When you’re designing packaging, you know it needs to do more than simply hold a product. It needs to connect with consumers (maybe even enticing them to buy), give important information, and probably even meet legal requirements… and that’s just the start! We’ve laid out these seven savvy packaging design tips and tricks to help make sure your packaging is up to par–and then some!
1. Make it on-brand.
Your packaging is actually a piece of marketing material. It contributes to your brand’s story, and tells those who interact with it who you are. So be sure your packaging is in line with the rest of your brand’s image by consistently using the same elements. To do this, think of characteristics that consumers should recognize to be part of your brand, like:
- Colour: What colours have you used for you logo, website, brochures, business cards, etc? Try to use this consistent colour palette for the packaging.
- Logo: Your logo should be present, and it should look like your logo everywhere else.
- Font: Have you selected a specific font for your brand? If not, what is the font you’ve chosen for your website? This should be consistent on everything you put out, including your product packaging.
2. Tailor packaging to your target market.
You probably carefully designed your product to be tailored to a specific target market, and you should do the same with your packaging. It should be made with the consumers’ tastes, needs, and preferences in mind.
3. Make it eye-catching.
You want your product to stand out from the pack. Even if there are no products similar to yours on the market (lucky!), you want yours to catch the eye and grab attention. It doesn’t matter that your product is the best–folks won’t know if they don’t really even see it. It should stand out from other products on the shelf, even once the consumer has it home–folks will be more likely to use your product and talk about it and recommend it to others if it doesn’t blend into the background.
4. Make packaging attractive.
Standing out is good, but standing out while looking sharp is even better. You want packaging that’s photogenic. This is good for Internet and catalog sales, sure. It’s even better for the press though. You want to get publicity for your product, and getting some buzz on social media, blogs, and maybe even in magazines could really help, and getting this press is much easier if your product looks good in pictures. Editors may pass on giving your product a writeup or public praise if they can’t publish a good-looking corresponding picture, and you don’t want that! The right placement could send your sales soaring.
5. Include instructions.
If people will need a bit of help to use your product safely or properly or for the best results, it should be on your packaging. Even if you have thorough details inside, give some kind of basic how-to on the exterior packaging. And make the product seem as easy to use or put together as possible–people love easy, and this could drive some sales.
6. Check legal requirements.
You have to tell people what’s in the package, and the kind of information you give varies by product type. Depending on what the item is, the information on the packaging–and how it is worded and formatted–may be mandated by law. Check into this stuff before you finish your package design to be sure you have all key information included in the proper way for the market you will be selling your product in. Not looking into this in advance could lead to costly reprints, fines, or lawsuits.
7. Protect the product.
Your packaging shouldn’t just hold the product, it should protect it too. When someone buys what you’re selling, they want it in a useable condition, and it’s unacceptable if the product is damaged due to poor packaging design. Your product should be protected and safe with normal handling and transportation, but it should be able to hopefully withstand some rougher treatment too. Design a package that is sturdy and well-constructed, or start saving up to issue a lot of refunds. But don’t go overboard–if your packaging is gratuitous, you may lose points with some customers for not being environmentally-conscious.
Hopefully these packaging design tips and tricks can get your product off to a smart start! But these aren’t the be-all-end-all, by any means. Working with professionals to do everything right and pull it all together can be a big help too–graphic artists, copywriters, and printers that deliver high quality can make a gigantic difference. And speaking of printers, Newprint will be offering a wide range of packaging products soon–check back with us in about a month to check out our new products! Share any packaging design tips and tricks we missed in the comments!