Love at first sight: designing attention-grabbing packaging and labels

Phenomenal packaging and label design are more than colours, shapes, sizes, illustrations and the type of paper used. Andrew Gibbs mentioned that “well-designed packaging has the power to turn a want into a need, and into a purchase”. Sometimes we buy an unfamiliar wine because we liked the label for instance. Therefore, the success of a design is determined by the emotion it evokes. So how does one get buyers to that point of purchase?

Again, as mentioned in our previous blogs, it starts by answering basic questions. In this case, they include, but are not limited to:

  • What is the product?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Why would they rather choose to buy your product than your competitor’s?
  • How will they buy the product (online, at exclusive stores, bulk)?
  • How will it catch their attention when the product is placed on the shelves amidst a sea of other products just like yours?
  • What are the functional values (quality, variety) and emotional values (aesthetics, entertainment) of both the product and the desired design? Read more about various elements of value here.
  • What are your design objectives (re-design, upgrade, reposition)?
  • What are your competitors doing?

We recommend setting some time aside to carefully answer the questions above in as much detail as possible from a kaleidoscope of angles.

From there we take the mandatory brand elements such as your logo, colour palette and typography to outline the puzzle. It’s always beneficial to have existing brand guidelines available already. This will tell us exactly how we are allowed to use your logo and which colour codes we can use to start colouring in. The goal is to get inside the subconsciousness of the buyer by using designs to suggest the quality and value of the product.

The next step would be to form the content hierarchy. Obviously, you need the attention grabber. This can either be an illustration, your logo or the product name. Additional elements we keep in mind are enticing copy and label regulations such as barcodes, nutritional info or ingredients (depending on the product), expiration dates, batch numbers, the alcohol content in the case of wine labels, and even the barcode.

Still during the designing process, we already need to know what the end product should look like. There is a myriad of styles to draw inspiration from: quirky, simplistic, artsy, geometric, hand-written and many more! Furthermore, we would like to know if you would like specific lines of an illustration to be gloss against a matt background, or even covered in gold foil? We also need to know the shape of the label or packaging to ensure all the important focal points are within all the boundaries (die line, bleed line, trim line, safe line).

All the elements mentioned above play a role in designing the desirability of a product by providing sensory clues of what’s inside, while still “projecting individuality amidst a sea of similarity”, as Jeffrey Caldewey would say.

Contact us today for a brainstorming session. Let’s make your consumers stop, stare and buy. We understand that your product or label design is also a walking ad and that its impact should transcend beyond the shelve. The best product and label designs ultimately add to the customer’s experience. They should be coming back for more!