Even when you’ve gotten everything about your product right, people will still judge it by its cover. Unfair, right? Yes, but not entirely.
See, it is still your job to ensure that your product packaging speaks of the quality and tenets that your product stands for. The packaging design of your product has to communicate the right message when on display and after the product is purchased, up to consumption.
Herein are some pointers on how to design product packaging. They answer the question of what boxes your custom packaging must check.
1.Create a Packaging Design for Both Your Brand and Your Customer
Of course, the packaging design is for your brand. It represents what your brand is about with your logo, colors, and other brand-linked features. Still, you need packaging that considers the personality of your ideal customer. You have to think about their ages, where they shop, how much they pay for similar products, their disposal methods, and such questions. You’ll then make sure that your design speaks to people of those ages, remains affordable, etc.
Your custom packaging design must find a balance between the beauty and subtle features that grab and maintain a customer’s attention. The packaging design should provide information about your product and still be – ideally – ergonomic and eco-friendly. Finally, you must figure out how to design product packaging that convinces your customers that your product is the right choice over your competition.
2.Use the Right Wording
You’ve no doubt heard countless idioms about the power and importance of words. However, you also must understand the important role of the words printed on your packaging. The phrasing that you use to sell your packaging and product should perfectly inform your users about the product and why it’s the best.
Still, you must keep it as simple as possible while communicating as much as you can. Don’t be verbose or overwhelm your design with too much text. Your customers aren’t buying a book, so don’t give them a textually busy pouch design. You literally have seconds to convince someone to buy your product. Choose your words wisely.
3.Choose Your Colors and Fonts Wisely
Think of a brand such as McDonald’s. Their logo, colors, fonts, or all three are already in your mind – that’s how important your colors and fonts are. They make brands and products recognizable. What’s more, they form a large part of the identity and personality of a brand. The colors and fonts you choose can make consumers perceive you as playful, formal, creative, or sleek, among many more possible personalities.
The colors on your custom packaging should enhance and complement your product, brand, and identity, not contrast or clash with either. Go with a distinctive but readable typeface that matches easily with your logo. You will save yourself a lot by thinking ahead and considering fonts and colors that will also go with other items in your product line.
Honesty goes a long way in packaging design. Whatever is on it has to accurately reflect what it contains and what your brand stands for. Be wary of over-promising or under-delivering with regard to your product and packaging. For instance, why would anyone have a cookie dipping into melted chocolate printed on their pouch if they’re only selling a chocolate-flavored cookie?
Even though deep down you may be wishing that your product was better than it is, it doesn’t help anyone to depict it as better than it actually is. If you are dishonest in your product and brand representation on your custom packaging, your customers will associate the dishonesty with everything you’ll ever offer. Simply put, you’ll lose customers.
5.Have a Design that Works on Everything
There are very many places for your package to be displayed apart from the store shelves in the digital age. Your design has to play the same roles it does on the shelves when posted on magazine and newspaper ads. Your packaging design should also survive and thrive on signage and promotional apparel.
You should use the best graphics on your packaging for display on computer and mobile device screens. They should also be ready for printing on larger surfaces than pouches or other small packages. Often, when enlarging small designs for use on large posters and billboards, their quality is lost through pixelation. This is why vector graphics are recommended. You can consult your label printer for advice on how to design product packaging with top graphics and printing methods for your needs. Still, you should think about having separate versions of your designs for small and giant-sized applications.
6.Match Your Package to Your Product
You should make your custom packaging with practical adherence to your product in terms of materials, functionality, size, and shape. For instance, equip your packaging with handles that can hold the product weight. You should make it easy to open and as durable as possible too.
If your products are high-end, you should create packaging that reflects that. You can go the extra mile and shape your custom packaging into the actual product’s shape. For instance, one paintbrush manufacturer created their packaging looking like men’s faces so that the bristles looked like their beards and mustaches.
7.Make Your Custom Packaging User-Friendly
For packaging to be user-friendly, it has to be consumer-centric. Adhering to the wishes and needs of your customers within your custom packaging draws consumers to you. With the understanding of the contemporary consumer, your packaging should have a minimum environmental impact, keep products safe and secure, be easy to open (and reseal if necessary), communicate the contents of the package clearly, and be beneficial for reuse.
You have to think about how easy your users will find accessing and using your product through your packaging. Think about offering resealable pouches if your product isn’t meant for single-use. For instance, toothpaste packaging is created so that you can squeeze out just enough paste and close the rest in. You can also think about the Heinz Ketchup Upside-Down Bottle, which makes it easy to squeeze the ketchup to the very last bottle. And, by the way, upon the introduction of the bottle, the company saw an increase in sales by 4% more than the entire industry in the next year.
8.Be as Eco-Friendly as You Can
Consumers have been found to prefer products and brands that show eco-friendly initiatives to those that don’t. In fact, they’re willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging. They will be turned off by castoffs that are inevitable when you over-package. If you can avoid having too many additional boxes, plastics, and bags, ensure that you do. Design packaging that protects your product without excess waste. What’s more, you should try and use recyclable and reusable packaging for the sake of the environment.
When considering how to design product packaging with eco-friendly material, there are many options available for you. You can go with biodegradable packing peanuts if you want to use light airy material for loose-fills in packaging cartons. Styrofoam is preferred by most companies packaging fragile items. Another option is corrugated bubble wrap, which is made from recycled corrugated cardboard.
Plant-based substances can also come in handy depending on whatever you’re packaging. If this is the way you want to go, you can choose from cornstarch, mushroom, and seaweed packaging materials. Still, there are eco-friendly and recycled plastics. Plastic bags have really impacted the environment, which is why you should consider looking at organic fabrics for reusable pouches.
9.Preserve and Protect
Safety should be at the top of your concerns when dealing with all products, but even more so with food products. There are stringent regulations put in place by the FDA to ensure that packaging enhances product safety and prevents tampering. As you design your custom packaging, you need to ensure that it will preserve the integrity of your product during shipping and while on store and home shelves. You can increase the shelf-life of perishable products by using flexible pouches that are airtight, protecting products from sunlight, moisture, and temperature.
You should also include labels on your packaging so that you can advise the people who’ll handle your products on their proper handling. For instance, you can have ‘this side up’, ‘handle with care’, ‘fragile’, ‘store in a cool and dry place’, and other safety labels. If your products need refrigeration, you need to ensure that your package and label material can handle the cold and damp atmosphere.
10.Make Stackable and Stock-Able Packaging
Retailers need to economize on space as they store and display their products. If your packaging is oddly shaped, it will be challenging to stack your items in their storage, warehouse space, and display store shelves. Think about package shapes that make displaying your products on shelves easy without taking up all the space.
Standup pouches have become very common and with good reason. They’re convenient, eco-friendly, cost-effective, customizable, lightweight, and allow for innovation. In addition, you can go with various variations for your custom packaging. Pouches with resealable zippers are great for packaging products that need to remain free from moisture and air. However, if you want to package liquids that should remain as airtight as possible even after opening, there’s an alternative for you. Pouches with spouts or valves would be a stroke of genius.
Bottom Line: The Ultimate Product Packaging Design
Even though you need to figure out how to design product packaging that delivers your products to your customers safely, its functions don’t stop there. Once you understand your customers’ needs, you need to craft the right custom packaging to fulfill them. The next step is to consider the best physical design of your packaging possible. The physical design should include the packaging shape and the artwork you’ll print on it.
When you follow the guidelines we’ve outlined in this piece, you should get through the entire seamlessly—good luck producing packaging design that hits all your goals.