be overwhelming and off-putting for customers. However, if you want to have text-based packaging, make sure to use easy-to-read fonts and a reasonable size.
Choose your colors:
Your packaging colors should be an integral part of your brand identity. They should be consistent with the colors you use in your other marketing materials, such as your website and business cards. If you don’t have a set of brand colors yet, now is the time to choose them. When selecting your colors, consider what feelings they evoke and whether they’re appropriate for your product and target market.
How to use colors to enhance product packaging:
Colors can be used in a number of ways to enhance product packaging. They can be used:
- As an overall color scheme for the entire package
- To highlight certain elements, such as the product name or company logo
- To add visual interest or texture
- To create a theme or feeling
Some things to keep in mind when using colors on product packaging:
- Make sure the colors you choose are appropriate for your product and target market.
- Be aware of the emotions that different colors can evoke.
- Test out different color combinations to see what looks best.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment – sometimes unexpected color combinations can be very effective.
When used effectively, colors can be a powerful tool for making your product packaging more eye-catching and memorable. With a little bit of planning, you can use colors to create a package that will stand out from the rest.
Select the right materials:
The type of packaging you use will be determined by the product you’re selling. For example, if you’re selling a food item, you’ll need to use packaging that’s food-safe. If you’re selling a fragile item, you’ll need to use packaging that will protect it from breakage. In addition to choosing the right materials for your product, you also need to consider the environment. sustainable packaging options are becoming more popular as consumers become more aware of the impact their purchases have on the planet.
How do material choices affect perceived value of your product?
The material you choose for your packaging can have a big impact on the perceived value of your product. For example, if you’re selling a luxury item, using high-end materials like gold or silver foil can make your product feel more luxurious. If you’re selling an everyday item, using recycled materials can give your product a more sustainable, eco-friendly feel.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Packaging Materials
When choosing packaging materials, there are a few factors you’ll need to consider:
- The type of product you’re selling: Some products require specific packaging materials in order to stay fresh or protected. For example, food items will need packaging that keeps them from spoiling.
- The look you want to achieve: Packaging can play a big role in the overall look and feel of your product. You’ll want to choose materials that fit with your product’s branding and style.
- Your budget: Different packaging materials come with different price tags. It’s important to find a balance between choosing something affordable and something that will properly protect your product.
- Protection: One of the most important functions of packaging is to protect your product. This is especially important for fragile or delicate items. You’ll want to choose materials that will cushion your product and keep it safe from damage.
- Ease of use: Packaging should be easy for your customers to open and use. If it’s too difficult, they may not bother and simply move on to a competitor’s product.
- Sustainability: An increasing number of consumers are looking for sustainable packaging options. If this is important to your target market, be sure to choose materials that are eco-friendly and can be easily recycled.
What are some popular sustainable packaging materials?
Sustainable packaging is packaging that is designed to be environmentally friendly and reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. There are many types of sustainable packaging, including compostable, reusable, and recyclable packaging. Compostable, reusable, and recyclable packaging are all great choices for those who are looking to reduce their impact on the environment.
Evaluate Packaging Design
When you are looking at different packaging options, it is important to evaluate the design.
Is it clear what your product is or what is its purpose? This is one of the first things a potential customer will look for on your packaging. Customers are only going to spend money on things that they comprehend.
Representation of Brand
Is the packaging a clear and honest representation of your brand? If not, it could result in customers feeling misled and will likely not make a purchase. What this does is it breaks the trust that you have established with potential customers and could lose you business.
What will this package look like in 3D? How will it look on a store shelf? Is the design eye-catching and easy to read from a distance? If not, customers may simply bypass your product.
Your product will be competing with many others for attention on store shelves. This means that you need to make sure that your packaging is able to stand out and be noticed. Otherwise, customers may simply overlook your product in favor of something else.
In recent years, eco-friendly packaging has become increasingly important to consumers. If your packaging is not eco-friendly, it could turn potential customers away. Make sure to use materials that can be easily recycled and avoid using too much plastic.
Is the design versatile? Can it be used for multiple products? Can it be adapted to different seasonal looks? If so, then you’ve got a winner. A versatile design is cost effective and can save you time in the long run.
You’ve put all this effort into your product packaging design, but how will you know if it’s working? The best way to find out is to collect feedback from customers. You can do this by surveying customers in-store or online. Make sure to ask specific questions about the packaging, such as what they think of the design, colors, and materials. You can also ask if they would recommend the product to a friend.
Customer feedback is essential for understanding what works and what doesn’t in your packaging design. Use this feedback to make changes to your design and improve the overall customer experience.
Packaging design is a critical element of any product’s success, and there are a variety of factors to consider when creating your design. By keeping the above tips in mind, you can create a packaging design that is both eye-catching and informative. With a little planning and creativity, your packaging will help your product stand out from the competition.
Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color or create a more sophisticated design, there are a variety of ways to incorporate different printing techniques into your packaging. By working with a professional designer, you can ensure that your packaging looks its best and reflects your brand in the most positive light.