Other Designs I: Package Design
October 5, 2011 1 Comment
There are tons of different types of designs and design branches that a Graphic Designer may choose to specialize in. For example, a Graphic Designer may choose to focus only in Web Design. Perhaps another Graphic Designer realizes his or her Illustrating capabilities are great, so they may focus only in Illustration. Other Graphic Designers create great logos, so the mainly focus on that and on corporate identity design. There is also product and package design, and some professionals may focus mainly on those types of designs as well.
Product & Package Design: A Lucrative Business?
Package design is the combination of planning and creating the structure, form, and appearance of a specific product’s packaging, and it functions as an encasing, protection of the product, promotion of a brand, presenting information, and turns into a brand experience. Billions are spent in packaging every year, and the reasons are pretty obvious. I believe that the most important reason why product and package design is such a lucrative business is because the package of a product ultimately determines whether customers purchase the product or not, because it is the first impression they get of the product and the company. Other reasons why packaging is important include the fact that packages protect the product, it keeps components of the product together, it identifies the product, it protects the product during transportation and makes transportation easier, it makes it easier to stack and store product and you can include printed information on the package such as the price.
Design Steps in Package Design
The package design process involves five different phases, which are: Orientation, Analysis, Concepts, Design and Implementation. Orientation and Analysis include defining the problem, establishing goals, determining the project scope, conducting research, preparing marketing and competitive audits, researching the competition, researching the target audience, establishing positioning, establishing brand personality and setting a strategy. The Conceptual Design phase includes making sure that the offered solution is in line with all the research conducted in phases one and two and also that the solution has on-shelf impact. The Design Development phase implements the concept into an actual design and makes sure that it is visually sticking and interesting enough to catch the attention of the target audience and ultimately make the customer purchase the brand over the competition. The Implementation stage is the final creation of the three-dimensional and physical box or package for the product.
Prototypes Through The Ages
Nowadays, hardly anything is created without using a computer. But a long time ago, in simpler times, people still communicated and created things without computers. Prototypes where created a long time ago without using computers. We could say that the first prototypes where created in the 4000 BC years by using clay. Clay was used to create clay models to represent mythological creatures and gods, later turned into stone sculptures. Later, during 3000 BC paper and ink was used to plan and create prototypes of incredible monuments like pyramids. During 1452 and 1519 Leonardo Da Vinci himself created paper models as concepts of his extreme ideas, using also other materials like wood and carving techniques. Thomas Edison also created multiple prototypes when creating initial concepts of his inventions, like the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the light bulb during the 1800s and 1900s. Henry Dreyfuss in the 1900s took the concept of design and prototyping to the next level and his understanding of the function of prototyping is the initial idea of our modern understanding of a prototype, because he created the prototype as an illustration of a product in context. Before 3D rendering was invented, product prototypes and packaging where constructed by hand. For example, a product prototype could be sculpted out of clay or wood, and a package design could be printed and assembled by hand to view the 3D version or final result.
To Window Or Not To Window?
When constructing the mock-up for a package design, there are some very important factors one should consider before deciding whether the product should be seen or if the package shouldn’t have a window. One of these deciding factors is the visual appeal of the product itself. If the product is visually striking by itself, then the product should be showcased through a window in the package. If the product is not particularly visually striking then the package should make up for that and there should be no window displaying the product.
Mock-Up Package Design
A good idea to “practice” package design and see if it is something you as a designer would be interested in doing, is to create a mock up package design for any particular product. I created a mock-up package design for a class assignment for a LeapFrog product. Here is the package design in it’s “flat” printed version as well as in the three-dimensional version of the assembled box.
Also, here is a 2-part video describing a simple way of creating the three-dimensional version of the package design using Adobe Photoshop.