10 Simple Steps to Creating a Great Packaging Design


  1. Identify your product qualities
  2. Learn about your customers
  3. Identify your sales channels
  4. Select the right packaging
  5. Select the right wrapping
  6. Consult your brandbook
  7. Add the necessary information
  8. Don’t confuse your customers
  9. Think about where your packaging will be coming from
  10. Plan your budget

How to create a selling packaging design

Product packaging is one of the key marketing tools. It helps customers identify the product and the brand in general. An attractive, unique, and memorable packaging can boost your sales in an incredible way. In this post, we’ll reveal how to come up with an effective product packaging in 10 simple steps.

Step 1: Identify your product qualities

You can’t create a good packaging without knowing your product. Make a list of the main characteristics of your product: weight, number of items, storage temperature, shipping conditions, and other important information.
Use these qualities as a reference point for working on your packaging. Based on this information, you can outline the tasks your packaging must solve. For example, it must be resistant to temperature changes, protect the product from damage, etc.

Step 2: Learn about your customers

Take the time to analyze your target audience and build your customer persona. How old is your average client and where do they work? Where do they usually buy your product? How much are they ready to pay for it? How do they dispose of the packaging? These and other questions are crucial to understanding your audience.
If a packaging were a person, it would surely have a lot on its plate. Among other things, it must grab the client’s attention, provide information about the product, be ergonomic and eco-friendly, etc. Plus, it must convince the customer that they’ve made the right choice buying your product. It’s a lot of responsibility!

Step 3: Identify your sales channels

Make a list of all the sales points you’re using: supermarkets, street kiosks, online stores, your own website, etc. In regard to each of these sales channels, think about how your product will be stored, whether it’ll be easily accessible by customers, etc.

Visualize how your packed product will look on its own and next to its competitors. For example, you may find out that your product is too large to fit on the eye-level supermarket shelf. This way, you can detect the weak spots and improve them before you spend lots of money on packaging.
If you’re going to sell your product both online and offline, you need to adjust your packaging to different environments. In a brick-and-mortar store, a customer can take your product and scrutinize it from all sides. Online shoppers don’t have this opportunity. This means you need to create a beautiful and stylish packaging that will look good on the photos. It must be impossible to resist!

Step 4: Select the right packaging

A bottle, tissue bag, cardboard box or something else? Your packaging depends on what product you’re manufacturing, how you’re going to sell it, and who your target audience are. Also, it’s important to remember that your packaging must be cheaper to make than your product.

Shortlist several options and compare them by different criteria. We must admit that this is a very challenging task. Your selected packaging may turn out too costly to produce or too fragile to ship. If you’re not sure as to which material to choose, consult a professional designer.

Step 5: Select the right wrapping

There are three types of wrapping: outer wrapping, inner wrapping, and packaging. We’ve talked about the packaging in the previous step. Now it’s time to decide whether you need to provide your goods with extra protection.
Outer wrapping is the thing that the customer sees. For example, it’s a cardboard box or paper bag with the product inside.

Inner wrapping serves to save the qualities of the product. For example, you can wrap a book with film, surround a porcelain cup with sawdust, or wrap a makeup set with colorful paper.

Depending on your sales channels, you might need both types of wrapping or just one. Anyway, this issue needs a lot of thinking over. Different types of wrapping must not overlap in the functions they perform.

Step 6: Consult your brandbook

Once you’ve decided on the type of packaging and wrapping, you need to focus on its design. If your product is a part of your existing brand, chances are that you already have a brandbook containing all your corporate fonts, hues, patterns, images, etc. Be sure to provide this valuable information to the designer who is working on your packaging. If, however, you’re developing a new brand, give a thought or two to the appearance of your new product(s) before commissioning a designer.

Also, you can download the brand book in your personal account on the ZenBusiness, after creating the company logo.

Step 7: Add the necessary information

The information displayed on the packaging usually includes the name and image of a product, company slogan, corporate logo, etc. Plus, each country has its requirements as to what information must be present on the packaging. It may be a bar code, quality certifications, best-before date, and the like. You can place some data on special stickers. In this case, you must find the appropriate place for such a sticker so that it doesn’t cover other important information.

Step 8: Don’t confuse your customers

Packaging must make it easier for the customer to guess what’s inside. For example, a bottle of fruit juice for kids should not look like an energy drink. Otherwise, it’ll fail to draw the parents’ attention. Be careful as to what images you’re using on your packaging. They must be good at illustrating the product inside. Also, make sure your images look good in 3D. It’s not uncommon that a picture that looks great in 2D loses its charm when made three-dimensional.

Step 9: Think about where your packaging will be coming from

If you’re going to make the packaging yourself, prepare to answer a series of important questions, e.g. What materials you’re going to use? Do you have the necessary equipment? If it’s a good idea to outsource this part of work, find out what requirements your selected contractor has. For example, ask in what format you need to create your packaging mockups. It can be .ai (Adobe Illustrator), .psd (Photoshop), PDF or EPS. This way, you’ll be prepared and avoid nasty surprises.

Step 10: Plan your budget

The production costs of your packaging are something you need to think as early as at its design stage. These costs fall into two main categories:

  • Non-recurrent costs have to do with the work done by the designer, from sketching to 3D visualization.
  • Cost per unit refers to how much it will cost you to pack each unit of your product. It includes the cost of materials, packer salaries, etc.

Done! Now, after a thorough preparation work, you can provide your selected designer with detailed specifications.

As a bottom line, let’s recap the essential facts. A good packaging is the one that:

  • Goes in line with product characteristics
  • Meets customer expectations
  • Fits your sales channels
  • Clearly tells the customer what’s inside
  • Provides information about the product
  • Distinguishes your product among competition
  • Goes in line with your brandbook
  • Is cheaper to make than the product itself.
Get started image

Ready to get started?

Get the expert support you need

Related Articles

The 4 Most Important Rules of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

by Team ZenBusiness, on February 01, 2024

5 Steps for Launching a New Business or Product

by Team ZenBusiness, on April 15, 2024

How to Turn Holiday Shoppers into Year-Round Customers

by Team ZenBusiness, on February 08, 2024

Lincoln, Mark Twain & Lightning: Choice Words On Word Choice

by Team ZenBusiness, on November 28, 2023

Start Your LLC Today