Why is Packaging Design Important?
Packaging design plays an important role in presenting and alerting customers to your brand – with the ultimate intention of increasing product sales. Your packaging is just one of the fundamental branding elements of the brand as a whole, and can be the most important. For example, Voss water’s iconic design created an allure that embedded itself within culture. To create it, Voss founders enlisted the help of Neil Kraft, a fashion designer who previously worked for Calvin Klein, rather than a traditional bottle designer. There will be many ways you can approach your packaging design, depending on what makes sense for your brand.
Might be of interest – Our Packaging Design Services
Our Top 5 Packaging Designs
Here are our top 10 packaging design examples.
If I asked you to imagine the next iPone packaging, I’m sure you would assume a white box, with an image of the phone on the front, the Apple logo and a crisp Sans Serif font. Apple has been consistent with its packaging over the past 15 years. They translate their minimalistic designs across all of their products and are instantly recognisable.
Apple continues to top the charts as one of the most valuable brands. They are hell bent on aesthetics, ensuring the devotion of designers, artists and creatives alike. Apple has always focused on emotion and visionary leaders propelling their success. Since 1976, the tech company is almost more of a cult than it is a brand.
What Can You Learn from Apple?
Think different. If you connect to consumers emotionally, they will embrace your product enough to make it part of their identity. But don’t be Apple, only Apple is Apple. Design your packaging in a way that connects to your unique audiences. They don’t need to know all the product specifications and features, so keep your design as simple as possible.
Might be of interest – Powerful Brands – Apple
BrewDog is a craft beer juggernaut with bars and selling beers around the world. Though they were not the first to enter the craft beer market, they have successfully made it more mainstream. Their packaging design reflects back to their boutique roots, with exciting designs that stand out on the shelves.
“United we stand for better beer – Fiercely defiant and independent”
The company has always had a straightforward approach to design. BrewDog focuses on bold use of colour, type, and brand voice. The craft beer industry is full of good looking can designs, but BrewDog exercises restraint and has developed a system for the 100+ beers they produce a year.
What Have BrewDog Done Well?
BrewDog have understood their competitors and where their beers are found. They have used this to produce graphic designs that stand out when their products are in unflattering locations within a store. Beyond this, they have used their latest packaging to signal their sustainability charter. By promoting upcycling to support waste-minimising initiatives, they are using their packaging as a vessel to communicate their values and build rapport with consumers.
This Australian company challenged the way beauty conveys beauty. Leaders in quality and ethics, they have navigated aesthetics and functionality to create a truly beautiful brand. The use of natural colours, unique packaging materials and earthy tones tell a story of the native land it originates.
Named after the famous Greek fabulist who shared tales of moral lessons, the brand keeps a distinct air of philosophy through its identity. As a brand, Aesop has a unified and straightforward approach. You see colour and flourishes in other beauty brands, but Aesop offers a moment of calm reprieve.
What Can We Learn from Aesop?
Sometimes we look to the industry for inspiration and cues. But if you truly listen to your audiences you might find that they’re searching for something different, and Aesop answered that perfectly. Natural, high-quality and functional – taking home the Aesop hand wash is like taking home a piece of quiet luxury.
Voss water created a simplistic and premium design, aimed at affluence and aspiration. With the help of Neil Kraft, the bottle is equal parts fashion as it is water.
Their iconic, cylindrical bottle design fits just as well on a restaurant table as it does in a boardroom. The clear glass bottle and silver lid has become recognisable and tied to luxury – even making an appearance in the James Bond franchise.
What Can We Learn from This?
When they translated to retail, it was integral they maintained their same premium product image. As bottled water was booming, a place for luxury was being left open above Evian and Fiji Water. If you are going to scale, never compromise on what your brand stands for. If it stands for premium then prepare to foot the bill.
For an average wine brand, 19 Crimes made a big impression. They demonstrated that a static, physical item can live and breathe in the digital space.
19 Crimes Approach
Standing in the alcohol aisle, overwhelmed with choice (and not always armed with knowledge), it can be difficult to differentiate the options. 19 Crimes tells a story of British prisoners who were sent to Australia – each charged with one of the ‘19 crimes’ of the era. Using AR technology, you can hover your phone over a convict’s image to watch them tell their side of the story.
What Can We Learn from 19 Crimes?
The point of purchase is one of the most difficult spaces to own in alcohol. 19 Crimes harnessed technology to provide an engaging and memorable experience. A lot of what we talk about with brands is storytelling, and they have executed this perfectly – bestowing knowledge and emotion in a surprising moment.
World Wide Fund for Nature
Today consumers are more and more conscious of making sustainable decisions. A challenge of packaging is that it needs to safely transport and hold your product, and that usually means plastic and nasty materials. With today’s technology that is no longer the case and WWF have achieved this perfectly with their Just* range. They recently created a line of house-hold cleaning products, centred around using natural resources like lemons for glass cleaner. The design of the packaging is to eliminate packaging, made from alternative and natural materials.
All product packaging is 100% natural and biodegradable paper carton. On the front of the package, is a diecut window showing the plastic bottle the product is replacing.
What can we learn from this?
WWF engaged famous agency Leo Burnett to come up with this inspiring concept. The creative team was able to take the idea for the product, and translate that into something meaningful for packaging. The idea is clever, surprising and impactful.
If you want to talk about sustainable packaging, how about being non-existent? We typically can only recycle about 9% of our plastics, meaning there are limits to being truly sustainable. Benjamin Stern set about creating NOHBO, making the world a truly greener place.
NOHBO makes their packageing from water-soluble, biodegradable material. The user dissolves the outer layer under water for up to 4 seconds, before lathering into your hair or skin. The outer packaging can hang or store the pods, and is made from sugarcane-derived plant plastic that is completely compostable.
What can we learn from this?
If you want to be sustainable, you have to walk the walk. NOHBO’s creating was so serious about his idea he has worked to develop the technology to realise his dream. It’s only a matter of time before all packaging will need to be conscious, so you may as well re-evaluate now.
Packaging serves a function. It transports, contains and delivers your product safely. But can your packaging serve more of a purpose? SAIKAI have cleverly designed their cookies and tea to come in ready-to-use serving trays. Their design is beautiful, fun and a perfect way to warm up conversation.
We love Japanese design because this sings high quality work and attention to detail. The design comes in a hexagon shape, inspired by nature and balance. The design features mountains, winds, rivers and fields of tea and rice.
What we can learn from SAIKAI
Some of us struggle to throw away a good box, and SAIKAI has provided the epitome. Their packaging designs are as beautiful as the products themselves, leaving the opportunity to display the brand in homes (rather than transferred into clear containers).
Floravere Wedding Gowns
People don’t have to tear into your package and dispose of it – it can be an experience. Unboxing a wedding gown could arguably be one of the most emotional and memorable experiences a product can have. Floravere have considered every step, creating a moment that stands still in time.
Recognising that not every bride wants the hassle of in-store appointments, these gowns come straight to your door. Each dress is as unique as the experience. The most stand-out consideration for us are the accompanying The gown comes in the signature Bride Box including measuring tape, hanger, clips and other beautiful touches. The design is elegant and reminiscent of wedding invitations, including delightful copy and messaging throughout.
Our Key takeaway
Think about every moment of the experience. How does your customer feel along the way, and how can a brand engage, comfort or inspire them? If you think about the process more like storytelling, rather than pure practicality, you can claim a space in the consumers’ memory. Floravere created an opportunity to connect beyond the unboxing, making a meaningful and shareable experience.
When talking about limited edition designs, we can’t go past Coca-Cola. In creating a limited edition design, you are enchanting a sense of excitement and time-sensitivity to drive sales. Coca-Cola has done many limited editions designs, tying into seasonal events, sporting affairs and partnerships. A recent example was the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign.
The brand took personalisation to a whole new level, first launching in Australia with the top 150 names printed on their products. China decided to use nicknames for their packages, and Israel saw interactive signs with people’s names. The US decided to share a coke ‘and a song’ for their iteration, and earned Selena Gomex the most likes photo for the time. Here in the UK, Coke printed over 75 holiday destinations across their labels.
What can we take from this?
Creating a limited edition design, may be a great opportunity for your brand. If you work in the luxury or beverage space, these exclusive designs provide a value-add and prompt to purchase. What Coca-Cola did well, was recognise that people will engage with items that are personal to them. It created a platform for connecting with friends and sharing experiences in the social and digital space.
Rounding Up Our Top Ten Packaging Designs
Packaging is a reflection of your brand. Always return to your brand’s purpose and values when making designs towards design and production. If you believe in minimalism, sustainability or luxury – your core identity should drive your decision making.
Packaging is just one part of your brand expression, so find ways to tie it to the environment and every other touchpoint. Ask yourself, how can you continue engagement using social and digital channels – what opportunities are there? How can I curate the entire experience to be memorable?
We are emotional creatures, so whatever you choose to do – make it meaningful and memorable.