The importance of good packaging design


Dr Vicky Kell, Director of Innovation, Research & Development
Invest NI
Nov 24, 2016

Packaging is often a consumer’s first point of contact with a product, and is one of the most important elements to consider during product launch (or re-launch).

A good design should reflect the product and personality of the company, however, there is more to packaging design than ensuring it looks appealing.

There are many elements to consider in the design – it has to function properly protecting what’s inside, it has to allow for distribution, storage and display, it must convey information to the customer and draw attention to itself on a shelf full of competing products.

No matter how good a product is, poorly designed packaging can keep it from selling. A good design should reflect the product and personality of the company, however, there is more to packaging design than ensuring it looks appealing. Consideration must be given to materials used and their environmental impact, how the package conveys messages with simplicity yet still be compelling, how it conforms to legislative requirements, how it meets translation and cultural aspects and how well it can fit within the retail space.

Customers want to associate a product with something positive, and the packaging design is often one of the first things that comes to mind. Companies should not miss the opportunity to create a lasting impression on the shelf and in the minds of their customers.

To assist companies with packaging design issues the first in our new series of Design workshops, held recently in Crumlin Road Gaol, focussed on how other companies have solved their packaging design issues and used the principles to strengthen their brand, contribute to customer loyalty and create a bigger market share.

You can get a summary of all the presentations from the day including how to design a package fit for purpose, current packaging trends, thinking about your story through appropriate packaging and commercial considerations. Local company Shortcross Gin also highlighted the journey and challenges it faced bringing a new product to market.

If you’re an Invest NI customer why not apply for our Design for Business Programme or alternatively you can complete the new design tool to help you understand the key elements of good design and how to utilise it for better business. The tool is aimed at all businesses in Northern Ireland.

Further information
Read our Packaging Optimisation Guide for Food & Drink businesses in Northern Ireland (PDF).
Read our Packaging Ideas Guide (PDF)
Read packaging design: essential top tips.

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