Effective, compelling product packaging can mean success or failure in the marketplace. Creating unique, professional packaging is the job of industrial designers and graphic designers who spend years in design school and years watching design and fashion trends in order to catch a potential consumer's eye. Whatever the product, there are a few design principles that are the basis of powerful packaging. In order to be successful, a product's packaging, should have:
• An engaging visual image that gets the consumers attention and holds it. This image must be memorable and iconic, and one that displays the product in the most ideal way possible. This image should be accompanied by typography that emphasizes the product's brand. This image and brand typography should be unforgettable so the buyer can be encouraged to purchase the product again and again.
• A distinctive shape that is markedly different from its competitors. Ideally, this shape is tied directly into the purpose and functionality of the product. This unique package shape can be emphasized by an exciting use of color that creates interest and attracts the potential consumer to read the label.
• A simple, meaningful, description that communicates what is special about this product. This label text should convey the product's unique properties, use instructions, ingredients, weights and measures, storage requirements, warnings, any legal text required to be included, and the manufacturer's identifying name and address.
Consumer marketing research is an essential part of designing a successful product package. After a manufacturer creates a few prototypes, he will take his product's package to marketing specialists who will research how potential consumers read and react to it. This research will determine if the designs are resonating with the consumer and if the consumer is interested in learning more and potentially purchasing this new product. Depending on the outcome of this market research, the product's packaging will go back to the industrial designer and graphic designer to incorporate the new research findings into the packaging design. Although consumer marketing research takes a bit of extra time, it is an essential insurance policy for the manufacturer to ensure that his product is optimally packaged and sold.
Creating an effective product package is a long and careful process that can mean success or failure in the marketplace. This process requires a relatively modest investment, lasts for the life of the product, and will ultimately be seen by potential consumers in promotions, ads, point-of purchase signage, and during use. If a manufacturer applies a few proven design principles and consumer marketing research prior to launching his product, he can be assured of its success for many years to come.