Perfect Packaging Design!

Packaging Design

Packaging design can be a deal-breaker for many customers. How you “wrap up” your products will determine whether the product will attract the attention of the right shoppers, and it also influences the customers’ desire to buy the product.

So, if you are preparing for new packaging design or redesign, a very important process awaits you. The foundation of that process is the design brief.

The packaging design brief creates a bridge between you and the design agency. A simple, well-written design brief can make your collaboration easier and more efficient. 

However, having such a crucial task in front of you can evoke endless questions and dilemmas. That’s why we have compiled a list of relevant tips on how to write a great packaging design brief that will provide you with guidance.  

Make It Defined, Specific, and Concise

Probably the first question that popped into your mind was, “how long should the design brief be?”

Well, the truth is that there is no right answer. There is no specific page number that you should aim for. Instead, your goal should be to write a defined and concise brief.

You want to be professional and deliver all the necessary information for crafting a new design. This means that scribbles on a post-it won’t do.

On the other hand, you don’t overwhelm the designer with irrelevant information. A 100-page report will only distract them from their assignment – to focus on design.

That balance between providing enough detail for clear cooperation but not too many to create confusion is what you should aim for.

Introduce Your Brand and Product

Who is your brand? That’s what the designer agency wants to know. To create a packaging design that perfectly fits with your brand’s mission and values, you need to introduce your brand.

Include the basic information about your brand, such as:

  • Brand’s morals, values, and culture
  • Brand’s mission 
  • Your unique selling proposition (USP)

Designing for a brand that has a long and respected tradition and designing for a startup that needs to stand out creates a huge difference. 

Aside from information that provides context on your brand, you also want to introduce your product. 

What is your product? What makes it unique? In case you are doing a redesign, provide some statistics on previous sales rates. Allow the designers to meet the product that they need to dress up.

Define Your Customers and Their Shopping Journey

The design is aimed at shoppers, so it’s only fair that you explain who they are.

The information you need to collect is:

  • Target customers’ demographics (age, gender, location, income scale, etc.)
  • Target customers’ likes, dislikes, and preferences
  • Target customers’ shopping habits

Mention where the customers do their shopping. Are they purchasing your product online or in-store? Or is it both?  

If you sell products both online and in-store, state what sales channel is currently more appealing to customers. 

Although this seems like it will lead to a long list of data, you can make it concise. All you’ll need is some help from a professional writer or editor. Reach out to essays or dissertations writing services such as SupremeDissertations or TopEssayWriting. They can help you sort the data and turn it into comprehensible content. 

Explain Your Goals

This section is where you explain what you want to accomplish with this packaging design. 

Whether you are launching a new product or freshening up the packaging on the old one, there must be some objectives that you want to achieve.

Do you want customers to notice the product even if it’s placed on the top shelf? Do you want to attract more VIP customers? Be very specific about your goals. 

Write about the emotion that your packaging should evoke in customers. If there is a certain change in behavior it should provoke, share what that should be.

Provide Information on Competitors

Giving some information on your competitors can help the agency grasp what they are up against. Let them have a sneak peek of what’s happening in your niche.

Include some examples of competitors’ packaging that you want to overshadow. Also, share what their product positioning is.

You need to gather data on your competition, but not just for the traditional reasons. You need to set yourself apart. Your product and service must be different,” said Ryan Hulland, president and founder of Netfloor USA Access Flooring for Market Research

Production, Manufacturing, and Packaging Details

How your packaging will be produced, where, and with which materials also affects the design. 

It will be very useful to designers if you share information such as:

  • Where will you produce the packaging
  • What materials will be used (unless you want to get the design agency’s input on this)
  • The size, shape, and dimensions of the packaging
  • Legal language and/or icons that must be on the packaging 
  • The cost per unit
  • The amount to be produced

Some of these details can be open to discussion if you have a limited budget. So, keep in line your desires with your disposable budget. 

Express Your Wants in Terms of Design Style

Now, here comes the fun and creative part of the brief. This section should include all your desires, wishes, and ideas for the packaging design. 

Giving the agency some direction can save you from sending the proposal back and forward due to misunderstandings.

What kind of style are you going for? Do you want a modern, showy, classic, or nature-oriented design? 

Predefined design elements that you can share in the brief are:

  • Brand’s logo 
  • Elements of design that will be consistent in all product variations
  • Standard brand colors that you want to incorporate
  • Fonts that you like
  • Copy that you want the packaging to incorporate

In case you want to step back from using typical brand colors, and explore other options, share a mood board with color swatches.

Additionally, including examples of packaging that you like will be a huge bonus for the agency. 

Write Down the Deliverables

Lastly, you want to wrap up the brief with deliverables.

Having a strict and short deadline will most likely affect the price of the design. Therefore, being open about the date when you expect results will help the agency create the right proposal.

You should also include the file type or form in which you want the design to be delivered. Some options are PDF, Adobe Illustrator, prototype, board, 3D digital renders, etc. 

Final Thoughts

There it is – the elements that make up a perfect packaging design brief. Of course, you can include additional information, if necessary. Adapt the brief to suit your design plans. However, be led by the first tip at all times, and that is to keep the design brief defined, specific, and concise.

Packaging design article and permission to publish here provided by Donald Fomby. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on October 14, 2020.