What we do

Packaging Design

It’s too easy to blow a budget on product development, market research and advertising. If the packaging doesn’t pack a punch, the customer simply won’t pick it up.

Cost-effective packaging solutions

Our packaging design and our Point of Sale designs are created to the same tight business principles as our brochures and everything else we do. They are practical, cost-effective and attention-grabbing.

Experienced packaging designers

Profile have worked on packaging projects for a number of clients across a number of business sectors including:

  • Health Technology
  • Equine Feeds
  • Food & Confectionery
  • Cosmetics
  • Automotive
  • Education

Guiding Principles

Effective Pack design

Some considerations for the design of packaging.

1. Simplicity

It’s a rare person who enjoys being in a supermarket–it’s often cold, crowded, and visually stressful. So any brand that keeps its message simple, without bombarding us with proclamations, may entice us to reach for it. Supermarket brands can learn from premium food companies such as Simon Johnson, which strips its narrative down to the essentials, creating calm on the shelf. Visually quieting the noise with a simple design is one way to help your product stand out.

2. Honesty

No one actually believes that all olive oil comes from some idyllic Tuscan farm, or that a loaf of bread is hand-kneaded by a German baker, despite what the packaging tells us. We all suspend our disbelief, knowing deep down that we are being “spun.” A brand such as Another Bloody Water, however, speaks in a way that grabs our attention. The brand rises above the spin by giving its audience credit for being in on the joke, which instantly disarms us and makes us feel wiser for buying in. In a largely hyped-up or even dishonest environment truth can be revolutionary.

3. Personality

Packaging with a unique personality isn’t just nice to have, it’s essential. It’s the fundamental difference between brand and private label, between emotion and function. Personality has the potential to show what’s unique about a brand, and yet this critical aspect is often ignored. Legibility, shelf shout, and flavour differentiation take precedence, leaving us with an overwhelming amount of boring messages. An unexpected feature–a clever twist in the logo or a little wit in the back-of-pack information–can change the way we relate to not only the product but also the brand. Handled creatively, personality can make it possible to actually like the “person” that is a particular brand.

4. Practicality

Who hasn’t been driven to the point of bad manners and near physical exhaustion with a stubborn blister pack? Or cursed aloud as a bag of rice grains exploded across the kitchen floor? Structural packaging that drives the user to frustration doesn’t exactly encourage repurchase or foster long-standing loyalty. On the other hand, innovations like pump spray balsamic vinegar bottles, ziplock resealable bags, and screw-cap wine bottles that demonstrate an understanding of our day-to-day experiences with a product often provide a tangible reason to appreciate the brand.

5. Sustainability

In the current environmentally conscious climate we feel guilty about throwing away a plastic bottle and recognise wastefulness when removing the third layer of wrapping from a new kitchen appliance. We welcome recyclable materials such as glass and paper, and are happy to have less material waste to throw in the bin. Refillable packaging is another way to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Reusable laundry liquid bottles and rice container refills provide a new sense of efficiency. In times past we left our milk bottles out for collection. Reuse is not exactly a new idea–it’s simply an old method with new values. Additionally, refillable packaging is not only efficient, it also maintains a visible brand presence in the pantry at home. Sustainable packaging provides a sense of satisfaction that comes from acting responsibly through our purchasing decisions.

6. Authenticity

New products and brands enter the market at a dizzying rate. Finding brands that have stayed true over time or remind us of lasting quality create a level of comfort and reassurance. Of course, well-established brands can draw on their heritage to deliver authenticity–brands like Coca-Cola with its familiar red-and-white logotype or Tiffany’s classic blue boxes. But authenticity can be true of modern brands as well. Aesop’s signature tinted brown bottles and a consistent two-colour aesthetic reflect its beautiful products. Brands that maintain integrity can foster a genuine feeling of value.

We tend to take well-designed packaging for granted–and in a way we should. Packaging should be effortless–consumers shouldn’t need instructions to open a box, and we shouldn’t have to think twice about throwing it into the recycling bin. If packaging requires minimal effort and leaves a positive impression, the relationship with a brand can be more meaningful and pleasurable. It can even earn a bit of appreciation.

From an article by Ben Chandler
– first published in Retail World 2009

Packaging Design

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