Each package is great in its own unique way, but most of them face pretty similar problems. We at Approval Studio have systematized the most typical issues and described five Achilles’ heels of every packaging project. Check yourself before adding a fresh artwork to your portfolio or sending it to a publisher. No need? Well, at least you can laugh at our witty out-of-the-context comments.
Compliance of the project concept with the final product
When the visualization project does not match the description, the question arises: was it the PR or brand manager who screwed up the release, or did the studio fail to work out the stated concept? “The color that conveys the naturalness of the ingredients” in the illustrations is fluorescent green. “Unique color solution for each SKU” is simply absent. “Refined lettering” is nothing else but simple italics. Do not provoke the critics – describe the real state of affairs.
Understanding the product usage scenario
Packaging is a functional thing, and to evaluate it, you need to know the context. We spoke about it with our clients, and they emphasized the importance of having a clear understanding of their “package’s future”. However, sometimes, both creators of concepts and authors of commercial works tend to pay the insufficient amount of attention to the life scenario of the product. The cost of production, the life of the package after the purchase, the reality of the calculations – all this must be investigated at the very beginning.
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Graphic relevance and font solutions
Packaging is a permanent search for a balance between graphic design and density of the package, quality of printed informational content and reading comfort. Here are 5 vital rules of the work with different types of packaging that can help you to improve your design:
- Composition. Put all the elements in front of you before starting the layout to have full eye contact with all the parts of your concept.
- Space. Do not strive to fill in every free spot with anything at any cost – a successful label is the result of a balance between free and occupied space.
- Proportions. Remember that the elements look different on screen and on paper – print a draft before publishing the artwork to check how it looks in real life and whether all the elements are readable.
- The hierarchy of perception. Arrange the elements in a logical order according to your customer’s demands. Usually, the most comfortable hierarchy is attention grabber > the brand’s name > the product’s name > the product’s description.
- Text. Do not be afraid of cutting down on the text amount if the layout requires it. If you explain to the customer in detail why exactly you need it and how the artwork will benefit from it, there shouldn’t be any problems.
Spelling and fact-checking
The devil is in the details – in errors and typos. They are in the anatomical inaccuracies on the illustrations, in metaphors that do not work, and in random ambiguities and points of view. Proof the validity of each visual decision – and never neglect double-check.
The unpredictability of the audience’s reaction
Once going live, your project immediately faces the biased-minded commentators or comes across a meticulous, trolling or corrosive critics. Criticism is an inevitable part even of the biggest and most successful projects. Just treat it with humor, and you will do just fine.