Through packaging, the world is organized. Whether it’s a packet of your favorite candies, a hamper for your dirty laundry, or the bottle that keeps you hydrated, the things we put things in are essential. The big question, what is the product packaging? Product packaging design is the creation of the exterior of a product. From materials used as well as graphics, logo, color palettes, fonts, everything is important to produce an eye-catching product packaging.
Just like the product itself, packaging also tells a story. It’s an experience to enjoy the moment of unboxing, it engages us through sight, touch, and sound. All the details help us understand what the product is all about based on the packaging.
In this blog, we deep dive into the ultimate guide to product packaging design as we learn how packaging tells a story.
Before starting your packaging design
There are three crucial questions to ask before you start your product packaging design journey:
1. What is your product?
A simple question would ask, what are you selling? How big or small is your product? What is your product made of? Is it delicate?
These questions will determine what type of packaging you will be using. For example, a delicate product will require more secure packaging. It’s like creating a customized packaging for a specific type of product.
2. Who’s buying your product?
Who are your target markets? Is it solely for men or women or for all? Is it for children or for adults? Consider your consumers on those who are environmentally conscious. Also, know the class or status of your buyers.
3. How are people buying your product?
Are you selling your product in-store or online? Is your product seen in supermarkets or on small boutiques?
Consider how you are going to package your product according to its preferable location. Packaging a product to be shipped is different from displaying them in stores to stand out from its competition.
Information you need to take note
Some products can stand alone while some represent a certain brand aesthetic. You need to gather first all the information before starting a package:
Color – have your own CMYK values for Pantone Matching Values (PMS) colors for your packaging as they are for printing purposes.
Fonts – proper font is very important in this case. One should be readable and characterizes the tone of your brand.
Logo – same with fonts, logos are visible enough to create brand awareness for people to immediately remember your product.
Content that needs to go on the packaging
Depending on your industry, one must create a unique approach to your specific products as this will go for legal reasons.
Written copy – this includes the name of your product to a description to words inviting people to purchase.
Imagery – you want to put images on your packaging? Have those ready for easy access to packaging design.
Required marks – barcode, nutrition information, association marks, etc. are important parts of packaging depending on your product or type of industry.
Know what temporary content you need – some products like foods or cosmetics have additional information that needs to be put on different batches of products such as expiration dates or batch numbers. Since they are changing regularly, have a safe space for that information.
Style likes and dislikes
Originality comes from inspiration. Before creating your own packaging design, start gathering images of packaging styles that you like. Create a mood board for your design inspiration. This will start your journey towards self-identity on packaging design.
In creating your design, always consider not only your taste but also your customers’. Visualize your ideal customer, how is he/she going to get excited buying or receiving your product?
There are two design budgets to consider when doing packaging design:
1. One-time costs
This includes paying for the original design work, stamp, print plate setup, etc. they are the ones being paid only once unless you change your design.
2. Per-item costs
These are under materials and labor. Things that put together your package, from tissue paper you stuff it with to the tape you use to seal it.
6 Steps in Packaging Design
1. Packaging layers
There are three “layers” in product packaging: outer packaging, inner packaging, and product packaging. Your product may need one or all three of these.
Outer packaging – this is the first part your customer is going to see. It protects from what is inside of your packaging.
Inner packaging – this keeps your product settled safely in the outer packaging. These are packing peanuts or tissue paper that stops your product from getting jostled or scuffed.
Product packaging – this is the packaging that most people think. It may be a box, a bottle with a label, a tag on a garment, or a wrapper.
2. Types of packaging
There are ways available to package your product. Always consider what type of product you are selling as well as the industry you are in. Also, think about your competition. You may streamline your packaging like what your competitors do or stand out from the rest but think what your customer would prefer.
3. Printing line up
This will come in the last step but setting it up in advance would make it less hassle when it comes to the production operations. Have a ready template for deadlines that can be shared with the designer. Also, make sure to know which file types are so you can easily supply to the right people without worrying if it will open or not.
As for color options, be sure to know your color palettes so that it won’t affect the printing process. And lastly, remember what type of printer is used for printing? Either be digital or offset printing, learn to differentiate the costs scale of each printer.
4. Information architecture
As mentioned from the three questions, especially the who’s buying your product and where are they finding it, create your own information architecture. As there are a lot of ways to present a packaging design, think what your customer would remember when they look at your package. Pick the most important yet unique thing that your customer wants to know about your product.
5. Packaging design evaluation
Now that you’ve created your packaging design, have some evaluations for further polishing your overall look. Have a clear stand on what your product does and who the target market is. Never confuse your customer when they look at the package as well as the product.
Misrepresentation is one of the most common mistakes in product packaging design. Don’t deceive your customer from what your product looks like in the design and in reality. And when it comes to the actual design, provide a mockup in print-ready (flat) and in 3-dimensions. This will help you notice things you wouldn’t otherwise. Sometimes an image will look great when flat, but awful when constructed or vice versa.
As for store appearance, you have to consider how much of your design will be visible. Front and center are where most information is located. Speaking of appearance, know your design that will test time now and in the future. Having a versatile design will make your life easier to accommodate new variations for your product. And most lastly, have a package that is reusable and functional.
6. Collecting feedback
Once that you’ve decided on your packaging design, gather some feedback from stakeholders and people who have never heard of or used your product. These people are important as they will tell you honestly what are their thoughts for improvements. You may provide contact information on your package as this will enhance more of what you will need and not because you are communicating once the package is out in the market.
We know you’re eager to design your package as we are excited to present it out there. Here at Cr8tive Boxes + Labels, we offer a variety of packaging solutions from accessory boxes, rejuvenating boxes, lip tint boxes, food boxes, perfume boxes, pharmaceutical boxes, soap boxes, corrugated box, paper bags, hangtags to sticker labels to help you connect with your target audience. Know more about us or request a quote now!
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