Before you start picking out your Pantones, hold fire: First, you need to nail down what you're aiming to accomplish with your product packaging design.
Whether you're a brand that's just launching, or one undergoing a refresh, this is the most important step in the design process. Custom-branded packaging is a method of transporting products, building a brand, and delivering on a marketing strategy, all rolled into one.
Custom packaging is a visual pitch to your customer to help foster brand recognition. For this reason, many brands make their logo the centrepiece of their packaging design.
But it's by no means the only way of creating a unique design. Your design should aim to engage and delight your customer, so this means thinking a little outside of the box (pun intended!).
In the age of social media, packaging isn't just packaging; it's a storytelling device for your brand. Not all that long ago, your product packaging would only have been seen by your customer. Today, it has an audience of thousands.
On platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, a picture needs to say a lot to really gain traction. Our feeds are so crowded with brands that it often takes something out of the ordinary to grab our attention — and your packaging design is an excellent vehicle for some more imaginative content!
Try flat lay photography - Flat lays, as seen below, are a fantastic way to showcase your products by theme or collection.
Be quirky - something that's sure to get attention online is using your packaging in novel ways. When you can't interact with customers in person, it can sometimes feel challenging to get the essence of your brand across. A bit of creativity goes a long way towards showing your audience what kind of brand you are.
When brands think about product packaging design, they usually jump straight to decisions about aesthetics. However, the sustainability of your design is just as important a consideration.
Wasteful packaging shouldn't be your customer's problem. Consumers are increasingly conscious of their environmental footprint; they want to support brands who can help them in this area, not sabotage their efforts.
The difference between good and bad packaging really comes down to how it supports your company. To create packaging that's a real asset to your branding strategy, you need to give some serious thought to your needs, your brand story, and the materials you're using.
Your brand identity is what makes you different from your competitors — if you can communicate this through custom packaging design, you have a winning recipe for making your mark as a merchant.