Elements of Successful Packaging Design Development

As the digital environment develops and expands – so does the packaging landscape. Much of what we see in the world of high fashion inspires what mass market retailers develop and even home decor – this is the same trickle-down effect from digital trends down to physical print packaging. From authentic/heritage graphics that connect with a personal aspect to minimalism/less is more/pure the immediacy of the digital world’s trending aesthetic is reflected on store shelves soon after.

The assumption that packaging design is a task easily achieved is a falsehood. Encompassing many variables –  creative packaging development and production is a delicate balance. If not researched and implemented properly it can drastically compromise a company’s brand and ultimately – bottom line. A process that includes foundation building, expansive prototyping, supply chain alignment and in store testing is integral to avoiding the pitfalls that can hinder a successful packaging rollout.

Foundations

As we have discussed, design should be an iterative process – and packaging is no exception. There is room to ideate, and it is incredibly beneficial when innovating to a groundbreaking solution, however, a solid foundation for the brand and it’s attributes must be available to work from. A design is not for a client – it is for the market and it’s prospective consumers – so understanding external marketplace will help to design a package for whom it will be performing.

Prototyping

Creating mock ups – both physical and digital is important to get a sense of what the package will look and feel like and should be a given. The truly important task is identifying a designer and manufacturer who can realize the quality and core values that encompass the project. This may mean stretching the budget to use better materials, producing locally or traveling to make certain that a manufacturing partner is on the same page.

Supply-Chain Alignment

A well coordinated packaging solution is so much more than a pretty exterior. It is a response to the needs and wants of the marketplace, being produced in accordance with manufacturing capabilities, cash flow, consumer demand and market projections.

Testing

Much like usability testing for a website launch, getting packaging into the hands of the consumer before a full rollout is highly recommended. If a trusted retailer is interested in a soft rollout of a small quantity in select locations, work with them to see this as an opportunity they can benefit from through PR or an exclusive launch. It will quickly become clear if the packaging solution hits the mark.

Focusing on these key elements and sticking to the true core values of the product or brand being launched will ensure a process that promotes efficiency, market/brand expansion and a return on investment.