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The same way books are judged by their covers, products are often judged by their packaging design. In a lot of cases, customers will decide whether or not they want to purchase a product by merely looking at its packaging design.

With purchasing decisions so heavily dependent on packaging design, it’s critical that your organization maximizes your packaging design capabilities and optimizes every aspect of it.

However, there are several things that go into product packaging, which can cause some organizations to make mistakes along the way.

Thus, we’ve put together this guide to help steer your company in the right direction and avoid making critical mistakes that lead to bad packaging design.

What Makes Product Packaging So Important?

While product packaging may seem like a commodity, it’s a much larger industry than it’s given credit for and is responsible for billions of dollars in sales each year.

As such, it’s critical that your products are packaged in a way that not only appeals to potential customers but makes them look forward to purchasing your product again.

However, there are several other reasons why product packaging is essential to your business.

Protects from Damage

The most obvious reason to invest in quality product packaging is that it protects the product from damage.

Whether it’s the primary packaging or secondary packaging, each layer needs to be durable enough to withstand the conditions it will encounter throughout the supply chain.

While it may be expensive, this is something that pays off exponentially once the product lands on store shelves.


In addition to protecting your products from outside elements, quality product packaging also plays a critical role in the branding of your business.

Whether you’re selling coffee or dog treats, quality product packaging can help convey your company’s message to potential customers.

On the contrary, flimsy or poorly-designed product packaging can often dissuade customers from purchasing a product or recommending the brand to others.

Promotes Sales

Last but certainly not least, quality product packaging can help persuade customers to purchase a product they may not be familiar with.

This is one of the main reasons why manufacturers should remain mindful of customer preferences and their target audience when developing their product packaging.

Especially in a competitive market, the packaging of your product can have a significant impact on whether or not your product is purchased.

Factors That Lead to Ineffective Packaging Design

There are several factors that lead to bad packaging design, chief among them being the following.

  • Poor imagery
  • Poor choice of materials
  • Difficult to open
  • Grammar and spelling errors
  • Poor marketing efforts

Poor Imagery

One of the most common mistakes that companies make when it comes to their product packaging is selecting imagery that either does not portray their product correctly or does not make the product stand out from competing products.

On average, customers make their purchasing decisions in seven seconds or less. As such, it’s critical that your product’s packaging entices a customer to purchase your goods in that short span of time.

When considering your product packaging, be sure to use imagery that not only stands out from other products but encourages customers to want to buy your product.

Recommended Read The DNA of Product Packaging Design: What Really Catches Consumer Eyes

Poor Choice of Materials

We’ve all purchased a product and marveled at the amount of needless and wasteful packaging that comes with it. While product packaging is essential, it’s equally as important to not go overboard.

Consumers today are more environmentally conscious than ever before and will often reward companies who are mindful of their carbon footprint by purchasing their products.

When designing your product packaging, try to stay away from excessive and unnecessary packaging that leaves customers with more hassle than a convenience.

Difficult to Open

Whether it’s a lid that tears into a million pieces while being removed or sharp packaging that is nearly impossible to remove, the type of experience your customer has when opening your product is critical.


Unfortunately, the packaging of some products can often seem impenetrable.

The ease of opening a product plays a significant role in shaping a customer’s decision when it comes to purchasing a product. When developing your product packaging, make it as simple as possible for customers to remove the packaging and use the product.

This helps to create a fantastic user experience and avoids dissuading your target audience from purchasing your products over and over again.

Grammar and Spelling Errors

While grammar and spelling issues have obvious connotations, sloppy errors can also affect a customer’s perception of your brand’s consistency and reliability.

If your branding looks cheap in a consumer’s eyes, it could potentially influence how much they are willing to pay or if they will purchase a product altogether.

Proper grammar persuades customers to trust your brand. When designing your product packaging, take the time to double and triple-check the copy to ensure there are no mistakes and that everything makes grammatical sense.

Additionally, make sure the product packaging has been reviewed by more than one person before being finalized to ensure there are no mistakes with the final design.

Lack of Researched Marketing

Customers pay a significant amount of attention to product packaging when determining if they will complete their purchase.

Not only can poorly thought-out and poorly executed product design lead to fewer sales, but it can also have a negative effect on a customer’s overall connection with your brand.

When designing your product’s packaging, make it your mission to instill confidence in your consumers with truthful and sincere packaging design choices.

Try to avoid overcompensating in the design process to convince customers that they should purchase what you are selling. If all else fails, simplicity is always the best route to take.

Factors That Make Quality Product Packaging

Similar to bad packaging design, there are several factors that lead to outstanding packaging too!

  • High-quality design and functionality
  • Conscientious choice of materials
  • Catering to your budget
  • Awareness of the supply chain
  • Branding and marketing

Quality Design and Functionality

No matter how attractive or creative the materials and design may be, product packaging is only effective if it protects the product from harm during transit.

When designing your product’s packaging, make sure you invest in high-quality packaging materials that protect your goods while they are being shipped and distributed to shelves.

When designing product packaging, it’s often a good idea to consider using shapes and sizes that can be used for more than one purpose.

Not only does this increase a product’s versatility, handling, and transportation, but it also decreases manufacturing costs for additional packaging.

Additionally, maximize visual effects and brand awareness by using bright colors or unique patterns that stick out on a retailer’s shelves.

Choice of Materials

The type of materials that you decide to use for product packaging is also another significant factor to consider.


What kind of material is right for your product will largely depend on your product and how it will be shipped. Thus, be sure to use design materials that are versatile and accommodating.

Luckily, with new advances in high-performance and lightweight materials, minimizing storage requirements and shipping costs is easier than ever and often does not affect the overall appeal of a product.


The cost-effectiveness of product packaging also plays a considerable role in quality product packaging.

Before beginning any packaging design, determine the extent of the budget you are working with to help you decide what types of materials you should use and how you will make your product look as appealing as possible.

As previously mentioned, using standard packaging sizes can help minimize packaging costs, but you should also consider other ways to save money.

For example, some forms of packaging materials are lighter than others and lower shipping costs, while other materials are easier to handle and can help improve overall production performance.

Supply Chain Distribution

Understanding how a product is manufactured and distributed is another critical aspect when designing quality product packaging.

Throughout every part of the supply chain, be sure that your product will remain undamaged and in optimal condition.

When reviewing your product’s design, consider the distance the product will need to travel and how it will be transported before landing on a shelf.

When finalizing your design, be sure that the product packaging is resilient, compliant with all shipping and handling requirements, and maintains the product’s overall shelf life.

Branding and Marketing

Lastly, “shelf appeal” is a critical aspect that cannot be overlooked when it comes to product packaging.

Your product packaging should not only draw in customers to view your product on the shelf, but it should also be a medium to provide information regarding your product and show prospective customers what your product and organization is all about.

When designing your product’s packaging, be sure that your design has consistency, informative labels, and brand representation.

Recommended Read Flexible Food Packaging Ideas for Different Target Markets

Why Choose Plastic Packaging Technologies for Your Product Packaging

Packaging design is a vital tool for your business. Not only does it give customers a better idea of what products you are selling, but quality packaging can also play a significant role in influencing customers to buy your products.

As a business owner, your attention is continuously pulled in multiple directions, and carefully considering the product packaging of your company’s goods can often fall between the cracks.

At Plastic Packaging Technologies, we want to help differentiate your company’s product from your competitors and increase product value through the use of purposeful product packaging. We are a nationwide leader in the manufacturing of flexible packaging goods and services. 

Specializing in providing superior quality and advanced technical knowledge, Plastic Packaging Technologies can help you develop the best packaging solution to meet your business’s needs. From flat-bottom box pouches to single-web quad bags to pinch-bottom box pouches, we provide a wide variety of product packaging solutions for our customers.

Of course, our flexible packaging solutions can be customized in a staggering number of ways to diversify your design and allow for increased usability for your consumers.



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