Package This: 8 Progressive Ideas for Packaging Designs


45% of customers today expect great design across a company’s marketing and sales collateral. As customers, we’re constantly looking for new products that match our style and preferences.

When it comes to packaging designs, an excellent idea can help set you apart from the competition. You might think you’re designing packaging only for people to throw it out, but that’s not always true. A great design will help your brand stay top of mind for consumers. They’ll remember your product and keep returning for more.

Find out the eight most progressive ideas for packaging design today.

1. Consider All Space
Customers will remember anything that’s out of the norm. Standard packing has a design on the outside of the box or bag. What about the inside? Consider a design that extends across all your space, including the box flaps, bag handles, or anything else you haven’t considered.

Consider a design that extends throughout the full packaging, and users have to open it up all the way to see the full picture. Creating an experience like this signals to customers that they’ve spent their money wisely.

2. Make It Last
Not all retail packaging designs are created equal. In today’s world, consumers are placing more and more importance on sustainability. Companies are working hard to develop fully recyclable packaging. But, one way to stand out is by purposefully developing a reusable packaging design.

Think about using materials that can withstand long-term use. Instead of cardboard or plastic, maybe that means canvas, aluminum, or glass. Long-lasting materials might be more expensive, but you’ll get a return on investment when more customers can see your brand name on reusable packaging.

Create a second functionality for your packaging other than holding your product. Some simple examples include wine glasses turned into vases and bags turned into canvas totes.

Exceptional packaging helps improve the oldest marketing tactic in the world – word of mouth. Family and friends may see your packaging in use and wonder about your products.

3. Keep It Simple
Simplicity can sometimes be the boldest choice. Think of iconic name brands like Apple and Glossier. These brands both use a standard white background on their packaging, but their sleek designs have given them global recognition.

Try pairing your design down to the bare bones. Choose one color and font type that can represent your brand. Keeping it simple can effectively cut through the noise from other competitors.

4. Think Outside the Box
If your product uses traditional box packaging, it might be time to reinvent the wheel. Different shapes can help form unique packaging that stands out and offers different functionality.

Using different shapes applies even if you aren’t dealing with boxes. For example, some tea packaging designs these days have designed outside of the box. Instead of a traditional rectangular tea bag, you can now buy teabags shaped like fish or other animals.

Unique shapes are a fun surprise that makes your brand more memorable.

5. Create an Experience
You’ve come so far to create a product that customers love, so treat it with respect. Throughout the packaging design process, create a full experience for customers opening your packaging. Allow them to understand your brand from the moment they receive your product in the mail or purchase it at the store.

To create an experience, incorporate your branding in every element. Even instruction manuals can include custom fonts or graphics. If your product includes layered packaging, you have a great opportunity. This might mean your product comes inside a box that also contains package cushioning and a separate container. Your brand could be present on each of these elements.

6. Use Custom Designs
Get a little old school and think about your packaging outside of the digital space. Does it make sense for your brand to use hand-drawn illustrations or lettering? Everything we do is so digitized these days that it’s becoming rarer to find handcrafted designs.

Keep in mind that handcrafted designs don’t mean you need to find someone to draw on all your packaging. You can still scan and print an illustration for mass production. The handcrafted element will still add personalization to your packaging, which can help you stand out.

7. Find International Inspiration
Different cultures always do things differently. Head to any country in the world and you’ll find different preferences for food, art, and music. That means there’s also a new inspiration to pull for your packaging designs.
For example, Japanese packaging designs tend to include colorful, simplistic patterns. Depending on the product, they can also use ornate designs that reference historic art.

If you’re pulling inspiration from abroad, be sure that it makes sense for your brand. You could have a negative effect if your packaging comes across as appropriating a different culture.

8. Stand out From the Crowd
If you sell your product in retail stores, it’s especially important to stand out from the crowd. Start by researching your competition. What are the other designs that your packaging will be next to in the store?
Make your packaging stand out by using bold colors and patterns that other companies haven’t used. Don’t go too overboard – you don’t want to create an eyesore. Instead, play on your brand’s color palette to create some eye-catching and vibrant.

How to Develop New Packaging Designs
When developing new packaging designs, you should always incorporate your company’s branding. Certain products may have unique color palettes, but customers should be able to see that each product comes from your company.
Throughout your design process, keep your customers top of mind. Your packaging shouldn’t be an afterthought. Instead, it should be something that plays to your audience’s persona, needs, and desires.
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