The Ultimate Guide to Good Packaging Design

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Ultimate Guide To Product Packaging Design
Print design

#Packaging design

Good Packaging Design: Dos and Don'ts of Packaging Graphics

Print design
December 29, 2021
6 minutes


Learn the most essential rules in creating packaging design, some tricks to help you make it noticeable and what to avoid in order to make it easy to produce.

Visually appealing design is something that can encourage a potential customer to make a purchase decision in your favor. In many cases, a successful packaging design is what will make people choose your product among all the rest.

Yes, brand packaging has multiple functions, but we will focus on graphics today.

Designing suitable packaging for some products can be a challenging process. It would help if you met all the targeted criteria so the packaging would be eye-catching, represent the brand’s colors and follow the story behind the product.

Meaning you must find the right balance between these aspects and do the fine-tuning until you create an attention-grabbing design that serves its primary function.

The do’s

Here are some design tips that you should keep an eye on to be able to create the right kind of package for your brand.

Less is more

Be creative, so your product will stand out in the crowd of similar products. However, don’t try too hard, or you will end up with packaging that is so different from the competition that your consumers won’t be able to tell what kind of product you offer.

Screenshot (100).png By Claire Thompson

The point is to create a bold and eye-catching packaging design that will still resemble your competition’s package, yet scream, “pick me; I’m better.” You will achieve this by combining great design, bold colors, and transparent labels with pieces of information, all balanced in a practical composition.

Use the right label size

This is a very important step; your label should be in the size that suits the best to the packaging of your product. This means that a large label is not always the best solution. If your product container is small to medium size, covering it with a full-size label won’t look aesthetic.

Screenshot (101).png By Jamshid Javed

Yes, it should be large enough to fit in all the legally required information and leave a bit of space for some engaging copy that will evoke good vibes and emotions. Also, this way, you will save up some money since you will cut the label expenses.

Think about the environment, but keep product preservation in mind

It is very important to select the best materials for the packaging of your product for both environmental and safety reasons. If your product has an expiration date, or it is fragile, you must protect it well and still think about the materials that will keep it in check, protect it from heat, cold, moist, and at the same time won’t harm the environment.

To resolve this issue, first think about these factors:

  • What kind of handling will your product face?
  • Where will it be stored, indoors or outdoors?
  • Does it need to be heat or cold resistant?

When you figure this out, only then can you choose the right kind of packaging solution that will meet all your needs.

Looking for design and marketing tips to level up your brand identity?

Get inspired by our Beauty & Wellness Small Business Design Guide

Make people interested in closely inspecting your packaging

Targeted copy that includes some clever teasers combined with an eye-catching and matching design is the key to success. Source: Pinterest

You need to design a packaging that looks so attractive at first glance, that even the people who do not use your product will stop and take an interest in your product and maybe even end up purchasing it.

Tell the truth on your labels

You need a sophisticated brand concept that will be followed by adequate packaging.

However, you can go wrong here and deceive your customers unintentionally. Don’t label yourself as environmentally friendly if you will use materials that are not biodegradable or if you test your products on animals. Vice versa, make sure you’ll pinpoint if any of the materials are eco-friendly and recyclable.

The don’ts

There are two sides to every coin, and naturally, we also have a list of a big no-no in the world of packaging design. Follow these simple rules, and you won’t make any mistakes.

Avoid overwhelming designs

Never go crazy with large fonts and flashy graphics. This will make your important copy hard to read.

By flashy graphics, I mean not to use the design elements that are nowhere related to your product, no matter how much you like it. For example, if your product is organic and all-natural, use a neutral and subtle color palette and visual elements like plants, something that is associated with calmness and happiness.

But if you are selling food products like hot sauce, or energy drinks, you shouldn’t use neutral colors; you should match bold colors with some related visual element like jalapeno pepper or a lightning symbol to illustrate your brands’ purpose.

Learn how to create a stunning visual brand

Pick your plan

Don’t use tiny labels

Never print labels so small that you don’t have enough place to put all the necessary content on them. Legal, nutritional, and health information must always be printed on the label in easy-to-read manners.

Never mislead your consumers

Your experience as a customer will help you associate with a specific packaging design and allow you to expect the specific content in it. If you sell non-alcoholic beer, for example, you should make that clear on the label at first glance so your customers won’t be deceived. Source: Pinterest

Don’t compromise your products safety by choosing unsuitable packaging

Never let your product go out on the market if you did not test the performance of the final packaging design. Creating a suitable package is not only making sure it looks pretty, but it is also about quality as well.

If the product package looks cheap, the consumers might think that the product inside is low quality as well. Correspondingly, if the packaging is luxurious, people will expect a premium quality product there.

Making your product packaging uneasy for use is one way of compromising your product’s safety. Just look at the following example; here, you can see how you shouldn’t design a package for your product - in order to unpack these scissors, you need one more pair of scissors or anything else that can cut the tab to open. Source: Pinterest

Don’t follow trends or go overboard

It is okay to be different; it is okay to experiment and do something that no one else did but remember there’s a fine line between being respectful and smart and going overboard.

The inappropriate design could have a negative effect on sales, so don’t design packages that might make your consumer uncomfortable to purchase.

In the end, stay loyal to your brand design and targeted audience

The best way to design the perfect package design for your product is to listen to the feedback of your loyal customers and keep it simple and classy.

You should, of course, spice up the design a little bit from time to time with small changes, but make sure it is always recognizable so your customers can differentiate your packaging from the competitors.

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Teodora Rauh

December 29, 2021

Privileged to be raised in the most beautiful city in the world, Novi Sad. Studied biology and ecology at the University of Novi Sad. A creative soul, travel enthusiast, passionate writer, and crazy dog lover. Proud mama of (for now :) ) one stubborn English Bulldog.