10 Tips for Better Packaging

Don’t underestimate the importance of packaging!  How cool would it be to walk by some shelves at the store and see your very own product sitting on the shelves?  However, just having a clever and creative idea for packaging supplies isn’t good enough.


The product needs to be marketed well and handled effectively or it’s not going to make it.  Here are 10 tips to help you get there:

  1. Work smart by having a good cutter guide. What makes a good cutter guide?  A good cutter guide will have the right size, all the folds, the trim and bleed will be specified, areas that need glue or sealant will be clearly marked, and the location of the barcode will be indicated.
  2. If you are designing your own cutter guide, don’t make promises before you find out if it’s even possible.
  3. Use 3D computer programs to help you visualize the finished packaging supplies before you spend and money on making them and having them turn out poorly due to poor and ineffective design.
  4. Use symbols so that you don’t have to constantly recreate the same paths and designs all the time. You can share your symbols library with other designers or reload it whenever you want to.
  5. Once again, find out how your symbols are going to look by using your 3D computer program. This quick preview is a very good idea for label design!
  6. Designing packaging supplies has been revolutionized by 3D programs! I’ve already mentioned a 3D visual of the finished product, a 3D visual of what your symbols are going to look like on the product, and there are even 3D programs where you can indicate the cut and fold lines and see a 3D version of your folded and unfolded packaging.
  7. Using artboards helps in the process of designing cutter guides and will allow you to save your artwork to files on your computer.
  8. Ever heard of Esko and DeskPack? Esko is a manufacturer that specializes in packaging supplies, and DeskPack is a collection of tools, consisting of many different plug-ins, that a packaging designer is going to appreciate.
  9. Creating bleed is necessary but not necessarily easy, especially depending on the shape you are trying to work with. The offset path in your program helps by simplifying this process.
  10. There is a specific Package command in certain Illustrator programs, and it will make your life a whole lot simpler. This makes sense since it is specific to packaging design.