Designing Product Packaging Boxes: Ultimate Guide

Posted July 13, 2022 Designing Product Packaging

You want your products to arrive in the best possible packaging to wow your customers and make them feel special. Good packaging also helps create a more premium feel around your brand and has practical benefits like protecting your products.

But when designing product packaging, what do you need to consider? Here’s a detailed guide to everything you need to know.

Why Product Packaging Matters

Product packaging is essential because it is vital to the customer experience. Good packaging keeps your products safe and is used for branding, helping customers feel positive about your brand.

Customers love an experience. They want to be impressed. So put the extra effort in with customized product boxes and take them on a journey.

Top Elements to Remember

Several things go into a great design, and you need to remember all these to get a picture-perfect packaging box design. These elements ideally improve how you meet the purpose of packaging design with more sales and better branding.

These elements are

  • Name
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Material
  • Image
  • Typography
  • Product information

Using the right packaging size is proven to help improve the attention and likeability of your boxes. On the other hand, shape and size would help enhance the perception of functional benefits in the customers. Additionally, you can give an impression of likeability, attraction, and brand value using the right images on the packaging.

Logo positioning is another factor contributing to better product value and the product’s impression. Logo shapes can help your customers have a better identity for your brand. The color of your design would also help your customers identify your products and be aware of your brand.

Using typography can help you communicate your brand’s value to potential buyers.

Factors to Consider When Designing Custom Boxes

A professional designer will do the work when designing custom boxes, and a packaging solutions company will create the boxes for you.

However, you must work closely with your designer to develop the right product design. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when creating a package design.


First of all, you need to be very clear about your branding. Your color palette, logos, brand messaging, and more will all need to be utilized in the design of your customized product boxes.

Studies show that packaging design is the most significant factor that plays a role in brand recognition. At the same time, it plays a role in creating a brand association for customers. Using the right design and consistency can help improve brand recall for customers, which can help enhance customers’ feelings and emotions about the brand.

So, this factor is the most significant point in creating your brand when using printing and packaging. The elements used in the packaging can help make a particular impression of your brand, showing that you need to work hard on their designs to improve product perception.

For instance, you can help offer information about a product’s flavor with the packaging that can indicate its high end. Also, you let your potential customers know what benefits this product can provide them.

Products and Aesthetical Influence

Next, you need to have a deep understanding of your products. Custom packaging must be customized for the product and fit the product you are selling.

This means considering the physical properties like size and weight. These are important to consider first because there is no point in creating a beautiful design for a custom box that does not fit your product.

It is proven that if your packaging is complete and provides customers with all the information they need, your customers will trust your brand more. The better your brand’s aesthetic properties, the better quality associations customers will have about it.

At the same time, your design’s uniqueness would make customers feel that the product is unique. So, an easy way to make your product look more impressive and appealing is to beat the competition.


What will your customers love? What do they expect? Considering these issues is a fundamental part of the process.

They expect their product to arrive in perfect condition, returning to the padding and protection. But they will also want an experience. This will differ depending on the product type and whether it is for food products, retail packaging, gift boxes, or something else.

With luxury products or gifts, the experience should be luxurious, from receiving the box to holding it in their hands to opening it up to reveal the product. This involves using upscale materials and detailed printing with rich colors.

Your customers may expect environmentally friendly packaging, too, which is an important consideration. So, the steps you can follow in product development are:

  • Start by researching what your customers would be most interested in seeing in your product design.
  • Come up with the right concept for your product revision.
  • Create a design that serves your customers’ purpose most effectively.
  • Then, create a prototype that you can work on and learn about the design needs.
  • Run trials to determine if the design will work and make improvements to get the best version to launch.

You should apply other techniques in designing to improve your position in different markets. For instance, you can use trends when creating new products in packaging to improve their response. Also, it would be best if you remembered that your customers’ communication is important for any packaging design.

Where Your Products Are Sold

When designing your custom packaging, the actual place you sell your products must also be considered.

If your product is next to others in a retail store, you will need it to compete and stand out with bold and attractive designs. The experience matters, and the product packaging design should heighten the experience and draw shoppers in.

If you sell online, it will be more about the safety in transit and the experience of receiving and opening the packaging because it won’t have to compete on the shelf.

The Competition

One final thing to consider is the competition. Wherever your products are sold, know what they compete against, and ensure you feel this during the design process.

Functions Your Packaging and Design Need to Serve

There are some functions that every packaging design should provide for the product and the customers who are buying them:

  • Make sure that your product packaging design is excellently convenient for the customers.
  • At the same time, it should be able to protect your products from shoplifting.
  • Also, you should try to add promotions to other products and offers you are providing.
  • Try to use packaging that can serve resellers’ purposes and transportation and storage needs.
  • They should be cost-effective according to how much your customer will be willing to pay for great packaging.


Now, cost-effectiveness is a significant benefit you can gain if you redesign your packaging correctly. There are several ways you will have to spend less when redesigning your packaging for better logistics and supply chain results.

The lighter your boxes, the less you spend on shipping and supply chain resources. At the same time, if your product boxes are designed for the best waste management, you can save costs with portion sizing and resealing. If your product has good resealing properties, you can also improve your customer experience.

For instance, many food packaging companies use resealing for such items to reduce flavor loss and other product issues. The right design can save millions in the supply chain industry and reduce the need for shippers and other resources.

Moreover, you can save money spent on packaging to improve your cost efficiency for packaging. So, you get several benefits from packaging design in logistics and other departments.

Present Honestly

Ensure you do not promise something with designs that do not exist in the product. The more you are clear about the product, the more people will trust you. Customers will no longer be interested in your products once you give an impression of not delivering what you promised.

Also, ensure you create the best design and are confident that the package can carry your product. Try to make your package easy to open and carry to improve its customer experience. At the same time, you should keep it mysterious to create curiosity for the consumers.

Try to add the right colors and shades that create a better feel for your customer while being creative.

The Importance of Telling a Story

Telling stories with your designs is an essential part you can not leave out. So, when designing your packaging boxes, you must know how to use metaphors. Also, you can use this literature attribute in the product’s copy.

Laws in several countries restrict the use of copy and attractive words. So, if you want to use words like finest, natural, homemade, and others, you must be sure if you can use them on your packaging.

Sustainability Factor

Sustainability is one of the essential points your packaging should take care of to follow laws and improve sales and brand image. The sustainability concept is complex and measures packaging designs and materials on several factors.

For Instance:

  • You should know the type of product packed in the packaging boxes.
  • The material you use for packaging can make a huge difference, so you should know that well.
  • Food packaging should have precise expiry dates to reduce food waste. We all know that food production needs resources from the earth. So, their use causes a lack of essential needs for human life on this planet, which is why causing food waste is not eco-friendly.
  • Moreover, your packaging boxes should be perfect to avoid any hazardous materials waste for the planet.

Several other things determine if a specific packaging and its benefits can help with sustainability.

Benefits Of Packaging Design Factors in Sales

Packaging is crucial for customers to decide between buying your products. Some factors emphasize how suitable designs, colors, and other factors can improve sales.

Impulsive purchases, children’s market share, and aesthetical appeals will be discussed in this section. So, these factors can change the number of planned and impulsive product purchases for your brand. So, let’s dive right into it.

How Colors Matter for Packaging Boxes

Now, colors are crucial in determining a customer’s response when they see your product on the shelf. So, there are some measures that you should be aware of when choosing the types of product packaging boxes.

  • Using red colors can help you psychologically impact the customers’ minds. Such colors can improve your chances of selling a product that can be perceived emotionally.
  • Studies show that green, orange, and purple colors can evoke feelings of encouragement for the customer when used in packaging. Also, green is psychologically associated with nature, making it perfect for natural product boxes.

So, using colors can help your brand associate certain feelings with the colors you use in your packaging. That is why you should be clear that using the right colors can make or break your packaging boxes.

The cultural association with colors can also play a massive role in helping successful brand packaging designs.

For Instance:

  • Red is considered a color for good luck in China and India.
  • The same color is considered devilish in the Middle East; for South African people, it symbolizes mourning and sadness.
  • Yellow is the most visible color that can help you improve the visual appeal your products could have with packaging. It is a great color if you want your products to get more attention.

For Children

The best marketing practices apply to every age group and culture, so the use of packaging design and even colors works for kid’s products, too—some exciting facts impact marketing in product packaging designs in this age group.

Some facts:

  • Vivid and vibrant colors attract children strongly, which can help your products get more sales if used in the box designs.
  • At the same time, children would be less interested in dark, sophisticated, and dirty colors on product box designs.
  • Flavor coding can impact how a child perceives an edible product they may be interested in.
  • So, using yellow on lemon-flavored products would help a child perceive and learn that the box contains lemon-flavored edibles.
  • Pink, red, and blue colors can evoke positive feelings in a kid’s mind, and black, gray, and brown may cause sadness and anger.

So, considering the right colors before you produce your packaging boxes can help you improve your products’ perception. Using the right colors can enhance your sales for both the adult and kids markets, so choose your box colors carefully to capture a significant share.

Impulsive Buying And Packaging Box Designs

Now, impulsive buying is one of the factors you can impact heavily for more sales. So, visual elements and graphics on the packaging boxes play a considerable role in such purchases. Promotions are one way to improve your results and gain more impulse buying off the shelf.

Marketers can benefit from using promotional cues to give their potential customers a reason to purchase impulsively. Sales promotions can be a great way to gain such sales by adding them to your product packaging boxes. So, using the correct sales copy on these boxes can help you get more sales and money flowing in.

The main reasons behind such sales can be primarily social, fantastic, and emotional motives.

What Science Says About Packaging Design Aesthetics And Impulse Buying?

The most scientific reason for aesthetically pleasing packaging would be sales, but how does science prove its efficacy? A study demonstrates that aesthetically appealing packaging designs can drive more impulsive sales.

A study on this topic shows that aesthetically appealing packaging designs and images can increase brain activity; this activity is correlated with impulsive purchases and is considered a reason for such purchases from potential customers.

This study even says that a well-known brand may fail to get sales compared to the great, aesthetically appealing design of an unknown brand.

So, the package design can beat a well-known brand in the impulse purchase field with its beautiful graphics and designs. This means if your product is impressive in visual appeal, you have a higher chance of getting impulsive sales.

The Custom Packaging Design Process

Packaging designers specialize in custom boxes, and you and your designer will use the above factors to develop the design.

When designing packaging, they will help you decide on a type of material, the size of the box, how it opens, and how it keeps your products safe inside. They will then move on to the graphics, colors, and text you will use to convey your message.

You should be involved in the design process, and it may include a brief with your graphic designer, creating mood boards, developing style sheets, and more.

Your packaging designer will explore other products to get inspiration. Depending on how closely you work with your designer, you may also be involved in this process.

You will need to look at colors, materials, and fonts. How can you stand out and distinguish your products? What do other brands do? How can you do something similar?

Then, it gets enjoyable as your ideas start to take shape. Your designer will usually come up with several options for the packaging artwork and interior packaging, and they will use their graphic design skills to create various packaging designs.

You can decide which you like and don’t like, suggest changes, and go through a few rounds of revisions. The exact process will vary depending on your designer.

When analyzing designs, look at factors like:

  • Does the message come across clearly?
  • Is it obvious what the product is?
  • Is it appealing on the shelf?
  • What will the opening experience be like?

You may want to create a physical mockup and hold it in your hands to understand better how it will look in real life.

At this stage, also consider the type of printing. Digital printing and offset printing are two popular options. If you are only printing a small number, digital may be suitable. However, the offset is usually the best choice because it leads to higher-quality results, richer colors, and more precise designs. It can also be used to print on more materials.

When you are ready, finalize the design. Ensure all your company’s decision-makers see them and have the opportunity to provide feedback. You could also show it to others outside your company, including friends and potential customers, for feedback.

Send it to the Printer

Once the design has been approved, you’re ready for the final stage. This is where you send it to a printing company offering a custom packaging solution. They usually provide a mockup of your design to iron out any final issues.

As soon as you are happy, go ahead and print your custom box and provide your customers with the experience they deserve.

Author Image
Steve Harsh
Steve Harsh, a packaging and printing expert who has been working in the field for over a decade. It has been my privilege to write on this topic, which I have been doing for years to help people learn about this essential field that helps millions achieve their business goals.

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