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Beginner’s Guide to Packaging & Labeling

Packaging & Labeling

With retail, first impressions matter. It’s important that your packaging and labels clearly communicate who you are and what you’re selling upon first glance. This can spell the difference between a customer picking up your product versus glossing over it for another brand. In fact, in a study conducted by the Paper and Packaging Board, they found that 72% of consumers stated that packaging design influences their purchasing decision.

In this article, we’ll go through the different ways you can improve your marketing and branding efforts though packaging design and correct labeling.

What is Product Packaging?

Simply put, product packaging protects your items until it gets to the end user. This can be a box, a pouch, or wrapping paper. Product protection however, is just one facet.

Another integral role that product packaging plays is branding. Your box or packaging design communicates what you want your customers to see. You can convey that you’re an upscale brand or that you’re eco-friendly. Colorful designs can give your products a playful demeanor while natural kraft colored boxes can give off an artisanal look. Your product packaging says a lot about your business even without copy.

Speaking of copy, packaging also communicates important product information. Labels are usually used for this since they can be applied on a wide variety of products and surfaces. Whether you’re using jars, bottles, boxes, or plastic wrap to package your items, you can stick a label to add both branding and product information.

Your Guide to Perfect Product Packaging

Choose a box type that fits – Packola offers three different custom box types to fit most requirements. Choose one that fits your needs best.

  • Product Boxes are best used for small, single items. These are perfect for perfumes, cosmetics, jewelry, and other vanity goods. These boxes use heavy cardstock which provides a surface that prints vivid, eye-catching color.
  • Mailer boxes are usually used for subscription boxes. These are the ideal packaging to use if you need to create a curated selection of products.
  • Shipping boxes are used to house large items or multiple products for storage or transit. These are made of high quality, durable corrugated cardboard that withstands impact.

Prioritize brand identity – When creating product packaging, you have to remember to keep brand identity firmly in place. It’s easy to forget once you’re rearranging elements but brand identity has to trump other design considerations. It’s important because customers associate your business with your identity already – brand colors, logo, slogan, and others. If you abruptly change your branding without a campaign to back it up, you may alienate your loyal customers.

Make it eco-friendly - If you want your business to use eco-friendly packaging, you can opt to use plain boxes and place your branding on labels or custom tape instead. Packola’s custom box materials are sustainably sourced and recyclable. This can save you money while also being environmentally conscious. Using brown cardboard boxes also lends to an artisanal, rustic look that may work well for your branding. Some customers also prefer brands that are environmentally conscious and may gravitate towards those kinds of products.

Go above and beyond – Nowadays, it’s important to offer the complete brand experience with every package you send out. Especially with the popularity of unboxing videos on social media, you have to offer more than what’s expected. An easy and simple way to elevate the experience for your customers is to use custom packaging materials. If you’re using a box, you can wrap your products with custom tissue paper, seal it with branded packaging tape, and add a personalized note on a hang tag. There are many ways to provide a unique experience but these are just a few examples. Try out what works best for your brand!

Product Labeling Tips

Design with your audience in mind – Before starting your label design, you have to take into account your customer makeup and their behavior. Who is your target market? If you are designing for seniors, the copy should be large and easy to read. Teenagers making the most of your clientele? A clean and eye-catching design is crucial. Recognizing your customers’ patterns will help create engaging labels that are both attractive and helpful.

Keep it clean and simple – Don't fall into the trap of overcomplicating your packaging design. In most cases, the simpler the better. Avoid cluttering the design with superfluous elements. Focus on the basics so that your messaging is crystal clear. Keeping the design clean and simple lets your customers hone in on the important aspects of your packaging – the brand and the product.

Create a descriptive product label – Your product label should be both attractive and informative. Labels do the heavy lifting for products once they’re displayed on shelves. The design has to speak to the customer and capture their attention while also providing all the necessary information at the same time. You have to walk the fine line between keeping it simple and offering a ton of details. If you’re printing food or drug labels, don’t forget to visit the FDA website which lays out the required information for each of your respective product labels.

You need to spend a lot of time conceptualizing your packaging and label design. Your artwork printed on boxes and the details spelled out on labels reflect who you are as a brand. In a glance, it can show your value proposition and how well you stack up versus your other competitors. It might seem like such a simple, miniscule thing, but packaging design can dictate how your sales and business longevity will go.

Ready to revisit your box designs and custom labels? Create your custom packaging materials at Packola today!