Connecting packaging to the online world
Packaging is an essential part of many products. It protects and transports, highlights your position in the market, and has a direct impact on storage and logistics. Here are the five key principles to consider in creating a package design that stands out.
We all know that packaging is so much more than the box, bag or tube the product arrives in. It’s a valuable opportunity to hold a brand in your hand, which extends way beyond the initial purchase. For many items, it impacts how the brand is perceived each time the product is used. It’s vital that every aspect of its design encapsulates what the brand is all about: font, colour, imagery, copy, format and everything in-between. When this is done right, a package can become even more identifiable than the product itself, coming to stand for everything a brand represents. Just think about the arched handle of a Happy Meal box, the distinct Tiffany’s duck egg blue, or the directional smile emblazoned on every Amazon parcel.
High level branded concepts are all well and good, but above all else, packaging must be true to its form, function and be consistently reproducible. It’s what consumers not only expect, but demand. This means that protection of the product must remain the biggest consideration in choice of format and materials. Environmentally friendly alternatives must deliver the same level of durability. And when it comes to the accompanying design, it’s all about balancing this functionality with creativity and effective showcase of the product with a solid advertising strategy. When all these boxes are ticked, we see some highly original packages – including this dazzling example from Trident chewing gum.
Increasingly, consumers are making buying decisions based on a company’s eco-credentials – with Gen Z in particular stating it as a critical purchase factor. As brands react to this, it’s bringing big changes to packaging design. We’re seeing this predominantly in material choice, with greater use of recyclable and recycled materials, non-virgin and plant-based plastics, and refillable alternatives to the disposable – such as Dove’s stainless steel deodorant case. On top this, sustainable messaging is being brought to the forefront. Designers are making space for big statements conveying a brand’s commitment to the planet – whether that be information about recyclability, or even carbon labelling to explain the environmental impact of the product itself. Oatly and Quorn are early adopters of this approach, but as demand grows, it could become the standard.
Find out more about all the ways brands are making their marketing more sustainable right here.
Tech is powering the packaging industry at a creator and consumer level. In conception, 3D rendering allows brands to bring a vision to life in the most accurate, cost-effective way. Designing with the help of this technology creates accurate visuals with new levels of detail, removing the need for expensive mock-ups and speeding up the time it takes to get a product to market. Then when it reaches the shelves, incorporation of QR codes is adding a new interactive element to help people really engage with a product. In one quick scan, a consumer can unlock essential information like instruction videos, nutritional details, and registration pages; or enjoy complementary content like recipe ideas.
We all interact with packaging daily, so it’s vital that creators constantly look for new ways to make a consumer take notice of something that’s so familiar, meaning innovation is inherent in each of the principles of packaging design:
Brand recognition: constantly exploring new, creative ways to define identity and tell a brand’s story.
Customer experience: embracing every development in software or production to push packaging possibilities even further.
Sustainability: pioneering environmentally friendly materials and processes that have never been used before, including ground-breaking bioplastics.
Product positioning: introducing the unexpected – whether that’s putting socks into a soup can, creating a pizza box that can be reused as DJ decks, or filling cans and cartons with water, instead of plastic bottles.
We’re a packaging design agency in Manchester, the team draws on all these principles to create inspiring packaging for brands across the food & drink and retail industries, get in touch with us today. We’d love to have a chat over a brew – virtual or physical, it’s up to you!
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