Packaging Design

Packaging Design

7 years

I completed Packaging Design which was my fifth class towards a degree in Communication Design. This course provided a great insight into the world of packaging and the impact it has on our everyday lives.

I received a final grade of 90/100. I was slightly disappointed I didn’t achieve a higher mark, but still happy with the result.

Packaging Design

When you think about packaging design, you might see it as something that advertises products and brands. While this is a major part of, there are also many aspects you may not know.

Packaging Design involves the consideration of form, material, function, accessibility, communication, sustainability, psychology and more.

An example of desirable packaging may be one that functions well, by containing and protecting the product and ensuring it can be accessed efficiently. Maybe you have encountered those evil plastic clamshells that you can’t open without scissors? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ The packaging should be made from the most suitable material for the product and use sustainable options, such as recycled materials. If possible, having packaging that can be reused rather than thrown away is an excellent choice! ๐Ÿ’– Communication must be on point, through meticulous typography, imagery and colour. You need to be able to read and understand relevant information and the product needs to stand out and grab the attention of the consumer. The product must know who the target market is and speak to them directly. This involves understanding the demographics, psychographics and more.

There is so much more I could say about packaging design and particular areas, but If you are interested in learning more about this design discipline you might like to view The Dieline or read Packaging Design: Successful Product Branding from Concept to Shelf by Marianne Rosner Klimchuk.ย  ๐Ÿ“š

Project 1

Project 1 involved looking at a range of packaging in a store and choosing an example that was bad or ugly. We would take this model and create a new design (for the front), using the existing brand and remaining in the current market, while also creating a form for an alternative market.

This was my completed project 1, with the original, redesign for the current and alternative markets.

Packaging Design

I received 98/100 for this assessment.

Project 2

Project 2 involved looking at bad packaging within a particular category (home, garden or office) and creating packaging that improved on accessibility and legibility. We were required to produce full packaging (all surfaces) as well as construct a model. We were also required to create a brand.

These are some examples of my completed design.

I received 80/100 for this assessment. It was considerably lower than my previous, and I am still waiting for feedback. I have a feeling this may be linked to my chosen material (cardboard) and that I have not gone into more consideration of reusable packaging. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

This class could be intense at times, with many activities to complete each week. I tried my best and dedicated a lot of time to understanding packaging and trying to implement that knowledge into my designs. It changed my perspective on how I see packaging in my everyday life. When I encounter bad packaging, I start thinking how it could have been designed differently.ย  ๐Ÿ˜„


  1. Have you ever struggled with bad packaging?
  2. What is your favourite packaging design/product?

50 Responses

  1. Congratulations on getting a 90/100 for your packaging design class! Even though it’s not what you aimed for, at least it’s still a good grade. I like the idea of your class. Packages that can be recyclable are the best! I’m hoping more manufacturers are gearing towards that. Oh yes, communication being on point = love at first sight with the product!

    Your second assignment’s package looks legit though! That’s a pretty harsh penalty if it’s because you used cardboard.

    Glad to see the class giving you a new perspective and knowledge on packaging. I love simple packaging. If anything, Apple probably has the best package design (in my opinion) :).

    1. Thank you. ๐Ÿ˜€ It was interesting to learn that more manufacturers are looking for environmentally sustainable packaging. It’s something that needs to happen a lot more though.

      I didn’t get any feedback on my work. I have thought about it a bit more, and it may have been because it wasn’t more reusable and the internal structure I had included for strength probably made it too resource heavy. :’|

  2. As someone who works in retail I can tell you some annoying things that designers sometimes do without realizing the impact on merchandising. The thing I probably hate the most are ones who make their packaging so big and bulky that you can barely fit any on the shelf, or ones that are weird shapes, or ones that can’t stand up on their own.

    Also packages that don’t leave any space on the top right hand corner for a price tag are annoying and ones that print their prices right on the packaging when not all companies sell it for that price.

    I really like the projects that you did. I especially like that you had a window on the second project so the consumer could see what the product looked like. I always have customer’s opening the packaging in my store because they want to see the actually product and then they end up tearing the boxes. So annoying!

    One brand that I really like the packaging on is “Peaceable Kingdom”. The graphics on their items are very cute, the game boxes have a soft feeling to them which I really like, probably due to the green materials they use in their packaging.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It is annoying when boxes are so big and they don’t even hold that much product. A lot of the time they use it as retail space for advertising, so there is more room to see and recognise the product.

      That would be awful if people kept opening the packaging. I know I had an issue with makeup once. It was sealed and when I opened it, the powder was broken and all over the place, completely ruined. :/ If there had of been some time of display it would have been easy to know if wasn’t good.

      I just had a look at Peaceable Kingdom and the packaging is really lovely. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. This was fascinating to read, being someone who isn’t exposed to this sort of thing a lot of the time! Congrats on your grade, it may not be what you wanted but I am so proud of you! It’s a high mark in my book. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep rocking Kya!

  4. Your post brought up some almost-repressed memories of really bad packaging… I struggled for hours and couldn’t open the damn things… I almost broke the contents… @n@ :’|

  5. There is plenty of bad packaging in my opinion!! Although I love pretty things and pretty designs, the most frustrating packaging I know is something you almost need a hacksaw to open. Like most tech products. We have a shop brand here in Sweden called Kjell & Company and I really love their stuff simply because they are so easy to open without fight!!
    I LOVE your package. So pretty!!!!!

  6. A 90 is something to be proud of. I’ve had school projects where I got a 70, and I was quite happy. You can see I have low standards. xD And, yes, clamshell packaging is the worst. If I can’t open it with my bare hands, I’m going to throw something at a squirrel.

    1. It’s just perspective I guess and what your end goal is. Graduating is probably the main thing for everyone and you can still do that with anything over 50. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I had no idea that the packaging process was so involved. But that does make a lot of sense and considering the limited amount of time you had, you did a great job!

    It’s great that you took something out of the class and you learned more about packaging design. Both of your assignments look really awesome!

  8. 90 out of 100 is a good mark! It may not be what you wanted, but that’s nothing to sneeze at ๐Ÿ˜€

    Packaging design has a lot of elements to consider! Oi! It’s way more than I’d ever considered. I am glad you mention the psychology aspect, but that is an element that really affects the consumers.

  9. I like that your design for the first project looks re-usable! It bothers me when there’s plastic bagging that I just throw away. I also really like your design for the second project. It looks very informative and also eye catching. I like your use of colors on it. That’s too bad the score was lower than you expected though. I hope you’re able to find out why!

    I’ve definitely struggled with bad packaging before! The plastic clamshells you mentioned are some of the worst. One time, I bought a tool set, and the heavy duty scissors and screw drivers were *inside* the packaging that I needed to open the packaging. (It was the plastic clamshell thing, and for some reason, also included screws to hold it together.)

    I think one of my favorite packaging is from Prismacolor. For example, the packaging for their pencils open and fold out to be a standing holder, making it easy to see all the colors to choose from.

  10. Oh man these are SO cute… I’m a sucker for cute/functional/nice packaging… I like packaging that can be opened easily without ruining the design work (ie: have to be torn/cut open), and also cause pain because of my bad joints, or papercuts. Some stuff I enjoy the packages more than the actual contents. XD (I mean I would definitely enjoy the packaging you did for the screws more than the screws themselves…)
    Congrats on finishing the course!!

  11. Don’t beat yourself up, Kya. You got an amazing score. <3

    I love your designs you came up with. I'm surprised that you didn't score even higher, but those professors can be tough critics. <3

  12. I loved reading this post! I used to do graphic products at school, which was like a really basic version of this and I loved it. I really wish I’d continued with it, because it’s such an interesting subject. Your designs are fantastic too, I wish I was that talented!

    It’s a shame you didn’t get the mark you wanted, but that’s still a fantastic mark! Congrats on making such amazing packaging!

  13. This was very fascinating to read, and I loved your designs for both projects! I love the colors for your design on project 2 and I actually love that you can see the product through that small window on the box. The packaging is pretty informative too. It’s too bad that you didn’t get the grade you wanted but I think you did a great job nonetheless ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Hm…the paintbrushes are packaged the way that they are because professional painter/artist like to be able to see the bristles. But anyhow, it’s absolutely gorgeous…I can definitely see people liking the third option. Do you picture it as something that they can store the brush in after usage and cleaning? If so, that would be so helpful.

    As for the second project, the packaging is reusable and it is bio-degradable. Most people use the package that screws and nails come in to store them, or just dump them in Mason jars.

    As for your final score(?), don’t be upset about it – it’s a great score!

  15. Wow, it really looks hard to accomplish. I am very proud of you. Even if you didn’t get a higher grade, there is a lot of work put in, so don’t be disappointed. I am sure next time you will do better <3

  16. This was such an interesting post, and I think your designs are wonderful! We buy screws in bulk for work, and the packaging on them is awful. Once you’ve opened the box you can’t close it full again – so you can’t put the box in your pouch without risking screws everywhere! The window is very useful too – I’d definitely be drawn to your design over all the other packs of screws I’ve had to use! <3

  17. Congratulations on the grade, I personally think 90/100 is a great percentage.

    I’ve never really stopped and thought about packaging. I suppose it reall y does influence us on a subconscious – we always want to buy something that appeals to us on a personal/individual, something that would fit our lives.

  18. Pingback: July 2017 - Kya
  19. Haha plastic clamshell packaging is certainly the devil. I am glad this class taught you to see things from a different perspective. I actually donโ€™t like reusable packaging that much. I donโ€™t mind it for things like shampoos and conditioners when I can refill, but otherwise I just throw it in the recycling because it doesnโ€™t have much of a use for me.

    Other products I get bothered by are when I order something like clothes in the mail, and there is no perforated section to rip across, so I actually have to hunt for scissors, or I have to rip the shit out of the bag. LOL

    I think you still did an excellent job in your projects! ๐Ÿ‘

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