For a product to sell well in today’s competitive market, it needs to be more than just a good quality item. It also needs attractive packaging that will help communicate your brand’s message. After all, the exterior wrapping is often all the customer sees on the shelf or the webpage. Here are some tips to bear in mind when designing packaging.
When choosing the perfect packaging, you will need to strike a balance between aesthetics, functionality, cost, and sustainability. Going for the cheapest option may translate into weak sales further down the line, so remember that it may be a false economy.
On the other hand, beautifully designed packaging which doesn’t adequately contain and protect the contents will be an expensive mistake. Consider practical issues first, such as the size of the product, if it will require posting, and how fragile/valuable/heavy the item will be.
For bulkier items, and products which require shipping, corrugated board is the best option. It is generally referred to as cardboard, and is basically paperboard with fluted (or ridged) paper laminated to it for extra strength. Singled wall cardboard boxes have one layer of fluted paper, and doubled-walled have two, for fragile items that need extra protection.
Corrugated cardboard is available in a range of thicknesses, depending on how much protection the contents of the packaging require. For items which need posting but aren’t fragile or heavy, a lightweight option will be strong enough, whilst also retaining an elegance of presentation.
Once you have decided on an appropriate material, you need to consider the artwork for your packaging. This is important to get right; it must be attractive, and also convey your brand values and message.
To stand out, it may be tempting to go for bold, busy designs and strident colours, but this is not necessarily the best way to present a product, especially if you are aiming at the high-end luxury market. Consumers are more used to associating quality with understatement and subtlety.
If you are designing the artwork yourself, make sure it is in line with industry standard specifications for colour, typography, line art and so on. Something that looks great on a screen won’t always translate into print, so do some research first.
To add finishing touches to your packaging, you could include details such as UV varnishing, which provides extra protection and also gives an air of quality and style. Embossing or debossing and window patching are other great ways to add interest and texture to the packaging.
Think about the whole tactile experience of handling the packaging. The consumer will be forming their first impressions as they unpack the item, so details such as pull tabs and box toppers can create anticipation. However, don’t make the box overly fussy and annoying to get open.
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