Perhaps packaging is the most common design field that we get daily in touch, and i can’t stop getting the feeling that is also the most misunderstood.
Well to be honest, I get the feeling that the designer’s profession is a bit misunderstood too. The strongest – and sadly not only – misconception is that knowing how to use the Adobe suite makes you automatically a graphic or web or a motion designer. This claim is as absurd as someone saying that knowing how to hold a test tube makes you a scientist! But this is not our today topic.
So package is functional tool, it fulfills various requirements of commerce, and a distinctive package form helps define product’s and brand personality. As you design it, you should take into account its whole life cycle. Design of the structural graphics is the least of your concerns! Yes someone who can open Photoshop can do it too. You as designer should be considering which its place in the brand hierarchy is. And also practical things like its transportation, containment, storage, display, end-use and finally disposal.
– Making a unique package is half the work. Unique constructions in packaging are only commendable if they can be mass produced efficiently and they can accommodate the distribution channels of the company. So make sure your work is within the parameters of the brief.
– You should be able to understand the feasibility of what you are proposing as package design, and also account for any pitfalls that you will likely encounter. Make sure your design can actually manufactured with the suggested materials, not just in theory but also within the budget.
– Try to think more as your audience. Assume you were in the super market, and haven’t already developed a brand loyalty. And assume again that all other things like perceived quality and price where equal. What would make you pick this brand over another?
– Packaging alone can make us feel that we are buying more than just a product but an experience. The three dimensional form that you can wrap your hands around and feel it – has an undeniably stronger feeling than other design disciplines. Developing an alluring form or a package that Is functioning uniquely can potentially become the cornerstone of an entire marketing strategy. So after determine the target audience the next usual step in package design is to determine its form.
– Consider potential harmful by-products and excessive waste that might be caused by your choices on materials and try to eliminate these factors or in worst case minimize them. Making your packaging environment friendly should be your first priority and its necessity in the modern over polluted world we live in is more than an ethical matter!!
– Study successful forms of the past (well generally study the past). Knowing how we got on today’s market will empower you understand it better. Study and analyze even forms of products that have been removed from this specific market. Evaluate what had made them successful and how can you adapt them to your needs, improve them or completely repurpose them.
I hope you enjoyed this article and gave some things to think and consider!
How does packaging affect your choice to buy a product?
Looking forward to hear your comments and opinions!
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution Behance Project by Petar Pavlov