7 Tips for Killer
Brand Packaging


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Packaging is an essential part of design culture.

  • An effective and successful package design helps your brand stand out, brings recognition and attracts customers.
  • The better the packaging, the greater the influence on a consumer’s purchase.
  • A well-designed package serves as a good marketing tool, oftentimes better than typical advertising techniques.

Frequently, the packaging is the first thing a consumer will see of your brand. Its impact could draw them in or turn them away. Therefore, it is important that the design and the message conveyed through the package are aimed and accurate for your target market.

A successfully designed package will put into play some of the key Principles of Design, including fonts and color. Consider these guidelines that should help elevate the package to its full potential.


The most important part of selecting typefaces is legibility. A package contains a lot of information that consumers need to be able to read. Legibility starts with the proper selection of a typeface. If you find there are problems reading certain characters at a smaller size, select another typeface. Make it large enough so it can be read, but keep it small enough to not distract from the more important and interesting elements on a package, such as the logo or product name. Finally, creating good contrast between the type and background can dramatically improve legibility on your package.


Selecting the right color palette can elevate your brand and will add cohesiveness to your design. A color palette of 3–5 colors, used consistently, is very visually appealing. Creating a successful package isn’t as simple as throwing a bright color on it; the color must be purposeful. For example, a brighter color might work better on a package of markers, but more muted and understated colors generally work better on a skincare line. Then again, it could be the exact opposite, depending on your target audience. Make sure to put your logo or product name in a color that attracts the eye and uses contrast.


Sometimes a first thought in designing an effective package is to add a lot of elements, patterns, illustrations, etc. In reality, simplicity sells and is most successful. Simplicity doesn’t have to be boring. It is minimalistic, yet creative. It is sleek. You can use fewer patterns and design elements with thoughtful typefaces and a consistent color palette with great success.


A small way to elevate your brand with your package is to be honest in the information and product you convey. Some companies try to depict their products and descriptions in the most idealistic and perfect way, when this is not reality. This can lead to consumer dissatisfaction, which is not good for the brand. Being transparent through the package creates customer trust and develops strong brand recognition.


Effective packaging isn’t always enough; it is important to stand out and design a package that is original and memorable. Scan your competitors to see what they are doing, then do something different. Change up what is normal for packages in your genre, whether it is with photography, illustration or elaborate type treatments. Find unexpected sources of inspiration and do something completely out of left field to make it authentic.

Shelf Impact

Packages are placed on a shelf in groups and attract customers by the pattern they make on the wall. When packages are distinct and draw consumers to the shelf, it has “good shelf impact.” It is important to test to see if your package will attract the eye of consumers. Your package will make an impact when you employ a unique color, a cool box style, simplicity, texture and/or patterns.


Another consideration is potential extensibility of your product. Your design should be simple enough to be able to mimic it on a different product for your brand. Cohesiveness is good for your brand and future product expansion. Set the stage with your design to create a whole line of beautifully designed packages.

Keep these seven factors in mind the next time you are walking the aisle at a store. What packages pop out at you? Which have the best shelf impact? Are they using these design tips? If not, what elements have they implemented in the design to catch your eye? Seeing what packages already exist on the shelves is the best source of inspiration! Happy designing!

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