Packaging. It’s the great unsung hero of product sales. Good packaging promotes the product, protects the product, and, most importantly, seduces the customer into buying the product. Bad packaging, on the other hand, can destroy or cripple the commercial potential of an otherwise promising new product.

It was not that long ago that packaging seemed to be an afterthought for far too many products. For every Toblerone with its unique, enticing and easy identifiable package, there were ten thousand products in nearly identical boxes.  Fortunately, it appears that we are now in a bit of a renaissance for good package design, from Nike Air shoes packaged in pillows of air to Festina Profundo watches, which are sold submerged in see-through bags of water to prove their water resistance and durability.

Packaging that stands out is key to getting your product noticed. However, packaging must do more than simply look good. It also needs to serve many practical purposes, such as protecting your package from manufacturing to final point of sale. And a professional packaging design team is the first step to creating the perfect package for your product.

However, before you hold that first design meeting, there is a critical piece of homework you must do first to help your designer and their design team create the perfect packaging for your product – you must create a design brief.

A packaging design brief, also known as a creative brief, is the blueprint that will help guide you and your designer through the design process. A properly written design brief will make the process as painless as possible while assuring that the final product is delivered on time, and on target, and delivers on your packaging design goals and vision.

Here are a few key points to include in your Packaging Design Brief:

Establish clear goals:
What are you hoping to accomplish _ are you simply updating existing packaging, creating packaging for a new product, or doing a sweeping packaging overhaul and refresh for an existing range of products? Do you want your package to do a better job of telling your brand story? Do you want your packaging to be serious or playful, unique or conformist? Or are you simply hoping to simplify your packaging, increase packaging durability for shipping and product protection, or improve an existing design? You need to create a short, one paragraph ‘mission statement’ detailing exactly what your goal is for your packaging project and be ready to discuss it in detail during your first design meeting.

Examples speak louder than words:
Are there particularly packaging designs that you like – or despise? If you can provide your design team with an idea of the kind of packaging you have in mind, or what design elements or features you like from existing packaging, this will give them a clear direction on what kinds of designs you would be interested in. This can shave considerable time off of the design process by preventing designers from wasting time on design features or stylistic elements that you are not interested in.

Your product, your company, your packaging, and your ideas:
As the client, and the ultimate judge of what works or does not work for your company and your product, you need to be prepared to play an active role in every stage of the design process. Do not hesitate to voice your opinions and provide critical input to your designers. Even the most talented designers lack the intimate knowledge of your company, product, and branding that you have. A good designer will welcome your input and incorporate it into the design process.

Stay on message:
A critical part of any successful company is their branding. Packaging is a key part of your branding and needs to stay consistent with your brand message. Fonts, graphics, colours, and overall design need to reflect you branding and need to tell your story in a way that is consistent with all other branding materials.

Resist the urge to over-design:
A key part of good package design is to know when to say no. Overly complicated packaging that is hard to open will frustrate customers and complicate both initial product packaging and any repackaging that may be needed for possible product returns. Oddly shaped packaging will cause major issues for retailers and may cost you shelf space while complicating product displays. Lastly, overly busy, cluttered, or hard-to-read packaging will quickly turn off potential customers.

Good packaging design is a critical part of any successful product.

At Red Lounge, our design professionals have the skills and experience necessary to help you design product packaging to set your product apart from the competition. A successful product starts with good packaging, and good packaging design starts with Red Lounge.

Contact us for more information on the many creative services we offer that can help your business succeed.

Fancy a coffee to discuss your Packaging Design brief?