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With online information greatly reducing the need for printed materials, I find it comforting (as a print designer) to know that package design will be with us for a long time.

But to succeed long-term in this very competitive market, product brands need to step up their game.

In general, packaging tends to get a bad rap (no pun intended—okay, maybe a little).

Various packages can be viewed as bad for the environment, frustrating to open or just plain ugly. Or perhaps a particular package will be seen as guilty of all three problems.

So when packaging designers develop packages that are a pleasure to open, easy on the eyes, and environmentally conscious, they can generate a powerful and positive effect on a brand or product.

What makes the best brand packaging so special, anyway?

Let's find out by looking at how to turn packaging into a brand asset rather than a liability.

6 Elements of Eye-Catching Product Packaging Design 

1. Make a Good First Impression

Let’s face it—our world moves quickly.

When a customer walks down the aisle, you have only a few seconds to grab their attention. At the same time, you’re competing with all the other products on the shelf.

With packaging, looks are everything in those vital first seconds.

2. Be Unique

Don’t blend in with the crowd by doing what everyone else is doing.

Embrace the unexpected; add an element of surprise that grabs their attention. Research what the competitors are doing, and speak to your printer to find out what they can do to add that little bit of sparkle to your product packaging design.

This is where a team effort and an experienced package designer can make all the difference.

3. Colour it Right

Don’t underestimate the power of colour.

Simple, bold colour, or unexpected colour combinations all generate different emotions. So don’t hesitate to use colour or finishes (foils or metallic inks) to stand out.

If many products in your category use bright colours, it’s the perfect opportunity to use a simple coordinated palette.

4. Spell it Out

Typography can add emotion to what’s being said.

So always give careful selection to the fonts used on the package. Like colours, different fonts evoke different moods.

Although it may not completely be your choice, try not to cram too much information in the design—it’s one of the biggest mistakes a brand can make.

5. Choose Smart

Regardless of the type of packaging assignment, everyone involved in the project needs to make environmentally sound choices.

With such a vast range of options available for recycled, compostable, reusable materials, there’s no excuse for sending excess packaging to the landfills.

6. Experience It

The best part!

Well thought-out and beautifully designed packaging can guide your customers through an exciting aesthetic journey.

Seldom during the process will the consumer question whether the item was worth the price paid.

This level of packaging only reinforces the sense of quality that your brand produces.

Conclusion

The above six elements help to define the perception, value, and experience of your product.

Don’t forget that package design is not an art project but rather a marketing challenge aimed at appealing to the right audience in order to inspire purchase behaviour.

This is where working with a professional packaging design company can really give you the upper hand in the marketplace. 

Your packaging design should stand out, be unique, and evoke a desired reaction. Once you achieve that, you'll have a solid asset that will pay dividends for your brand for years to come. 

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