Unboxing the Secrets of Effective Packaging Design

Packaging designs are the golden child of a marketer’s efforts. It plays a crucial role in how consumers respond to your brand. 

You’ve done all the advertising. The billboards, the posters, the social media campaigns, and all that, and now the only thing standing between the actual product and the consumer is the packaging design. It would all be for naught if the packaging design falls short of the scope of the advertising. 

We don’t know how far you’ve thought about this but consumers purchasing decisions revolve around packaging designs to a greater extent. Don’t forget that there’s fierce competition out there and retailers are struggling to accommodate new products that come in at such a frequent rate. 

What makes yours better than your competitors’? These things need to be thought out well when designing packages. Consumers love it when a product is pleasing to the eye. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you go all out and go for complex designs. There’s a new trend where consumers are drawn to minimalistic things and a lot of marketers have taken this road and found success along the way. 

And now without keeping you waiting any longer, let’s unbox the secrets of effective packaging design. 

6 Secrets to Creating Effective Packaging Design

1. Emphasizing Brand Identity

Brand identity is very important in packaging design. Take for example a juice box. There are so many brands out there. Basically, the same box shape is covered in a similar layout in most cases. How do you plan on avoiding duplication? Good maintenance of brand identity will help you do this. 

Your brand identity is what helps draw a spotlight on your product from the sea of products available on the market. Your logo, your color palette, and the unique typeface you’ve used all help set you apart from your competitors.

Besides the logo and branding colors adorning the package, you could go for unique approaches where you include branded freebies like tissue paper or a “thank you for purchasing” card. Even a small token that’s unique to your brand can be added in. This of course would differ from brand to brand and industry to industry. And It’s totally up to you to come up with creative ways to incorporate branded elements. Just keep in mind that your goal is to be remembered. 

Don’t forget to research on existing similar products before settling on your product packaging design. You want to avoid duplication at all costs. 

2. Create a Visual Hierarchy

In any design visual hierarchy plays a critical role in drawing the eye to the order in which you want them to see your product details. This is a massive marketing tactic that some brands sadly don’t take into consideration. Visual hierarchy helps tie the whole design together in perfect harmony. It aids a consumer to make an informed decision. 

Visual hierarchy is ever so important when it comes to packaging designs. The consumer, upon encountering the product, would need to take a look at the detail about the product. If all they see is a hot mess then you’ll just be giving them a headache. If your product packaging doesn’t talk about who you are and what’s inside, it’s not going to manage to pull them in. And most probably you’ve just lost your customer to your competition. 

Visual hierarchy helps the design breathe. There are many ways you could do this. The logo would commonly appear at the very top as we’ve seen in almost all products. This helps consumers know who you are. And in some instances, a designer could vary the font sizes in order to draw attention to the order in which it should be read. 

There’s also another option where you could sparingly use colors to differentiate details and show hierarchy so that everything is on its own and it isn’t straining to the eye.

Remember that the most important things about your product need to appear first. Why yours better need to appear prominently. This helps consumers choose your product over your competitor’s product. 

3. Use the Right Colors

Color is another critical aspect of packaging design. It’s so obvious that color plays a major role because you yourself have found yourself attracted to a product based on its color. Just ponder for a second. Think about an instance where you were drawn to one product over its counterpart just because of the color. 

Use contrasting colors from your brand’s color palette. A good understanding of the color wheel will help you make an informed decision about which colors to choose for different elements. It’s important to know which colors to use where. You could have a busy background but if you choose the right colors for the text, the background wouldn’t disturb the eye. Colors have the power to achieve these kinds of things when used right. 

This is a good example of proper color usage.

One thing to keep in mind is that the elements you use in your packaging design need to suit your brand, the contents inside, and the message you’re trying to convey. Strange how color helps tie the whole packaging design together right? But it helps a lot even more than you would think. You could have the most complex and cool design but if at the point of applying colors, you fail to accomplish the task perfectly it’s going to be such a shame. 

4. Typography Matters

We cannot stress enough how important typography is in packaging design. Words are an important part of marketing absolutely anything. You need words to convince people. But if your words aren’t legible and readable and are seemingly insignificant looking, your attempts at coming up with a catchy copy are wasted. 

Typography is what will help you achieve a balanced text copy. The fonts you choose, and the way you mix those fonts and lay them out all help keep the consumer engaged in your packaging design. Not only does typography help in balancing out the text copy, but it also helps maintain the balance between elements in the packaging design. They all need to work together in harmony to deem a packaging design successful. 

In the strangest way, the amount of text on a packaging design won’t matter as long as it’s arranged with typographical principles in mind. 

There should also be a strategy behind your typography. It must appeal to the senses and be cohesive with the rest of your brand and its message. 

Not to be repetitive but another important thing to remember with typography is the hierarchy to organize the information. This too can help make the packaging design aesthetically pleasing. 

5. Utilize Space Effectively

Another important factor that contributes to making a packaging design aesthetically pleasing is the effective use of space. A properly balanced packaging design has the potential to be appealing to the eye. This negative space around elements is also called whitespace. The application of this design principle helps draw eyes to the prominent elements like the logo and the slogan perhaps. 

Did you know that the proper use of white space can scream professionalism? Buyers need to trust the product. When something looks luxurious and professional they automatically are compelled to make the purchase.  The Interaction Design Foundation states that “using white space can suggest a company’s budget and thus the quality of the product.”

In the bottles above, the designs have used space effectively. 

You may have come up with great individual elements like your logo, the copy, the brand elements, etc. But if all of these are cramped together without balance, it will not matter.  It’s as simple as that. 

It’s also important to consider legibility, design tone, and branding when attempting to utilize white space. 

6. Choosing the Right Materials

An artist is able to get the best out of his skill when the canvas he paints on is good. Similarly, a packaging design looks its best when placed on the right material. While there are so many materials out there, you need to consider the following when deciding on the material. 

1. Nature of the product inside
2. Safety of the product inside
3. Usage of the product

It’s very important to consider these when choosing the material. The ultimate goal is to ensure the consumer has an overall pleasant experience with the product. So make sure the packaging design is applied on a suitable material that elevates the consumer’s engagement with the product within.

It’s also highly effective to choose a material that coincides with your brand’s tone and message. You don’t want to send mixed signals. If your brand stands against environmental pollution, choose materials for the packaging that is eco-friendly. Consumers love brands that practice what they claim to stand for. Plus, in this day and age with the social media frenzy, you don’t want bad reviews to circulate because of a packaging design mishap.  

Let’s recap

Never judging a book by its cover is not relevant when it comes to packaging design. The contents and their reliability are fully determined by the outward packaging. When designing packages the first thing you need to think is will I buy this as a consumer? If your answer is not really then you would have to conclude that that’s how other consumers will also respond to it. 

Packaging designs help in a great capacity to market your branding. In fact, they are one of the top marketing designs out there. Visual hierarchy is one of the top things to look into along with color, typography, white space, and the appropriate canvas. Once these are determined and done properly you’re on your way to creating an excellent packaging design. 

We don’t know where you’re reading this from but 72% of American consumers say that product packaging has a great influence on their purchasing decision. 

So go ahead and heed the instructions provided here and start including them in your next packaging design. We can’t tell you enough, the level of sophistication it’ll bring to your work. 

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