Although plenty of my time is spent seeking out experts to help other entrepreneurs bring their products to market, this time, it's personal. I'm in the process of another launch, my own this time, and in the package design phase, which can be tricky, even for a product launch veteran like myself. Creating a package that photographs well, gives off the right feeling and experience when received and opened, and conveys the most important things to get the product off the shelf and into a cart- needs to be addressed with the same care we took to develop the product itself. And that's what I want to share with you.
Beautiful packaging design is more than just complementary colors and easy-to-read fonts; something creative director and seasoned packaging designer John Godfrey knows all too well. His portfolio is stacked, his work is stunning and so aesthetically appealing, and his experience level with packaging design made him the perfect fit for this conversation.
First, Let's Talk Color
The role color plays in conveying a packaging designs message is huge, because, as Godfrey pointed out, we have so many personal associations with color. Red could indicate spicy contents, while light blue might represent a lighter or diet version of something... and that's only the tip of the iceberg. It's important to be aware of these connotations, and use color to help you tell your story, rather than distract from it. A few other considerations might be:
Check out the competition, see what they are doing, and then use that knowledge to help create something that will stand out.
If you get stuck, make sure you've stocked your toolkit with products like Adobe Color to help build out ranges of complimentary colors.
Consider your market. If your product is international, that changes everything.
Modern Technology WIll Boost Progress
3D technology is so much more accessible today than it was, even this time last year, and this is the type of technology that can serve package design well. Think about 3D rendering, and how much more perspective you can gain from seeing a package design in its entirety versus a flat print. The level of adjustments you can make when rendering in 3D will also save a lot of money later on, because flaws are much easier to spot and take care of early on. Godfrey says he uses Adobe Dimension, and loves the features available, especially for curved surfaces, where you can get into all kinds of funky distortions and margins.
Texture, Texture, Texture
There is so much product saturation now, to get a product to stand out requires expert level knowledge. Texture is another excellent tool Godfrey relies on for a one-two punch. One, the product stands out on the shelf; and two- when a consumer picks the product up, there's a secondary tactile impact. Now, you've created an experience. Godfrey often does this mimicking natural textures like wood grain, leather, and stone, but also sometimes relies on divots, contour lines, or the feeling of acrylic paint.
It's All In A Name
Or is it? What level of impact does the font have on the packaging impact? According to Godfrey, fonts are one of the fastest ways to communicate the character of your brand. Fonts can represent a brand that is sophisticated, modern, playful, and so on.
These expert insights are only the beginning of the packaging design journey. There are plenty of considerations, tools, and perspectives you must consider before making permanent decisions. Package design is your chance at drawing consumers in, and selling them on your product over all the others. Do your research, and think before you label.