Packaging Design: Creative Ideas Your Customers Will LOVE

/ April 29, 2021

Packaging is the first physical introduction to your brand. Make it count. From the look of the packaging design to the feel of the materials, what you invest into it will directly translate to how well your product sells in stores or online.

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We may not be able to help you with sourcing your packaging materials, but we know a thing or two about packaging design. (We’ve designed quite a few!) Keep reading to find out exactly how you can create packaging that sells your product for you.

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1. Don’t think you need a packaging designer? Think again.

An Ipsos survey found out that 72% of American consumers say their purchasing decision is influenced by the packaging design. Because of this, custom packaging design is the best option for a better customer experience.

statistical bar graph

So, if you’re selling in a brick-and-mortar environment, your packaging design is the first thing that a prospective customer will see on the shelf. Your customer may make their first impressions about your product and your company based on the way your packaging looks. 

Although the total value of your product isn’t determined by its presentation, this is the first (and sometimes only) chance you have to win over a customer. The graphic identity of your packaging must capture the buyer’s attention immediately.

2. Packaging Goes Hand in Hand With Your Brand Identity

penji sample

You know your packaging design is good when your brand identity is immediately clear to your customers. You know your packaging design is effective when those customers purchase your product.

  • It creates a clear impression of your product to new customers.
  • It reminds your customers about your brand and the products you offer.

Good packaging design is key to defining and shaping your brand identity. But to do this efficiently, you have to create a consistent impression that will result in the recognition of your brand and products.

If in doubt, ask yourself the following:

  • Does your package clearly display your company logo?
  • Does it make use of your company colors, fonts, and trademarks?
  • Does your packaging design elicit the right emotions?
  • Does it have an impact on new customers?
  • Does it rekindle an old memory from your loyal customers?

If you answered No to three of these questions, it’s time for a redesign.

Related Post: The 6 Most Important Assets For Your Brand Identity

3. Packaging is a Great Form of Communication

Not all packaging is designed the same, but there is one thing they must have in common. Your product’s packaging needs to be informative. Tell your users everything they need to know.

Here are a few customer questions that your packaging needs to answer: 

  • Who is the product for?
  • How is the product used?
  • Where can I learn more about the manufacturer and purchase companion products?
  • Does it have an expiration date?
  • Why do I need this product? How will it improve the quality of my life?

Put all the answers on the outside, so they learn all about you and your product before they even open the box.

4. Packaging Adds Value in Utility and Practical Applications

Up until this point, the benefits we’ve discussed focus on marketing. However, your packaging design also needs to be practical and functional. So, if it provides a useful, utilitarian function to the customer, it can be just as valuable as the product itself. 

During the production, sale, and delivery of your product to the end-user, your packaging provides three primary functions: 

Protection

Without a safe housing for your product, it is vulnerable to several environmental hazards. Proper packaging design protects your product until the customer opens it.

Storage

Before the product is sold, it exists as inventory. Packaging design takes this into account, ensuring your product can efficiently stack, store and ship.

Transportation

From where the product is sold, to where it is purchased, and to the home of the customer, your packaging is the vessel that sees your product from Point A to Point B. 

Now that you’ve learned why packaging is essential for your product, let’s take a look at how you can improve it. 

5. Pay Attention to Details

Don’t brush off the small details in your packaging. Carefully planned package design lets your customers know that you mean serious business. Details such as FDA information and sustainability can help you gain your customers’ trust and avoid getting recalled from the shelves.

According to the Paper and Packaging Board survey, switch to cardboard or paper if you want to have premium packaging since 63% of consumers perceive that. It would also influence them to buy more from the store or retailer.

Yorksaw finds that bold and bright colors are the trend in 2020. It’s a way for brands to stick out from the competition. Without these bold colors, some might fall behind.

6. Consider Its Appearance on the Shelves

Think about where your product will be sold and use this as a guide in designing your package. Consider things such as fonts that will make it legible from a distance, or colors that will make you stand out from the rest. 

Think about where your product will be sold and use this as a guide in designing your package. The following are some of the factors you need to consider:

Fonts

typeface

Fonts also hold weight in branding. Make sure that you use fonts that will look legible even when seen from a distance. Based on Nick Kolenda’s research, Serif fonts look better on print. We won’t go into technical details but think about Serif fonts as those presenting elegance. 

On the other hand, sans-serif ones are those that communicate informality. 

If your logo or typography doesn’t fall under any of those categories, you can use sans serif or serif for other information in your products. For example, think of the nutritional values or ingredients. So long as it’s the perfect pair for the font you typically use for your brand, it’s good to go.

Related Post: Business Fonts Guide: How to Choose the Best Typeface and Fonts for Your Business

Colors

colors

The use of the right colors and combinations can help your products stand out from the shelves. For this, you need to acquaint yourself with the color wheel. This is effective in knowing which color complements another. Say the color of your brand is orange, according to Apartment Therapy, you need to pair it with blue. If it’s red, go with green. So on and so forth.

Understanding colors also involve knowing what the psychology is behind them. Color psychology helps consumers see the brand personality that you want them to have of your brand. 

For example, if your brand has a bright color, which may suggest happiness, your product packaging should reflect that too. If it’s on the cool side, your custom packaging should also have the same messaging.

Related Post: Color Theory 101 for Entrepreneurs

7. Add Versatility

penji sample

Design your package in a way that it can be upgraded or adjusted in case you want to add variations to your products. Make it versatile enough that it can be modified with very little alterations.

To make your packaging versatile, INC wants you to start with your audience. Who’s your audience? Would they approve of cardboard or another eco-friendly option? How would you personalize your packaging? How would you make it user-friendly? 

As mentioned previously, you need to ensure that functionality is part of your packaging design. You help your customers learn more about you and what your brand represents.

8. Know Your Packaging Layers

packaging design example

To make the most out of creative packaging, try to consider layers and if using them can work well for your brand. For instance, can your products be offered in a bundle? If so, how can you make everything within that package look cohesive?

This is an example of a box that offers several items inside – a bottle, some coasters, and a book. All of them sport the same airforce blue, thus making them look like they belong together. This is a superb example for brands that may offer kits featuring some of their best products in one go. In the same vein, this also applies to mailing box design and subscription boxes.

Remember, you don’t have to slap the same sticker design on each component to force them to look unified. In fact, doing so can also result in a tacky-looking product bundle that doesn’t uplift your brand reputation. Instead of forcing uniformity, take the time to plan out the design of each bottle, jar, pouch, box, or tub. 

9. Take Note of Packaging Material

packaging design example

Creating a product packaging design also entails knowing your packaging materials well. First and foremost, you need to know if the material you chose can protect your product well, as mentioned above. 

But in addition to that, learning the basics about packaging material can also help you make an intelligent choice about the types of print or colors that go well with each. Also, knowing your material well can help you plan out the suppliers and costs for package printing.

For instance, this example uses a brown paper pouch with a delicate white design that makes the product look rustic and elegant.

However, take note that you’ll have to look for a printing supplier with white ink capabilities to achieve this design. As white ink services can charge a handsome fee, make sure that you have the budget to produce such a packaging design. As an alternative, you can ask your designer to change the design into a darker hue to save up on costs.

10. “KISS” – Keep it Simple and Smart

packaging design example

A unique design will surely spark interest and catch your audience’s attention. However, unique doesn’t necessarily mean bizarre. And in specific industries, it pays to keep it simple to preserve the air of expertise and foster consumers’ trust.

For instance, this label design for a sanitizer does an excellent job of making it look attractive without going overboard. The font and layout are essential, making the product look stable and trustworthy. Sure, a multi-colored design with prints might look catchy, but when it comes to a sanitizer, especially amid a pandemic, people will always reach for a brand that seems like it knows what it’s doing.

Going for a simple but smart design also works well for other products under the health and wellness category. Take a look at the most expensive face creams in the market, for instance. You’ll see that most of them sport a clean and sophisticated design. Unless you’re focused on the younger audiences, keep your designs minimalist without sacrificing your brand identity. 

11. Invest in Professional Work

Professional graphic designers know their craft and they can give you a package design that works. Don’t settle for less when it comes to your packaging as poorly designed ones can break you. Your packaging can create a good impression and can also create a bond that will keep your customers keep coming back for more. 

12. Request Packaging Designs from Penji 

Getting custom packaging designs is easy with Penji. Our expert graphic designers know just how to translate ideas into visuals. Our user-friendly platform will allow you to have the best designs in three easy steps. 

Create 

Log in to the Penji dashboard and click on the +New project button. The image below will show you what to expect, for first-time clients, this will be blank. 

penji platform

You’ll be redirected to the next page where you can type in the project title. Select the category Packaging from the drop-down menu. Click on the box of the package you want to have designed.  

Click on Next

penji platform

The description box will appear—type in your project details and instructions for the designer. You can send attachments such as files or links that the designer can use as references. You can also choose from our selection of royalty-free images. 

Click on Next

penji platform

Our Team and Agency plans let you request for custom illustrations. Select which file type you want your project to be done. The Associated brand is our feature where you can store your brand assets, such as logos, color palettes, and other guidelines. You only need to click on that folder the next time you request for a design that needs your brand assets in them. 

Click on Create project

penji platform

Your project is now in the queue. This will be worked on within 24 to 48 hours. You’ll receive email notifications about the progress of your project. This is also where you can communicate with your designer. 

penji platform

Review 

Review the first draft. You can click on the design to view it and leave revisions. Just direct the pointer to where you want the changes and type in your comments. Click Send. Your designer will work on it within 12 to 24 hours. 

penji platform

Download 

penji platform

When you’re satisfied with the work, you can now download it. Your package design will be directly downloaded to your computer. It’s yours to keep and use anywhere. Getting a high-quality packaging design has never been this easy! 

Penji Packaging Design Samples

If you find it difficult to plan for your package designs, let the experts do it for you. Penji’s team of professional designers have the experience and expertise in custom packaging designs. Here are a few of our previous work:

penji portfolio

Key Takeaways 

Packaging design goes beyond just colors and branding. There are many elements to consider to make your packaging special to your customers. Leave it to professionals to do it right the first time. 

If you’re looking to revamp your packaging or start your process in packaging your products, Penji is one click away. Use code “PACK25 for 25% off your first month! Know how we can integrate your branding into your packaging by trying our plans risk-free for 15 days. Watch our demo video here.

Updated April 29, 2021

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