Package Design Do’s and Don’ts

Great packaging can be the difference between a customer buying your product or passing on it entirely. It conveys your brand and appeals to its target audience, and may even be the first impression your business makes. However, poor design can turn buyers away and possibly give your brand a bad name. A solid package design should attract the right kind of attention and hook potential clients.

You can create your own unique design by using a variety of tags, logos, or stickers; you have full creative control over your package design to make something that represents your brand well. Product packaging is more than just a simple container—it’s a statement about your company. Here are some guidelines to make the ideal package design:

DO:

Be interesting – Make your packaging creative so as to intrigue potential customers. Try to show something of the company’s character to make your product stand out. Packaging is the buyer’s first impression and introduces your brand and says something about it. Experiment with unique cardboard products to make your designs more attention-grabbing. Consider incorporating the product into the design of its package. For example, earphone cords folded into the shape of a musical note offers a whimsical packaging strategy.

Be consistent – Think of your brand as a whole when creating designs. Keep a consistent look to command more attention. Consistency creates a pattern that sticks in consumers’ minds. Design your packaging to fit in with your brand’s identity, and ensure that your design elements (e.g. logo, typography, and colour) reflect it as well.

Go green – More and more consumers are concerned with eco-friendly packaging and products. Consider going green and advertising that your packaging is recyclable. Using sustainable methods and materials reduces costs, makes production more efficient, and is good for the planet. Pay attention to trends in food packaging and other fields to make the most out of more eco-friendly practices.

Be clear – Creativity is important, but the packaging must be clear from the get-go. When trying to get customers’ attention, information must be readable so they can understand what you’re selling. Keep your designs simple and easy to understand; in some cases, less is more.

Remember product preservation – Preservation is important when dealing with fragile or perishable items. Consider how to contain your products to protect them during transport. Keep safety regulations in mind and base your design around them to ensure your products’ safety.

Consider shelf impact – Products are arranged in rows and columns in stores to create patterns that will attract customers’ attention. Test the shelf impact of your products by imitating where they would be placed in stores. Use several products to make it easier to compare and contrast. Try for more distinctive designs that pop out at customers from the shelves.

Study the competition – Your competitors have their own designs that make their products stand out. Take notes from them to help come up with your own ideas. Consider how your products will look placed next to theirs, but do something different to stand out from the crowd. For example, if the competition uses illustrations, try using photographs instead. Learn from competing businesses whose designs you don’t like to avoid making those same mistakes.

Be honest – Honesty is the best policy, and that’s also true of package design. Your product must look appealing, but avoid going too far. Ensure that what you put on the package represents the product honestly. The images must accurately reflect what your customers get. The same goes for any claims you make about the product. You can brag about what you’re selling, but refrain from stretching the truth.

DON’T:

Go overboard – Simple is usually best when it comes to design. Over-designing your package can be too much for customers. Stick to simple and clear designs that are easy to understand. Consumers usually decide if something appeals to them in just a few seconds and are more likely to remember a simple, well-thought-out design. Simplicity lets them take in everything at a glance and make a decision. For example, refrain from cutting your cardboard into overly fanciful designs. This can make the package too overblown and make storage and transportation more difficult.

Be arbitrary – Everything present on your packaging must have a purpose, usually to get the customer to buy the product. Ensure that every element of design goes toward that goal. Avoid adding anything to the design “just because.” Colours, fonts, and shapes all mean something and evoke particular ideas. Maintain a unified design to keep your message coherent and consistent.

Forgo important information – Before printing any labels, check that every piece of information is present. Your design should include all necessary nutritional, legal, and health information. Different products have different labelling requirements , so know which ones apply to your product. This lets customers make informed decisions about what they buy.

Prioritize cost-effectiveness over quality – Reducing costs is a good thing, but not when it comes at the expense of quality. Cheaper material sometimes means lower quality, which can cause packages to fall apart. In some cases, products can get damaged during transport, costing you money and hurting your brand. Strike a balance between cost and quality to avoid any pitfalls. Choosing high-quality materials for packaging can save you money in the long run.

Choose unsuitable packaging – When you have your final package, test it out first. A package’s aesthetics influence customer perception, and if the package looks cheaply made, buyers may think the same of the product. Make your packages attractive and durable to appeal to your audience.

Forget your target audience – Always keep your target audience in mind. You are making your design for a specific crowd, and that informs your creative decisions. Are you focusing on men or women, in what age group, and for what purpose? Keep your customers’ needs in mind and offer them the solutions they want. Once you know that, you’ll have an easier time connecting with potential consumers.

Package design incorporates more than just aesthetics; it’s also about the customers’ point of view. Think about what information the package must convey and how your design might be more attractive to potential buyers. Understanding their needs is integral to the creation of package designs that will attract attention and get you noticed.

Hammond Paper Company in Toronto provides customized paperboard items for all your needs. We pride ourselves on having an extensive collection of paperboard in different grades, sizes, and thicknesses. Whether you’re looking for padding boards, cornered boards, or paperboard dividers, we have it all. We can even cut and glue material to your requested shapes and specifications. All our chipboard is 100% recycled and recyclable. Give us a call at (905) 761-6867 for a free quote.