How to Create an Epic Package Design

Designing packaging comes with its own set of challenges and specifications. Not only does the design need to match your overall branding goals, but you have to consider how the product will look on store shelves. Will it catch the eye of shoppers or blend into obscurity amidst all the other products for sale?

The food sector alone launched 21,435 new products in 2016. Add to this the number of products in all categories, and you have a lot of competition. Getting your product noticed amidst so much noise is a challenge. You need to make sure your product packaging is on target. Some elements that will help your packaging stand out from the rest of the products out there the following.

1. Target Your Audience With the Packaging

Probably the first thing you should consider before you begin the design process is who your target audience is. The packaging you create for a product aimed at only women is going to be vastly different than a product aimed at only men. If you plan to target both men and women, then you’ll need an entirely different concept.

Other factors come into play as well, such as the age of your average customer and even income and education levels. To make sure you design your packaging to appeal to just the right market segment, create user personas for each of your typical customer types. This will allow you to look at the design through the lenses of someone thinking about buying your product.

2. Consider Color Psychology for Packaging

There is a certain psychology to choosing the colors on your packaging. The first thing to consider is the use of the product and what the product stands for. An eco-friendly product might benefit from green packaging. One example is Windex bottles. The bottle itself and the labeling are blue and white, which gives the appearance of cleanliness and freshness.

The crispness of the simple design makes the user want to grab the bottle and clean. However, Windex also adds a pop of red to draw the consumer’s eye in the store. Anything you can do like this to make your package stand out from the other products on the shelf will benefit your sales figures.

3. Find the Best Shape for the Package

Think about other products in your niche. How can you make your package a different shape so that it sticks out like a sore thumb? At the same time, though, you have to make sure the product will fit on the shelves of your local store. If you want up front and center placement, you certainly don’t want to make it impossible for store owners to place your product on the shelf.

It is probably best to stay away from triangles, as they take up too much space, but making your package slightly wider or taller can be a good way to grab attention without making the package so strangely shaped that it is impossible to stack.

4. Experiment With Font and Package Symbols

The symbols and font for the wording you use on your package can also make a difference in how well a product sells. Fifty-two percent of those shopping online state that they appreciate premium packaging and would purchase an item again if they like that packaging.

Symbols are a great way to increase branding for your product. If you use a blue tree on your website, letterhead and other advertising, put that symbol on your packaging as well. This will make your product easily recognizable both online and in stores.

Keep in mind that the symbol doesn’t have to be complicated. Look at Apple as one example. A simple little apple outline with a bite out of it has become one of the best-known logos in the world. Your customers will come to expect this branding and will look for your symbol before buying next time.

The same goes for fonts. Choose ones people can read easily and that deliver messages simply. There’s no need for fancy cursive or excessive bolding.

5. Pay Close Attention to Packaging Statements

Most products have wording on them somewhere. “Kills 99.9% of germs” would be one example on a cleaning product. This is a great way to add some typography to your packaging and make a statement about why your product is superior and unique.

However, you have to be certain your claims are honest, too. Consumers are fed up with companies stretching the truth to make a quick buck. You might sell to the average shopping initially with tall tales, but if your product fails to deliver, the consumer will not buy your product again and may even tell family and friends to steer clear.

6. Hone in on the Practical Use of Your Packaging

Test your product packaging thoroughly. The most beautifully designed package in the world isn’t going to win you points with consumers if it is impossible to open, rips and gouges them on the hand, or has some other issue. Actually take the time to use the packaging as the consumer would.

Is it easy to open the package? Does the package hold up okay? It might be handled a bit in the store, and you don’t want it to look beat up. Is there anything you can change to make the design more intuitive for your end user?

When it comes to packaging, there are many different things to consider that all come together to create a total look and design for your product. The packaging is sometimes almost as important as the product itself, so think through whether or not it sends the message you want it to.


After the initial design, walk into a brick and mortar store and look at the products in the area where yours will go. Does your packaging still stand out? Do the colors pop against the other colors already there? With a little legwork and a lot of foresight, you can create a package design that will drive consumers to your product in droves. All that will be left is to create the most amazing product imaginable, so they will come back time and time again.


Lexie Lu is a freelance web designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design news and always has coffee in close proximity. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.