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What Are the Best Tips for How to Design Product Packaging?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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To design product packaging that is effective, it is important to focus on certain graphic elements and to create a meaningful and memorable brand. The package needs to sell the product, which means it should tell the story of the brand and demonstrate something that sets it apart from competitors. Visual elements of the packaging are also vital, so that it remains recognizable, standing out among other brands. It is also important to design product packaging with consideration for how people see a label or carton, since the graphic elements need to function as an advertisement and present information.

One of the most important elements needed to design product packaging that is meaningful is the establishment of brand story and identity. If a company is based in a particular region, such as the historic district of a city, then this can be incorporated graphically and through text on the labeling of products it makes. This serves to set the item apart from competitors in a meaningful way, and establishes the brand for potential customers.

Graphic elements are important when a company chooses to design product packaging, however, and it should be visually familiar while still being distinct. Familiarity is vital because customers often identify products by certain shapes or general designs. A bottle of soda, for example, often has a fairly basic shape that is recognized as a beverage container.

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While this sense of familiarity should be upheld, the design must also make a product stand out. To design product packaging that catches the eye of a customer, it needs to include colors and graphic elements different from competitors. There are numerous types of soda bottles on market shelves, but each one incorporates certain colors and images to make it distinct from the others.

Information on the label or packaging of a product is important, and it needs to be presented in a way that is as effective as possible. It is imperative to design product packaging that considers the flow of a person's eyes across a label or carton. A simple design might include a large graphic at the top, which automatically draws the eyes of a viewer. From here, smaller pieces of text and images may be located below this, encouraging the viewer to look and read down the label. The consideration of how people look at an object allows companies to design product packaging that is easy and natural to read.

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