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Top Design Tips for Creating Your Own Custom Packaging

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 5:37am | by Guest Contributor

Oftentimes, a product's packaging is the first interaction a consumer has with your brand. They see it on your website or hold it in their hands in the store, and it tells them a great deal about your business. While some people do a ton of research on every important purchase, many things people just buy based on how good it looks to them. A lot of that comes down to custom packaging. You should bet that inventive, designer packaging that really catches a consumer's eye will go a long way towards helping you achieve success. So how do you go about designing that packaging that can change the game?

First off, consider what you want the consumer to know about your brand, and how you can plant that message in their minds through packaging. Sometimes it's a face value determination, like placing your name and logo on the label. But you can also take it to the next level by subtly incorporating your brand in the packaging, in a way that really sticks in the imagination. The other thing you probably want every potential customer to think about your brand is that it is better than anything else on the market. You can do that with sleek, expensive packaging, or by giving it a personal touch that really connects the consumer to the heart and mind of the entrepreneur behind the company. It may cost a bit more, but your sales will inevitably increase. Check out the results design firms get when they repackage a company's products, and you'll know that it is worth it. Remember, most purchasing decisions are made upon a first impression, so make that impression as strong as it can possibly be.

If you are intent on creating custom packaging, you're going to have to get your hands dirty. Even if you've never been crafty at any point in your life, now is the time to hit the shops, bring home materials, and deal with some trial and error. A good first step would be working inside a design program on your computer, so you can lay the whole concept out before cutting and gluing a bunch of paper products. Once you have the color scheme and general look you are going for, consider texture. People pick things up off shelves, turn them around in their hands, and the way they 'feel' can sway them between putting it right back where they found it or bringing it up to the register. Look for real world comparisons to the feel you'd like your packaging to have. You may find inspiration in nature, around the house, or even in the market itself. Wherever you need to go to get inspired, touch everything and think of how that can translate to your design.

Next, think about the production methods that will make your custom packaging stand out. Not all paper is the same, so if you're using paper to package, go check out some synthetic and organic options, as well as various thicknesses and colors. The way your packaging opens and seals could also be an area to distinguish your product. Does it fold up in an interesting way? Can the package be a unique shape? Can it be reused, or is it somehow part of the project? If you have any engineering friends, ask them to sit with you for a five-minute conversation. Finally, what about the printing on the package or label?  But what about calligraphy or hand printing? How about using a unique ink, or giving the box a distinctive finish? These details will add color and texture as well, allowing your product to stand out from all the others. Whatever you do, put the same amount of creativity into the packaging as you did into designing the product it holds, and you'll be fine.

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