Effective packaging design depicts the understanding of your target consumers, taking into account  the rational decision making process when consumers purchase a given product.  While still appealing to emotion, culture and preferences. You would agree that this is quite a tall order for designers, brand owners and product marketers to take into account when designing effective packaging. While this is a lot to ask from a simple packaging design it could mean the difference between a successful product and a dormant “fail”.  As successful packaging manufacturers we have put together what we believe to be the most important elements for effective packaging:


shop3When looking at a product ask yourself one simple question: What is the purpose of the product I need? If your design can’t answer that in the 4 seconds a consumer will dedicate to that product you’ve lost a sale.

There are products that list dozens of benefits with no clear brand name, products that look great but fail to explain what’s in the box, even cleaning products that look like juice for kids. Failing to identify the product results in a packaging design which doesn’t perform well in stores.

Shelf Impact

A product is never seen alone or in great detail from a shopper’s point of view. Viewing distance from the shelves and the fact that products are arranged in rows and columns, all consumers see are patterns made from various products. A certain pattern attracts their attention and they take a closer look. The more distinctive a product looks, the better it sells. Sometimes the best-looking design will blend in and become invisible while more simple designs will “pop”.


Practicality deals with the shape, size and functionality of an actual product container, not the label or wrap. The more practical the product, the more sales it gets. For example, turning a ketchup bottle upside down and making is squeezable could make sales of it skyrocket. Always think practicality first, how could you make the product easier to use, carry or store?


Clients and designers often strive to depict the product in the most perfect way imaginable. This sometimes leads to a cookie drenched in chocolate on the packaging for a simple chocolate flavoured biscuit or an abundance of fresh, rich fruit on a yogurt with very little fruit content.

By depicting a product much better than it is you’re misleading and disappointing the consumer which leads to poor sales and a very bad brand image.  Consumers will still buy simple, inexpensive products if they know what they are buying. A little “face lifting” is expected but not to the point that a product appears to be something entirely different.

Target Audience

Designing for a target audience is not always straightforward. Testing could show that a packaging design gives the impression that it is “for women”, “for older people”, or “for trendsetters”. If your packaging does not align with your target audience, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.  Our digital option on the HP20000 will allow you to print small test samples to do effective market testing.


Packaging designs that evoke emotions are more memorable than those that don’t as emotions are closely linked to memories.Some brands may appeal to a consumer’s sense of nostalgia, joy or aspirations. This is why some brands use babies and puppies in their designs. Brands that stimulate emotions are more memorable.

Packaging is the last message a consumer sees and a last chance to convince them to buy the product. Shelf Impact, honesty, emotion and other elements play an important part in this process and can mean the difference between success and failure.  Making consumers feel like they are one of a kind or can get something unique from your brand, is a very effective marketing technique.  Speak to our highly trained staff and we are happy to share some of our ideas with you.