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Product Packaging

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Product packaging is a delightful part of the design and branding mix. It is associated with the exterior elements that a product is placed within, including the choice of material, the graphical aspects such as colours and fonts, and the shape. Product packaging is a critical component in delivering a proper first impression. When done well it can distinguish a product from the clutter. We discussed with Paul Farrugia, our Studio Manager, about the things to keep in mind when going about product packaging.

Starting off, the plan for packaging requires an understanding of what the product is, who is buying it and how it is being bought. If for example a delicate product is being sold, more secure packaging is required. A product that has large and unusual dimensions is likely to require customised packaging with options not being available off the shelf. The profile of the target market must be made clear and the packaging itself should reflect the preferences of such consumers. Is the product intended for men, women, adults or children? Is it directed towards those who are environmentally conscious? Perhaps those with a bigger budget? These are all factors that need to be kept in mind. For one example, products intended for affluent consumers will require materials that provide a feel of luxury.

It is necessary to keep in mind how the product is being bought. Will it be placed within a supermarket grouped with other products? Will it be sold in a shop? Or perhaps online? If a product is being sold through an e-commerce website, and will be shipped eventually, extra space could be problematic due to potential damage. If on the other hand, a product will be sold in a shop, more focus should be allocated for design that stands out in the midst of the competition.

Another matter of consideration is whether a product is totally new or forms part of an existing brand. Prior to the start of the design, the colours, fonts and logo need to be considered. The content that needs to feature must also be taken into account. For one, depending on the industry there may be some disclaimers, barcode, nutritional information and legal jargon that would need to be incorporated. The packaging itself also needs the written copy aimed at interesting shoppers to buy the product.

Different packaging will require various budgets. If cost considerations are to be split, one would do well to analyse the one-time versus the regular expenses. One-time costs can include the design work to feature on the packaging, the purchasing of the stamp and the print plate setup, if you are opting to perform the exercise in-house. The regular costs include those related to the material and human resources needed to have the packaging set up.

Once the plan is set up and costs are catered for, the actual design can begin. The choices made during the design stage will influence brand perception for the long-term, which is why this needs to be done right. Changing design after a few months could turn out to be quite a costly exercise.

There are different layers which need to be designed. We have the outer packaging which refers to what customers see before actually interacting with the product. Then there is the inner packaging which keeps the product safe and wrapped adequately. We also have the packaging that relates to the box or wrapper that the item is placed within. These different layers represent various opportunities for the brand to tell its story.

Want to learn more about fantastic product packaging? Perhaps you are considering this for your products? Speak to Paul and the team by sending an email on [email protected]

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