Getting Started With Packaging Design – All You Need to Know

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by Graphicszoo 15+ days ago 5 mins read

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When we say “Packaging Design” it largely encapsulates two things;

- The structure of the packaging (physical form)

- The graphics on the packaging (image, color, and text) 

In this article, today, we’ll be shedding light and discuss the graphic designing part in packaging design.

Now, we all understand that the package design forms the first interface between the consumer and the product. 

Often, the packaging is related to FMCG business setups specifically, and businesses from other sectors don’t really give it serious attention. And, that’s exactly where several such businesses lose ground to their competitors. 

When you look at it holistically, packaging design is required for companies from almost every sector. 

So, let’s say you run a small restaurant and serve a huge number of customers each day. Now, there may be times when you may have to provide a doggy bag to your customers or they simply get their entire order packed for take-away. 

You need to have custom packing design boxes for such situations. Right?! 

Similarly, every large or small business needs a well-designed packaging for their products. 

With the help of the graphics, colors, and texts used in the design it’s supposed to communicate what it contains. It is expected to attract and entice the consumer. 

And that’s why, as a professional designer, one needs to emphasize the visual elements to ensure that communication aspects are effectively designed on the package. 

So, today, we will highlight some of the basics of packaging design and how you can design your own packaging for the successful branding of your business. 

But, first, let’s look at the basic definition of packaging design.

What is Packaging Design?

packaging design

Oxford English dictionary defines packaging as materials used to wrap or protect goods; also known as “the trade-dress”

In the most holistic form, Packaging Design is a multi-disciplinary field which includes the physical and functional aspects such as Holding and Protection of its contents from damage, Transportation Feasibility, Manufacturing, Distribution Techniques, etc. as well as graphic design elements such as color, imagery, typography, etc.

Packaging design is targeted to convey a brand, a mood, several meanings as intended by the packaging designer through the use of specific packaging materials (paper, cardboard, aluminum, etc), colors, typography, printing, and manufacturing methods.

All these features are broadly required to serve one goal; “to meet marketing objectives by distinctively communicating a consumer product's personality or function and generating a sale.

Checklist for perfect product packaging

Now, when it comes to creating a packaging design there is an essential list of things that needs to be checked before it can be finalized for market placement. 

This is a design checklist which is nothing but a series of questions that covers the 3I’s of a product’s packaging;

·       Information

·       Identity

·       Invitation (Inviting attention)

Information

packaging design

- Does the package carry all the information and in the way as assigned by the law?

- Are the instructions and usage guidelines legible and easy to understand?

- Is it possible to clarify, shorten, or improve the directions or instructions?

- Do the illustrations serve to Instruct/ Interest/Attract the consumer?

Identity

- Is the brand name recognizable in terms of position and style?

- Does the package adequately feature a familiar trade name?

- Does it – or should it – use the ‘business’ design elements?

- Is the product name (as distinguished from the brand) featured so as to afford immediate product identity?

- Does the overall look of the package design reflect the unique qualities (USP) of the product?

Invitation

- Are the colors and other graphic elements are used in good taste?

- Is the design appropriate for the product, retail outlet, and consumer?

- Is it distinguishable (or compared favorably) with the competition?

- Does the design makes a pleasing impression

  • From a distance/ closer view?
  • On-shelf, counter, or in the window?
  • In the consumer’s home?

- Does the design carry a self-selling story?

- Have all the pros and cons of visibility and package material been weighed?

- Does the package have remembrance or reminder value?

- Is the package a self-sufficient advertising unit, or must it depend on other forms of advertising media?

Principles of Packaging design

The graphic design follows a certain set of principles in order to create unique and effective brand designs. For product packaging, the basic design principles are customized to meet the objectives of each design assignment. 

These are a set of guidelines pertaining to help in defining how the color, typography, structure, and imagery are applied within a design layout to create the right sense of balance, tension, proportion, and appeal.  

Let’s take a look at the principle guidelines for each of these design elements for custom packaging design.

For typography

packaging design

- Define the typographic personality

- Limit typefaces

- Create a typographic hierarchy

- Define font alignment

- Vary the typographic scale

- Choose to be contrasting

- Experiment with the typeface

- Stack characters carefully

- Define the typographic positioning

- Make it ownable

- Be consistent

- Refinement for typographic excellence

Color

Color communicates psychologically by creating a mental association.

- Colors opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary.

- For consumers from similar cultural and geographic backgrounds, the fundamental meaning of the color remains consistent.

- Color connections are both product and category-specific.

- More colors are required within one brand family to differentiate between product varieties and to distinguish the product from the competitors.

- Consider a color that communicates brand personality.

- Apply colors across product lines in a coordinate color scheme and across the packaging structures, materials, and substrates of a brand.

- Match color from the computer to the specified color for the final printed material.

Structure

packaging design

- Communicates the marketing /brand strategy effectively.

- Illustrates product information clearly.

- Emphasizes information by the hierarchy in an uncluttered and easy to read manner.

- Suggests the function, usage, and direction effectively.

- Differentiates the product from the competition.

- Distinguishes the product on the shelf and in relation to other varieties.

Imagery

- The perception of imagery differs from culture to culture.

- “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

- Illustrations, photographs, icons, symbols, and characters can be executed in a multitude of styles that each create a rich visual language and provide visual stimuli.

- Exploring design strategy through an array of imagery styles and colors is crucial.

- Imagery must be designed to fit within the context of the layout, not the other way around.

To conclude…

How you design your product’s packaging will play a huge role in how your brand identity is established in the market. So, it is very important that you follow this checklist and guidelines in order to create a successful and meaningful packaging design for your brand products. 

If you are new to this field and not sure how to go about it in the first place, no need to worry. GraphicsZoo has years of experience in helping brands creating professional custom graphic designs for their business needs. 

Simply get in touch with us at support@graphicszoo.com and our design expert will be in touch with you to help you design your own product packaging.