Packaging design is sometimes so imaginative, that it’s nearing an art form. Check out these creative packaging solutions to find design inspiration for the next product that will help you market and make shoppers love it.
As far as good design goes, we rarely think of package design as something that defines the brand and sales of quality products. But, it seems that assumption is wrong—according to this study, 81% of people have tried something new because of packaging, and 63% have purchased a product again because the packaging was aesthetically pleasing.
Packaging design focuses on creating a beautiful, but also creative, engaging, or lately even self-sustainable wrapping or containers for a product. Packaging designers understand the brand and its visual identity, but also the audience and what it wants to get out of a product.
So what makes some packaging designs so special and captivating? Let’s explain it visually.
1. Milgrad Dairy Products Packaging
You know how kittens are always after milk in cartoons? This designer used that trope to create a cute, visually stunning and fun packaging design for milk and kefir cartons. The playful illustrations and the simplistic style create a visually captivating effect. And minimalism is still in style, so choosing only white, dark blue and minimal use of red for this packaging was a great choice.
Design by Vera Zvereva on Behance
2. Malabar Tea Collection
For tea lovers, intricate flowers and herbs on the packaging usually signal quality and taste. But giving them a sneak peek of what’s inside the packaging is even better. This product packaging marries both beautiful illustrations and a practical approach to seeing what the actual product is. The small window in the bag of tea lets the shopper see the contents, and the rest allows them to marvel at the beautifully illustrated flowers.
Design by Liza Burlutskaya on Behance
3. Nike Air
Nike has a firm and well-established brand identity, and that gives them the ability and freedom to experiment. That is why once they ditched the shoe box and paper bag, and they packaged some of their most iconic products, the Nike Air trainers, in a literal bag of air. It is a statement to the lightness and ergonomic design of the product, but also a genius marketing move.
Image credit: Dieline
4. Volume Jelly Cocktails
Remember those puddings that you can just remove the lid off and eat them for a real treat? This package design is a similar treat, but only for adults.
A portable jelly cocktail is a whole conceptual experience that deserves an equally unique packaging design. The custom packaging has a perfect cube shape, and the name is a simple nod to “alcohol by volume”, a measurement used in cocktail-making.
Design by Yura Park and Ching-Fa Lung on Behance
5. Spaghetti by the serving
If you’re like me, you probably cook enough pasta to feed a small village, even when you’re dining on your own. And, yeah, there’s plenty of measuring gadgets and tips for the right amount, but I’m still going to eye it and cook too much. The designer Neal Fletcher thought of a simple solution for people with the “never enough pasta” gene—a sectioned package with six compartments, one for each serving. Now, that’s something the packaging industry could use: usefulness and resourcefulness.
Image credit: Pinterest
6. BFrank wine bottles
Sharing a bottle of wine with someone usually makes things easier to say. But for extreme situations where surprises (and maybe bad news) are incoming, this wine has a label that has you covered. Its idea is to make you be frank, as the name suggests. The label has a sentence starting with “I’m only drinking with you because…”. You can fill in the blanks and tell your drinking buddy for the evening the news.
Image credit: The Most 10
7. Love & Wash
This innovative washing detergent package design has a strong resemblance to the “Fight Club” poster. The bold colors, bulky typography and cool photos of clean clothes embracing make this a creative packaging design, quite unusual for an industry that has a rather boring and typical aesthetic.
As a helpful tip, the clothes that are embracing are either white, dark or mixed, so it’s easy for the shopper to pick the product they need.
Design by Alexander Cherkasov on Behance
8. Festina Watches
Festina, a globally acclaimed company that makes durable and elegant watches, produced a line of diver watches “engineered for water” called Profudno. They believed in their own product and tried to accentuate the key value proposition so much that they packed the same watches in a water pouch. It is a marketing chess-mate move: they induce a surprise reaction in shoppers, but also prove that their product is really what it says it is—waterproof.
Image credit: A Blog to Watch
9. Finca de la Rica
Finca de la Rica is a winery that produced a line of wines inspired by the concept of leisure. They want the consumer to take some time, relax, reflect and marvel at the simple things, from a glass of good wine to a refreshing walk in a forest.
The wine bottles have a fun game on the label consumers can solve: “El Buscador” (the seeker) has a word search puzzle; “El Guía” (the guide) connect-the-dots; and “El Nómada” (the nomad) has a labyrinth.
Image credits: Dieline
10. Charm Villa Tea
This brand created charming little fish swimming in your cup of hot tea. As you pour in the boiling water, and the herbs and flowers start to expand, you will see a cute little fish forming. It is just an extra something in the already enjoyable experience of sipping delicious tea.
11. Hanger Pak
Sustainability and waste are huge issues this planet is coping with at the moment. So packaging supplies that could be reused and upcycled are more than welcome. That was the idea behind Hanger Pak, a concept by graphic design student Steve Haslip. Haslip reimagined a t-shirt packaging that can easily be turned into a hanger by simple origami principles.
Source: Packaging of the world
12. Help Remedies
Help Remedies is a pharmaceutical company that revolutionized the way pills are packaged. The packaging itself answers a simple question: “What’s wrong?” If you have a headache, allergy, cut, insomnia, you’ll find a suitable cure in a color-coded, simple package. It’s another example of great packaging created with the consumer in mind.
Apart from that, they used bioplastic made of corn and molded paper pulp, materials that are compostable.
Image source: Lovely Package
13. NYC Spaghetti
What started as a university project for graphic designer Alex Creamer, turned out to be an iconic packaging idea. This project is dating from 2011, and the task was to explore different ways of packaging. But the designer had a different production process in mind.
“Rather than build a facade or pack around the spaghetti, I decided to make the product itself the focus”, says the designer.
The fruition of this was the NYC Spaghetti, a series of skyscrapers made out of the Italian pasta staple. The first and most popular one by Creamer was the model of the Chrysler building, created by pushing a statue created by artist Ben Thorpe into the spaghetti creating a similar impression on top.
14. Juicepeel by Naoto Fukusawa
Never has a juice box looked more real and natural, than the juice boxes created by Japanese artist and industrial designer Naoto Fukusawa. This is not a real product, but a reimagination of the Tetra Pak juice boxes and a way to market products without the need for labels, explanations and taglines. It was first introduced to the public audience at the Haptic Exhibition in 2004. Fukusawa reinvented not only the shape of the rectangular Tetra boxes we all know but also the texture, making the boxes look like the literal skin of the fruits made to create the juice.
Apart from those featured in the photo below, Fukusawa also created soy, green apple and peach juice boxes.
15. Bōnmot Ice Cream
This Mexican healthy and organic ice cream company wanted to rebrand and make itself look friendly and accessible. So instead of adding an illustration of a friendly character on the packaging, they invented one for each flavor “inspired by childhood memories, the sensations that they evoke when you try them, as well as pop culture”.
The packaging has a bright and fun color palette, and heavy but cartoonish typeface, making it fun and colorful for all generations of ice cream lovers.
Design by Tandem - on Behance
Hopefully, this list inspired you to think of a good packaging idea for yourself, or maybe even find a starting point to hunt for packaging companies. Some of our examples are trending, whereas others are from the early 2000s, but still as relevant and creative as ever. For more inspiration, check out this list of packaging designers for hire, or scroll through the ManyPixels blog for other helpful design-inspired content.