The Guide to Effective Retail Packaging Design: The Dos and Don’ts


You enter a supermarket and see the shelves stuffed with similar products from different brands. What do you do, and which one do you pick? You choose the one that has the most appealing product packaging. When you think of retail shopping, you must consider the consumer experience. You have seven seconds to make an excellent first impression as a brand. Effective design and an eye-catching look are two ways to draw attention to your products. These are also two factors that encompass retail packaging. 

What is a Retail Package?

The retail package, also known as retail-ready packaging (RRP) or product packaging, is a company’s direct communication with its consumers through various details. It is designed to display in-store. For a retail package to qualify, specific retail requirements around shape and size must be followed. A retail package usually includes a company’s logo, brand recognition, and various details about the product, including composition and ingredients. This helps consumers become familiar with the products.  

Did you know? 52% of customers return for business if they like the packaging.

The Importance of Packaging Design for Retail Products 

Retail packaging is one of the most vital factors influencing a consumer’s purchase decision. In the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, competition never rests. Your product packaging is directly proportional to your sales. Hence, you need to develop a solid and innovative retail packaging design. 

Here are a few reasons why packaging design matters in retail: 

  • Reinforces your brand identity

When it comes to shaping your brand identity, consistency matters. Your website, marketing collateral and product packaging must play a part. With the right packaging design that includes your logo and company colours, consumers will be able to identify your products more quickly. It is essential for your brand to be consistent across both your physical and digital assets.

  • It helps you stand out on social media

Millennials today love flaunting products with great packaging on their social media handles. Thus, you need to ensure your design is eye-catching. Influencers and content creators are constantly posting unboxing videos and product hauls which gives you a great chance to show off your products to a new set of eyes. Your packaging design is as important as your product itself. 

  • Package design reflects the quality.

Believe it or not, packaging design can help consumers make an association about the kind of experience they’re about to get. For example, if your products come in sleek and sustainable retail packaging boxes, consumers might view your product as luxurious. They might move to your competitors if you don’t put enough thought and creativity into your design. 

What Makes a Good Design? 

Retail packaging design influences a buyer’s shopping decision. It helps them identify a product quickly and makes the browsing experience more seamless. If you want your product to sell like hotcakes, here are a few packaging design guidelines you must follow:

  • Clarity & Simplicity

In retail packaging, less is more. Your packaging should be simple and clear yet distinctive. Try to fit only a little information into a small area and avoid clutter. Also, when picking the fonts for your text, try to stick to one or two fonts. Having too many fonts can confuse the buyer. 

Another element of a successful package design is a visually-appealing colour palette. Colour psychology applies to packaging. Blue and green exude a calming impact, whereas red can spur action and liveliness. The design you choose should fit your brand ethics and product line and be tailored according to the needs of your target audience. 

  • Distinctiveness

From a consumer’s point of view, a product on a supermarket shelf is never viewed alone. A sea of products surrounds it in the same category. If you don’t want your product to get lost, focus on “shelf impact.” It refers to the product’s distinctiveness and appeals when placed on the shelf. 

This can significantly impact sales. This is something you need to keep testing and exploring in your designs. Often, you will get it right the first time. You can check the quality of your design by placing it with competitor products. Always remember, the most distinctive it is, the better it sells. 

  • Consider Shape & Packaging Material

Packaging design is not just about the artwork. It’s also about the size, shape and practicality of the packaging. Therefore, choose the size and shape of the packaging that suits your products best. It should protect the product from damage and be easy to carry around. Another thing to remember if you want your product to sell is to ensure the packaging is durable and sustainable, as today’s shoppers are eco-conscious. 

Ideas of How to Make an Effective Package Design 

If you want your packaging design to be effective, keep the following tips in mind:

  • It should fit your whole brand experience
  • Make sure your packaging is accurate, authentic and honest
  • The packaging has to be functional
  • Consider using recycled materials as a part of your packaging
  • Ensure your packaging is attractive
  • Consider how the label will be printed

10 Best Packaging of All Time

Let’s take a look at some brands that have great packaging designs:

  • Heinz octagonal ketchup bottle
  • Ben & Jerry’s ice cream container
  • Ferrero Rocher’s recyclable box
  • Tiffany’s iconic blue box
  • Chanel perfume No. 5 Bottle
  • Marlboro cigarettes
  • Nescafe coffee powder
  • Apple – iPhone, MacBook
  • Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau De Parfum
  • Cold-pressed juices recyclable pet bottle 


Developing an effective packaging design is more important than you think. While it should be eye-catching, it should complement your product and business. Custom product packaging design should primarily speak about the brand and communicate its value in the best possible way to the customers. 


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