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Packaging Design Nightmares How to Avoid Them

December 22 2015

If you want your product to have the best possible chance of selling then you need to make the right decision when it comes to partnering with the right packaging design studio. We have seen far too many botched, unprofessional looking packaging design projects that have failed due to not finding the right graphic or specialist packaging design agency.

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 packaging is what sells the product. Consumers will firstly 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, you if you really want you can off shore 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 is ( especially if your off shore 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 & Wollies, but when I say the designs I was floored. They were beyond bad. They were shocking 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 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 1000’s 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 1 particular niche. Many of the lager 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 an agency with an ‘out of the box’ mind set, one that is very creative that can cover many niches and industries then you need to go with an agency with more of a graphic design slant.

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 look out 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 design process. This is includes: product photography, copy writing, 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 designers. 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 creatives input and give them the freedom to be creative. Your brief to them might be specific based on what your competition has on the shelf. But, give them the opportunity to show you designs that are seriously ‘out of the box’. Designs that literally blow your competition away. Let them push boundaries and 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 being, that if it works for one brand it should work for another. Note that the newest most successful products you see on the 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, 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.

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