Packaging holds a vital place in the marketing mix – it is the last brand message a consumer sees before buying a product. The way a product is presented to consumers can make or break its success. Packaging serves two purposes – it protects the product during transport and it catches the consumer’s eye on the shelves.
Packaging design is a demanding field with a wide scope. Designers need to deliver both product originality and sales performance through the packaging design. Packaging needs to be honest, clear and authentic.
It is one of the most exciting and rapidly-evolving design disciplines today. Living in a high-consumption society, products need to stand out on the shelves and attract the attention of the shopper. The design of the packaging can make a product instantly recognisable within split seconds.
The history of packaging design
Packaging has been around for thousands of years; humans have been using containers and boxes to store and transport valuables since the earliest civilisations. From woven baskets and decorated bowls to glass jars and wooden boxes – packaging has been a part of product transportation and preservation for millenia.
These early examples of packaging were simple and functional. Containers were made to store wine, spices, jewellery and perfume, but they did not serve a marketing purpose in the sale of the goods. In time, some boxes and glass jars were decorated elaborately by artists and owners to serve an aesthetic function.
Decorated containers became more sought-after as they were pleasing to the eye, but they were never used as a tactic to sell goods. Packaging as we know it only came into existence in the late 1800s. Between 1880 and 1900, producers increasingly began to package their goods and stylize the product.
Mass marketing quickly took shape in America as new packaging materials were invented, such a cardboard, cans and cartons. Brands such as Coca-Cola and Campbell’s Soup lead the revolution in mass marketing and packaging design. In the 1960s, packaging design made its way across the Atlantic and many European brands began to stylize their products too.
The importance of packaging design
Packaging is the most important point-of-purchase marketing tool for a product. It can be used to communicate the brand’s values and purpose. Clear and effective brand communication is essential to any marketing strategy and should be incorporated into every product’s packaging.
The world is highly-competitive and, as such, packaging design must be able to sell a product and the brand. At the same time, it must also establish brand identity and instill a positive customer perception of the product.
A product’s packaging must be cost-effective to produce and durable enough to protect the contents. A good package must also be adaptable for in-store shelf space and easy to handle, store and stack.
Packing must not only look good but it is important that it is environmentally-sustainable too. Consumers are fast becoming more conscious of their buying habits and aware of the environmental impact of packaging. Plastic packaging is becoming less sought-after and biodegradable alternatives are becoming more popular.
Flame Design supports responsible packaging design and environmental sustainability. We apply our expert skills to the design of packaging projects. When taking on a new packaging project, a range of specialized tasks are needed, ranging from research and development to product category regulations and legislation.
Together with our clients, we gain crucial product category insight as well as an understanding of target audience preferences. Our strategic packaging design approach includes branding and identity development and experienced advice on printing materials and processes.
Flame design has gained valuable experience in the following packaging design product categories; food, wine, medical, cosmetic, health and supplements. Need packaging designed for your product? Our experienced designers can create the perfect solution for your brand.