My initial thoughts towards and understanding of packaging design

Week 1 BLOG for Packaging Design


Aside from the fundamental understanding of what packaging is, in its basic context used to wrap, contain or protect goods, it can be quite interesting when you think more deeply about the genuine curation of packaging design and how much of an influence it has to the appeal of a product in the eyes of a consumer.


Firstly It is important to understand why packaging is used. There are several reasons why we need packaging. The main needs include convenience for users, as well as to protect and extend the life of the product, as this lessens the occurrence of perishing, damaged and wasted goods. Other reasons as to why packaging is used may be to create brand identity or to associate the product with a particular business.


I guess I’ve never really though deeply as to why I choose certain products over others. Now I am beginning to understand and learn, from a packing design point of view, there are several reasons behind mine and others decision making. For instance, I find myself more drawn to the minimal, modern designs or the ones that feel more bespoke as opposed to transitional old style packaging. Perhaps, subconsciously, I believe it aligns with my own personal branding and this drives me to choose these products.

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash


The purpose of packaging design can be used to represent a brands values and identity, and at times determine the success of that product on the market. I am noticing this more and more in my everyday life, from things such as toothpaste to the type of beer my boyfriend drinks. Packaging design is used to compose a message to consumers about the qualities and traits of the product. Visual communication creates the biggest impression on us as consumers therefore these messages are generally portrayed through the use graphics, colour, text, texture, and form.


Photo by HEY GENTS on HEY GENTS


Practicality also plays a role in the purpose of packaging design with ease of use and rapid understandability of use of the product often resulting in the success of the product. You wouldn’t want to put toothpaste in a glass bottle right?! This is obvious in my own experience when looking at adopting a new air fryer, looking for the most practical yet desirable design without any obvious barriers to understandability or use.


Packaging Design Process


Whilst learning about the design process of establishing a packaging design I have noticed similarities to other design processes I have previously studied. I would assume this would also be the case in design industries other than my field, industrial design.


In regards to the packaging design process, the sketch pad is sadly pushed to the side as we start off by firstly understanding the project itself, wrapping your head around the clients specific wants and needs. There’s no use creating something without any context. In other industries, designers tend to start with sketching and concept generation. This may be a great way to get the juices flowing however it is oftentimes more important and efficient to establish context by gathering what is salient with regards to the CLIENT, the BRAND, the PRODUCT and the CUSTOMER. The easiest way to identify these is by asking the client questions (mind blown)! This will help establish the deliverables of the project and gain a further understanding of goals, project brief, and the client needs.


Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash


With previous projects and past experience I have found that once you have thoroughly researched and understood the client’s needs and wants it makes establishing your own new brief to follow along to throughout the design process much easier and more straightforward than it may have otherwise been. This ensures that you align you design decisions to what has been established and also helps justify the design direction.


I’m new to learning about the packaging design process and there are many different aspects to this design process that I have never though deeply about. For instance, the many different ways in which customers are influenced by visual communication that is not only limited to the colour, texture and graphics of the packing itself but store and shelf placement of the product. Creating a visual audit in regards to shapes, design, colour, and branding visually depicts the breakdown of competitors packaging and helps establish areas in which to explore.


As with most design processes within the industry, the creation of prototypes and mock-ups provide context and understanding as to whether adjustments need to be made or not. It’s an indication for the client in establishing whether you’re on the right track or not. Occasionally you might not agree with some of their design decisions, but ultimately they are the ones paying the bills and it’s important that you deliver upon their request whilst continuing to guide them respectfully to create something that is successful and meets their needs and wants.


I know that I am limited when it comes to generating mock ups on packaging software however we are fortunate enough that there are so many platforms out there that are able to translate these designs into what looks like real world products. Despite this I am not limiting myself in learning this new software.


Thanks to ctrl z I think I’ll get there!


Learning about the different design processes out there, in this instance for packaging design, is benefiting me in a way of expanding my knowledge and opening up other design directions that may be useful when undertaking future projects.

Overall it was insightful to learn about the packaging design process and begin to understand how these processes can be put in place for future projects.

(Herrera, 2015)



SOURCES


Herrera, G. (2015, August 15). Package Design Project: Paperboard Food Packaging. Retrieved from LinkedIn Learning: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/package-design-project-paperboard-food-packaging/welcome?u=2330002


HEY GENTS. (n.d.). Monthly Beer Digest: Balter Brewing Company XPA. Retrieved from Hey Gents: https://heygents.com.au/2017/02/balter-brewing-company-xpa-review/


UX Indonesia . (n.d.). UX Indonesia . Retrieved from UNSPLASH: https://unsplash.com/s/photos/design-process


Water, B. (n.d.). Boxed Water is better. Retrieved from UNSPLASH: https://unsplash.com/photos/-McsV04u7LA




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