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4 Essential Principles of Good Packaging Design

Think about your favorite snack. Now think about the exact moment you picked it from the corner shop or supermarket for the first time. What was good about it? What made you pick it up? 

Of course, it must first have been a product you were interested in, to begin with, to have picked it up. But it was the packaging itself that no doubt caught your eye.

If you are thinking about what makes good packaging, read on.


1. Consistent Color Scheme

It’s important to ensure that the color scheme is consistent and does not blind the customer. This is one of the essential elements for how to design packaging and to start a brand from scratch

Think carefully about what colors work together. For instance, it’s difficult to see white text on a yellow background. 

You also need to think a little about phycology: what different colors represent in the eyes of your customer.

Green often represents the environment and ecology so if you do indicate to your customer that this is a sustainable product then green would make for good packaging. Though, of course, your claims must stack up in this case.

Red or dark pink is generally considered the color of romance and might be worth exploring for a romantic product or a box of luxury chocolates aimed at anniversaries or Valentine’s Day. 

Pink and blue are still generally regarded as the colors of boys and girls or men and females despite recent moves to balance this out. 

If your product is aimed specifically at one gender then be sure to take this into account when considering the color scheme. 

2. Simple Messaging

The messaging of a product is just as important as the look. Messaging that isn’t clear can confuse some customers as they won’t have an idea of what the product is about. 

Equally, you need a slogan for the product that sums up its values and why it’s worth purchasing. The slogan should only be a few words. 

It can be difficult to get this right. But it’s best to think about some of the great slogans from history and why they have worked. McDonald’s has ‘I’m lovin’ it’ which captures the enjoyment you are supposed to feel when eating at their restaurants. 

Nike’s slogan ‘Just do it’ effectively captures the pursuit of performance and the energy that wearing their trainers or sports brand encourages. There is no need to think too deeply about working out or going for a run, ‘just do it!’.

The messaging must fit with other aspects of the products’ design such as the color scheme and the general ethos of a product.

If you cannot decide on a slogan then be sure to consult an expert or to conduct some research of your own via surveys online. 

Every company and every major brand of that company must have its logo. This ensures that the consumer can identify what the product and the company are and what their values are. 

The logo is supposed to assist with brand recognition so that when a company produces a new product they have a reasonable expectation of what to expect and how good the product will be. 

Be sure to have the logo designed by a professional. Perhaps the logo could be designed by the same packaging design company that will design your whole product. 

Once you have created your logo you can incorporate it into your brand which you can establish online as well as in physical form.  

4. Includes the Information the Customer Wants 

This might sound obvious but a customer must be able to understand and find the information they need to decide to purchase the product. 

For many people the design, the logo and the overall message of the product are important, and they are what catches their eye, but the clincher is often what the product contains.

Many people now check the back of packages to ensure they contain suitable ingredients that fit their lifestyle. Many people now want products that contain less sugar and salt and are high in vitamins. Some people also have specific dietary requirements regarding gluten or other items they are allergic to or wish to avoid harsh chemicals or synthetic fibers/materials.

When it comes to non-food items with small parts, parents with small children might also want to take this into account. 

You may think you are shaping their decision by making it difficult to find this information but by making it hard or impossible for them to find you run the risk of a consumer not wanting to take the risk. 

They will place your product back on the shelf and find another one. Always be transparent and make it as easy as possible for consumers. 

Good Packaging Is Clear and Simple

Ultimately, what makes good packaging is something where it is obvious what it is and what the benefits are upon first glance. The color scheme should be simple and should not clash but this also indicate as to what kind of product it is.

The messaging must also be clear. The name of the product should be front and center and the font and the accompanying logo or slogan must make it obvious what the product is and why you should buy it.

Do not try to cram in as many words or phrases as possible as this will confuse the consumer. Be as transparent as possible on the back of the packaging by including all relevant scientific and dietary information to help consumers make an informed choice. 

If you are interested in reading more about how to build a business then be sure to check out the rest of our site. 

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