How to Start a Custom Packaging Design Project (Part 2)

How to Start a Custom Packaging Design Project (Part 2)


In part one of our last article we talked about the research phase of starting a custom packaging design project. As a recap, we discussed why packaging design is important and how and why to understand your customers. Next we’ll move on to discussing branding and content requirements.

How to Organize Your Custom Packaging Brand Aesthetic

Organizing your brand aesthetic requires very careful consideration. In this example we discuss branding in the context of retail packaging. The first question to consider is if your product will be standing alone or will it be part of a larger brand and product line. In some ways if your new packaging design is part of a larger product line or brand then part of your job is already complete. You already have the look and feel, or the brand aesthetic established. However, the tricky part can be making sure your new product design fits well with the products that already exist. Depending on the product it may be quite easy to fit your new product into the existing branding. But sometimes things can get tricky if your starting a new category. For example it may be the case that your main product line comes in bottles or glass jars and your new product is part of a new category which comes in custom cardboard boxes. Then in this particular circumstance you must be careful to keep appropriate brand continuity amongst your different packaging design categories. Apart from these considerations you must also consider three more elements for your branding strategy.

  • Colors Palette
  • Fonts
  • Logos

Colors can also be quite tricky. One of the first things you should do is familiarize yourself with the Pantone Matching System established by the Pantone Company. This will help you significantly in understanding how and what colors to use for your new retail packaging and also what the outcomes of the printing process may be. To better understand the difference between different color systems check out this article.

Fonts are another important element in the design and branding process. Many people starting out in design see fonts as an afterthought. But fonts can be the most important part of the branding, and also the most complex. Things like line height, space between letters, space between words and font sizing combinations need to be well thought out.

Depending on how versatile your logo is this can be the easiest part of the design process. If your logo is already established than it’s a matter of sizing it and placing it in the correct location on the product package.

How to Organize Your Product Packaging Content

Understand product packaging content elements can get quite vast. There are industry standard considerations, and legal considerations. However we’ll discuss the basic elements here, which consist of written copy and imagery. Written copy is one of those things that can be more marketing than design. There may be phrases and words that help identify your product and entice your customers. These phrases and words might already be used on your website and your other products. Think about how your customers would describe your existing products and try not to deviate too far from this if your developing new written copy.

Imagery should almost be the last and the least complex part of the whole process. You should already have images established and ready for use. These might be photographics and artistic drawings that would be most suitable for retail packaging.

In future articles we’ll delve deeper into packaging content strategy.

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