Packaging Design Tips: What to Include in Your Packaging Graphic Design

By on October 31, 2012 – Updated on November 1, 2012

Marketers know how important graphic design in packaging is. In fact, it is one of the valuable things to be considered on having a successful marketing for any product of any brand.

Not only marketers but also graphic designers know this fact. This why every graphic design wants to create the best packaging design. Now, what should you include in your packaging graphic design for it to become effective? Before you throw this question back to me, I’ll share them with you.

5 Must Have Elements for You Packaging Graphic Design

These first five elements are must to include in the graphic design of your packaging or label.

1. Brand Name and Logo. Whether it is registered or not, brand name and logo in your packaging and label is important to easily identify your product in the market. If you cannot afford to register you brand logo, just put the symbol ™ on it. This means trademark, and your brand logo looks more professional when it has these two little characters beside it. Do not use ® (registered symbol) if your logo is not registered.

2. Generic Name. This is the common name of the product. For example, cookies, butter, margarine, tea set, kettle, microwave oven, etc.. The generic name is important especially when the brand has different lines or categories of products under it.

3. Model or Article Number. It is the unique combination of characters that is assigned to the product with specifications and design that are unique and sometimes patented. Model or articles number helps you easily identify a specific item.

4. Product Special Features. We are now in an information age where consumers are wiser. They collect facts and data about the product before they buy, if it satisfies their need. According to Levy and Weitz (1995) once customers identify a need, they may seek information about retail outlet and/or products that might help satisfy the need. More extended buying process may involve collecting a lot of information.

5. Product Photo. This tells people what is inside the box. It lessens the necessity of explaining what is the design of the product or what the product looks like. Photos that you will use in you packaging graphic design may also include the component and detail shots of the item. This is maybe an overused saying but it’s true, “A picture speaks a thousand words.”

Elements to Take Your Packaging and Label Design to the Next Level

To gain the trust of the market, to provide them a stimulus to perceive your product to have good value, and build good impression, here are another four things to include in you packaging design.

6. Trademarks and Patents. These make the product unique. Once the product or part of the product is patented, no one can simply reproduce the same thing unless authorized by the patent holder. More often, patents are represented with symbols, icons, unique graphics or unique words that are referred to as trademarks.

7. Awards and Recognitions. To encourage different companies on producing good quality products, there are different organizations who give recognitions and awards to those products which continue to help improve the quality of life of their target market. The logos of these organizations or the award or recognition received by a brand or product can be included on its packaging design to build a strong brand. In Southeast Asia, there is such “Superbrands Award” that is given to outstanding brands every year.

Packaging Design Tips

One of the brands in Southeast Asia uses awards and quality compliance icons on its packaging graphic design.

8. Quality Compliance Logo. RoHs, ISO, CB, CE and GS are only few of the different organizations which check and certify the quality of a product. These types of logo, when seen in you packaging design, means that your product has the competitive edge. When you include the compliance logo in you design, just make sure that the product is really certified by the organization to have complied with standard. Using the logo without compliance to the standard is cheating and unlawful.

9. Nutrition Facts. In some country, the use of this label is mandated but in other country, it’s not. Nutrition Facts show what the notional value every consumer can get from the product. Yes, you are right; this is of course applicable to food and beverages.

Ten More Things to Include in Your Packaging Graphic Design

Aside from the nine things above, we have here ten more things that are necessary to be found in your design, depending on the type of the products which they are suited.

10. Expiry Date. This is sometimes called ‘best before seal’. Expiry date or best before seal is applicable for consumable products like food, beverages, cosmetics, printer inks, medicines and chemicals. The ‘best before’ term instead of expiry date has become commonly used because there many products which do not actually expire immediately on the date indicated on the expiry date.

Brunei Halal Logo or Label

Brunei Halal Logo or Label

11. Halal Logo. as part of their religious belief, it is a BIG NO NO for our Muslim friends to use or take non-halal products. I could remember that there was one foreign brand of butterthat was ordered to be removed from the shelves of all grocery stores in Brunei due to uncertainty of the product’s Halalness. The logo can only be used after the product is verified to be halal.

12. Quantity and Capacity. As what I have mentioned above, buyers today are getting wiser. They love clear information. We love clear information. We love to know how much we can get in return to what we have spent. Is the quantity reasonable enough with its price? Or, is this the right capacity of the product I need? These are few of the basic questions that are needed to be addressed.

13. Method of Preparation. Do not expect that everyone knows how to use or prepare your product. I know someone who bought a pack of oatmeal for the first time and when he went home, he search for the ‘method of preparation’ on the packaging of the product, but unfortunately the method is not indicated. So what he did? He poured the oatmeal into a glass of fresh milk and took it like a breakfast cereal. ^_^ Silly but it’s true.

14. Handling Symbols. These symbols will instruct the person who will carry or deliver the product on how to properly handle it. The most commonly use handling symbols are This Side Up, Use No Hook, Breakable or Fragile, Keep Dry and Keep Away From Direct Sunlight.

15. Barcode. Can you imagine how long should you stay in the cashier’s counter if you have 100 items to be paid, and the cashier is manually entering the data in to the computer to total the amount of the items you have purchased? That would be shortened by using barcode and barcode reader.

16. Caution and Warning. Precaution is important especially when the product can bring danger to anybody. Don’t forget to indicate that the product is flammable, poisonous, explosive and other qualities of the product that may the user or other people around.

17. Other Optional Elements. Depending on the instruction of your Boss or your marketing head, you can also include the manufacturer’s address, country of origin, customer’s service information and other optional things in the design.

So far, this is all I can share you about what to include in packaging and label graphic design.

Thank you for reading. Godspeed!



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About Jyppe A. Quidores

A graphic designer and visual merchandising specialist. He provides visual communication solutions for retailers.

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