The Product Packaging Guide You Need to Read

Custom packaging is more than just a pretty container. A perfect packaging solution can turn ordinary buyers into raving fans. To put it into perspective, premium packaging can be the difference between tossing the product into the cart and leaving it on the shelf. Though it’s hard to believe, creating effectual custom packaging is easier than you think.

With fantastic custom packaging, your brand and product can confidently stand out in the crowded marketplace. Brand recognition based on your packaging solution will also help drive sales and allow you to have a loyal customer base that will repeatedly purchase your product.

Let’s get down to how you can create effectual packaging that will make your product the number one choice of customers.

Get Rolling

Even if it’s the first time you are engaging in the product packaging process, that’s absolutely fine. You just need to understand some basic elements of the process to make it less scary and get things rolling. Irrespective of your non-existent experience, you will soon recognize it’s easy to go above and beyond.

Go through some excellent packaging photos and package design blogs to seek inspiration. The next thing you will know is your first batch of packaged goods is set to be shipped to the customers or stores.

Frequently Used Terms

Here we have explained a few packaging terms that are being commonly used to get you started, so it becomes easy for you to develop an understanding of the packaging process. To give you in-depth knowledge, we have described these terms in detail to give you a good idea of the things.

Dieline

A dieline is a custom 2D representation of packaging that shows your design on an unassembled and flat box. The significance of dielines can be judged from the fact that they help both designers and printers in correctly determining the position and layout of the artwork that needs to go on the box. The equipment operators also use them to accurately cut, crease, and glue the packaging structure.

Spot Colors

A spot color could be any color that is generated by pure or mixed ink colors. These colors are printed using a single run. The fine selection of inks to create these colors come premixed from a numbered list that is usually provided by the Pantone Matching System (PMS). It is recommended colors should be applied to areas that are assigned for a particular color. It brings consistency and keeps the printing cost down.

CMYK

CMYK represents the four inks used in offset printing: yellow, black, cyan, and magenta. It’s a way to partially or entirely masking colors on a relatively white or lighter background. The ink help reduce the light that would have otherwise strained the eyes. That’s why it is called subtractive.

RGB

The RGB color model works as a stabilizer because red, green, and blue light are used in various ways to emulate a broad array of colors.

Foiling

Foiling or hot stamping is recurrently used in the packaging of food, alcohol, tobacco, and luxury items. The process is used to decorate your packaging by transferring an image in a foil or thin layer of film onto a paperboard. With heat and pressure, the image is released from the film into the substrate, which creates a laminate.

Embossing

Embossing is a process that is used to create a raised design in paper and other materials. The image or text is pressed into the surface from below. This requires a female or male die. To make the pattern more alluring, you can employ ink or foil to the raised area.

Debossing

Debossing is completely the opposite of embossing. Essentially, debossing is imprinting your design in a print piece from above. The process allows you to apply ink to your design when it is imprinted. Unlike embossing, debossing requires just one die.

Caliper/Flute

Caliper denotes the thickness or weight of the cardboard. It is largely considered when you need to protect a product from external pressures and hazards. In the case of corrugated packaging, the caliper is called a flute.

Flexographic Printing

The process is used to imprint design on any flexible material. That’s why it requires plates. Typically, it uses simple colors, which makes it an excellent option if your design doesn’t change too often. That said, it can be an expensive option because you have to pay upfront for printing plates.

Lithographic Printing

Lithographic printing also uses printing plates, but it is used when you need a far more detailed and elaborate design. It’ll give you the highest print quality, especially when you are printing packaging in bulk. But it is one of the most expensive printing solutions.

Primary Packaging

Primary packaging is a packaging that has direct contact with the product. Thus, it is often referred to as retail packaging. This particular layer of packaging is developed with the product in mind. The main aim of the primary packaging is to protect and preserve the product. Commonly used primary packaging solutions include soap boxes, cake boxes, cosmetic boxes, and more.

Secondary Packaging

Unlike primary packaging, secondary packaging never comes into contact with the retail product. Instead, it used to hold together the individual units of items. More importantly, it helps promote brand and product by serving as a marketing tool besides supporting your logistic needs such as transportation and storage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Design Custom Package Without Involving a Professional Designer?

Of course, you can if you have the skills. However, if you aren’t a professional designer, its best to seek help from a custom packaging supplier. Print-on-demand services are on the rise, and a high percentage of executives are taking advantage of them because they want to focus on the core business rather than getting involved in crafting the packaging. These services are readily available to both small and big companies.

Sure, professional help can come in handy when creating a design. But, if you don’t want to involve a professional graphic designer owing to the limited budget get in touch with The Legacy Printing that offers Free design services to its customers.

How Many Layers of Packaging Should You Use?

Knowing how your product fits into your engaging brand story can help create irresistible packaging. At the same time, it will enable you to focus on the different layers of packaging that lead your patrons to discover your goods.

But getting your product in the customers’ hands isn’t the end of the story. What if your packaging was inadequate and failed to provide the protection your product needs? Resultantly, your customer will receive a damaged product. How are you planning to keep your product safe during storage and shipping?

It’s the different packaging layers that save fragile products from external hazards. The flexibility of your product will help you determine the number of layers you need to incorporate.

Should You Consider Ease of Use?

An efficient packaging segregates your products from the crowd and is also easy to use. Packaging that fails to provide easy access to product frustrates customers and leaves a negative impression. You know what I am talking about if you have ever struggled to open a can or box.

Use a simple approach and make sure your products are easily accessible. If it’s tricky, make it clear how customers can open it. For this, print instructions on the packaging of food and other consumable items that require usage instructions or directives, so consumers know how to use them. Avoid printing complete guidelines as simple instructions would do the job.

To evade all this hassle, choose a simple, easy-to-use packaging design that offers excellent presentation and protection.

How to Keep Your Products Safe?

Ensuring your goods safely arrives is a critical part of the packaging design. People love to receive their orders by post. Unfortunately, nothing could be more frustrating than finding a damaged product upon opening the box. This brings us to the hundred million dollar question: How can you design your packaging to keep the products safe?

Adding corrugated cardboard inserts is a cost-effective way to keep your products intact and safe. The inserts will provide your products with the safety and stability they require during storage and transport.

If that doesn’t work, try using custom foam inserts that are light and durable. Foam inserts offer excellent protection to the products, but they are expensive than cardboard inserts and significantly boost your packaging costs.

How Colors Affect Buying Behavior?

Harnessing the power of colors allows you to tell your brand story effectively. Colors play with human psychology. For this reason, marketers try to use them to their advantage. With a tempting color palette, your brand can evoke the right feelings and persuade customers to buy or refer your goods.

Why are Brand Colors so Important?

Brand colors are the most obvious choice for your packaging. Why? You have carefully selected these hues. They are ideal for representing your brand because they resonate with your ideal customers. Unique colors build loyalty and brand recognition because they draw the customers straight to your products. If you haven’t designed your packaging yet, selecting brand colors could be a good way to start the process.  Here’s how different colors work in your favor.

  • Dark vs. Light: Dark colors possess a mysterious power and elegance, while light hues have a more relaxing and softer appeal. With dark shades, you can give your brand a more established and trusted feel. However, if you need a graceful and ethereal touch, incorporate light colors. They will give your brand a clean and pure look. Dark shades are also used when you need to create a luxurious experience. In contrast, light colors give you a glimpse of simplicity when you need to imply cleanliness.
  • Bright vs. Pastel: Besides light and darker shades, color saturation also helps you set the mood. Vivid colors will exude more fun, vibrant, and youthful feel, whereas pastels have a more comforting and soothing tone that subtly stimulates positive emotions. Pastels can work wonders for your brand when you need to be more calming, light-hearted, and innocent. But if you seek attention and want to provoke action, bright colors will do the hard work for you.
  • Colors are Not Exclusive: Mix different colors to get that extra punch. For instance, adding a bright and vibrant hue with a simple white and black design will draw the eyeballs to your call to action.

Set the Tone with the Typography

The right typography will aid you in setting the mood for your brand’s messaging. Figure out how you want to project your brand personality. Do you want it to be laidback, fun-loving, or professional?

Picking the right font style can be fun, but at the same time, it’s a daunting task. The key to selecting the best font for your packaging lies in simplicity. Avoid using too many font styles as it can get messy or confusing. If you are willing to use more than one font style, opt for contrasting styles. For example, pairing sans-serif with script font will make an excellent pair. For a more in-depth understanding, seek professional assistance or ask your packaging partner to guide you on the matter. Meanwhile, let’s shed light on some popular font styles.

  • Serif: If you want to portray a more professional, serious, and traditional personality, serif fonts like Georgia or Times New Roman seems to be the obvious choice. They will make the onlookers believe your brand is well-established and has a long-standing history. Depending on the product you sell, this font style will evoke a sense of respectability and reliability.
  • Sans-Serif: The font family that comprises of styles like Arial and Helvetica are chic, clean, and sophisticated. Use them when you want to accomplish a minimal and uncluttered look or when legibility is the top priority.
  • Script: This font style includes Lucinda or Lobster and they give a sense of traditional handwriting that can be associated with luxury and elegance. That’s why script fonts are often found on high-end and luxury items. However, these fonts aren’t meant for every product. It is best to use them with certain items, rather blatently applying on every other product.

Go Against the Norm

When it comes to font styles, there are no hard and fast rules. The font styles mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg and are suggested to help you understand how typography can set the tone for your packaging.

Does Packaging Material Affect Perceived Value?

If color and font styles are front and center, then materials are the cornerstone of the packaging. Material is your canvas that serves as the mainstay of your packaging design. Here are three popular types of materials that can efficiently convey your brand story through your product packaging.

  • Kraft: Kraft is the closest form of raw cardboard that is an ideal solution to give your packaging the natural finesse. It’s a good option for organic brands and companies with a no-frills messaging. When leveraging Kraft, use darker hues because saturated and vivid hues at times appear muted on the brown packaging material. Kraft makes a hell of a packaging solution, especially if you want to showcase your brand’s rustic side.
  • Matte White: It is often perceived as the top brass of the materials. The versatile materials can spellbind anyone. Matte finish is ideal for drawing the eyeballs to your design. Photographers also love the material since it is less reflective. Best of all, matte is one of the hottest trends in finishes, and it can easily set your packaging apart from the rest. To your surprise, it’s a budget-friendly option that allows you to spend your budget on other things that tempt customers.
  • Gloss White: Add a high-end finish with gloss white packaging material that complements luxury items. Brightly printed hues and attention-grabbing designs make it a brilliant choice. It’s an ideal platform if you are heavily relying on images and bold colors. In brief, gloss is the way to create a premium experience, especially when you want to make your packaging look extra special.

Copy

Using witty copy is another smart move to make the most of your packaging design. It can help highlight your product’s unique selling points that can convince customers to buy from you.

A fun and cheeky copy can put a smile on your buyer’s face and make them laugh. It might sway them to share your packaging with their friends. Social shares and the seductive unboxing experience are other ways to get your goods in front of the new audience.

However, if you want to establish trust or reliability, a more serious or professional copy will prove more effective. If your product is heavily dependent on security or privacy, a professional copy will reassure potential customers on fears or concerns they might have about the brand.

But if you want to charge your customers emotionally, use a profound or inspirational tone, and speak directly to your audience. When you share your beliefs through your packaging, your consumers will develop a better understanding of your story, and they will always stand by your brand and its beliefs. For instance, if your brand is eco-friendly, your copy will drive home the message that sustainability is critical for the company.

Graphics & Imagery

Leverage artwork to showcase your brand assets and not just your packaging. Unique illustrations and imageries will add a unique touch to your packaging design by infusing colors, shapes, and various design trends to depict your brand’s style and personality. Imagery, such as intuitive icons, helps you take the guesswork out of complicated ideas. With these symbols, simplify the story you are trying to convey.

Graphics and images are a simple tool in the designer’s box that offers visual cues on what you are trying to communicate. Not only they have the punch but they are also useful in conveying complex ideas because a picture needs no text or instructions.

Photographs also come in handy when you need to address specific questions of customers about your product. It answers some of the critical questions your customers may have while keeping your product tucked safely inside the box.

Wrapping Up

Creating the right packaging may seem to be a lengthy process at first, but when you get to learn a few basics, you will be amazed to see how quickly you can move forward with the decisions. You don’t need skills to create efficient packaging. All you need is knowledge and the right tools.