Packaging Design What to Look For




So I decided to make a jelly yesterday. I had one of those double powder sachets instead of the usual cubes. I'm the kind of person that needs to read the instructions for ANYTHING I make in the kitchen so I took a look at the back. There was two problems I spotted right away.

1. The Best Before Date was only printed on one half of the packaging. If you used the right hand sachet first (looking from the back) you would be left with a sachet in the cupboard that you had no idea how old it was.

2. Despite having my funky new varifocal glasses I couldn't read the instructions as they were tiny and in white on a light blue background.

On screen the colours probably looked great but in the real world there is not enough contrast. There was also obviously a lot of information the designer needed to get onto the back of each sachet, including the barcode and date but priority was given to duplicating the social media addresses, which could have been also have been condensed.

If you are ever briefing packaging design:-

  • Be aware of the size of the packaging.

  • Prioritise the content. Social media is important to marketing but a low priority compared to instructions or ingredients.

  • Be aware of font size. Most people struggle to read text below 5pt in size. If you do need to go tiny ensure there is plenty of contrast between the lettering and the background.

  • Test it out. Make a mock-up, even if it's just using a desktop printer. This is especially important if your packaging involves complicated folds and multiple sides. Some panels may need to be artworked upside down or sideways to be the right way up when on the shelf.



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