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Packaging Design: Engaging Consumers

By: John Lamb
Posted: September 5, 2008, from the August 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 3

To fully exploit the opportunities for brand communication, all aspects of packaging are being explored in greater depth. The role of structural packaging is becoming more and more important in delivering these packaging requirements.

Manufacturing Constraints

Of course, it would be relatively easy to design packaging that addresses these marketing considerations, but a great packaging design solution must overcome many practical hurdles before it can reach market.

All packages must adhere to legislation and safety standards, which may differ from one global region to another. Retailers will have their own set of shelf preferences and guidelines including preferred package heights, number of facings allowed and outer packing recommendations including shelf-ready trays. These requirements clearly have to be taken into account within the packaging design process.

The manufacturing process is probably the key element in ensuring package design acceptability. All aspects of manufacturing from material molding through to packaging line-filling, decoration and capping must be considered from the product manufacturer’s point of view. Each manufacturer has different production capabilities and cost-of-goods structures and each new project has its own set of criteria for delivering product to market. Typically, the larger multinational companies have their own manufacturing facilities, whilst smaller and medium-sized companies may utilize contract packaging suppliers.

Packaging designs inevitably have to satisfy these particular needs and increasingly product manufacturers are involving more specialist design companies to help create and deliver these designs.