A product is only as appealing as it’s packaging, making this a critical factor in any product’s success. A tall order for any professional designer, but what if you’re trying to design the packaging for your goods on your own? You can certainly be successful in designing and creating relevant and appealing packaging without a degree or professional experience. To help you succeed, we are sharing our package design process.


First, it’s important to understand the definition of “packaging design.” Product packaging includes choices of material, graphics, font & copy, colors, and container type. Understanding how these choices will impact your product’s desirability on the shelf is an important concept.


  1. The Brainstorm – No idea is too strange and thinking outside the box (pun intended) is encouraged. Round up a group of people with differing backgrounds. Know an artist, great. How about an engineer? What about the IT guy? The more diverse, the better. Take note of everyone’s ideas, objections, and opinions. The goal here is to build upon each other’s knowledge, opinions, and experiences to inspire some ideas for your product’s packaging.

When brainstorming, be sure to keep in mind the following questions:

            -What is your product?

            -Who is buying the product?

            -How are people buying it?


  1. The Brief and Project Plan– Once you’ve narrowed down your package design vision, it’s time to create the Brief. The brief is essentially a roadmap stating what need to be achieved in order for your package design vision to come to life. Lay out the clear expectations and strategy for producing your product’s packaging. The Project Plan takes the Brief one step further, and includes timelines and budget data.


  1. Research – Your packaging needs to accurately reflect your product’s purpose and your brand’s mission. It needs to be aesthetically pleasing and attention-grabbing without being overwhelming. In the research phase, you’ll dig into understanding what your customers want and begin to develop the text and graphic design elements to your packaging. How will you stand out from competitors? What sets your product apart, and how can you communicate that via its packaging?


  1. Development – It’s time to create a first draft of the packaging product. This is where you refine your product’s packaging design until you hit the mark.


  1. Find A Printer – Once you have finalized your packaging’s design, it’s time to find a capable printer who can walk you through the rest of the process. Questions to ask are:
  1. Dielines: These will ultimately become the template for your packaging.
  2. File-format requirements: In what format will your design need to be submitted to the printer?
  3. Color options: Are there any color limitations?
  4. Printing types: What type of printing options are available, and what will best fit your needs?


  1. Production – Now that you’ve designed your packaging concept and found a printer to meet your needs, it’s time to begin production. This where all the hard work pays off, and your product gets the packaging it deserves.


If this process feels overwhelming, you aren’t alone. Designing product packaging from beginning to end is a big job, and requires an extensive knowledge of packaging types, materials, and printing capabilities. Alpine Packaging’s Product Design Experts and Label Engineers are here to assist you. Get more information here.