Picking the right type of font for your next custom packaging design project might just be the easy part. You can easily Google “best font for retail packaging” or “best font for floor displays” and you will discover hundreds of recommendations from a multitude of websites and blogs. But the really hard part comes next. Trying to figure out how to express that font on a three dimensional custom box can be tricky. For example, how do various letter combinations look on your packaging? What does an “L” look like next to an “O”? Or how well do the various parts of the copy appear on the packaging based on different letter sizing? Your chosen font might look great in lower case but upper case text might appear to look awkward. Or perhaps the upper and lower case look amazing on a flat piece of paper but they might start looking odd when added to a box. As you can see there are a may hidden complexities when it comes to typography. Especially when you start adding different variables like angles, different packaging dimensions and maybe even lighting. And this is without even mentioning food packaging, which has a whole host of other rules and regulations to follow.
Typography is not just about making the product packaging look pretty. You can have very well designed packaging but it might not convey the best possible perception. For example, fonts that are rounded are generally associated with sweeter products, at least when it comes to food packaging. If the product you are trying to sell is a sweet drink; but, you use font that is more angular and jagged, this could cause customers to perceive the drink as being more sour than it actually is. Or perhaps you have a less is more situation. You might discover that you need to add a realistic image of the product on the outside of your retail packaging box. In this case, you simply need to use less text with a smaller font size.
When designing your type layouts and applying it to your package, it’s important to really understand your design from a three dimensional perspective. Rotating a three dimensional cardboard box can be very helpful in understanding how the font and the colors work together to convey the right message. Using specialized software for this task can really help. For example Studio 18 by Esko can be a great option. Or there’s also ic3d by Creative Edge as another option. Whatever software you choose it will better help you understand your design.