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What type of packaging would be best for my product? (PT2)

Packaging keeps everything in its place. The containers we place things in matter, whether it's a packet for your M&Ms, a hamper for your dirty laundry, or a bottle holding your beer's delightful liquid components together.

What exactly is product packaging then? Designing a product's packaging includes making the product's exterior. This covers decisions made on the type of material and form, as well as the graphics, colours, and typefaces used on the packaging, boxes, cans, bottles, and other types of containers.

Yes, it's a useful tool. (I mean, how else are you supposed to successfully drink beer?) However, it goes beyond that. Packaging conveys a message, just like good design does. Additionally, it is a sensory experience that literally engages us through sight, touch, and sound (and, depending on the product or package, perhaps smell and flavour as well). All of these data assist us in understanding the contained product's purpose, recommended use, target audience, and, perhaps most crucially, whether or not we should purchase it.

Style likes and dislikes

Before you begin the design process, it is a good idea to do some style study. Start gathering packaging that you find appealing. When you're at the store, take pictures. Make a board on Pinterest.

Keep in mind that inspiration for fashion isn't necessarily a one-to-one relationship. Perhaps you adore a particular shirt's colour, your aunt's drapes' pattern, or the font used on sandwich shop signs. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you're curating design ideas for that ideal client and not necessarily for yourself. Even while you may adore shabby, antique flair, it's probably not the best packaging if you're selling baby motorbike jackets to fierce biker mums.

When beginning your style journey, materials are something else to begin considering. You don't need to decide right now, but you should start observing the many alternatives.


Budgets for packaging design are divided into two groups:

One-time expenses

Costs per item

One-time expenses include paying for the initial design work, buying a stamp (if you're pursuing the DIY way), and setting up the print plate (for large, offset print runs.) These are upfront costs that are often only paid once (unless you change your design).

Costs per item often include both labour and materials. Each box, the tissue paper you use to fill it, and the tape you use to seal it will cost a set amount. Additionally, you must either do it yourself or pay someone to package your goods.

Before you begin the design process, you should have an understanding of your budget in general. Remember that cheaper isn't always better; spending a little extra on your materials could help you stand out from the competition and improve your presentation (and your selling price).

The packaging design process in 7 steps

When you've gathered all of this data, it's now time for the creative process, which is fun! Keep in mind the narrative your packaging should communicate. What will enable you to tell that tale are the decisions you make during the design process.

1. Recognize the layers in the packaging

The outside packaging, inside packaging, and product packaging are the three "layers" of a package. One or all of these may be necessary for your product.

The first thing a buyer will notice is the outer box. Your merchandise is shielded from the elements by it. This could refer to the packaging used to transport the item or the shopping bag used to carry it out of the store.

Your product is kept snugly tucked inside the outer packaging by the inner packaging. To prevent something from being jostled or scratched, use packing peanuts or tissue paper. Another option is a sealed bag that maintains freshness.

When most people think about packaging, they picture products like the boxes that toys come in, bottles with labels, clothing tags, and candy bar wrappers.

You have the opportunity to share a portion of your tale in each of these packaging layers.

2. Choose the right type of packaging

For your product, a variety of packaging options are available, including:

Sometimes, the decision between a box and a bottle seems obvious. But occasionally, it's not. When choosing the ideal kind of packaging for your product, bear the following factors in mind:

The thing

Always, everything circles back to this! Your choices will be limited if you are selling something liquid. (However, avoid letting this restrict your originality! Take a look at Capri Sun; they invented the juice sachet and turned the juice-box market on its head. Or Go-Gurt, which transformed yoghurt from a snack that needed a spoon to one that you could eat straight from a package.)

The contest.

Anyone else use a can for their soup? You should give putting your soup in something else a lot of thought. On the one hand, it will make you distinctive, which can help you stand out. On the other hand, people are accustomed to soup in cans, and supermarkets are set up to carry cans in their soup section, so your box of soup may face a difficult battle.

spending plan

You might have a brilliant idea for how to present your astrology charms in a box that resembles a star. However, if your spending limit is $0.50 per item, this is probably not feasible. Always remember to consider your target customer: if your charms are going to sell for $12 each, a straightforward, low-cost package is definitely your best option. However, you might be better off increasing your spending and choosing that opulent star-shaped box if they are hand-made, gold keepsakes that you are selling for $100.

3. Position your printer.

You won't start printing anything until the design is finished. But before you reach to that point, you should consider it! In addition to ensuring that you are clear on printing prices, speaking with a printer will enable you to get precise information that can help your designer prepare files.


Printers should be able to offer dieline templates that can be shared with a designer if you choose a standard-sized box or label.

File-format specifications

A vector file is required by your printer. Does the file have to be layered? Should you or shouldn't you use cut lines? A print-ready file, often an Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Photoshop (.psd), PDF, or EPS, should be provided by your designer. If you don't have the appropriate software, you might not be able to open these files, but your printer will be able to. Additionally, the designer will deliver visual prototypes in PNG or JPG formats (which everyone can open). Make sure you are aware of the various file kinds so you can deliver them to the appropriate parties.

Color choices

There are going to be certain printers that can color-match to any Pantone colour. Others will provide a smaller colour pallet for you to work with (especially more affordable options).

In comparison to offset printing

What kind does your printer employ? What is the minimum order number if they do offset? What is the cost scaling?

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