As without, so within
They say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover … but with any product that must be purchased before it can be opened, there simply is no option! While the advice about books and their covers is fantastic to remember in your interpersonal relationships, it should certainly not apply to packaging design for your business’s products. Today we check out the six goals of high quality packaging design … all of them aimed at helping you judge contents by covers!
Protection for Your Product
Packaging design’s first aim must be functional – while good design is also essential for helping your products sell (or there would be little point in producing them!), all appearance characteristics can be overlaid on the base requirement of protection. Perfect packaging design will protect products from:
The effects of air exchange
Humidity or external water
Deteriorating effects of light
Crushing during transport and storage Usually this is achieved in packaging design with a number of different materials – cardboard usually protects from light deterioration, plastic can protect from air, water and crushing.
Inform Consumers About Contents
Packaging legalities are more than just ways for the government to make life difficult! The primary aim of information in packaging design is to help consumers make an informed choice about what they are buying. If your products may contain traces of nuts, people with nut allergies will need to know. If people are looking for something with a certain level of nutrition, the ingredients and nutrient breakdown will be important to them. Packaging solutions have to promote transparency between company and consumer. The process of conveying information can occur either through printing on the label, or by allowing a little window into the packet to make the contents visible.
Attract Consumers to Purchase
A product that sits unsold is no good to anybody! As we discussed in the introduction, packaging design by its nature has to encourage consumers to ‘judge books by their covers’.
Sometimes, prevention of theft is also a consideration in packaging design. The less risk that stores take in stocking your physically small and expensive product, the more likely you are to be stocked.
Minimise Environmental Impact
Additionally, all of these aims for packaging have to be achieved with as little environmental impact as possible! Environmental practices utilised by good packaging designers include:
Utilising recyclable materials
Minimising unnecessary packaging
Using packaging solutions which extend the shelf life of the product (for example, foil packets for potato chips rather than translucent plastic) But remember, that if any of the above compromise protection or sales, they will actually harm the environment. Products are made to be used, so if they sit idle on supermarket shelves past their sell-by date, or if they have to be marked off as waste because they were damaged in transportation, it does little good for the environment.