Four Steps to Achieve Effective Packaging Design

So, how does effective packaging work?

Research has found that people typically spend less then 10 seconds at each grocery category and fail to consider over 33% of the brands.

For the pack design to be effective, it must break through the clutter and hold their attention long enough to implant a message. Once we discovered this approach, all the complexities of packaging design fell away and everything became so much easier. We were able to take away all the emotion and variables and follow a clear process to see the product design through the shoppers’ eyes.


Step 1: Discover

This is where we dive in deep to understand all that we possibly can about your brand, your target consumer, competitors, and existing product. Then we define clear objectives for what our pack design needs to achieve. We conduct audits, covering: on the shelf, your

current pack and your competitors packs to really understand the impact of your existing packaging on shelf and the category you are playing in. Then we translate these discoveries, and your business and marketing goals into clear design objectives.


Step 2: Design

From here we start creating the conceptual design of the packaging. You need to see the brand/product/design through shoppers eyes and create something that is relevant and engaging to your target consumer. It is important to be as creative as possible whilst understanding the decision-making process of your consumer. You need to consider:

  • How impactful is the design?
  • How is it differentiated from your competitors?
  • Does the design have a strong visual architecture to ensure all elements are working together to correctly communicate your messages?
  • Do you command attention on shelf?

Step 3: Communicate

Communication needs to be balanced with design to create an effective pack. These 2 elements go hand in hand to attract, engage and communicate on shelf.

Focus on what matters most and pay attention to the relationship between messages and combining like items to reduce on pack clutter.

It is also extremely important to understand and consider the legal standards related to your product category. Standards depend on: Type of product, Distribution & Retailing Needs, and the country’s it is sold in. This element is extremely important to get right, as you risk being refused placement on shelves if you don’t.


Step 4: Deliver

Print and production is the final essential step to successful packaging. Too often the production side of the process is overlooked or not given thought until the last minute.

This results in an inferior looking print result and in the consumers eyes, an inferior product.

Artwork set-up is a critical stage of packaging design. Unlike the printing of brochures, packaging is printed on large presses with limitations. Packaging Finished Artists understand:

  • The way the presses work.
  • How to talk the jargon with the printer.
  • And how to set up your packaging artwork considering; press print limitations, available inks, press tolerances, die-lines, and substrates.

Testing the printing of your packaging is a vital step to ensure consistency across your brand. This has become even more critical with most printing now being done

offshore in China. You’re no longer able to physically complete a press check before proceeding. To achieve the best results its best to allow your designer to stay involved in the supervising process. Think of production and artwork as quality control.