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How Innovative Food Packaging Design Boosts the Sale of Your Products

Updated on February 14, 2013

Vitamin Label - Health Food Company

In the intensive competition for food product sales, many business owners often do not realize the importance that the package design of their product plays in their product’s marketing and merchandising. Unlike the popular erroneous belief, package design is not just designing “a pretty face”.

While the main purpose of product package design is to make the packaging more attractive; it truly is a combination of several items that all play into a product's marketability. Package design also combines pertinent information with graphic design elements, typography and the packaging ultimately used.(i.e. clamshell, blister pack, cardboard) including all necessary 2D or the now growing in popularity QR barcodes. All these elements are combined so that the customer can make his preferred selection from all the competing products or brands available.

But what exactly are these elements? The following is a brief summary of some the graphic elements involved. You should review the following points and write down a few ideas so that the graphic designer you hire can incorporate the items that best reflect your product, your customer demographic and type of business. By taking the time to pre-plan what you want included in your product packaging, it will assure that the professional graphic designer you hire will develop the design that most closely is based on specifications that you have already takeninto consideration saving you time and money. Keeping these elements in mind will also save you money by reducing the number of edits , revisions and/or last minute changes.

Food Package Design - Graphic Elements
Food Package Design - Graphic Elements

Graphic Elements

The graphic elements in design include the choice of colors, company logo, bursts or swirls or any number of graphic elements that will be used in your product’s package design. The color or colors you choose for your package design can either make your product stand out from the competing brands or get lost in a sea of other similarly designed packaging. You will also want to make the decision as to which items should be prominently displayed. While your company logo might be an item you would want prominently displayed in the design; sometimes, it could also include bursts (stars or circles) that highlight a food product’s specific ingredient! An ingredient or process that you competition has not included in their product.

Furthermore, the fact that your package design is usually placed on a 3 dimensional product such as a box or bottle creates challenges that are not typical with flat print media advertising. You would want to make sure that you are working with a graphic designer who knows how to handle these design challenges in the placement of graphics and typography. In addition, you may also want to include the icons of a social cause, such as the pink ribbon associated with breast cancer research or any charitable organization that your company may support.


Typography & Fonts

Typography in package design is the font or fonts that will be used to describe the information about your product and has a graphic feel all its own. It could vary from tiny simple typography to bold 3-D modeling of the product’s name . The choice used will ultimately reflect your product and company which will contribute to your overall branding. Who can forget the popular logo designs of major food manufacturers such as Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Pepsi and Mars?

QR Codes
QR Codes
UPC Code
UPC Code

2D and 3D Barcodes

UPC barcodes stand for Universal Product Codes. They were originally created to help grocery stores speed up checkout and assist with the tracking of inventory. They became so popular that they spread to other retail stores and manufacturers and now are almost standard on almost all product packaging. While the standard UPC code has been around for many years, a new 2-dimensional barcode called the QR code is being used by more and more product manufacturers in the United States.

The push for the use of the QR code is being driven by a new opportunity that is being referred to as context sensitive marketing. For further information and details, you might want to read the article, “Why the Best Online Marketing May Be Headed Offline” which goes into extensive detail as to how QR codes can be used for your product’s marketing.

USFDA Nutrition Label
USFDA Nutrition Label

Nutrition Labels

Your prospective customers will look at food labels for different reasons. But whatever the reason, many consumers would like to know how to use this information more effectively and easily.

They want to use these labels to find out the ingredients that went into the food product, the calories, the serving size, the nutritional value and the percent daily value that your product contributes to their daily diet. This information needs to be included in the graphic design of your food product as it is federally regulated by the United States Department of Food and Drug Administration or USFDA.

Bread Package Design - Riley Hutchins
Bread Package Design - Riley Hutchins

Types of Packaging

Clamshell, blister pack, bottle labeling, foil bags and cardboard packaging all describe the type of packaging your food product will be packaged in. While pricing will be a definite consideration, making this decision beforehand will help your graphic designer design the best graphic design that suits the constraints of the type of packaging that will be used for your food product.

Knowing this information beforehand, the graphic designer will be able to figure out the final placement of the graphic elements on the design. For example, if your product is a loaf of bread you wouldn’t want any design elements placed where the twist tie is placed to close the bag. Or in the label design of a vitamin bottle, you would want the name and the most important graphic elements prominent in the front where they could be visible from the vitamin’s store shelf.

Choosing A Graphic Designer

While there are many talented and skilled professional graphic designers, there are those who are specifically trained and familiar with the challenges that go into product packaging design. You might want to ask the graphic designer for specific examples of past work in either food product or retail packaging design. In this internet age, most professional graphic designers make their design portfolio available online for you to review, as well as include contact information. There are many graphic designers on sites such as Coroflot and Behance that are experts on graphic design, which might be a good place to look if you are a small business.

Very often, you can also find professional graphic designers on the popular resume type social networking site, Linked In. Another good place would be an employment recruitment agency that specifically deals with graphic designers such as Artisan Creative. On these sites you are likely to find professional graphic designers that have specific background experience in food product packaging design and a background in the various types of graphic design that would accommodate, your small business' current and future graphic design needs.

Food Packaging - Designer: Edmundson Martin
Food Packaging - Designer: Edmundson Martin
Roasting Town Coffee - Christine Yoon
Roasting Town Coffee - Christine Yoon

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