Eye catching package design is more than just slapping a pretty design on your products and calling it good. You need to start with a plan that addresses not only the design, but also who you’re marketing to and what you’re trying to achieve. Use these tips to walk you step by step into package design that sells.
- Create a project plan
Create a plan that everyone is on board with, and everyone agrees is manageable and within limits. You can do this by holding meetings with key stakeholders and those critically involved, and set up responsibilities and roles of the group. For example, who will be the design team, and who will physically create the packaging? You can find other useful tips for developing your project plan, here.
- Develop your budget
Either during your initial project plan meetings, or shortly after, you’ll want to create your budget. The key here is to create it as soon as possible once you have a direction for your packaging design. This will keep the remainder of your project within range, and will avoid possible disappointment later on when you realise that great idea you had doesn’t fit in the budget. Remember to include not only materials, like your new print finishing equipment, but also labour and any outsourcing you’ll need to do, like using a printed label supplier.
- Research the competition
This is a key step to your success in finding a perfect package design that stands out. The best chance to stand out is to know what everything else looks like, right? Do your research and find out what products are selling and what design style they stick with. Think about how your product will look on a shelf full of other products like it.
- Research your consumer
Knowing who you’re selling to is nearly as important as what you’re selling. Understanding your consumer should be an ongoing and never ending process, as the consumer changes just as much as products change. However, getting a feel for who buys your products and what they’re attracted to, will be imperative in the beginning stages of packaging design. Always provide ways for customers to easily give feedback, and make sure to include questions about what made them purchase the product, and what stood out to them versus other products.
- Figure out your core as a company
Find your main theme as a company, and then find a way to project that in your packaging design. For example, if your company’s heart lies in ethical and sustainable products, use that in your design. If you’re a technology company who specialises in being unique and bold, this should also be reflected on your product’s packaging.
- Find the right colour
Believe it or not, a customer will go for a product that appeals to them because of the colour most of the time, especially if the products they’re choosing from are very similar. They’ll first look for the product that fits their needs, but then when choosing between, they’ll often choose what looks the nicest or stands out. Packaging that appeals to their sense of nostalgia, or connects to them emotionally will also win out. Finding the right colour scheme isn’t just about putting loud and bright colours to shout out, “pick me” on the shelves, it’s about fitting in with what you’re trying to sell.
When in doubt, remember to go simple and bold, rather than overwhelming and bright. Customers are overwhelmed as it is when looking for a product, often perhaps wandering a store for a while trying to find the right aisle. Bombarded with advertisement, they’re looking for the product that is easy, that will do the job, and that they don’t have to read the label for ten minutes before buying. Use this to your advantage when choosing colours and fonts. These other helpful thoughts on packaging design will help you as well.
- Figure out your printing method
Are you using thermal printing, or will you be using print film for most of your packaging? Will you need to purchase NZ thermal binding covers for any of your jobs? Questions like these are important when you’re thinking about how you’ll actually be printing off your packaging and design.
- Check for mistakes, then check again
Obvious, but often overlooked, is checking for mistakes. Mistakes can happen not just on your copy, but also in the design itself. Look for any overlapping of patterns that doesn’t match up, or colours that don’t quite fit what you originally decided on. Even the smallest mistakes like these can make your product look cheap and poorly made, which is not what you want your customers to think.
- Decide on your template
When it finally comes down to creating your packaging, you’ll want to decide what your template will be for the folds and covers, often called dielines. This is another aspect of packaging design that is often not thought too much about, and certainly isn’t something that a consumer ever considers when they look at your packaging. However, clean folds and clever dielines will actually help sell your product more than you might think.
- Follow up
Now that your product is out there on the shelves, you’ll need to find out how it’s selling and appealing to your customer base. Obviously, a huge part of this is your sales, but another part is getting feedback from your customers. As mentioned earlier, providing easy ways for customers to get in touch with you, leave feedback, and complete surveys is really important to your product’s future.
For starters, review this website on gathering feedback. Then, decide with your project crew how best to gather feedback for your customer base. Are your customers more likely to get online and look at a forum on your product? Or will they be taking the time to call in or write a handwritten review. Do you have young customers who would be potentially leaving comments on your social media page? All of these questions are super important to you getting the feedback you need to make your packing stand out even more.
Use these 10 tips, along with your own common sense, and you’ll have an eye catching package design that makes your product fly off the shelves.