Hiring a Graphic Designer for Your Custom Packaging

Hiring a Graphic Designer for Your Custom Packaging


When hiring a graphic designer for your custom packaging it is important to watch for a few key qualities in a designer. We have a compiled a list of what we believe to be the most important traits to look out for:

Experience with Packaging

Not a lot of graphic designers have had the opportunity to work with retail packaging dielines let alone simple corrugated box dielines. The problem is that dielines can become overwhelming and much more complex than designing for web or print. Most designers are trained to design corporate print materials such as logos, business cards, catalogues, magazines and brochures. This is because it is much more common for a designer to find full time work doing so.

We suggest requesting potential designers or agencies portfolios and looking for executed packaging design projects. It is extremely important that they can work in a multi dimensional workspace.

Experience with Different Types of Printing Methods

Generally designers are trained in two types of printing methods: Digital and offset. In the packaging industry we work in digital, offset, flexographic and screen printing. Each print method has its own set of rules and guidelines and can produce very different results.

Here is an example of which style of print is being used for different types of packaging:

  • Digital: Small run retail packaging, retail display header cards, small die cut boxes and small litho-laminated boxes.
  • Offset: Large run of retail packaging and smaller custom corrugated boxes.
  • Flexographic: Stock and Custom Boxes.
  • Screen Printing: All items listed above but only used in special circumstances.

A great designer can offset high costs such as multiple presschecks and even re-running orders due to unforeseen errors. The most common errors we see is designers not accounting for how printing styles, inks and materials are going react to one another.

Find someone you can work with!

Most importantly, find a designer that your styles can mesh well together. Personally I prefer to work with people who are highly organized and exceed my expectations on deadlines. I put a lot of trust in the designers I chose, and prefer that they can take control of their creative direction from my initial instructions. This doesn’t work for everyone though. Others prefer to work with designers that are able to take direction throughout the entire project without fuss. Some prefer a designer that does absolutely everything from coming up with the entire concept all the way to execution. The most heavily weighted trait would be organization and meeting deadlines.

If you would like referrals to designers that we have worked with in the past please contact us. We would be happy to share our go-to designers!

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