Package Perfect

Four strategies for award-winning package design

When it comes to award-winning creative, PLDG’s Bob Upton’s got the whole package. Global recognition. A client list that includes national and multi-national corporations. And an uncanny ability to connect people to products and services in a way that inspires brand preference and loyalty. We spoke with Bob about what he’s learned in nearly 30 years of creative direction, and he shared four must-haves for those looking to make their next product packaging project a smashing success.

  • Be crystal clear. Package design works when it catches the eye — when people understand in three seconds or less what the product is and what it does. An effective concept should draw people in effortlessly. If it has to work too hard to grab people’s attention, or if you feel it needs explaining, you need to take a different approach.
  • Make it authentic. A winning package design instantly inspires and satisfies peoples’ curiosity. What makes it powerful is its authenticity. The design delivers on the outside exactly what people can expect from the product or service on the inside.
  • Do the shelf test. If you want your product or service to stand out, take a good look at the competition. Focus on what’s truly special about what you’re selling and how to play that out visually at the point of purchase. Put it on a shelf and test it. People will let you know it’s working when they look at it and say, “Wow.”
  • Use common sense. People are attracted to products that stand out, so it’s tempting to put form before function. But that’s not what people need. Consumers want packaging that’s easy to apply, practical, economical, sustainable and not over-produced. When you apply common sense functionality to package design, people feel good about what you have to offer and about their decision to buy it.

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