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Beyond the Creative: Overlooked Elements of Packaging Design

by Greiner Packaging

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© Greiner Packaging

Often, when one thinks of packaging design, the first elements that come to mind are color, shape. There are, however, many elements that go beyond the obvious outward-facing features that contribute to the success or failure of a product’s packaging design.

Ensure your packaging keeps its shape. Rigid packaging is able to maintain its form, enabling the package to tolerate transport to retail shelves without changing shape or damaging the product inside. When determining the necessary rigidity of your packaging, consider not only the balance of materials required in terms of sustainability, but the properties of the product itself relative to the vigorousness of transport and the expectations of the consumer.

Consider how efficiently it may be stacked. Be aware of how qualities such as stacking height and top load capacity of the packaging you are designing may impact production, storage and transportation requirements. Having the ability to maximize the number of units packed into each carton or onto each pallet through a more compact design may translate to less waste and a reduction in storage and transportation costs, but must also ensure that units are not damaged during these processes.

Determine if a barrier technology is appropriate. Many manufacturers today are seeking to extend shelf-life or delivery through online distribution channels without adding preservatives to their products. Once these requirements have been determined and the production materials, technologies and processes are defined, selecting an appropriate barrier technology during the design process is essential. Greiner Packaging offers our clients new forms of barrier technologies in order to meet the demand for longer shelf life and e-delivery, including multi-barrier technology (or “MBT”) and inert barrier technology (or “IBT”). Both technologies protect the product by minimizing external effects to the filling inside the cup.

Consider the packaging’s recyclability. Increasingly, consumers are demanding eco-friendly packaging and reduced waste. This means that manufacturers must have sustainability in mind when designing packaging. During this phase, make it a priority to minimize the packaging’s environmental impact. This could mean identifying ways to reduce the overall amount of packaging used (as in reducing the thickness of the packaging walls), designing so that lead frames that can be melted and re-used during the production process, or incorporating eco-friendly, easily recyclable materials such as a combination of plastic and cardboard into the package’s design.

Once a design is chosen, the next step is to determine if a prototype is necessary. Prototypes can be created of the proposed design in various quantities. This means that manufacturers are able to test not only consumer response but also production attributes like fill process well before final production begins, thus alleviating some of the risk involved with selecting a new packaging design.  There are, of course, other important production factors to consider during the design process as well, including whether a newly-designed package will be produced using existing filling, sealing or other equipment and how the impact to those production cycles can be minimized or even improved upon. A good production partner will have the resources, experience and technologies to identify, analyze and recommend the right packaging solution from design phase through prototyping and final production.

Are you ready to take the next step with your packaging? See how Greiner Packaging’s Design and Prototyping Department can work with you to design packaging that meets all of these criteria and distinguishes your brand from its competition.

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