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Mastering packaging design: the three Ps approach

4 Jun, 2024

Think of your favourite product—something that gives you a rush of excitement at the prospect of opening it. Maybe it’s a big purchase like a laptop or new phone. Maybe it’s your favourite perfume or cosmetics. Or maybe it’s something a bit more everyday like a box of biscuits or your favourite tea.

What does your product look like? How does it feel to pick it up off the shelf or open the parcel delivered to your door? How does it feel when you unbox or unwrap it?

Chances are the product you’re thinking about comes in some form of packaging. And take it from us: packaging is more than just a pretty wrapper. Product packaging design is a big part of the experience for your customers, as well as in promoting your product, building your reputation and ultimately, ensuring your brand’s success.

In this blog, we’ll look at how your brand can master product packaging design with the three Ps approach:

  • Protecting and preserving your product.
  • Planning and presenting your packaging.
  • Providing value to your brand.

Protecting and preserving your product

Packaging is the first line of defence to protect your product from damage, contamination and tampering during transit, storage and display. In doing so, it also enhances customer trust and confidence.

The type of packaging needed varies greatly depending on the product—for example a smartphone versus cosmetics. Things to consider when you’re working out your packaging’s specifications and features are:

  • what the supply chain and logistics look like in terms of duration and journey (e.g. truck, container ship or air freight)
  • what environmental factors the product will face during transit, storage and display, such as moisture, heat, humidity and light
  • the shelf life for perishables
  • the type of product, such as electronics, food or consumables, cosmetics or pharmaceuticals
  • regulations such as food or pharmaceutical safety standards.

You may also consider visual indicators or additional internal packaging to prevent tampering or counterfeits, especially in the case of pharmaceuticals or luxury goods.

Your packaging supplier—hopefully us!—can help advise on the most suitable packaging options based on these factors.

Planning and presenting your packaging

Ensuring that your product itself is top quality isn’t enough—your packaging is just as important as a powerful tool for communicating your brand’s identity, values and story.

Captivating design elements, eye-catching graphics, and cohesive branding distinguish your product on crowded shelves and resonate with your target audience.

What does all this require? 

Planning

Effective commercial product packaging doesn’t happen by chance. It happens with careful planning and thought. Understanding your target market, product specifications and distribution channels are essential for creating packaging that aligns with your brand objectives and resonates with consumers.

Customised packaging

Then there’s the practical side—how the packaging looks. Whether your brand is driven by aesthetics, utility, storytelling or brand recognition, having your own custom packaging can be a game-changer that gives your product its distinctive, identifiable look that consumers know and love.

Colour psychology

Colour psychology and packaging design go hand-in-hand. By understanding the psychology behind colours, you can strategically use them in your product packaging design to evoke specific emotions and perceptions in your customers, influence their purchasing decisions, enhance their product experience and drive brand loyalty.

At Rawson Print & Packaging, we can help you develop a packaging strategy that meets your brand’s goals and budget, from concept, to prototyping, to production and distribution.

Providing value to your brand

When executed well, product packaging design elevates a product’s perceived value in the eyes of consumers beyond just functionality or branding. The choice of design elements and features (e.g. handles, resealable openings), materials (e.g. paper stocks) and finishes (e.g. foils, coatings, die-cutting) can set your brand apart in a crowded marketplace, signalling to consumers that your product is worth the investment.

Depending on your product, your packaging will have different elements. For example, pharmaceuticals usually have a utilitarian look and clear product information, often with a tamper-proof or tamper-evident label. This fosters consumer trust and confidence in the product and therefore the brand.

Luxury product packaging fosters trust and confidence in a different way. Quality packaging materials, design that complements the product or brand story, and attention to detail promise a premium experience with the premium product.

Apple: a study in perfection

One company that’s particularly successful with commercial product packaging is technology giant Apple. Its packaging uses a colour palette of mostly whites, greys and blacks and is consistently almost utilitarian with beautiful yet simple, clear graphics. At the same time, the design is also sleek, conveying luxury and high quality. The packaging is made of high-quality paper and card stock with inserts that are functional but aesthetically pleasing, showcasing the product while keeping the cables and instructions neatly tucked away.

Apple’s packaging promises a product that’s high quality, beautifully designed and functional. How? Because the packaging is high quality, beautifully designed and functional.

Rawson Print & Packaging: a packaging design company like no other

There you have it: the three Ps of packaging design that will help your product shine on the shelves, shape consumer perceptions and drive purchasing decisions.

Working with a trusted supplier makes all the difference in mastering product packaging design.

With decades of experience working with some of Australia’s leading brands, the award-winning team at Rawson Print & Packaging would love to be your packaging design company on your next project.

Still have questions? Get in touch with our team to discuss your packaging project now.

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