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How to Design Effective Product Packaging: 15 Tips to Make Your Products Stand Out

Listen up; product packaging has some serious superpowers. Get it right, and packaging can be your #1 sales and branding asset.

But generic, lacklustre packaging? Well, that's Kryptonite for products.

Studies show over 70% of purchase decisions happen based on shelf appeal alone, which means your packaging better be ready for its closeup if you want your products to shine.

We've rounded up 15 pro design tips to turn your packaging into a true showstopper. We're talking stand-out structure, magnetic messaging, drool-worthy images, and unboxing experiences that delight.

Get ready to give your packaging Cinderella-style makeovers that help your products fly off shelves and into customers' arms. 

Let's get into it.

Why Product Packaging Matters

Why Product Packaging Matters in a Business

Packaging isn't just a product wrap - it serves critical functions:

  • Keeps Products Intact and Protected: Sturdy, well-cushioned packaging prevents damage during shipping and handling. It ensures pristine arrivals for happy customers. No one likes smashed nosh!
  • Grabs Attention with Striking Visuals: On crowded shelves, packaging has mere seconds to captivate shoppers. Graphics, colours, fonts, and shapes make products pop out of the competition.
  • Clearly Communicates Details: Packaging real estate is prime for conveying product details, instructions, and benefits. Clean designs and text layouts make info ultra-scannable.
  • Creates an Evocative Brand Experience: From unboxing to disposal, customers interact with packaging. Premium materials like custom tissue paper make it memorable.

Skimp on packaging, and you hinder your products and brand. Well-executed packaging directly fuels sales and satisfaction. Give it the love it deserves!

15 Tips for Creating Effective Product Packaging

Follow these pro tips to design stand-out packaging that sells:

#1 - Select Protective, Durable Materials

Choosing hardy materials tailored to your product ensures intact, quality arrivals for customers. Padding like foam inserts prevents jostling, while thick corrugated cardboard provides structure. Perishables will also require materials to stay fresh.

#2 - Right-Size Packaging

Product dimensions should guide packaging dimensions for a snug, secure fit. Oversized packaging wastes materials and space, while undersized packaging damages products. Find the ideal size balance.

#3 - Use Clear, Scannable Text

Communicate essential product details like titles, features, usage directions and warnings prominently on packaging. Optimise text for quick reads by using ample white space, paragraph breaks and large, simple fonts.

#4 - Make Packaging Visually Striking

Graphics, colour schemes, photography, and icons should make packaging eye-catching and on-brand. Balance attracting attention with readability. Conduct A/B tests of designs.

#5 - Ensure Quick, Easy Opening

Test packaging for easy, intuitive opening that minimises frustration. Provide clear opening directions if multi-step. Consider resealable options for multi-use products.

#6 - Create Special Unboxing Experiences

Leverage packaging to evoke excitement upon unboxing. Use reveal techniques, layered unboxing, custom inserts and personal notes. Add free gifts when appropriate.

MacBook Air 15 Unboxing - ASMR

#7 - Use Sustainable Materials When Possible

Eco-friendly packaging appeals to environmentally conscious consumers. Choose renewable, recyclable, biodegradable or recycled materials. Promote sustainability on packaging.

#8 - Make Packaging Reusable or Recyclable

Hand in hand with the point above, minimise waste by using returnable, reusable or recyclable packaging. Clearly indicate recycling instructions on the packaging. Avoid overpackaging that ends up in landfills. 

You can also use this as a marketing point, as more than 70% of customers are now making purchasing decisions with sustainability and reduced waste in mind.

#9 - Conduct Market Testing with Consumers

Gain insights through focus groups, beta tests, and packaging surveys. Discover what resonates before investing in full production.

#10 - Adhere to All Applicable Regulations

Follow legal requirements for your product category, like safety seals on food or warning labels on electronics. Regulations protect consumers.

#11 - Align Packaging with Brand Identity

Consistency across packaging and marketing materials cements brand recognition. Maintain the same logo, colour scheme, fonts, and style between packaging and other touchpoints.

#12 - Make Packaging Pop on Store Shelves

Design packaging to stand out in retail displays through shapes, visibility and signage. Square packaging maximises shelf space. Provide display accessories.

#13 - Differentiate Through Distinctive Packaging

Find ways to own recognizable structural or graphical styles that uniquely identify your brand. Custom printed boxes, bags, and tissue help differentiate.

#14 - Optimise Portability if Relevant

For portable products, prioritise lightweight materials, compact shapes, and easy open-and-close. Handles and straps improve transport.

#15 - Offer Refill/Reorder Packaging

Provide refill packs for reuse of primary packaging. Enable subscription reorders. Reduce waste by extending packaging lifecycles.

Exceptional packaging takes thoughtfulness and strategic design choices. 

By following these 15 tips, brands can develop packaging that fully serves its functions: protecting products, attracting attention, communicating details, delighting customers, and reinforcing brand identity.

Well-executed packaging directly fuels sales growth and loyalty. The unboxing experience sets the tone for the entire customer journey. 

Invest the time to get packaging right, and let it elevate your products to new heights.

Real-World Examples of Effective Packaging

Let's look at how top brands create stand-out product packaging:

Apple's Signature Minimalism

Apple's packaging features clean, white boxes with sleek product shots. The minimalism spotlights the advanced product designs. This aligns seamlessly with Apple's brand identity of sophistication and innovation.

Coca-Cola's Iconic Contour Bottle

The unique contoured Coca-Cola bottle shape became iconic for the brand starting in 1916. The memorable silhouette makes the bottles instantly recognizable even when the logo is obscured.

Heinz Dip & Squeeze Packets

Heinz's portable dipping ketchup packets provide the perfect single-serve sauce portions for patrons on the go. The innovative flat, flexible packets are easy to open and make it easy to customise food with a quick squeeze.

LUSH's Naked Packaging

LUSH Cosmetics uses minimal, reusable packaging to reduce waste. Many products are completely packaging-free, like their shampoo bars. For other products, they skip outer boxes and use containers customers can return and reuse.


Truly well-designed packaging is part practical protector and part strategic magic maker. When done right, it dazzles customers, strengthens brands, and compels sales through superior shelf presence and unforgettable unboxing experiences.

By applying these 15 tips, you can transform bland packaging into a product's superpower. Make it pop visually while enhancing functionality and sustainability. Approach packaging as the marketing asset it is.

And remember - the inside counts too! Luxe custom tissue paper and other premium materials level up perceived quality.

Ready to turn your packaging into a competitive edge? 

The experts here at Custom Tissue Paper can make it happen. Our high-quality custom tissue and other bespoke packaging solutions will realise your vision.

Reimagine your packaging today and unlock its full potential to connect with customers and boost your brand. The future of unboxing has never looked brighter!

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