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.