Think about your latest purchase.
Why did you pick that specific brand?
Was it something you truly need or was it an impulsive buy?
Now that you think about it, the chances are that you were drawn to the packaging design of that specific product. You may have wanted the product, but did you need that particular brand?
The truth is that most of us are inclined to opt for a product that has a certain degree of aesthetic appeal and something pleasing to the eyes.
The packaging, when done the right away, essentially serves as a selling point for the product. Gone are the days when the sole purpose of packaging was to carry the product as a container with a logo sticker pasted on it.
Today, things have drastically changed in the retail world, and it is a highly competitive jungle out there. Thoughtfully and creatively designed retail boxes basically act as a medium of communication between your brand and the consumers. It grabs attention, elucidates the brand message, and make the consumer feel a certain way.
Getting your product to stand out on the crowded retail shelves can be quite challenging. You have to think outside the box and come up with creative design ideas that add an essence of uniqueness to your product packaging. Here, we have put together a list of exciting tips and ideas that you can use as a source of inspiration when designing your custom retail boxes.
1. Use Patterns
What is the first thing that pops in your head when you think about patterns?
It might be that ugly wallpaper or the old drapes in your aunt’s house. However, patterns are much more than that, and they allow so much room for creativity and innovation.
Patterns can be used to create timeless aesthetics for your packaging, and it is something that you can use to develop a brand identity. There is truly no limit in terms of the designs and colors you can play with when creating the perfect packaging for your product.
To create an appropriate pattern design, you must have a clear understanding of who your target audience is, and what is the mood you are trying to convey with the packaging. Figuring this out will help you set a tone for your design and create something that resonates with your style and brand image.
2. Leverage Negative Space
In an enormously cluttered and overwhelming world of packaging, many brands are taking the minimalistic approach when designing their retail packaging. While it might appear as an easier alternative, there is a lot of brainstorming and creative insight that goes into designing a simple yet appealing packaging design.
Negative space refers to the blank space present around the subject or the central image. In packaging, it is the blank space around the brand logo or some other design elements. The reason why a simple packaging design grabs the consumers’ attention is that a retail shelf is a pretty crowded place where the onlooker is bombarded with a ton of colorful options. Amidst of all the chaos, your minimalistic design is what is going to make the consumer interested in your product.
The example here shows a classic minimal packaging design with a simple monogram on the top and a modern serif logotype. Copper foil printing is used for an elegant aesthetic, and the pastel blue adds a beautiful subdued tone to the packaging.
3. Complement the Product
Make sure that your packaging design complements the product that is going inside it. It is easy to get carried away when your creative juices are flowing, and you are pumped up to design the most creative packaging for your product.
However, it is important to remember that you do not undermine the message of your brand and create something reflective of your merchandise.
Let’s take a look at the example of The Ordinary, a skincare brand that uses plain and simple packaging to reflect its inherent philosophy that ‘less is more’. Instead of using cluttered packaging with unnecessary prints and bright colors, the brand stays true to the nature of its products by opting for a plain white packaging design with a bare minimum of ingredients outside.
When your packaging complements your products, it instills a sense of confidence in your consumers. Your brand appears to be more authentic and truer to its nature rather than simply trying hard following the prevalent trends.
4. Add Playful Graphics/Designs
The chances are that in a crowded marketplace you will find plenty of somber packaging for a lot of the products. You know the type, with their simple, commanding graphics and firm typefaces to impress the consumers with the palpable sophistication and visual dominance.
While this type of packaging does work well for many brands, it might be a good idea to step outside the box and adapt a more playful approach when designing the retail packaging for your products. Unusual imagery and exciting graphics are bound to captivate the consumers who appreciate a fun, playful shopping experience.
5. Use Stylization
Where does it say that you have to stick to the realistic graphics?
If your brand image allows it, you can stylize imagery and utilize it as a textural component for the packaging. Stylization is a decorative generalization of objects and shapes using different techniques. Here, in this example, the package uses a simplistic illustration of a head with hair. The hair is used as an element that creates a pattern in the background. At one glance, you might not figure out what is happening with the design, but as you look closely, you can see the hair making the intriguing pattern on the packaging.
6. Allow A Sneak Peak
Depending on the specific merchandise, it might be a good idea to offer a sneak peek of the products to the consumers. It is especially important when you are dealing with food items and looking for food packaging. To brainstorm and envision ideas, think from the consumers’ viewpoint.
Wouldn’t you prefer it if you could see what you are getting?
You could create a clear cut-out window in your retail packaging that allows the buyer to see what exact product they are getting.
7. Use Eco-friendly Packaging
Climate change has officially been declared as a global crisis. Owing to better awareness, people are transitioning towards the brands that have a more ecological approach to packaging and businesses that are working towards minimizing their impact on the environment.
It might be in the best interest of your brand image to adapt to the eco-friendly alternatives and materials when designing your retail packaging. While it might limit your options to a certain degree, but if utilized carefully, this could be a great opportunity for your business to think outside the box and adjust their packaging designs to this new trend.
There are infinite possibilities when it comes
to designing creative
product packaging. Something to always keep in mind is how your packaging
stands out among similar competitive products. Whether it is the unusual, spunky
imagery or a nifty, creative design, your packaging must carry an element of
intrigue that sets it apart from the others.