4 Rules to Creating Effective Packaging Design


What makes your product stands out from other competitors? If your package blends seamlessly into other products on the shelves, no one will notice it. Creating an effective packaging for your product is the first most important key to your overall marketing success.

There are much more that goes into an effective packaging design process than just understanding typography and slapping product photography on the box. Here are some of the rules we remind ourselves at Launchmode Design for creating successful packaging designs that converts into sales for our clients.

Rule 1: First Impression is Key

Take your package design to a store where your competitors sell their products, and compare yours next to theirs. Will your product stand out against other competing brands? (This is an exercise we always do for our projects.) While we were all taught to not judge a book by its cover, having a colorful and eye-catching packaging is going to help your product get added into the shopping carts. A national study conducted by the Paper and Packaging Board and IPSOS shows that 7 in 10 (72 percent) of consumers agree that packaging design can influence their purchasing decision.

In the article “The Psychology of Product Packaging”, the author Megan Sullivan points out:

“We all want to believe that consumers make decisions on products and services strictly based on merit, with the best one winning. In spite of that hope, psychologists and retailers agree that in many cases this just isn’t true. Quality aside, sometimes the flashier, prettier or sexier product wins the day. So what does this mean for retailers and product manufacturers? What it means is that creating a terrific product is only part of the formula for sales success. Packaging it perfectly, complete with eye-catching graphics and colors, is just as important to your financial success.”


Rule 2: Reflect the Personality of the Brand

Brand personality, or “Brand integrity” is how consumers perceive your company or brand through its products, image, and reputation. Your packaging design should speak loud and clear for your product by perfectly representing what your brand stands for, and what you want your consumers to feel about your product. When we helped Spin Master on the rebranding of the “Monster Jam” packaging, we strategize to emphasis “Monster Jam’s” brand as the first read, and designed the packaging to simulate the monster trucks in action by positioning the trucks in a off centered position on pile of wrecked cars for the blister packs; and produced impactful illustrations for the closed packaging box sets. Your brand must be authentic, transparent, and identifiable to your existing fans and followers. Packaging plays an important role to communicate your brand's story and will determine how consumers perceive your brand.


Rule 3: Know your Audience

This should be no mystery: your target market will greatly impact the type of experience your customer will expect on receiving your product. If your product is an exclusive luxury item, your customer might expect custom-printed packaging with a sleek feeling and minimal design. If you are in the market of selling babies or toddler products, you may want to develop a more nurturing, clean, and simple look that appeals to the moms who are looking for clean and natural products for their babies. A great way to understand your audience is to conduct market studies and competitive research. Doing so will allow you to gain insights on what your targeted audience are looking for, what attracts their attention, and what products they are spending money on. "Flush Force" is great example with an unique product line targeted towards young boys who are into potty humor. We designed a series of packaging housing these toilet shaped blind boxes that reveal the collectible monster figurines inside. The result was pretty gross, yet very affective for the crowd our client Spin Master was trying to attract.

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Rule 4: Break Out of the Boundaries

Packaging design process does not begin with concerning the constraints of the boxes and materials. The focus should always start with the intention of featuring the values of the products you selling, and the unboxing experience you want the consumers to feel. For Maya Toys’ “Super Sports XXL”, we featured the values of the displayability of the oversized football by created a display stand as part of the packaging; and we designed  a luxury unboxing experience by adding custom tissue paper inside the box to go along with our premium box cover with spot varnish and foil stamping textures.  According to recent marketing research and studies done on packaging and consumer behavior, 52 percent of online buyers say they are more likely to shop a brand again if their items arrive in premium packaging. And some brands have seen consumer interest increase by as much as 30 percent when it’s obvious to their customer that packaging is a top priority.

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Packaging is the first thing your consumers see, and the last chance to convince them to buy your product in a competitive retail environment. Understanding the audience, creating a stunning packaging inside and out to perfectly reflecting your brand integrity all are crucial keys to your product’s success.

Eugenia ChenComment