One of the greatest challenges facing any retailer is that of finding the right look for a great product. Before even getting to print and television advertising campaigns, designers are charged with the task of developing the right packaging to not only contain and protect the product during shipping, but also to attract and keep the attention of the consumer. With market and design trends constantly shifting, how can companies stay on top of creative packaging? Consider the following ideas to spruce up your designs and take your packaging to the next level.
Design around the item’s main purpose or material
Instead of just putting your product into a typical square or rectangular box, consider shaping or printing it with something directly relevant to what it does or is made from. Examples might be a fruit juice box with a print of the fruit’s skin on all six sides, a no-tears shampoo in a teardrop-shaped bottle or a pet treat stored in a cat- or dog-shaped container.
Employ transparent film in unique ways
Consider the aesthetic value of your product and how the packaging might emphasize it through a transparent window. If your product is a chocolate-scented, cocoa-colored bath soap, such as, a transparent window in the shape of a bitten chocolate bar could cleverly highlight its unique scent feature.
Give your packaging a secondary use
Some of the most interesting packaging in recent years has been that which has an additional use beyond simply holding the product. A folding box for a soft cheese that turns into a cardboard knife, for instance, provides a secondary use that is directly related to the product itself. Consider designing your package to turn into simple items that might benefit your product or your consumer, like a toothpick or a snack cup. Not only is offering the customer a secondary packaging use clever, it’s also environmentally friendly!
Grab on to trends in minimalism and color
If your product doesn’t quite lend itself to any of the other clever devices, your packaging can still “jump off the shelf” by using an eye-catching design anchored in modern trends. Go for a sleek, minimalist ethic with clean lines and plenty of white space, and/or employ bold colors to distinguish your product from others. Be careful not to get too trendy, though; a trend is only a trend because others are using it, and you don’t want your product to look too similar to your competitors’ products. Be aware of the designs and trends your direct competitors are following, and develop your packaging designs accordingly.