16 December 2022

The Difference: Packaging Design


Packaging design is the most important part of selling a product. If you cannot get the interest of a customer from the packaging you’ll never have it – from the way the packaging feels visually to the way it feels physically. You have 7 seconds to get the attention and you can lose it just as quickly as you get it, the goal is to keep it. Design is where this happens.


If you want to find out the psychology behind getting that all-important sale take a look at the Silent Salesman: Psychology Of Packaging to find out more. 


What happens when you get a product that is perfectly attuned to the concept which you had for it? You want to sell it. But you cannot sell the product as it is otherwise you’ll never get to the final conversion. 

Take perfume for instance. If you sold perfume for what it was you would be telling people to buy scented water that is created in batches over and over again, with base notes that come from the forced gland secretions of an animal and you put it on yourself to alter your natural scent…not many people would buy into that. But if you get them to buy into a lifestyle – an ideal – then they will invest, because people don’t want a product they want what the product can bring them. So, again using perfume as an example. Telling people that once they put on this scent their entire life will change, their dating will explode into a line of possibilities; their finances will become a golden avenue of opportunity, their clothes will make them look impossibly sexy, they’ll be driving the fastest car and they’ll be in the most affluent cities, (and all of that from a single spray of scented water) is more likely to sell. 

But how do you sell that ideal in a competitive market of companies all selling versions of the same ideal? Through the packaging. If you get a perfume that is packaged in cheap plastic with unmatched font, murky colors and a cap that doesn’t come off easily; no matter how high the quality is of the actual product – consumers wouldn’t look twice at it. Why? Because visually it does not appeal, visually it looks cheap and we associate cheap with negative connotations. 


Humans are very visual creatures – the space which is reserved for visual information takes up 30% of the prefrontal cortex, (compared to 8% for touch and 3% for hearing). This means that your product has to appear visually. This is why advertising companies spend so much money on slick videos, impactful photography. No one wants to feel like they’re being forced to buy a product, so that’s why packaging design is so important; it doesn’t force the decision but it makes it so that any other decision feels inauthentic and therefore reproachable.


When designing packaging the key is to make it irresistible. But irresistibility is a very subjective thing. Some people find minimalism irresistible, others find maximalism irresistible. That’s where the brand comes in. You cannot please everyone but you can please someone, and depending on how the trends are moving – that number will either grow or fall. When a brand is created it’s created with a specific target audience in mind. Your packaging makes it possible to access this target market.

But how?


  • The design of your packaging focuses on the palette and patterns of your branding – the palette and patterns you chose for your brand should go onto your packaging and therefore attract the same audience who are already part of your brand community
  • The typography is the tone of the message which you are putting on the piece of packaging – think of it as the voice of your brand. What you write on a piece of packaging is important but the typography can make or break it. If you use a font that looks too pretty to actually be able to read no one is going to bother to look at the packaging twice no matter how pretty it is. This is because consumers are no longer wanting to have to make an effort to find the perfect product – the effort is down to the brands to make
  • The imagery used is important because it should be cohesive with the palette and patterns while at the same time standing out enough to get the attention of the consumer. 


For more information on what’s going to be popular in 2023 make sure you take a look at the article New Year New Trends: Packaging In 2023