Packaging Makes Perfect

Over the last 10 years, I’ve had many packaging projects cross my desk—from beer and wine labels to pickle jars and beard grease tins. Packaging design can be extremely challenging due to the number of restrictions and parameters that may need to be addressed, but it can also be very rewarding to see the final package and product hit the shelves.

Starting with the details

Here are things that need to be considered before starting:

  • The shape and size of the packaging needed to accommodate the product.
  • Folds, perforations, openings and adhesive areas to account for in the design.
  • Packaging materials suited for your product (durability, water resistant, UV protection).
  • Finding a commercial printer and material source that can accommodate desired packaging costs and templates needed to complete the project.
  • Information and text required to appear on the packaging (i.e., bar codes, government warnings, container contents, ingredients and or instructions).
  • Shelf or display space that is allotted for the product in the market.

Getting the design just right

Most of my packaging experience stems from the beer world, designing over 100 beer bottle labels, 10 cans and four different 12-packs for a variety of beer styles.

In a very saturated beer market, sticking out on the shelves is a must. Packaging any sort of alcohol requires a lot of attention to government TTB rules (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) for approval.

The most challenging packaging puzzle when it comes to beer is probably the 12-pack box. There are several different templates to choose from depending on how you want your case to bend, fold, stack and carry. Creating a design that works with the folds, edges and cuts can be very difficult and usually takes a few attempts to get it just right.

Good packaging should not only be visually pleasing, but also convey the company’s brand identity, value and standards. Great packaging can sway consumer choices and loyalties and bump up the bottom line, just as poorly designed packaging can deter potential customers and negatively impact a company’s profitability.

Check out some packaging designs below: