What is Packaging Design

Packaging design is the process of designing product packaging to securely contain, identify and deliver a product. 

Pretty much anything tangible has packaging (which we all then recycle responsibly, right?), some of it good, some of it… not so good. After years of pack testing and research, we’ve come to the conclusion that well-designed packaging and research can have a significant impact and always provides a return on investment.

Before you start designing your packaging, set out your objectives

The first step in designing packaging is to define the objectives. Answering the principle question – ‘What is the purpose of the packaging?’ Answering this question will help you determine the overall goals of the design.

  • Is it to protect the product from damage in transit?
  • Is it to store the product at home?
  • It is to avoid tampering?
  • Is it to attract customers?
  • Is it to retain freshness?
  • Is it to communicate information?
  • Or most likely of all, is it a combination of all of the above?



Packaging Design Research Vision One

PackProbe Pack Testing Research


6 Steps to Optimise your Packaging

There are six recommended steps to optimising your packaging design, depending on the specific goals of the project. 

Packaging Design

Step 1 – Understand your target audience
It’s important to understand who will be using or purchasing the product, as this will help you create a design that appeals to them. Your target market should consider factors such as age, gender, lifestyle, and purchasing habits.

Step 2 – Focus on functionality
Packaging needs to protect the product and make it easy to use. Consider the product’s shape, size, and weight, as well as how it will be transported and stored. Make sure the packaging is durable and easy to open and close. Pro Tip. The size needs to look competitive.

Step 3 – Use sustainable materials
Consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability and the environmental impact of packaging, so using eco-friendly materials can be a selling point, especially at the younger age groups. Consider materials that are recyclable, biodegradable, or made from renewable resources.

Step 4 – Stand out on the shelf
In a crowded marketplace, packaging design can be the key to standing out. Use bold colours, strong branding, unique shapes, and eye-catching graphics to grab the consumer’s attention.

Step 5 – Be consistent with branding
The packaging should reflect the brand’s values and messaging. Consistency in branding across different products and packaging can help build brand recognition and ultimately develop loyalty.

Step 6 – Test the design
Before finalizing the design, it’s a good idea to test it with a focus group or through surveys to get feedback from consumers. This can help identify any potential issues or areas for improvement.

Overall, optimizing packaging design requires a balance of functionality, aesthetics, and sustainability. By considering the needs and preferences of the target audience, as well as the brand’s values and messaging, you can create packaging that not only looks great but also serves its purpose effectively.

If you invest in proper research into your packaging designs, you will develop a deep understanding of your target audience and how they feel about your product and whether it is hitting the mark. It’s not just the case of asking people what they think, it is possible to use eye-tracking to identify what people see and read (and what they don’t). Competitor comparisons are also helpful and will go a long way for you to start optimising your product to yield the best results.

We’ve helped countless brands understand the strengths and weaknesses of both their own and competitor packaging.  Armed with quality packaging research, our clients have then gone on to maximise their ROI.

Find out more


If you are curious to know more about how we could work together, or how our insights can grow your business, then please give call us on 0203 693 3150 or use the contact button below.


Latest news and articles