What does Hopping Mad think makes a good packaging design?

When holding a product you’ve never used before, the first thing you do is judge it by the packaging.

You admire the design, the look, feel, style and even the packaging texture. It all comes together to form one neat unit that’s screaming buy me!

It’s that state of mind where the product is so appealing that it sells itself, which we as packaging designers try to achieve for our clients.Our goal is to create an emotional connection between the product and the consumer via the packaging design.In the super-competitive online & retail world of shopping, big brands throw so much money and spend so much time trying to get consumers to notice their products over their competitors. It’s a race to have the best possible packaging design to tempt the consumer to buy.Hopping Mad is a branding company and packaging design agency that follows these principles to create unique and outside the square thinking packaging design.

1) Creative Design

The design has to be creative, simple as that. In the saturated supermarket shelf space, the design about 7 seconds to capture the shopper’s attention. According to Retail Minded; Brands have, on average about 7 seconds to make a good impression before the customer moves on to the next option.For any brand, the connection it has to make with the consumer is the same. Lose their interest, and they’re off walking down the aisle to the next product. So, you have to know your target market and design packaging that appeals to them. For example, if your selling pharmaceutical cough medicine for children, then the packaging needs to align with this market; as you can see from this case study, Hopping Mad just designed for Little Coughs.

2) User-friendly

Why create a beautiful package design if it’s hard to open or cumbersome to hold. Design agencies like us carefully think all these details through to give the consumer the best user experience. All you need to do is walk into your local Apple Store to see their gorgeous and super user-friendly packaging. So many people keep the packaging because it’s so lovely. Some people go so far as to feel guilty about throwing away the packaging. I know we do when we get our new iMacs or iPhones for the office. Perhaps you won’t have the type of budget Apple has for their pack design, but you can get close with creative thinking by our superstar designers. You can read Apple’s packaging strategy in this pdf here.

The power of Apple’s intelligent brand packaging

3) Simple Messaging

The message is simple; keep your packaging information to the point and clear. Don’t make it too wordy or cluttered. Consumers want to know what the product is, its ingredients and if it’s safe to use. The latest packaging trends on Pinterest shows that minimal graphics has become the newest fashion. Wander down any Coles aisle, and you will see how quickly the uptake in minimal design trends has becomes. You’ll be surprised how minimal packaging designs stands out over cluttered designs with information overload.

4) Copywriting

The words on your packaging can have a tremendous impact on whether the shopper picks it up or not. Messaging is the critical emotional connection you’re looking to create between your product and their behaviour. A few simple words could mean the difference between the sale or not. As a full-service packaging design agency, we use our copywriters to develop catchy sales triggers to capture the buyer immediately. 

The copy will have a huge impact on how consumers behave. What they read will have a massive impact on their buying decision.

5) Honesty

A no-brainer, but don’t oversell or make promises of what’s inside the packaging that is simply untrue. It’s far too easy for consumers to leave negative online reviews of products that didn’t cut the mustard or live up to the consumer’s expectations of what was detailed on the box or carton. Too much hype and little substance is a sure-fire way to lose customer loyalty and get a swathe of bad publicity.Note that there are rules and regulation regarding what you can say on the packaging, but we will tell you these at our first briefing. Take a quick look at the Food Labelling Laws in NSW.

Your product’s packaging has to just through a few hurdles before it can be sold in NSW

6) Be Authentic

Make sure you stay true to your messaging, product and brand story. Don’t try to mimic or copy another brand which is why the team at Hopping Mad Designs can create a completely bespoke brand and tailor-made for your business.Authenticity in all facets of the packaging design process creates big brands that consumers love and are super-loyal! Think Lululemon, Rip Curl, Addidas, Apple, Lego and more. The list goes on, but all of these brands have one common thread; they are 100% authentic in design and key messaging.

7) Shelf Impact

Marketing Mag tells us that; Our research and development (R&D) have identified that packaging is one of the top three drivers of purchase, so it pays to ensure your pack has a strong impact and presence on the shelf.People browsing aisles at Coles, Iga, ALDI or Woolies don’t see an individual product. They see a whole bunch of colours, messages and call to actions. The only way you will cut through to the shopper is on fundamental scientific principles such as the ones we discuss here. Get it right, and you’ll be selling more products than the competition.

8) Futureproof your product

You can’t think that you will have one product, and that’s it. Just imagine you have a range of products in the future based on the success of your launch. Or perhaps you are launching a family of products that require consistent messaging. You need to get it right from the get-go if you’ve got any chance of success on the supermarket shelf. Colours, branding, messages, copy all need to reflect the style and range of the products. So that as your range grows, all you need to do are a few simple tweaks and presto, you have a new product SKU.

9) Common sense

Get the message and design is one thing, but what about all the other practical issues involved with getting the product into the consumer’s hand. Your designers need to know about other packaging contingencies such as:

  • How does the product stack or hang on the shelf?
  • Is it easy to transport?
  • What’s the weight of the pack, and how will that affect supply and delivery costs?
  • Does the product need to be in a freezer, and how does this affect the ink on the box?
  • Is it easy to handle and transport?
  • If it’s a fragile product, will the packaging protect it?
  • Or, will it fit neatly into the SUV or car?
  • Can the product be refined later on if need be? Remember the tomato sauce bottle with the screw cap and how that’s evolved over the years. A job for industrial designers, but the packaging has to grow with this.

Designers need to address all these nuances on top of the packing design. It’s not as simple as it would seem!

10) Unique Selling Point

How ell does the packaging communicate the products USP or unique selling point? The USP is where everything comes together nicely; the critical message, branding and the graphics. The effort you put in conveying the USP will have a ripple effect on sales. The ROI will be huge. 


As a trusted packaging design agency in Sydney, Hopping Mad Designs considers all these crucial elements in our packaging design process. Our senior creative, Joanna Basile, has had years of experience in the packaging design space and will give your product the professional edge needed to stand out and sell.

About the author

Joanna Basile
Jo is the founder of  Hopping Mad Designs, a brand agency with 22 years of experience working with brands to position them for growth. Jo has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food, pharmaceuticals & beverage clients.

Packaging Design Nightmares How to Avoid Them

The trick here is to follow a set of strict guidelines and if you rigorously adhere to these then you should be on the right path to having the best-looking packaging.

After all, the packaging is what sells the product.


Consumers will first buy with their eyes and this is why professional packaging design is a critical step in the success of your business.

Rule # 1: Never choose a packaging design agency purely based on the price they offer. Basically, if you really want you can offshore this design service at a fraction of the cost of what you would pay in Sydney. In fact, if you look hard enough there are companies out there willing to cut their design service fee just to get your business. The BIG issue here (especially if your offshore your designs) is the quality of work. Recently a business start-up came to our office who had tried to save some money by getting their concept work done in China. Their aim was to sell their product Coles & Woollies, but when I saw the designs I was floored. They were beyond bad. They were shocked and needed to be thrown away.

It is one thing (and I am not saying this is a bad thing) to shop around for the best deal, but to try to go to market with a sub-standard pack design is a big mistake. Nothing good can come of it. The worst part about this is that if you end up going and printing thousands of boxes or cartons you are going to waste a lot of money once you soon realise that your products are not selling.

Rule # 2: Try to find an agency that doesn’t specialise in one particular niche. Many of the larger packaging design houses will tend to focus on one industry. This is great if you are a large pharmaceutical or FMCG business and are looking for an agency that only does this type of packaging. But, if you are looking for a creative agency with an out-of-the-box mindset, one that is very nimble that can cover many niches and industries then you need to go with an agency with more of a graphic design slant.

Also Read: Tips for choosing a creative graphic design agency

Most people think that pack design MUST be done by specific pack agencies. This is WRONG and far from the truth. The best packaging design comes from talented graphic designers ad this is why you should be on the lookout for an agency that has strength in both disciplines.

Rule # 3: Make sure that you get a team that can handle all aspects of the graphic design process. This includes product photography, copywriting, barcodes as well as print management. Any decent agency will be able to handle all of these for you this way the whole process is managed under one roof. You do not want to use different people and companies for this. If there are too many people involved it will complicate the process. Keep it simple and get a studio that is proficient ( or at least has the resources to draw upon) in all these areas.

Rule # 4: Don’t leave it till the last minute. If you have a deadline prepare for this well in advance. Remember, you need to get printing done and this can take time. Plus you do not want to rush your graphic design team. Give them time enough to come up with the creatives. Pushing them to meet a time frame can constrain those creative juices.

Rule # 5: Be flexible in your approach to design. Allow the creative’s input and give them the freedom to be creative. Your brief to them might be specifically based on what your competition has on the shelf. But, give them the opportunity to show you designs that are serious ‘out of the box. Designs that literally blow your competition away. Let them push boundaries and be free to be innovative with their designs. This is how great products become even more successful. By limiting the creative process and placing restrictions on design packaging becomes stale and boring. Every product ends up looking the same and they all take on a similar style + feel. The logic behind this is, that if it works for one brand it should work for another. Note that the newest most successful products you see on supermarket shelves all have their own very different personality. Bear this in mind when speaking with your creative team.

Rule # 6: Having your product designed is one thing but try to look for an agency that can help market this for you in the digital space as well. You are going to need a website, some social media marketing, and perhaps some SEO as well. Think about it. Imagine you are selling a children’s line of clothing or perhaps you have a new medical device you want to market. Yes, you do need packaging, but you also need all the other sales and marketing material to go along with this.

Rule # 7. Don’t be upset if it doesn’t work the first time. Go back again. learn from your mistakes and improve the pack design. Remember that you won’t always crack it the first time so be prepared to go through the process again and think of the positive; at least you know what not to do.

This is where choosing an agency like Hopping Mad Designs is so perfect. We straddle all these areas and can take a product from the concept stage, design the packaging and then market the website online through various social media and online marketing platforms.

Affordable Packaging Design – Case Studies

Packaging design can be one of the hardest things to implement successfully.

Trying to create something interesting, effective and competitive in the midst of colours, logos, typography and product information, can easily get off track and steer away from the brief into a mess.

Choosing the right design agency for packaging is crucial, even if you’ve made an impression on your potential customers at every other junction – online and offline – packaging is the final hurdle between potential and purchase. It’s your last and best chance to make a sale.

Choose carefully and most importantly, you do not have to pay those excessive ad agency fees any longer. Ditch the idea that quality packaging design comes with a heavy price tag.

Contact us at Hopping Mad Designs on 02 9360 8514 and you will soon see why our rates for all types of packaging; including FMCG are so affordable.

As a brand, you need to be clear on the purpose that packaging plays to adapt to placement, different markets and consumers expectations. Many people focus solely on product and overlook the packaging, but in such a competitive market great branding and packaging design is something that will set you apart from competitors on shelves. Purchases can be solely based on emotion, especially when deciding between competitive brands, so it’s not surprising that the biggest brands have the best packaging.

Depending on how your campaign is structured, product and packaging could be the first interaction that someone has with your brand and although packaging in the most basic form is something that protects the product it can be so much more.

We make packaging design accessible for all businesses

Designing packaging for a product let alone an entire product line can be a time-consuming process. Time equals money, and if you are a small business, that’s something that you don’t have much to spare. When you work with a large agency, your primary contact is generally an account manager and your information is passed through too many sets of hands.

Working with a smaller packaging design agency like us at Hopping Mad Designs is not only more cost-effective but more often than not you will be speaking directly with a designer, who will be able to better convey your ideas and take on your feedback. It is far far easier to deal with us than a larger more expensive agency where you will be treated like a number, in a production manner.

We offer a much better level of service and commitment to seeing that you get the best possible end result.

Creative packaging design case studies

The Art of Wholefoods

is a relatively new, small boutique run by a nutritionist. With a passion for quality cooking and health, all products are produced to provide optimum nutrition. When designing the bone broth range, we wanted to be able to convey this to the customer. We decided to create a striking, modern image for the packs, in conjunction with quirky illustrations, to give it an authentic, homemade touch. The graphic treatment of the label contrasts with a background image, creating a stylish pack that leaps off the shelf.

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The Art of Wholefoods decided to extend their range of products into sauces, jus and dressings. Deciding that this would be a more premium, high-end range, we decided to go for a different look that would still fit their brand image. We went with a striking typographic label on black, and colour coding each flavour. The label is complemented with a black lid, finishing off with a strong, bold look for a boutique market. By making some strategic design decisions, our original branding was flexible enough to extend into this category, while still maintaining its own identity.

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Huntington Estate originally approached us to create an eCommerce site and in the process of updating their brand, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to design the labels of their four seasons range. This project incorporated their signature Four Seasons range and a musical element, to be used in conjunction with an event run by the estate. This gave us an opportunity to find a creative way to combine these two elements. The end result was a series of quirky illustrations, using music notes, lyrics and grapevines.


Affordable Pharmaceutical Packaging Design

Care Pharmaceuticals

came to us for the launch of a new product in the children’s cough syrup category. Being a natural product with ivy leaf as an active ingredient, we wanted to depict that, but still, maintain its medical credibility and the brand’s integrity. We created a fun, vibrant logo that provides continuity throughout the “Little” products produced by Care Pharmaceuticals. The colour of the pack has created a strong branding device, which has aided recognition on shelves.


Care Pharmaceuticals also came to us to design their new brand Lacto-Free – a tablet that supports the digestion of lactose and the relief of symptoms caused by its consumption. We used a strong blue, to link it to the dairy sections, with clinical and medical inklings. The distinct bold look makes it stand out on the shelf and gives customers a sense of assurance.



Medilicious, we designed the logo, brand identity and product packaging. Creating a logo as well a packaging gave us the opportunity to create something unique that would speak to their customers. The logo is easily recognisable, using custom illustration and simple typography it immediately invigorates a sense of taste. The olive tones of the colour palette speak to the nature of the product, and handwritten font works with the boutique style.

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Packaging is no longer just about grabbing consumers attention, it’s about creating a strong brand identity, better supporting the product that it holds and fueling the entire brand experience. Creative packaging using the fundamentals of great design and innovative thinking will have an impact on the consumer.

If you have a product and are looking for some very creative yet affordable packaging design, please contact us at Hopping Mad Designs.