Packaging design and our process.

The image of a product must keep up with the quality of its content, it must communicate the brand values and history, and its shelf price must be honest.
This is in a nutshell our way of thinking when we are called to design packaging.

Our first questions are: Do you have a name for your product? What will the shelf price be?

First steps

The first thing to be done is to have a meeting with our clients, in person or through Skype. We have to get to know them, find out what their thoughts are and understand what they want to achieve. For example, does the product have a name? If yes, maybe it has already been used by someone else? Does it sound good in english? Is there an interesting story that we can exploit in order to extract elements that will help us with the design process, but also later when we get to the promotion phase? That’s how we define each particular task and get the “design brief” that we need.

The product name is what sticks and is very hard to change later, if ever. It’s how the customers (consumers) will find it at the super market or online. The name is what carries the feeling, the taste and the smell of the product.

01. The financial proposal.

After the first meeting (or meetings), and providing that we have defined in detail what needs to be done, we’ll sent our financial proposal which is in the form of a contract. That’s where all terms and steps of our partnership with each client are described in detail. In financial offers about packaging we set the cost of future adaptations from the beginning, as it is very probable that a packaging design will later be needed to come out in various sizes, different receptacles, or in different languages. By doing this our clients can know in advance, how much it will cost them to adapt a previously created design of a 250gr box into a 1kg box, for example.

02. Research, design study, initial designs and the first presentation.

After we have chosen the name and the direction of the brand and have set a time schedule, we move to the next stage: Research and design study.
Research is mainly about examples of similar products and how they are promoted and distributed.
As a rule we present our clients with two to three proposals, depending on whether or not we have previously designed the company identity and/or logo and if so, if we have established any elements that can also be used on the packaging.

After that, we’ll go forward with the first design presentation which we believe is the most critical moment for every product, as that’s when things become specific and decisions become difficult. The product now looks “real” and the first characterizations are heard: “Serious”, “childish”, “expensive”, “minimal”, etc.
This is of course a necessary process. It is how we’ll be able to eliminate unwanted elements from our designs and streamline them in order for the product to have the character that will make the consumer notice the packaging, become attracted to it, touch it for the first time, dare to choose it and purchase it.

03. Client feedback.

After the end of the first presentation, clients are given the necessary time to either choose one of our design proposals (as it is or with any improvements they request), or to reject them. This means that depending on their decision, we either have to take into account their reasons for rejecting our design proposals and go back to the drawing table for one or two new ones, or go forward with the final designs.

04. Final designs, adaptations for different sizes/languages.

When we have managed to end up with the best solution for the product, it is time to go forward and produce the final designs. We’ll choose the appropriate colors (if we’re working for a series of products) and place all the necessary information that must be visible on the packaging, such as nutrition charts, barcodes, ingredients, etc.

05. Selection of production collaborators (manufacturers).

In packaging design jobs the most important decision is where and how the production of the packaging will take place. There are many options and since production costs are the most important expense for our clients, we need to know from day one what their budget is. Our decisions take into account both the ecological and financial factors. This means using a limited number of colors, and as little plastic as possible, preferably none. The most important thing is the final quantities that will have to be produced. When it comes to packaging production quantities can be anywhere between a thousand to many millions of units. This means that our proposals and decisions can have a major impact on the final cost.

06. Completion.

If everything has gone according to plan, it is time to receive the first packaging prototypes from the manufacturers. For the first time the (almost) “final product” is in our hands. When it comes to packaging jobs the options for prototype production are limited, (especially when the quantities that we need are not large), which in most cases means we have to wait until we get to the production stage in order to to see how the product really looks. What comes next is the actual packaging of the products and the preparation for the promotion phase.

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