December 10, 2018 | By: Rodney Glawson

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How to Design Product Packaging – 5 Design Process Steps

What is packaging design, and how can it help your product? From the Snickers you buy at the grocery store to the school supplies you buy for your children, you’ll find every product has a unique packaging design.

If you’re trying to create packaging for a new product, understand there’s more to the process than meets the eye. Your packaging should engage your customers through touch, sound, sight, and possibly even smell and taste. Most importantly, your packaging should convey your brand message.

Questions to Ask Before You Create Product Packaging

Before coming up with product packaging design ideas, it’s important that you answer these essential questions.

Who Will Buy the Product?

Who is your target audience? Men? Women? Children? Business owners? Moviegoers? Your product packaging should appeal in some way, shape, or form to the target audience.

What Is the Product?

Think about what you’re selling. Is it big? Small? Delicate? Durable? Your product will ultimately determine what type of packaging you will use. For example, if your product is fragile, such as glassware, you’ll need secure packaging to protect the contents.

How Will Your Product Be Purchased?

Where is the product being purchased? Online retail? Your local brick-and-mortar retailer? Selling online vs. selling in-store will require different packaging requirements. For example, selling at a local retailer will require that your product stands out from your competitors.

If you go the online route, you’ll likely want your packaging to include security features, so your product will be protected during shipping.

Content That Must Be Collected

how to design product packaging

As you plan your packaging design, consider whether your product is representing a brand or if it’s standalone. Ultimately, your product packaging should properly communicate your brand message. Before you begin, gather the following items in order to maintain brand-consistency:

  • Company/Product Logo – Request or create a vector file if you desire to put a logo on your packaging.
  • Colors – Use brand-consistent Pantone (PMS) or CMYK colors
  • Fonts – Choosing the right fonts is essential for legibility and properly representation of your product, so double check this aspect of your packaging design.

Don’t leave your branding up to chance. Download this free sample style guide today and start positioning your brand as an industry leader!

How to Create Design Packaging for Your Product

Once you’ve gathered the above information, you can move to the packaging design process.

Learning how to create packaging for your product can be done in five simple steps. Successfully following these packaging design guidelines will ensure the best possible outcome when it’s time to launch your product.

1. Packaging Layers

One aspect of learning how to make packaging designs is understanding that most packaging comes with three layers:

Outer Packaging

The outer packaging protects your product from the outside world. It’s also the first thing your customer sees.

Inner Packaging

how to design packaging for your product

The inner packaging provides even more protection for your product. Take a sealed bag for example or packing paper that keeps your product from jostling around.

Product Packaging

This is the most common form of packaging that you see when you visit your local store. Examples include the wrapper around a candy bar, the bottle that contains your Coke, the label on a can, etc.

2. Choosing the Right Type of Packaging

There are countless types of packaging designs to choose from. Choosing between a bag, bottle, or box may not be as simple as it seems on the surface.

As you determine your product packaging design layout, consider what your competition is doing, your budget, and the product itself. Not only do you want to stand out from the rest of the competition, but if your product is composed of a specific material, your packaging options may be limited.

For example, if you’re selling organic foods, you may require BPA-free frozen meal packaging. This will have a big impact on the manufacture and design of your final product packaging.

3. Set Up Your Printer

types of packaging design process

Get your printing questions answered early, before the product is even ready for release. That way you’ll be able to calculate costs early. You’ll also have plenty of time to get your Houston graphic design firm the information they need to get the job done promptly.

During this phase, keep these considerations in mind:

  • Color options
  • Digital vs. offset printing
  • Die-lines
  • File-format requirements

4. Create Your Information Architecture

There are several ways you can make your packaging stand out in the minds of your customers— informative graphics on how to properly use your product, customer testimonials, a bold and memorable tagline, etc.

While all of these aspects of your package design are essential, shoppers will likely only remember one aspect of your packaging. As a result, choose a centerpiece that stands out from the rest of your design elements and focus on making that the highlight of your packaging.

5. Collect Feedback

Before moving to the final phase, create a product packaging design questionnaire that you can give to a test group (and your key stakeholders), so that you can collect essential feedback.

Here are a few questions you should include in your questionnaire:

  • What is the primary message you get when looking at this packaging?
  • Who is this product designed for?
  • What does the product do?

The collective feedback you receive will help you determine whether you should move forward with your package design, make a few tweaks, or go back to the drawing board.

When everything is said and done, double check to ensure you have the right file formats so you can send them off to your Austin graphic design firm for printing and production.

The Takeaway

Great package design takes time and patience, but once you’ve reached the final stage of your design, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your product displayed prominently on an e-commerce site or on a store display.

Knowing how to design packaging for a product takes nuance and expertise. Thankfully, you can rely upon MARION to meet all of your package design needs.

MARION is a marketing company in Houston and Austin that has created compelling designs for hundreds of clients for over 35 years. You can rest assured your package design is in good hands.

Contact us today to learn more about our graphic design services.

About Rodney Glawson

Rodney Glawson, an art director with MARION, has more than two decades of design experience. He uses the latest technologies to create award-winning graphic design including website design, logos, branding manuals, annual reports, brochures, and presentations. He has worked on a variety of projects for clients as a freelancer and within an agency setting at MARION.

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