Research on Packaging Design and Materials Part 1

As part of my research I read the book, What Is Packaging Design? by Giles Calver. The following is information from the book I found important when considering my own designs for this project, accompanied by my own opinions and research:

In the early days of packaging the design, its sole purpose was to encourage consumers to buy the product in question by presenting it in an attractive way. Obviously, this is still at the forefront of the form and function of packaging today.

Customers are said to spend no more than a few seconds initially looking at a product, so the key to good product design is creating a product that achieves a distinction that encourages the consumer to take a closer look by cutting through the familiar visual references. Products need to be designed in a simple and effective manner so that important information is easily conveyed across to the customer, allowing them to quickly make an opinion on whether the product is right for them. Giles Calver states that, “focusing on a central message lies at the heart of good design.” (Page 38)

Typography is possibly one of the most important aspects of product design because it is vital in making sure the necessary information is given to the consumer. Information that is commonly seen on packaging such as instructions, warnings and ingredients need to be displayed in a legible manner so that the customer can both use the product correctly and safely and can decide on whether the product is for them when considering whether or not to buy it. The choice of font also needs to be relevant to the products function. For example, the elegant choice of font usually seen on a wine bottle would look extremely odd if used for the packaging of baby food where the font is usually much more simple and almost child like.

The typeface is also influenced by the size of the product, for example on the packaging for nail polish, the text needs to be legible at very small sizes, but on a larger product, small font would look lost and so a typeface needs to be chosen that looks attractive at much larger sizes.

It goes, or rather, it should go without saying that the back of the packaging needs to be as well designed as the front, the entire product needs to look seamless and in keeping with the feel of the product. A product needs to be treated as more than just the front selling face – good design needs to be continuous throughout. The back of the pack design needs to be clear and give the vital information the consumer is looking for. It is also an opportunity to tell more about the brand and highlight particular features.

This design concept by Cassie Evans below, shows effectively how a design can be continued onto the back of the product, the colour scheme, logo and simple design has been continued throughout.

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