The perfect packaging designer understands your brand and has the design skills and style to match your product. Today, we’re presenting 15 great freelance packaging designers and helping you grasp what effective package design is all about.
We’ve all picked up a product in a store just because it looked cool (for me it was an early 2000s holiday in Greece and this Fanta can). West Rock’s 2018 white paper suggests that 81% of people have tried something new because of packaging, and 63% have purchased a product again because the packaging was aesthetically pleasing.
In the second part of this text, we’ll talk about some general principles of effective product packaging.
15 Great packaging designers you can work with
If you know what you’re looking for, we’ll help you find the perfect packaging designer. We’ve turned to platforms like Upwork, Dieline, Dribbble, and Behance and created a list of 15 freelancers that can help you with your next packaging project!
1. Alex Spenser
Speaking of colorful cans, check out the incredible design skills of this freelancer. The color combinations are simply magical and the clever use of white space helps keep the designs crisp and modern. A pro in Adobe Creative Suite, this designer can take on pretty much any task: from custom typography to photoshop, whatever you can think of this designer can probably do it!
This designer makes wonderful use of typography and his packaging concepts often include beautiful pastel tones. If you’re looking for crisp, modern package designs, we highly recommend this portfolio as a source of inspiration. He’d make a great freelancer hire for anyone looking to create simple packaging designs with a strikingly beautiful simplicity.
This package designer has a professional portfolio characterized by a more corporate style, so it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a sharp new look for your brand. Her portfolio also includes some more playful work with elegant illustrations, however, it’s always on the more classic side.
4. Astro Wong
Not exactly sure what you want? Then have a look at this eclectic portfolio: from very clean, minimalist designs to bold, colorful, and loud—you’ll find some incredible packaging concepts to inspire you.
If you love all things vintage, you will appreciate the nostalgic packaging materials found on this designer’s portfolio. Vintage typography, quirky character logos, and retro product packaging design are all elements of past design projects.
6. Kenny Coil
This experienced designer is also the creative director at Break Maiden, a creative studio in Florida. His design style is very modern, and packaging projects are characterized by great use of contrasts: simplicity with bold colors and sleek fonts.
This is another designer with years of experience, currently running Uniful Design Studio. Her personal design portfolio includes some versatile packaging projects: from retro labels to sharp and professional consumer goods packaging.
This graphic designer specializes in print designs, like business cards and t-shirts. Her packaging work is characterized by simplicity and color minimalism.
This senior designer holds a bachelor’s degree from Ecole Superieure d’Art de Nancy, France. Her rich portfolio includes logo design, packaging, and various print designs. If you are looking for classic and professional packaging concepts, her portfolio can be a great source of inspiration.
10. Ognjen R.
This branding specialist has a minimalist style that can deliver a powerful impact. He specializes in branding and package design. If you’re thinking about modernizing your brand identity, these simple designs might provide some useful inspiration.
11. Flavia Santos
This senior designer has 20+ years of experience and is also the art director of Designerie. If you’re looking for an extensive branding service which includes designing marketing materials, social media content as well as product design, it’s not a bad idea to work with a freelancer who’s got many years of experience in the industry.
Do you want your packaging materials to really stand out? Then take a look at these bold and futuristic packaging designs and snazzy mockups. This designer is another art director at Creative Minds agency and has 12 years of experience in graphic design, as well as related fields like photography and web design.
Another senior designer whose portfolio is characterized by romantic and colorful packaging designs. A similar type of design with gorgeous typography and intricate product mockups can be a real show-stopper at your marketing team’s next meeting. Whether you have a luxurious, high-end product or just want to knock the regular competition out of the park with some gorgeous packaging, this freelancer might be able to help.
14. Idris Nuhu
This New York-based graphic designer has an awesome and playful portfolio of packaging projects for various consumer goods. If you’re looking for something that’s authentic but also complements more conventional industrial designers’ work, then you will love his work. The use of color in designs is quite striking, as the colors are bold but not overpowering.
15. Mark H.
Another vetted professional with 20+ years of experience in freelance graphic design, Mark has an impressive range of past packaging projects. If you’re after product packaging that will appeal to a great number of people, then you need a freelancer like this, with versatile design skills and a firm grasp on different package design styles.
What makes a good package design?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by so many great, but different examples of packaging concepts and dread having to put your rough idea into a cohesive freelancer job description - don’t fret!
While there is no formula on what will make the perfect product packaging design (it depends on the product of course), there are few principles of good design that you should consider when presented with a packaging concept.
If you’re excited about your consumer goods (as you should be), you might be tempted to put excessive information on the packaging: your brand’s origin story, information about the production process, an elaborate copy provided by your marketing team.
The result could be a busy, confusing packaging concept that people will avoid. Simplicity is a crucial element of effective package design. Sometimes, all you need is your brand’s name on a simple one-color background (if it worked for Coca-Cola ti might for you too!)
The packaging designers showcased earlier have some very different approaches: from design industry standards to bold and authentic product packaging that catches the eye. Simply put, neither of these approaches is superior; you can choose whichever fits your brand identity better.
That being said, there’s a stark difference between conventional and plagiarised. Research into market competitors is a critical part of the design process, but make sure that your package designer of choice is bringing something new and fresh to the picture.
Consumer goods of a wider use usually have the toughest competition to beat: walk into any supermarket, and you’ll notice that each product can be found in several brands.
Not only does your product packaging need to be different, but it also needs to stand out. Think of it this way: if all your competitors are using bright colors and big, bold typography, will your elegant white packaging even have a chance to get noticed?
Shelf impact also refers to the fact that your product rarely (or never) stands alone on a shelf. Effective package design means that as a group of products, your packaging materials will still get noticed.
Bold fonts and bright colors are, of course, not the only design elements here. This is why you need a skilled package designer who can use design elements like color, typography, layout, contrast, and even different packaging materials to create something that people notice.
No matter how beautiful, original, or striking your design is—if it doesn’t relate to what’s beyond that label or package, it will fail to generate loyal customers in the long term.
Perhaps ironically, this is even more important in e-commerce. If something looks like a bar of soap and is actually chocolate, people might be more reluctant to buy it online (in a supermarket, at least they will have found it in the food aisle).
Of course, it’s the packaging designer’s job to make your product look as good as possible. But if they try to pitch a design concept that’s totally different from reality, you need to intervene.
As designers, marketers, and company owners, we all have a responsibility to the customer (after all, we’re also someone’s customers). Use package design to lure customers in and then communicate clearly what they should expect.
Holler at us for all your packaging needs!
We love celebrating talented freelancers and hope that our short list gives you some excellent candidates to consider for your next packaging designer job ad.
However, if none of their portfolios caught your eye, or you might be looking for a more cost-effective solution, ManyPixels is always here to help.