Packaging Design

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What do I need to know to design good packaging?

Packaging Design

Great packaging can't make a bad product better -- but it can make more people buy it, at least the first time. That's why packaging design is a big part of many consumer companies' design budgets.

Packaging design covers bags, boxes, wrappers and labels. It also includes decisions such as "how much of the product goes in a trial size package?" and "what is the relative cost of this box vs. that box?" Packaging can be one of the more interesting freelance projects, but it also requires a good bit of knowledge and a thorough understanding of the client, the product and the market.

A few rules for good packaging:

  • Customers want packages that are easy to open.
  • Retailers want packages that look attractive on shelves and are easy to stock.
  • Customers want packages that fit the way they live -- for example, enough pasta for one or two people rather than nine.
  • While convenience is king, customers do care about green (recyclable) packaging.
  • Consumable products -- foods, pills, etc. -- may need to be packaged in ways that discourage product tampering.
  • Most retailers require bar codes suitable for scanning on all packaging.



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