13 November 2014

6 Rules for Designing Successful Packaging

When designing packaging you want to not only create a fantastic product, but also create something unique to display your item in.

There are hundreds of things you could do to create fantastic custom packaging, but we’ve identified six essential rules when it comes to packaging design success.

1. Research


Before designing your packing it’s important to do some research around the subject. Carry out some market and competitor research so you can find out what appeals to your audience, as well as finding out what has worked for other packaging designers and what hasn’t.

When conducting your research you should think about:

  • Age range – a product’s packaging for women aged 18-25 is going to have a different look and feel to packaging designed for men aged 55+
  • Gender - will your buyers be predominantly male or female?
  • Audience interests - what sort of lifestyle does your target market have?

And when you’re looking at your competitors, consider:

  • Design elements – how does their packaging’s design elements make them stand out?
  • Materials – are your competitors successful because they use high quality materials? Are they using sustainable materials?
  • Less successful competition – consider what makes them unsuccessful and elements to avoid.

2. Ensure Your Message Is Communicated Correctly


It’s possible when designing your packaging to get carried away with design features and forget about your product’s message.

Today’s consumers are overwhelmed with choice and are incredibly time poor. That’s why it’s crucial for customers to be able to pick up your product and immediately know what it is for and who the brand is. The average customer will spend around 4 seconds judging a product on a shelf before they either commit to purchase or chose another brand.

Make sure you know what it is you are trying to say, and what you want to communicate to your audience. Your packaging must contain your brand name, a picture, a clear window for consumers to see your product or a specific description of your good in legible typography.

3. Maintain Focus

Although you want to make something one of a kind and creative you also want to keep your focus on what you are designing. Plastering your product with key words and messages explaining why your product is better than everyone else’s designs might seem like a good idea, but remember no one will be interested in a heavily branded product. Work out what you want the key messages to say and display these on your packaging.

4. Make Your Product Stand Out


Something that you want to do with your packaging design is ensure it stands out from other products, some of the greatest packaging designs have had some brilliant creative ideas behind them. Create something bespoke and visually appealing that will get your audience talking about it. You want your packaging design to stand out from other products you need to give it something different from other similar products, as well as being creative with your design.

5. Keep Your Packaging Practical


When designing packaging, practicality can often be overlooked. If you’re designing something like a bottle, cup, or box, keep in mind how the product is intended to be used and stored, and if possible it’s worth investigating how you could improve the functionality of the packaging from previous designs or your competitors.

6. Test Multiple Designs

You might find that some things work for your packaging designs, and other designs aren’t as successful. When an idea doesn’t work out, evaluate why it wasn’t a success? What did your test group not like about it? At this stage you should go back to your market research and take on board their comments and feedback.

Packaging design has become a huge industry where designers and brands have the chance to deliver product originality. There are several things designers can do to create original bespoke packaging, but sticking to these key, six rules will help you to create unique packaging that will speak to the audience, and persuade them to make a purchase.

If you need help with designing custom packaging or sourcing the right materials and manufactures for your bespoke packaging project, get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.

22 October 2014

Bespoke Packaging For Thom Yorke's New Vinyl Album

As big fans of Radiohead and Thom Yorke’s solo music, we were super excited to work on the packaging for Thom’s forthcoming release “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes”. And we’re really impressed with the final product.

Project Packaging had specific input for the static bag outer packaging, which was produced for the latest album. The static bag contained 180g 12" white vinyl in printed sleeves & download card.

The custom bags are printed with a metallic silver laminate then printed again using a multi-tone black and a contrasting neon green. The whole product is enclosed in a bespoke anti-static shield bag - a metallised laminated material used specifically by the electronics industry for protecting components from electrostatic interference. The bag is printed with neon green on both sides, and has a resalable grip closure.

If you’re interested in putting together some bespoke packaging for your next release, please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your ideas.


23 September 2014

4 Reasons Why Custom Packaging is Important for Marketing

First impressions are everything. You wouldn’t go to a job interview looking scruffy, so why wouldn’t you want your product to look its best?

The quality and performance of your goods are important too, but it’s the appearance of your packaging that grabs the attention of the consumer.

What’s more, if you’re launching your product, what better way to poach customers from your competitors than packaging your product in something truly unique? Don’t just take our word for it. According to a MVW Packaging Matters Survey of consumers:

“64% have tried something new because the packaging caught their eye on the retail shelf”

So whether you’re launching a new product or thinking of a re-brand, custom packaging can have a huge impact upon the success of your business.

Here are four reasons why custom packaging is important for the marketing of your product.

Reason 1: We're drawn to what looks good

By design, humans are drawn to what looks good. As we hurriedly pace the supermarket aisles, a product only has a two second window to grab our attention. That’s why your product needs to stand out on the shelves.

But many brands are put off creating stylish packaging for their product because they think it’s too expensive. However, as previously mentioned, consumers have been known to choose a different, more expensive brand because the packaging caught there eye. Therefore extra budget for packaging will be more than made up for with extra sales.

Think of custom packaging as an investment: If you can create a stylish, unique package that balances design, form and function you’ll be stopping more shoppers in their tracks.

Reason 2: Brand association and customer loyalty

What do you do when you’re confronted with shelves stacked with baked beans? You look for a brand that you recognise.

Good branding equates to good design and your product’s packaging needs to maintain a strong sense of brand identity if you want to start building a loyal fan base of consumers who scan the shelves for your awesome product.

Reason 3: Practicality and durability create positive customer experiences

Consumers are busy people. For this reason, your packaging should enable customers to grab your product and go. Clear and concise labelling should also quickly convey the key information about your product to ease the purchase making decision.

Whilst the practicality of handling your product is a great concern, packaging satisfaction shouldn’t end at the store. Packaging should withstand durability for as long as the product is in use. This is particularly important for food products. For example, if a cereal box deteriorates throughout usage, this will create a bad customer experience and it’s unlikely they’ll buy your product again.

The important message is that your brand needs to see beyond in-store shelf appeal and look at longevity, protection, storage, dispensing and ultimately (ethical) disposal.

Reason 4: Product differentiation

Packaging ultimately functions as self-serving marketing; with labels commonly display key benefits of your product. However, the most successful brands apply elements of graphic design and communication to the label to make their product benefits sound more appealing than a competitor.

Product differentiation is essential for a brand looking to break into the market. So if you can label your product with style, honesty and unique benefits, you’ll be making an impact. Try to establish why your product differs in terms of taste, health benefits, allergy suitability or even ethical sourcing – these are all core concerns for today’s consumer.

Bespoke packaging shouldn’t be a question of if you can afford it. Your product needs to look stylish if you want to make sales. Get in touch with a member of our team if you have a packaging idea you want to discuss.

19 August 2014

8 Awesome CD Vinyl Box Set Packaging Designs

They said vinyl was dead and that iTunes will eventually kill off CDs. But it seems that musicians are still able to captivate fans with the release of CD Vinyl box sets.

Box sets offer fans what MP3 and digital downloads cannot: physical and collectible memorabilia. So are creatively packaged box sets the best way to fight file sharing and illegal downloads? Perhaps – but it certainly seems that the more imaginative a box set’s packaging is, the more desirable it becomes.

Here at Project Packaging, we've helped many artists to produce mad and inspiring specialist packaging for their box set releases. So we decided to bring you our pick of the eight most creative and maddest CD Vinyl box sets ever released!

AC/DC: Back tracks Collector’s Amplifier Box Set

Famed for having some of the best box sets in music history, AC/DC did not disappoint with the Backtracks release in 2009.
Limited to 50,000 pieces, what better way could you package AC/DCs head-banging career than in a fully-functioning guitar amp!?

The box set is overflowing with musical rarities across three CDs, two DVDs, one LP and a 164-page hardcover book as well as memorabilia from the band’s early touring days.

Jane’s Addiction: Cabinet of Curiosities

Jane’s Addiction’s Cabinet of Curiosities box set suitably encapsulates the band’s bizarre style and eccentricity.

The box set resembles an old-timey wooden cabinet of curiosities. The cover is made of two paper overboard doors that can be unlocked and opened to reveal replicas of flyers, pictures and band imagery.

The collection includes three discs of demos, rehearsals, remixes, covers, and lives recordings from the group's initial lifespan of 1986–1991, and one DVD featuring the movie Soul Kiss, the band's music videos, and concert footage.

The Misfits Box Set

This rare 4-disc mini-coffin shaped box set has to be the most appropriate design for a release that contains almost every single output by the vanguards of Horror Punk.

Created using wood effect paper over board, the box itself is lined with contrasting red velvet and contains a special edition “Fiend Club” enamel badge, a 28-page booklet with lyrics to all the tracks, rare artwork and memorabilia, unpublished photos and a complete discography. The first issue of this box set is now very hard to come by.

Spinal Tap: Back From The Dead

The third “genuine” release from the heroes of comedy rock was the Back From the Dead box set, which encourages serious interaction from fans. The internal packaging can be unfolded to form a diorama of Spinal Tap performing on stage to hordes of adoring fans flashing the devil horns.

The box set includes a CD with re-recorded versions of songs featured in the film “This is Spinal Tap” and its soundtrack album, as well as a DVD featuring commentary for each of the tracks.

The Complete Motown #1’s Box Set

Image source: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Complete-Motown-No-1s/dp/B001H5HWSK

This collection of 192 number one songs across 5 digipacks slots perfectly inside a replica of Motown’s Detroit headquarters.

The building style covering lid complete with roof slides off to reveal the 5 CDs. What better way to evoke the roots of Motown than to recreate where it all began in packaging form.

This collection was released in 2008 as part of the group’s 50th anniversary. It’s extremely rare and includes a 100 page collectible full colour booklet listing every single song, including unreleased material.

The Clash: Sound System

image source: http://www.clearsoundandvision.com/projects/the-clash-sound-system-box-set

The ghetto blaster style of this cardboard box set for The Clash’s Sound System release is just as iconic as the band themselves.

The lid utilises a folded hinge with the internal elements fitting together neatly like a jigsaw puzzle.

The box set contained a mammoth 11 CDs in case bound books, 1 DVD in a case bound book, service manula book, badges, dog tags, sticker sets, paperback notebook, Armagideon Times x 3 and a poster in a cigarette style tube. There’s enough there to send any die-hard Clash fan into a frenzy!

Grateful Dead: ’72 The Complete Recordings Box Set

This collection, released in 2011 consisted of 73 CDs encased in a replica steam trunk box, beautifully illustrated with world maps. The initial release of 3000 copies of the full 7200 limited edition set could be personalised with the name of the buyer.

All 7200 sets were sold out within several hours so the band had to release additional copies but these were not be encased in the steam trunk packaging. The original releases included an illustrated hardcover book and bonus materials – a fitting collectible for any true dead head.

The Pixies: Minotaur Box Set

Image source: http://pitchfork.com/news/35613-pixies-minotaur-box-set-revealed/

The Pixies hefty sized Minotaur box set earned them a Grammy nomination for best box set design in 2011.

The limited edition version stands at 2 feet tall and weighs 25 pounds, complete with limited edition (somewhat controversial) artwork from Vaughan Oliver (the man behind all of the pixies artwork). The box itself looks like a piece of original art that should stand in a gallery.

Only 3000 copies were released and these were available as either a deluxe edition or a deluxe edition plus. The Deluxe Edition Plus contained:

  • Come on Pilgrim (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990), and Trompe le Monde (1991) on 24k gold-plated CDs
  • Come on Pilgrim (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990), and Trompe le Monde (1991) on DVD/Blu-Ray discs, mastered for 5.1 surround sound
  • DVD/Blu-Ray of a previously unreleased 1991 performance at Brixton Academy in London
  • DVD/Blu-Ray of every Pixies video
  • 54-page art book

All copies were signed by the band and both editions were housed in a “custom clamshell” container that some said resembled the Monolith from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

If you’re looking to produce a creative packaging design for your next CD, DVD box set release, feel free to get in touch to discuss your ideas.


29 July 2014

Bespoke Packaging for Pembrokeshire County Council

Pembrokeshire County Council wanted to create custom packaging to hold a condom to give away at events to promote safe sex.

We worked with them to create a package from folding box board (FBB) which can come in various weights depending on the product. We printed these packs using 4/0 CMYK (where four CMYK ink colours are printed on one side of the box without ink on the other side) and finished them off with a matt U/V varnish.

Project Packaging can manufacture folding box board products from 8 working days from approval of artwork and CAD sample (plain white mock up)

If you’re looking to realise a custom packaging created from folding box board or require a custom packaging solution, why not get in touch with us today to discuss your ideas.

04 July 2014

10 Iconic Examples of British Packaging Designs

Packaging has the power to make or break a product. And it's a well-known fact that consumers will judge a product by it's packaging.

Both power house brands and start-ups know that they need to dress their item in something special in order to sell, but the packaging (not just the product) can make a lasting impression on culture, and find its way into the consumer's heart.

Maybe it's something you opened at Christmas when you were twelve and played with for well over a month, ot maybe it's a jar you've opened every morning for as long as you can remember. Here are ten examples of iconic packaging designs from brands that have stood the test of time.

1. OXO Cubes

Although no longer packaged in the classic tin box design, you'll still find a box of OXO cubes in almost every kitchen cupboard in Britain. And inside that little box, wrapped in silver foil is as flavour that unifies Sunday roasts up and down the UK. And we all tried to eat it raw at some point in our lives.


2. Action Man box

Which one did you have?

Everyone remembers their first action man, the British counterpart to G.I. Joe in the USA. Compelling artwork was a staple in toy packaging before blister packs came about. Packaging design like this fuels the imagination and brings the toy inside to life right out of the box.


3. Sex Pistols album sleeve

Their fashion was garish, their lyrics were provocative and their album sleeve design was just as brash.

The collage and fluorescent styling of The Sex Pistol’s ubiquitous “God Save the Queen” and “Never Mind the Bollocks” albums are perhaps two of the most iconic images from the punk movement. You can still see the designs pasted all around Camden market, on t-shirts, and mimicked on the majority of punk rock compilation CDs.


Image / Image

4. Marmite jars

Whether you love it or hate it, you’d definitely recognise it in an instant. The fundamentally ugly black and yellow packaging is so distinctive that you can almost taste the contents, which is sometimes unfortunate. Many other brands such as Innocent (smoothies), Walkers, and even Vaseline, have teamed up with marmite to make collaborative products, with packaging that is just as striking as the original.


5. Airfix boxes

Airfix have been producing scale model kits since 1952, and are still going strong today. Walking into a shop that stocks Airfix is like walking into an art gallery. Many artists have produced box art for Airfix throughout the years, and British artist Roy Cross has produced arguably the most distinctive packaging of all time; as vivid in the minds of modellers as they were all those years ago, the nostalgia can be overwhelming.



6. Guinness bottle

The most iconic beer of Britain; recognised internationally (along with the annual excuse for everyone to drink lots of it) as Ireland’s gift to mankind. The Guinness bottle is an indisputable contender and hasn’t changed much since the first label was printed.



7. The Quality Street tin

Merry Christmas! This one is from Aunt Denise and it’s the only octagonal present under the tree. How long do the Quality Street chocolates last in your house?



8. HP Sauce labels

Proudly sporting the image of Big Ben and the words ‘The Original’ on the label,the instantly recognisable red, white and blue colour palette is a subtle homage to the union jack.

HP Sauce’s packaging is a symbol of Britain and a national favourite flavour.


9. Tea tins

We can’t choose just one tea tin. They’re all great, from the picturesque landscapes of Yorkshire to the modern design of PG Tips, and countless novelty tins in the shapes of London buses and telephone boxes. Put the kettle on and admire this beauty.


10. Paul Smith shopping bag

Paul Smith’s definitive stripes were originally made up of 28 different colours, which have now been downsized to just 14.

Although somewhat hypnotic (and perhaps not to everyone’s taste) the stripes have been featured on shirts, saddles, ski’s and many other objects that sadly don’t begin with the letter “s”.


If you’re looking to create bespoke packaging to rival the likes of these iconic styles, get in touch – we love discussing new ideas and concepts!

11 June 2014

Custom Packaging for Park Village Ltd: Gold Lacquered Stock Tins

These stock tins where manufactured for a London based production company who wanted to produce a low run of tins, but at a cost effective price.

Park Village Ltd originally wanted the tins to be embossed or printed, but as we had a short amount of time to deliver the tins we came up with a solution for the tins to have a 1 colour clear sticker to be applied to the lid, which works very well as an alternative solution.

Our minimum order for stock tins is 50 x units. The stock tins can be embossed and / or printed to the lid area only. If you would like the tins printed on a larger area (i.e. body of tin) we can look into a bespoke tin which has a minimum of 3000+  units, and a 12 - 14 week lead time.

If you’re looking to realise a similar project or require a custom packaging solution, why not get in touch with us today to discuss your ideas.


28 May 2014

Project Packaging Stationary

At Project Packaging we have had a complete rebrand , and with this we had to come up with a new design for our business cards, comp slips, address labels and packaging tape. We thought the best way to show clients / customers our capabilities would be to have a well designed business card, as this is the first thing people will see of the Project Packaging brand.

Our business cards are printed on 540gsm Colourplan material, which has been duplexed so you can create a debossing effect. To finish the business cards off we have had the edges of the business cards printed 1 colour which is also known as gilt edging.

06 May 2014


We were asked to manufacture the merchandise for the Darren Hayes tour (formally Savage Garden). There were quite a few elements involved including tote bags, key rings, mugs, t-shirts, notepads and the official tour programme.

Each element was coordinated and managed throughout, so that all elements were delivered on time for when the tour began.

Get in contact for all your merchandise enquiries!

29 April 2014

CAD Samples

Here at Project Packaging HQ we like to make sure that we are 100% certain that we understand our customers requirements before we go into production, this is why we produce CAD samples / prototypes for every project, this can range from rigid boxes to wooden products.

Although the CAD samples that we produce are not printed, you can check that the size and materials that will be used for the main production run are exactly what you require them to be. These samples are in place as a quality control check to make sure everything is finalised and signed off before production can begin.

The CAD samples are essential for a project to make sure the customer knows exactly what the finished product will look like. It is of the utmost importance to us that you are happy with the finished product.

23 April 2014

Shu uemura Wooden Box

This great looking wooden box was created for Shu uemura to hold various cosmetics.

The box was created with a hinged lid and was engraved to the inside and outside of the lid. To make sure the lid stayed closed we added a magnet to the lid and base. The box required a fitment to hold the products inside, and is removable so the box can be used as storage also. The box was created from cedar wood which gives a great rustic feel to the box

15 April 2014
Radiohead King of Limbs Deluxe DVD and Blu-ray book
Radiohead King of Limbs Deluxe DVD and Blu-ray book

TKOL - The King Of Limbs

This DVD size casebound book was designed by Stanley Donwood on behalf of Radiohead. We created 2 x versions to hold a DVD or Blu-ray disc. 

This bespoke book was debossed and screen printed 1 colour onto exposed grey board, and finshed with a black cloth that was hot foiled to the spine. The book consists of a 32pp uncoated booklet printed 4/4, with 2 x plastic studs to the inside front and back cover to hold the discs. We also supplied a bespoke printed mailer which was packed into a jiffy bag ready to be shipped.

11 April 2014

flash ON nails box

We were asked by flash ON nails to come up with an idea for a box to hold 10 nail designs that would be displayed in Topshop, Oxford Street for a pop up shop.

The boxes were printed using 4 colour process with a high gloss U/V varnish to give the boxes a vibrant feel. We suggested the best way to display, and show off the great nail designs was to have an acetate window on the front of the box, which also helped protect the nails inside. The boxes were finished off with a euro hook built into the design of the box which are a good cost effective solution for retail display 

07 April 2014

Brochure Printing

We were asked by the MMF to print a brochure for the artists and managers awards which was held at the Troxy, London.

The 44pp brochure was digitally printed on an uncoated stock, and finshed off with a spot gloss U/V varnish to the front and back cover. We also printed the menus and posters for the evening.

18 March 2014
project packaging bespoke tailored packaging

New website and complete rebrand

We’ve recently rebranded… everything.

The website has had a complete overhaul, as has the logo and over all branding.

We’re proud to have worked on some fabulous projects here at PP over the last couple of years, so decided our image really should reflect that.

To celebrate this new look and to show off our capabilities further, we’ve started working on a posh new promotional package to send to all of our prospective clients. This will showcase a selection of paper stocks and finishes. More on that to follow…

11 March 2014
southbank centre membership pack bespoke packaging

Southbank Centre Membership Pack

The Southbank Centre asked us to produce a rigid box to house their membership card and associated documents. In this instance the client had a good idea of what they wanted product wise, it was just up to us to fulfil that idea and deliver it on time… which we did.