Hughes Enterprises

Let’s talk Innovation: What do Packaging Designers Need to Know?

While we have been saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” for decades, consumers have never been more persuaded by product packaging.  In fact, a 2018 study showed that over 70% of customers admit that they make purchasing decisions based on product packaging. Consumers are impacted by every component of the packaging, including the materials, configuration, and design.

There are differences across industries and market segments, but many of the same principals apply when it comes to what packaging designers need to know to be successful in 2019.

Design Can’t Ignore Function

You can capture your customer’s attention quickly through appealing aesthetics, however, function must come first. Packaging is sophisticated and complex, and it’s critical for the packaging design team to be in collaboration with the packaging engineers. Learning the mechanics and materials involved to achieve the final product enables the designers to make more thoughtful decisions.

Packaging functionality must be part of the design. A few design considerations when it comes to the functional components include: where to place critical product details to ensure they are visible to the consumer, dimensional requirements for optimal costs, and design capabilities given specific materials used.

Key Design Principals

Packaging design trends have changed dramatically over time to keep up with evolving customer preferences. The modern-day consumer has specific expectations with what will “catch their eye” when shopping for new products. Here’s the top design principals that will help you succeed with your packaging design this year:

  • Minimalistic: let your product speak for itself; declutter your packaging designs to truly make an impact on your customer
  • Neutral & muted: our customers eyes are overstimulated; give your customers a break with a more neutral color palette
  • Playful graphics: the notion that packaging is serious is dated; impress your customers by making your packaging more approachable with fun graphics
  • Vintage: history always repeats itself; mix modern day design elements with vintage concepts to connect to your customer with nostalgia
  • Gradients: gradient color palettes create depth; capture attention with subtle visual elements that are interesting without being too busy

Creating Customization

While once a novelty, personalized packaging is now a more standardized approach. As mentioned above, less is more with packaging this year. The more complex side is the personalization and customization that is now possible. There’s no shortage of ways that companies can create personalized experiences with their packaging to make their customers feel special.

Tech advancements with printing technologies have made it possible to produce small batches, and even single batches, at very low costs.  It has never been easier to target particular audiences or add customized messages and other luxury touches. This is handy for seasonal packaging too – it’s now possible to change product packaging for short periods of time to reach customers during special moments.

Keeping up with the times

Is 2019 the year that you will re-design your product packaging? A few key tells that it is time to refresh your product packaging include: slowing sales, growing production costs, compliance issues for labeling, changes in your audience or product, and outdated materials, message, or aesthetics.

At Hughes, we can assist you with custom corrugated shipping boxes, custom shipping tape, and other customized protective packaging. Contact us today to consult with a Hughes packaging expert about your packaging designs.

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