Your go-to preparation guide for preparing your product packaging design
Read time: Seven minutes
Ready to create an unboxing experience that has them reaching for their phones (so, y’know, they can tell everyone they’ve ever met just how awesome your brand is)? You’re going to need branded packaging design.
And, yep, the “branded” part is the key element there. You’ll want your packaging to feel like an extension of your existing brand so that the moment your dream customer receives your product, they know it’s yours. It’s iconic. It’s memorable. It’s irresistible. And all the hard work you put in to creating a brand that evokes strong emotions from your target audience? Totally worth it. After all, 40% of consumers share product packaging photos on social media.
But before you rush to book in your packaging project with your designer, there are some things you should know if you want your packaging design to be a success.
Eight things your product packaging designer want you to consider
You really do need to keep it on brand.
There are really only two avenues to take with your product packaging: Boring AF or memorable AF. And, tough love, but anything other than deliciously on brand is going to slip into the boring AF category. ‘Cause if you roll out with generic product packaging for your one-of-a-kind product, it’s going to be a guilty-by-association situation, with “boredom” as the convicted felon.
Pro tip: Be mindful of your overall branding when you’re briefing your designer on your packaging design. Your product packaging should feel like it’s part of the same brand family.
Don’t be afraid to play with patterns and colours.
If your brand already has a set of patterns up its well-designed sleeve, this is the PERFECT place to use them. And if you haven’t given your designer free reign to experiment with patterns and colours yet … do it. Your product needs to stand out on the shelf, and colourful surface patterns and creative illustrations are the way to do it.
Curious about what goes into building brand patterns? Check out my blog “the basics of brand patterns” for the low-down.
You’ll need to create your own copy.
Even the most minimalistic product packaging design will need some copy. And while a marketing company might be able to duo your design and copy, it’s generally not something a packaging designer like me will specialise in. I’m a design-only girl. Which means you’ll need to BYO (properly proofread, persuasive and error-free) copy with you when we work together.
Pro tip: Invest your energy into making your packaging content (aka the words on your boxes/labels) interesting and appealing. This is your chance to make your customers smile and leave a memorable impression.
There are legal rules for product labels.
While we’re talking about your copy, bear in mind that there are rules for what you can – and can’t – say on your packaging, as well as what you legally need to have. If you’re in the food, beverages or cosmetics industries you’ll want to be especially mindful of this.
Pro tip: Do your own research to triple check what content you’ll need on your product labels. A good place to start is:
Create a complete unboxing experience.
If you’re ever tempted to buy a bunch of generic boxes, stuff your product in it, and call it a day … don’t. Seriously. Boring packaging and box design are perceived as unprofessional and untrustworthy (source). Which, as you can imagine, ain’t great for your whole take-over-the-world-with-your-awesome-product plans. Instead, consider including box design as part of your brand experience. It doesn’t have to be completely custom (more on that soon), but customising your box is an easy way to turn a forgettable part of your customer experience into one of the most fun.
Pro tip: Expand your brand experience – and encourage customer loyalty – with custom-branded labels, packing tape, padding, stamps and rewards vouchers.
Consider your printing costs before you design.
Picture this: You and your designer have worked hard to create a collection of product packaging designs that look ahh-mazing. Seriously, they’re going to blow your customers’ minds. Except … they’re also going to blow your budget. ‘Cause it turns out that it’s going to cost more to make the packaging, than it is to create the product inside. Cringe. Don’t let this horror story become your tale. Instead, make sure you quote out the printing costs before you commit to a design.
Pro tip: Instead of going full custom, consider suppliers with standard sized packaging and label options that you can customise. This is usually more cost effective and means you can get designs that make your customers – and your bank balance – swoon.
Embrace environmentally friendly packaging where possible.
If you’re an eco-friendly, organic or earth-conscious brand, you’ll want to make sure that your packaging aligns with your brand values and suits your product. And if you’re worried you’ll have to sacrifice style to save the planet – don’t be. There are a bunch of products on the market today that are both cute and environmentally friendly. You’re welcome.
Pro tip: If you get stuck, chat with your printer. They should be able to give you recommendations on the best eco-friendly options that suit your product.
Trust your designer.
So long as your existing branding is solid, your designer will know how to create product packaging that exudes personality and presence. They’ll also know how to create something that tickles the sweet spots of your dream customers and positions your product as the perfect choice.
And voila – you’re ready to create your dream product packaging design! Your next step? To find the perfect design partner. And I’ve got just the lady in mind. 😉