November 18, 2020 · You Oughta Know

Musings, interests & fun tidbits

Packaging Design Tips

It’s no secret.  It’s more important than ever to connect with your clients and employees.  The pandemic has given rise to a sort of paralysis that is keeping people from developing and maintaining normal business relationships.

Our daily routines rely heavily on face-to-face contact.  Absent that, our business lives become more challenging.   However, this is certainly not an insurmountable problem.  We are all learning to adapt and the physical connection is easily within our reach.

In our last blog, we talked about engaging the remote workforce and one of the key ways to show appreciation is by sending the gift of company swag to employees.  This works just as well with clients and prospects.  A dimensional mailer filled with fun gifts puts a smile on everyone’s face.

Given the budget you’ll allocate to such an endeavor, it’s important to put some thought into the presentation and design of your delivery.  Allow us to share some of our experience with a few tips to design some great packaging.


Packaging: What is it exactly?

The packaging is, simply speaking, a shipping box.  But, it’s not just functional protection for the contents inside.  The box provides something more ethereal – a platform for making a statement and communicating your brand personality.  Using graphic design, imagery and color, your box can deliver both informational as well as emotional benefits.


Design Aesthetic – what’s your vibe?

Colors, fonts, logos, images and the thoughtful harmony of these elements creates an overall design aesthetic.  The aesthetic can be thought of as a vehicle that carries the meaning of your brand over time.  Good design will begin to communicate through images what your brand stands for…”reliability”, “efficiency”, “quality”, “value”, etc.

Separate and apart from your brand’s style, you can take some strategic license with the overall color theme of your packaging.  Colors work together and communicate in diverse ways.  A predominant color on your package can denote a product direction.   For instance, an earthy green can indicate support of a green message (i.e. Armed Forces), a green product within or to simply show your support of the environmental movement.  Or, it could be red for the holidays.  You’ll want to consider a few factors to forge a direction.  Who is your target audience?   What’s relevant to them? Is the timing right for something different?  Is this a game-changing announcement?  Be sure to consider brand, audience and project goals when creating your design.


Shake, Rattle & Roll

One thing about the major parcel carriers is this:  they are busier than they’ve ever been and delivering millions of packages daily.  Your package won’t always get kid-glove treatment.  White boxes tend to get scuffed up and black boxes can be almost as vulnerable.  A “camouflaging” design trick to reduce the effect of transit wear and tear is to design using a variety of colors and textures.


The Color of Money

The substrate you’re applying color to is as important as the color of the ink itself.  We lay ink down on a 200# corrugated cardboard with white paperboard adhered to a B or E flute (the rigid structure design).  The fluting, sturdy but not overly “rippled”, offers strength without the heavy “ribbed” effect you’d see with a larger thicker flute.  The net effect is that your ink lays down smoothly.  Then, a UV-cure helps set the ink, allowing it to stand up to the elements.  This process delivers bold color and crisp graphics efficiently and affordably.


Think Outside the Box

Sometimes the outside of the box needs to do more than just communicate the brand and subliminal tone of the message.  You may want to communicate additional information, an enticement, instructions, or possibly something as literal as mission or strategies.  It can serve as an invitation. Or it can add a level of pomp and circumstance to a recognition gift with a message – “10,000 injury-free hours” or “25 Years of Service”.   And, the box can be another platform for the placement of special URL’s, redemption codes or whatever helps connect our tangible and digital worlds.

The inside of the box is just as useful and nearly doubles your surface area to communicate vision, values, product information or any other key information.

Check out some of the packaging we’ve helped design to drive our clients’ messaging and, in turn, help build their relationships with clients and employees.

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