Product Packaging must do more than simply look pretty, it must work to cut through the white noise that is the crowded supermarket shelf, and attract a potential buyer — hopefully connecting them with the brand on an emotional level.

At Straydog we’re a branding agency who also specializes in packaging design solutions for a wide range of industry sectors. When we are asked to develop package design, we are often faced with client who don’t realize the magnitude of the project. Many clients think that it’s something that can be turned around in a number of weeks, but package design is a highly technical and time intensive process, requiring many hours of strategy, consultation, review and revisions.

The goal of product packaging

  • To sell the product
  • To protect the product
  • To facilitate the use of the product

Things to consider when developing a package design

Package Substrate

Should it be sustainable, recyclable, plastic, metal, cardboard? The substrate which the product is delivered in will convey vey specific information about the brand. You also must consider; what does the package have to endure in the supply chain and who is your target market?

Package Shape

Some products are instantly recognizable from the silhouette of their package. While creating a unique design is one consideration, you must also think about protecting the product, how this shape will facilitate use and what would a product family look like?

Package Colour

The first thing a customer might identify with a brand may well be its colour. Think Cadbury’s Dairy Milk purple, Coca-Cola’s red or Guinness’s black and cream. Colour makes your product recognizable.

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Brand Story

Building a brand story will not only assist in the design of the package and marketing campaigns, it can help connect the consumer with your product on an emotional level.

Packaging Regulations & Bilingual Language

What are the package design regulations in your area and where do you plan on selling your products? Which languages do you need on the package? Is your product sold regionally, federally, internationally. Do you have proper Nutrition Facts Data? Do you have an NHP approval if yours is a Natural Health Product?

Packaging Print Production

When it comes to printing package design, there are many factors such as: How will the colour appear on the substrate? Has your package been proofed by a professional? How will you communicate effectively to your packaging material supplier? Is your packaging supplier domestic, international or off-shore and what are the challenges associated with each.

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What to expect when developing a package design

Each of these tasks takes time, and there’s no way to rush your way through it. Companies and brand/product owners should allocate sufficient time and money for these tasks. Allocating sufficient resources and time at the beginning will certainly be worth it in the long-term, because for many consumer brands today, packaging is the marketing strategy. The amount of dollars spent on advertising today to educate buyers about a brand is significantly lower than it was 10 years ago. So now that there’s less advertising, brand packaging has to do a lot more to be able to stand out on the shelf and beat the competition.

Great package design requires sufficient time for: strategy, conceptual design, provision of content, sourcing and/or provisions of original photography, design layouts and changes, and for tweaks and revisions once all the information has been implemented. And then it’s always important and often required to make further changes once proofs have been provided by your manufacturer. The always look different in person, and many clients want to make more changes once they see the ‘real thing’.

The package design should provide insight into the personality of the brand, it should have clear information hierarchy, use a good mixture of content, imagery, colours, icons and photography such that it immediately captures the attention of consumers and engages them with emotion to encourage them to buy.

For more information on how you can make your product stand out on the shelf, great package design, contact us. As an award winning package design studio, we know what it takes to get your product noticed.

Rob-Barnett-Straydog-Branding-Vancouver-Managing-Director-Brand-StrategistArticle by Rob Barnett
Partner & Brand Strategist at Straydog