Practical Guide to Packaging Design and Choose the Best Packaging for a Product

What is the packaging?

The packaging is the name we use to refer to the wrapping, container (which may include the main container and other additional ones), packaging, and labeling of a product. Therefore, under this name we can talk about both the paper that wraps the product, the box, the container, and any other material that protects it on its way from the factory to the warehouse and to the final retailer, etc.

What are the packaging functions?

The first function is the obvious one of containing, protecting and preserving, and transporting the product on its journey from production to consumption, from the factory to the end customer.

The packaging is the informative support of the product, it usually contains the data of the manufacturer and the product, expiration dates, composition, and other additional information that are usually regulated by different regulations. Labeling is therefore part of the packaging.

The packaging boxes templates play a vital role in promoting a particular product in the market. Moreover, the templates on the boxes are ideal for enhancing the recognition of enclosed products.

It has a clear marketing function. It is often called a "silent seller" because with its structure, its shape, its material, its colors, it provokes buying reactions in potential customers. It is an open window of communication towards the consumer. Its usefulness as a branding strategy (the process of building a brand) is also recognized.

In addition to the main protection function, the packaging facilitates the transmission of the image of the company. So a good packaging that takes into account factors such as optimization of the cargo space, reducing the amount of packaging material per product shipped, easily recyclable materials, etc. (following the guidelines of the directives and laws on packaging and environment), ergonomics, easy load handling, etc. will have a great impact positively in the image of quality that is perceived of the company, while it will mean significant savings throughout the logistics chain.

How to design good packaging?

The first recommendation is that we must know our target audience thoroughly. It will not be the same to target children, than women between 20 and 40 than to male managers over 45 years old.

It must differentiate us from the rest of the competition's products. For example, if you are on the shelf, you must stand out from the rest, you must attract attention. It is the first element of contact with the consumer. Hence, a crush or the first impression of indifference can be born. In this line, for example, the container must create "facing", that is, it must allow us to see the face of the container on the shelf.

That it attracts attention and manages to differentiate us should not be at odds in terms of functionality.

It must respond to adequate criteria in relation to its four key items:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Materials

The Possible Uses of a Practical Packaging Design

  • It must consider an aesthetic and symbolic function regarding what the consumer needs and what this product symbolizes for its target audience. Use neuromarketing strategies with packaging.
  • It must be consistent with the positioning of the product. If it is a luxury cream, the packaging should have as attributes elegance, quality and colors that are related to its intrinsic characteristics, its price and other aspects of its promotion. If it is a low-priced product, the correct packaging should be designed but not ostentatious and cheap.
  • It is interesting on some occasions to also add value to the packaging. For example, containing useful information for the consumer (for example, with a cooking recommendation on the packaging), games in the case of packaging products for children, etc.
  • Its re-use can also be a good weapon. You give another use to the product (for example, the classic glass from the jar of a famous brand of cocoa cream) and you work on environmental aspects that, currently, are also very well received by the consumer.
  • Also, use creativity for packaging. Not only in terms of packaging or packaging type innovation but also in terms of its aesthetics. Balance that creativity with the clarity and simplicity of communication of what it is, what it is for, and why the product is of interest.

Things to consider while designing packaging

Every day it is more important to design and produce packaging that meets requirements such as costs, strengthening the brand, that generates some kind of purchase desire, is visually attractive, meets usability criteria, is sustainable, competitive, and can even be patented, in addition to other important aspects.

A headache for the creative department is thinking about how to design a different product from the competition, which cannot be matched and at the same time offers a value that the consumer is willing to pay for. Sometimes a striking project fails to stand out because it does not meet the minimum engineering requirements to be a technically functional package compatible with production lines.

To arrive at a global conceptualization, before starting with the design and development of a package, it is convenient to make a checklist, answering the eight points that are listed below.

  1. Content of the Packaging

We make use of packaging to secure products as well as to ideally present them in the market. If you are looking to promote a product in the market, the most important thing to consider is the content of the packaging. Having defined what the packaging will contain, it will be easy to choose a packaging. Moreover, when it comes to the packaging of a particular product, you have to evaluate its needs so that the product remains safe for as long as required. Having a complete idea about the product that is going to be enclosed within the boxes, it is possible to be more assertive and easily manage to choose its material, representation, shape, color, decoration, and it is even possible to calculate the ideal weight.

Regardless of the type of product that is going to be packaged, it is important to be sure about its nature. A wrong choice of packaging may lead to product damage or deterioration which will be a huge loss in the long term.

  1. The Material of the Packaging

The packaging is designed to protect its contents against damage during transport and handling. The main element in a packaging box is its material. No matter what is the nature of the product and what is the style of boxes, the material is one of the most significant element to consider. If you are a manufacturer and need a safe as well as protective packaging, then making the material choice carefully is very important.

For that purpose, it is important to think about protecting them against oxygen, gases, water vapor, and even aromas, all this to extend the useful life of products and protect their nutrients against bacteria. So, the material must not only be protective and rigid but also, being eco-friendly in nature is a must. Likewise, if we think of margarine for example, they produce chemical reactions that attack plastic packaging and for this, the materials and components of the formulation must be studied well.

The best packaging materials that are ideal for template packaging designs are;

  1. The capacity of the Boxes

One of the most common problems is miscalculating the size of the package, due to ignorance of the density of the product and/or food to be packed. Sometimes the manufacturers of a particular product or a brand owner define a wrong volume of content, having to make adjustments to the design, a process that takes more time and even incurs more expenses than initially defined.

Making use of cardboard boxes is the best alternative to the typical wooden or metal containers since it is a totally recyclable product, it does not offer any problem at the export level, it optimizes the cost of transport and storage given its low weight and the little space it occupies in the store.

The possibility of customizing the packaging makes it a differentiator with respect to the competition. Moreover, these boxes are easily customizable. They can be given any desired color, design, and printing as per the consumer demand.

The double stapling line in some of our containers offers greater security against its breakage. The internal headspace (headspace) must be calculated since this could encourage the collapse or deformation of the container due to changes in atmospheric pressure.

  1. The temperature of the Product and Isothermal Boxes

It is important to know what the temperature of the product to be packed will be since sometimes this is a limitation in the design and/or material to be chosen. Not all materials withstand high temperatures.

Sometimes the products that are enclosed within the boxes require some extra care as the outside temperature can damage them. This is where the manufacturers make use of isothermal boxes to ensure maximum protection. The insulated boxes, and another packaging to maintain the cold chain, are booming, especially since the advent of the sale of food and pharmaceutical products. Keeping a product at a controlled temperature has quickly become a requirement that packaging must meet. That is why it represents the family that has grown the most in recent months in our catalog. The range is getting wider and, therefore, we consider that, now, having an orientation on what solution each one needs is necessary. Welcome to our presentation of isothermal boxes and packaging.

In the case of products that are subjected to temperatures below -30 ° C, specific designs and materials must be used, to avoid susceptibility to rupture due to occasional impact.

  1. Decoration of the Boxes

There are several types of decoration for a product on the market. Among the most common we have printing, shrink sleeves, self-adhesive labels, and cardboard sleeves. When it comes to cardboard boxes, it becomes very easy to customize the packaging design and template. Crafting with boxes and decorating multiple spaces at home is a fun and easy way to create your own decorations. Even the boxes can be both cardboard and wood. In fact, both are very easy to get, and depending on the use you want to give it, the choice of it will depend. Cardboard boxes have multiple presentations, sizes and, the best thing is that they are very versatile. In addition, by reusing them we help reduce environmental impact. In other words, it helps to recycle.

On the other hand, the cardboard boxes that we decide to reuse help us create more rigid pieces, in which we can place more weight. However, care must be taken when working with them as they can have splinters.

  1. Packaging with Craft Boxes?

Many of the packages have an additional assembly process, it may well be a lid, base, or another element. But having craft boxes for your product packaging can be very beneficial. Although the advantages of this type of crafts are many, here we list the most common:

  • They are inexpensive.
  • Also, we can find them in various sizes.
  • They come in different thicknesses and hardness, for different uses.
  • They are practical, you can give them different uses.
  • Easy to decorate: with paints, fabrics, and other DIY techniques, etc.

Finally, making crafts with boxes helps a lot on a psycho-emotional level. In other words, by focusing on what is being done and not on what is being thought, we relax.

  1. What technology is available for manufacturing?

Technology has brought about the biggest change ever to packaging. There are no boxes, or containers, or containers or packaging. Currently, active and intelligent packaging and packaging are produced that respond to new consumer challenges. The creative and the engineer must work as a team to make a perfect packaging design template.

Many times the creative is unaware of the manufacturing technologies and upon reaching production the risks materialize, generating reprocesses and sometimes major modifications in the design. In addition, you can print a QR code that gives us more information on the packaged products, and their characteristics without having to open the package. Having active packaging that reports on the deterioration of food, its state of conservation, and its shelf life, will help consumers to better decide on their consumption.

And introduce from quality sensors, humidity, or protectors of its freshness are some of the tools that technology is supplied to avoid food waste.

  1. Filling machines on the production line

It is extremely important to customers that their products work properly on their production lines. To achieve this, the entire system must be known first-hand: from the moment of loading, through the filling and sealing processes, to the final packaging. This will help the engineering and design areas to have an acceptable product. Barrier coatings improve the characteristics of the packaging material and contribute, in most cases, to the reduction of material used. In the case of functional additives, these improve a certain function of the container, for example, the absorption of oxygen, but not the packaging material itself.

This is only a summary of some of the technologies used for food packaging.

All these considerations, added to other design factors, such as draft angles, gaps or stacking systems, make a product visually attractive for the end consumer and technically viable for the customer.