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Image courtesy of Inmagine (PTG01164727)
Written by David Pettitt, Senior Art Director of Michon.
Not all of retail is equal, and those designing for one market may well have a much easier time than those creating for another. Here Dave Pettitt, senior art director at design and marketing agency Michon, explains how difficult areas of retail can be tackled.
As most readers here will know, some sectors of retail are prime targets for innovative packaging design. Others, meanwhile, present many more challenges.
The cosmetics market, for example, features luxury products that can often be judged on little other than their packaging design. Those brands are therefore happy to invest in striking, experimental and often elaborate designs, where the packaging can sometimes cost as much as the product inside it!
Conversely, a market such as the DIY sector can be very restrictive because of the utilitarian nature of the products within it and its consumer price sensitivity. This is something we at Michon have to consider when creating packaging designs for one of our longest standing clients, Ronseal.
Huge DIY stores can be challenging environments for any brand to stand out in. The sheer variety of products, together with all of their subcategories stacked high on the shelves, can make for a daunting and confusing consumer experience. Particularly for those who are not seasoned DIYers.
The key to successful packaging in any market is, of course, thorough research and a clear understanding of your demographic together with their reasons for purchase. Everything from where they live and what job they have, to their social aspirations and even the décor of their house, can be used to build up a picture of your target audience. In a marketplace that is crowded with just about every conceivable product, the USPs should be represented clearly from the outset, as these form the criteria for the concept, and appeal to the values of that audience. The design then needs to work to not only convey the product’s message, but actually influence the purchase decision.
With Ronseal, our approach has always been just that. Firstly to separate the various products by their packaging into clutter-free, clearly defined categories – easily and quickly recognisable to any customer who might see them all merchandised together. Then to simplify the on-pack and POS messages to make it absolutely clear what the product is for - a vital tactic in reinforcing Ronseal’s “does exactly what it says on the tin” strapline. Not only that but it also gives the consumer confidence in what they’re buying, which in turn instills trust in the brand.
This simplicity is what clarifies the product’s message in a competitive but restricted environment. When presented with shelves of similar-looking items, shoppers just want the product that will do the job best – particularly as they may pick up two rivals to compare side by side. An honest and fast message is what, in this scenario, wins out over a more complicated design.
About the author
This article was written by David Pettitt, the Senior Art Director at Michon. A creative agency in Nottingham, UK.
Written by Katherine Golovinova, Marketing manager of Allinpackaging creative packaging.
Packaging plays a great role in the branding of cosmetic products. The overall look of a cosmetic product is one of the most important determinants of its market appeal, besides its quality, of course. In order to find the right cosmetic containers, it is imperative to understand all the fronts on which packaging plays a significant role.
Written by Rick Aguilar, a freelance writer and an avid healthy life style activist. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Brand awareness is no easy feat, which is just one reason why companies spend so much money on professional packaging designs. For starters, branding alone doesn't guarantee brand awareness. You can allocate millions of dollars to custom logos and tag lines and color schemes, only to find that your efforts slip completely under the radar, generating no real connection with the general public. Sure, we would all love to be the next Coca-Cola, whose design is synonymous with refreshment, but few businesses are so fortunate. If you want to increase your own brand awareness, you need to get creative. Here is one powerful tool you may not have considered: business partnerships.
Written by Brit Peacock, a blogger from the UK with a keen interest in issues relating to sustainability.Articles
Here in the United Kingdom packaging is frequently given a bad press. We as consumers feel that we should be making a greater effort to recycle waste packaging, whilst there is pressure on manufacturers to reduce the amount they produce.
Are UK manufacturers guilty of not doing enough to recycle packaging? The facts may surprise…
Putting packaging into perspective
Whilst a few years old, research carried out by the independent Advisory Committee on Packaging revealed some very interesting statistics relating to packaging recycling. Their 2008 report, Packaging in Perspective, detailed how:
● Nearly two thirds (60%) of packaging is recycled
● Despite widespread concern over the amount of waste being sent to landfill, packaging comprises less than 3% of all solid waste buried
● In the decade prior to 2008 businesses doubled the amount of packaging that was recovered and recycled, from three to six million tonnes
Written by Jonny Rowntree , a design and technology freelance writer from Newcastle, UK.Articles
Packaging exists for a number of reasons other than the obvious. Of course, any product needs to be packaged in order to contain the product, especially with liquids or loose items. However, packaging also has a range of other goals in mind. The packaging of any product will, first and foremost, need to sell the item and create a brand identity that consumers will feel comfortable with. Packaging is also designed to protect the product from outside interference or disintegration, and to facilitate the use of the product. When using cleaning products, for example, packaging is designed to keep the user safe from strong chemicals, whilst being easy to pour or spray onto the desired surface. As there have been innovations in the world of science, so packaging has changed. Over the last 20 years, various factors have caused packaging to change.
Written by Jenn David Connolly , Founder and Creative Director, Jenn David Design.Articles
You’ve got their attention. Your package stood out from the rest in their eye. Now that you’ve got their attention, how do you engage them to pick up the product? Let’s take a look at what happens next in the sale process and how you can optimize your package to maximize the sale. This is the second in our series on creating packaging that increases sales. (See Part 1 here)
We touched on copy in the first part of this series, but here’s where that really comes into play. Now the consumer is interested in learning more and they may be thinking, “ I like the look of this product and I sense that it’s unique, but why should I buy it? Why is it better than the other choices here? What are the benefits? Is it worth the price? Does the quality meet my expectations?” These are all the questions that are flying around the consumer’s head in just a couple seconds, consciously or unconsciously, and they are looking to the package to provide the answers. The better job the package does of informing, the more likely the consumer is to buy.
Written by Jenn David Connolly , Founder and Creative Director, Jenn David Design.Articles
How hard does your packaging have to work? When your customer is walking down the aisle, you only have two seconds to wow ’em. Not only are you fighting to grab their attention, you’re competing with all the other products on the shelf. Does your package have what it takes to stop the customer in their tracks? This series will look at all the techniques you can use to make the sale.
Designed by designojo, United States.
The ubiquitous loaf of crusty bread is found everywhere, a food staple, the original slow food, artisanal in the hands of a craft baker, but in the world of branding it is very much a commodity. Here in NYC it’s high art at Sullivan Street Bakery or Balthazar, both in baking and branding, but most often a more humble version is found in the hundreds of corner markets around the city. The loaves from the neighborhood bakeries that supply these corner markets, are often packaged in generic bakery bags, which belie the real story behind many of them.
Packaging is a quirky collection of clip art and visual cliques, oddly most of this bread comes from 4th or 5th generation family bakeries, rich history and authencity that was not born from any focused branding effort. These simple and unpretentious packages are strangely endearing, yet one wonders if reimaged visual equities and a bit of design restraint would net packaging that would relate to a broader consumer audience. With this in mind we selected a small sampling of bakery bags and redesigned them. Our intent was to focus on retaining aspects of the original packages, while considering design elements which would help to build richer brand stories.
As a packaging designer, I always find myself constantly finding for resources to add that finishing touch to a project. Few weeks ago, I came across Freepik.
Freepik is a search engine that helps designers to locate high quality photos, vectors, illustrations and PSD files for their creative projects.
Freepik tracks and locates free graphic content on the Internet and it displays the results in an orderly layout for easy access. Freepik makes it easier for you to find the files you need without manually searching dozens of websites.
By Kathryn GoodchildArticles, Sustainable
Consumers are far more environmentally aware these days and while good packaging design is still essential for attracting people to products, consumers now expect that products are packaged in a sustainable way too.
Sustainable Origami Food Box by Michealle Lee
Sustainability has become a buzzword in the packaging industry. Over recent years, the industry has received harsh criticism over the amount of materials used in packaging and the types of materials that has been traditionally used. Consumers are far more environmentally aware these days and while good packaging design is still essential for attracting people to products, consumers now expect that products are packaged in a sustainable way too.
Sustainability is not easy when it comes to packaging. Packaging still has to serve multiple criteria, namely making the products look appealing whilst protecting them to ensure consumers receive their goods in perfect condition. Reducing packaging materials and still adhering to these basic criteria is no easy task, but it is where packaging designers are increasingly expected to excel.
Less is more
Trying to create sustainable packaging often means creating packaging designs that not only use fewer materials, but also still protect the consumables and provide an appealing aesthetic. When it comes to larger products, such as furniture packaging, this can be fairly easy. It has often been the case that items such as furniture have been over-packaged, with protective filling and excessive materials used to maintain protection. It is therefore possible to strip away some of these materials with clever packaging design and still maintain the same level of protection. However, for smaller consumables, there is less wiggle room and any reduction of materials is going to require some clever and innovative design.
Kraft Cheese Package
There have been some great examples recently of how clever package design has helped reduce the amount of the materials, especially in the food packaging industry. One company that has led the way is Kraft, which has achieved some pretty remarkable results. Their Oscar Mayer Deli Creations product, for instance, now uses 30 percent less paperboard thanks to some clever design, a reduction that equates to 1.2 million Ibs of packaging each year. By reducing the number or layers in their Milka chocolate bar, Kraft also managed a 60 percent reduction in the packaging weight of their popular European confectionery, and the introduction of a clever zipper system in their Natural Cheese packages, has eliminated more than 1 million Ibs of packaging a year.
By stating these reductions on their packaging design, Kraft have even noticed an upturn in sales due to the keenness of consumers for more sustainable packaging, which has led to more and more food manufacturers following Kraft’s lead and coming up with their own sustainable packaging designs. Designers have also reduce packaging materials by thinking about the entire logistical process of products, and found ways of providing shelf-ready packaging that is also able to provide protection during transit, reducing the need for additional packaging solely for delivering the goods.
The Ebay Box designed by Office
When reduction in materials is simply not possible, designers can still improve the sustainability of packaging by the choice of materials they use. While for many years plastic has been the material of choice for packaging designers, consumers are now becoming increasingly averse to the use of plastics and other non-biodegradable materials. Using recycled and recyclable materials is one way packaging designers can provide sustainable credentials to consumers. Recycled paper and cardboard can often be implemented in many designs where plastic was formerly used. While for larger items, reclaimed timber or wood from managed sources is far more sustainable than timber from unknown sources.
For products where there really is no alternative but to use a non-biodegradable product such as plastic, designers can still find ways of improving sustainability, such as avoiding different material combinations so packaging can be more easily recycled, so for example, using the same plastic for a lid that is used for the body of a bottle.
Cost of sustainability
Sustainability can prove a challenge for packaging designers but it is not without its benefits. For one thing, sustainability is something that consumers are hankering for, so a well-designed packaging solution can help improve sales. Furthermore, as much of sustainability is about using fewer materials, there are cost savings to be had, as less money needs to be spent on packaging materials. Of course, retooling for new packaging may require some outlay, but this will be a one-off investment and the savings made in materials should easily pay for such changes.
Sustainability is not a fleeting design fad, it is going to be more and more relevant in the packaging industry, and those designers that can up with clever and innovative solutions to reduce packaging and implement more environmentally friendly materials, are going to be those designers who will be the most successful in the future.
About the authorKathryn Goodchild is a full-time as a professional writer and researcher for five years.
By Amina AlTai, Marketing Director, Imagemme.Articles
... foods are so heavily laden with chemicals, or exotoxins, that our bodies cannot cope, and end up spending more energy trying to rid of these harmful chemicals, than actually gaining any nutritional value from eating these foods.
It’s somewhat of an oxymoron. We carefully select and curate the nutritious foods we are going to eat to provide energy to our bodies. Oftentimes, these foods are so heavily laden with chemicals, or exotoxins, that our bodies cannot cope, and end up spending more energy trying to rid of these harmful chemicals, than actually gaining any nutritional value from eating these foods. It results in an endless game of catch-up where our bodies are constantly starved of nutrients and the fuel to drive us. And many of these chemicals are coming directly from the packaging. So when our groceries, take-out foods, and our on-the-go cups are laden with unhealthy materials, our bodies are bound to take the fall.
Luckily, there are several emerging innovations that category leaders are wising up in order to make our food packaging a healthier, more viable option. Here are a few trends we are seeing in packaging design that can help you live somewhat healthier, even if you don’t have time to prepare your own foods.
Recycled containers: Recycled containers are a hot topic at the moment. While it could be a healthier and more environmentally sound option, the FDA has reservations on its wide-spread safety and has a very specific protocol for the production process. The FDA’s main concern is that contaminants from the post consumer material could wind up in the final product. Nevertheless, we are seeing a mushrooming of these types of packages, especially across natural and organic products.
Plant Fiber Containers and PLA: Though the name sounds somewhat scary (it stands for Polymerized Lactic Acid) PLA containers are some of the safest options out there and are made entirely of corn or sugarcane. They look and feel just like PET plastic, but without the harmful chemicals. PLA containers are used often in vegan food packaging to maintain the integrity of the products being packaged. Be prepared to see a lot of plant fiber packaging emerge, especially those created from sugarcane, corn, wheat, bamboo and rice.
Recycled cups with PLA liners: One of the biggest concerns for consumers is what what we’re ingesting while we drink, especially with hot drinks. As the package heats up, the structure changes and it is more likely to omit harmful chemicals into your drinks. In the hot beverage category we are seeing an emergence of recycled/compostable fibers with PLA liners, thus avoiding harmful petrochemical-based coatings. This biodegradable material is extremely diverse and can store food up to 110 degrees.
Chemical Consciousness: A hot topic in packaging, regardless of the category is phthalates. Phthalates are added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, and durability and are used in a range of packaging types. They are most renowned for their role in beauty and cosmetic packaging, and have been thought to cause harmful health effects.
BPA is also a buzzword in food packaging. Bisphenoal A, or BPA, is commonly found in the lining of canned goods and is controversial because of its ability to exert hormone-like properties that can act as endocrine disruptors.
The list of chemicals could go on and on. The lesson here is a movement away from PETs and their relatives, to compostable, biodegradable options where possible.
There are countless alternatives for companies that are looking to create food packaging as healthfully as possible. However you decide to package your food items, it’s important to select vehicles that maintain the nutrition and integrity of the ingestibles without adding any sneaky surprises. As with most packaging innovation, the cost of entry can be high, but once consumers catch on, it will pay dividends to their health and your bottom line.
About the author
Written by Amina AlTai, Marketing Director, Imagemme.Articles
Design, though often subjective, is not arbitrary. Certain design elements resonate with different demographic cohorts and it’s very important to consider these cohorts when designing.
Packages have a huge responsibility to cultivate intimate and long-lasting bonds with consumers. They are the only brand touch-points that you have 100% control of in-store and thus become a vehicle of mass persuasion that can make or break your business. Here are 4 sure-fire ways to make sure your package designs are successful and bring you the most ROI:
Know Your Consumer: Design, though often subjective, is not arbitrary. Certain design elements resonate with different demographic cohorts and it’s very important to consider these cohorts when designing. By the time you get to your package design you’ve already decided on your brand personality and have defined the consumer group your brand is targeting. It is of the utmost importance to design for your market and to test those designs within the market. A package design that is misaligned with your target market’s patterns of behavior and level of taste can certainly break your business.
Ole Henriksen's Seven Skincare SensationsConsider Shopability: With packaging design, it’s important to have a design strategy in place before the process is begun. Identify the hierarchy of information, copy points, which elements are constant, and which are variable. Ensure that your variable elements are obvious to the consumer for easy shopability. If you have a fragrance line with 10 different SKUs and the only difference is scent, make sure that difference is obvious to the consumer. The skincare brand, Ole Henriksen has done a tremendous job when it comes to shopability. Skincare can be so confusing with all the lotions and potions in the same tiny jars. Each category of their skincare has been assigned a color that pertains to the consumer’s specific skincare concern. If you fall in the “pink” skin category you know instantly which products are right for you because they are labeled…in pink. Being able to easily decipher between products has been proven to minimize consumer confusion between products and thus lessens returns, which makes retailers much happier with you.
Think About Logistics: Often times we want to create a really elaborate package that breaks the mold in every way. Groundbreaking innovation is wonderful and necessary, but make sure you aren’t losing business because of it. Package designs have to adhere to certain shelf-height regulations. You will also be a favorite among retailers if you don’t take up more space than is necessary. The challenge as packaging designers is to get the most on-shelf signage as efficiently as possible. The size, shape and weight of your product will also affect shipability and cost. Make sure that you are maximizing your usage of space and not paying absurd shipping rates because you’ve made your package out of plutonium.
Clarasonic Pro Sonic Skin Cleansing System
Balance form, design and function: The type of product you are selling plays a big role in the design of your package. If you’re a category leader and consumers are familiar with your brand and product, there is actually less onus on you to get things right (think coke’s design faux pas that celebrated its relationship with World Wildlife Fund). However, if you’re a new brand and you launch with a breakthrough innovation, there is a ton of pressure on your packaging. Consumers need to understand what your product looks like, what the specific functionalities are, what the benefits are and so on. The packaging has a significant role beyond aesthetics to educate the consumer and convince them that they need this product. Think about the Clarasonic Pro Sonic Skin Cleansing system. Consumers had never seen a sonic brush for their face before. We had no idea what this little sonic brush was meant to do for us. However, the packaging clearly displayed the tool, it alluded to its utility by featuring a model washing her face, the package clearly displayed the product benefits and came in a convenient carryall. Clarasonic has been very successful and a lot of that success is owed to the packaging. When it comes to innovation, be sure your package balances that innovation with transparency so consumers can make an informed purchase decision.
The packaging has a significant role beyond aesthetics to educate the consumer and convince them that they need this product.
Good packaging delicately balances design, form and function to create a harmonious experience that stops the consumers in their tracks (with their alarmingly good looks) and convinces them to buy (with their smooth-talking copy and brand promises). Consumers have been proven to make purchases based on color, package utility etc, and with almost 75% of purchases being impulse today, your packaging has to cue the right emotions and make the right statement. In cut-throat retail environments, where every brand is clamoring for shelf space, market share and mindshare, packaging has a big job to do and it’s important to invest the right resources in it to make it successful. Good packaging, simply put, is good business.
About the authorAmina AlTai is the Marketing Director at Imagemme, a New York-based packaging design and branding agency.
Christmas is on the doorstep and it’s just about time to come up with some nice gift ideas, purchase them and… well, package them one way or another. However, when it comes to packaging, sometimes it’s nice to have some good starting points in order to give the gift this special little detail that would make it memorable and personal. Therefore we decided to present some really nice and appealing gift packages, designs cover, gift wrapping, gift boxes, ribbons, tags and many more… so that you can wrap your precious gift with the help of these beautiful wrapping accessories. We have very carefully selected all these items, and we hope that you’ll like them. Feel free to share your comments with us and other readers.By Obaid ur Rehma