4 Packaging Design Essentials | Aylesbury Box Company
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4 Packaging Design Essentials


4 Packaging Design Essentials

We all judge on appearances and that is why packaging design matters. As customers, we often have nothing more than the packaging to go on before making a purchase. The boxes, bottles and tins indicate whether this product can meet our needs and match our values. As such, they significantly impact sales. So, what are the essentials of packaging design?

1. Get in Your Customers’ Shoes When Designing Packaging

The first point is that packaging design is all about the customer and what they find appealing. Now, this may be different to what the designers favour, but it’s not them who will be making a purchase.

The more you understand your customer, the easier it is to step into their shoes. Then you can design to fulfil their priorities. As a starting point, you might consider the following:

– Is the packaging easy for them to lift, hold and open?

– Are they buying for themselves or others and how does this shift their priorities?

– Is this an everyday purchase or more of a treat?

– Are they after a timeless classic or is this an impulse buy?

– Would they be drawn to natural & pure or is fun & frivolous more their style?

– Will they be swayed by the packaging materials and recyclability?

Remember, no product or packaging has universal appeal, so customise the design to best fit the desires of your ideal customer and drive purchase decisions.

2. Function First in Packaging Design

Although an appealing design is important, functionality is key. The packaging must offer sufficient protection for the goods inside. For this reason, the design needs to factor in how the product will be shipped and stored. This should inform what is necessary to ensure the product is in perfect condition when the packaging is opened.

Functionality applies to the entire life cycle, so the design stage should also factor in packaging reuse, recyclability and decomposition.

3. It’s Important to Reflect your Brand

Although the packaging has to speak to your customers, it should also reflect your brand. For example, if your market position is high-end luxury, then stylish presentation is a must from the offset.

Alternatively, your brand values might be built around a commitment to sustainability and this must extend to the packaging materials used. Or, should you promote a cutting-edge and experimental image, go all out for innovative packaging design!

Another factor in branding is consistency. To achieve this, you may stick to the same colour and font design, but vary the packaging shape for different products. Or, use the same packaging shape and material, but alter the colour to reflect the product range.

4. Test the Packaging Design

You might have a winning design on paper, but how does this work in reality? Before settling on a final design, we recommend you test out some samples. We suggest you use this opportunity to:

– Check the manufacture and print quality

– Gather opinions from your target customers through market research

– Send goods in the packaging to check goods remain undamaged

– Drop test the product and packaging to check impact-resistance

– Pack multiple boxes in a shipping box to ensure the dimensions fit

– Place sample packaging on the shelf to ensure it presents as intended

This stage helps to iron out any issues with the design or manufacture before you place a large order.

The only other consideration is finding a packaging manufacturer to work with. If this is a work in progress, you might be interested in our article about the Questions to Ask Packaging Suppliers.

Have you got any questions about packaging design? Just call us 01296 436888 or email enquiries@abcbox.co.uk

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