In Packaging, PDA Stories, News & Events

Packaging Design Matters

As times change companies must keep up with trends to stay competitive. One way to do this is through packaging redesign. Sometimes this starts with an overall company change that trickles down to product packaging (and everything in between). Other times, companies put the main effort into the product packaging redesign mission. Regardless, and no matter what industry you’re in, packaging design has an influence on your customers and must clearly communicate what your products are capable of.

The Team

A packaging redesign mission is not a one-man effort. There are many important roles to be filled in order to ensure the packaging redesign launch goes on without a hitch.

  • Packaging Engineer: tasked with ensuring the utility of the product and the overall supply chain
  • Packaging Supplier: provides top quality products and educates on what products are available
  • Product Expert: informs team about requirements of the product (whether temperature, durability, etc.)
  • Designer: works with all other parties to create designs that are possible

Primary Packaging Design

The old adage that we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover doesn’t always work out. When it comes to primary packaging our customers pay close attention to what’s on the outside. This gives companies an opportunity to share important information and intrigue customers. A couple design considerations that every designer must think about:

  • The necessary details: make sure to leave room for product details, ingredients, instructions, warnings
  • Logo placement and brand identity: make sure the customer and easily find your company name and learn more about your business
  • Design trends: know your audience and what is catching their attention
  • Transparency: customers love transparency; it doesn’t have to be “clear packaging” but make sure your products have an honest representation on the box and that customers are not misled

The Outside and The Inside

Secondary packaging (the outer box used for shipping and transport) has never been more important. Historically, customers didn’t see very much secondary packaging. Cardboard boxes and other containers used to ship products were sent to brick and mortar stores where customers picked the items off the shelf. Now customers see secondary packaging all the time. Ecommerce accounts for a large portion of consumer spending so we have to consider the brown box when it comes to our packaging strategy.

Some companies have designed more attractive boxes than the traditional brown box. Many companies use colors and logo placement on the box. Some companies have switched to flexible options. Clothing companies will ship products in garment bags or other fabric-conscious bags.

What’s inside the box is just as important. Packaging designers should be involved when it comes to what goes inside the box and how the unboxing experience is designed. They can assist with things like tissue paper color/logo placement, tape designs, box inserts, and more.

Budget and Materials

One of the worst scenarios for a designer is to create a beautiful design that the whole team loves, but that the company can’t afford to implement. If the materials are cost prohibitive for the margins, it will be hard to maintain profitability. Before design starts, it’s always good to take an inventory of what product options you have when it comes to packaging.

For materials, designers should also be aware of the suppliers of the materials being used. This can help the designer work with the supplier to ensure the final outcome is cohesive.

Is it time for a redesign?

Some packages and labels are enduring for a reason. Customers recognize what they like and companies have no need to interrupt this dependability. However, new and innovative products are seeing more and more changes and enhancements. Also, as technology changes, better packaging options become available making it necessary for companies to at least explore making updates. Contact us to partner with PDA for your packaging needs..

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