In a product packaging design, graphic design has a vital role in deciding the product visual. The first thing that a consumer will see and scrutinize in buying a product is the packaging. A very ordinary packaging will easily skipped by consumers while the more interesting and unique one will quickly attract their attention.
Companies or brand owners need to understand that there are a type of consumers who put more attention on a brand’s product packaging than its actual product. The fact that more brand will need to handle layouting, color choice and packaging image become more important. This doesn’t mean that product packaging is only for decoration purpose. Its design needs to include all aspects, from consumers’ buying decision to what retail store needs.
Basically, graphic design is very important along with marketing strategy, branding and promotional strategy. These aspects supports each other to increase product sale. That’s why the design process in product packaging has to be prepared by the brand in a best way.
The main purpose of Packaging Design
A packaging design has to represent what the brand needs from the consumers, such as who will buy the product, and what kind of message that the consumer will get. Generally, the main purpose of packaging design are:
- A communication medium about a product to the consumers. The details of a product usually presented on product information, so consumers will easily read and understand it. Product image can also be pictured visually on the packaging.
- Showing product identity. On this area, graphic design indirectly influencing product’s branding. In one glimpse, consumers are able to notice product identity without reading the whole information on the packaging.
- Representing product aesthetics. Sometimes there’s nothing more special from a product compared to others, but one product can easily be more popular because of it’s interesting packaging. Design becomes an important key in aesthetic factor to gain more consumers.
- Long-term brand image. To win the tight industry competition, design on product packaging has to be strong. The purpose is to keep brand image in a longer term. Of course the company need to do timely reviews, especially when they need a rebranding.
Packaging Design Principles
Simplicity over Complexity
Clear shape and color on a packaging design will easily profitable for a company or brand rather than a design that is too complex. Prioritize simplicity on the packaging design; for example in color choice, elements, and even font choice. On retail store aisles, a company or brand only has four to five second to attract consumers’ eye. An easy-to-carry product packaging design is another aspect simplicity to think about.
This principle often a bit neglected, especially in food products. Manufacturers need to be honest to the consumers, for example a real product visual needs to be displayed, not the fully-edited image so that the product looks better. Remember that consumers can be disappointed when the actual product is less than what they expect, or look worse than what it presented on the packaging. Dishonesty in packaging design can result in product image decline and loss of consumers’ trust.
Legality from authorities also has to be included into the packaging label, for example labels from the FDA (Food and Drugs Association) or Health Department to show that the ingredients are safe to consume.
The high competitiveness in product range result in similarities on product packaging design among brands. This can be done to lead on consumers when they are choosing between similar products. This strategy is proven to be effective, especially when the similarity makes products very difficult to distinguished in first couple of seconds.
Too bad this ‘similarity’ strategy is not in line with design principle. A design has to be authentic and not copying. A designer can observe and then modify similar design trends in designing a packaging design. Make a difference and uniqueness in the packaging by not copying others.
Unique and Attractive
Before deciding a final design, a company or brand need to imagine how the product will be displayed on retail store aisles. Will it be outstanding? Will the product has the potential to stop buyers in the middle of the aisle and then make the buying decision?
This is the reason why unique and attractive packaging design is important. The value of uniqueness can be gained from various aspects, such as color choice or product illustration on the packaging. Attract buyers attention since the first time they see the product so they dont need to think twice to buy the product.
In product packaging design, packaging materials is also important. Before making an interesting packaging design, manufacturers need to choose packaging materials that are safe for consumers.
Food grade materials is a strict standard for packaging materials. Providing food safety guarantee for consumers is also a good point for manufacturers when designing a product packaging. High quality packaging materials actually also simplify packaging printing process and the result is guaranteed. All in all, packaging still protects what it sells.
Creative Product Packaging Design
In the digital era, product marketing is also done through social media. A very cool product packaging design will add more value for social media advertising materials. ‘Aesthetically pleasing’ is now become another keyword to attract buyers and this can be achieved through social media. The effort to gives additional value such as emotional benefit for buyers is another marketing strategy nowadays.
Like it or not, the power of social media is helping a brand a lot. We can came over thousands videos of people unboxing the products they buy on store or online. Such moments become important milestone for both big and small brands, and this proves that the product packaging is as important as the product itself. Another idea then comes up that a good product packaging is a packaging that makes people happy on social media.
For a company or brand that offer real products on its business, product packaging design is an important aspect. Product packaging will represent a brand’s product on hundreds of retail store aisles, leveling up sales level and of course brand image. A good product packaging design can communicate a brand or company’s intention to their market target.