We’ve all been taught not to judge a book by its cover, and we may even believe that we follow this maxim. You may believe that when you buy something, you choose it solely based on its merits. You may believe that your product is so fantastic that customers will choose it even if it comes in an old plastic bag. In reality, however, the package’s design is just as important as the quality of the product, sometimes even more so. So what are the main principles of successful packaging design? Let’s find out.
1. Be honest
Of course, you want to make your product look as attractive on its packaging as possible – after all, this is what makes the customer want to buy it. However, it is crucial that your product looks beautiful, not just on the package but also on reality. Whether you sell edibles or high-tech products, if the customer removes the packaging and sees something much humbler than what was promised on the box, it is going to ruin any trust he/she has for you and your brand. Even if your product turns out to be excellent in its own right, the customer will never forget that you tricked him/her into buying it by promising something that looks different.
2. Know who your customers are
It is not enough to design a beautiful package that will grab the attention of everybody who sees it. It should also take into account the tastes, values and other characteristics of your target audience. Do you have a definite buyer’s persona you can offer your products to? Once you know who your clients are, you can heavily customize your packaging to best reflect their needs and wishes. If you have trouble doing it, this guide to custom product boxes and packaging can help.
3. Quality is everything
Even if your package’s design is a work of absolute genius, it is not going to have much of an impact if the materials are obviously second-rate, printing is shoddy and it looks like it is going to fall apart if you touch it. It is especially true if you position your products as relatively upscale. Look for a printer who has experience of work with packaging.
4. Keep your product in mind
Buyers should not feel dissonance between the product and its packaging. Cleaning products should not look tasty. Candle packaging should bring to mind the concepts you want clients to associate with your product: relaxation, elegance, romance, etc. Foodstuffs should whet the client’s appetite just by standing on a shelf.
5. Stay consistent
If you sell multiple products in the same line, make sure it is obvious that they are related to each other and your brand. Either use the same colors irrespectively of the package’s form or vary the colors but stick to the same patterns and designs.
There is, of course, much more to designing successful packaging – and just like in any other area of design, creativity is often more important than following any rules. However, following these principles is the right choice in most situations.