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Finding packaging ideas and inspiration can be tiresome.
There are many creations out there, but they're not always possible for small brands to implement.
Cutting edge materials technology and elegant packaging design can really create a unique packaging design, but for a small brand like yours, it's not always achievable.
Although, it doesn't hurt to dream.
This article will take a look at some small to medium brands and give you packaging design ideas that you can actually use.
Scroll through the brands below, take note of what you like and get your creative juices flowing.
For more packaging design ideas from brands just like yours, take a look at our inspirations page and see how brands just like yours have created unique and customised packaging.
We live in colour - so use it.
That colour may be entirely black like Demagica's packaging below.
That colour may be something as bright as M0ther.
Or are loud as Happy Socks.
It can create a feeling of something elegant like Concrete Jungle.
Or something as 'special' as Monday's Child.
The fact is this: Colour has meaning, it evokes emotions and implies ideas.
Use colour as your main packaging idea to create something memorable.
A simple shape that's repeated over and over, or a complex logo that tessellates to perfection.
Patterned packaging is an eye-catching packaging trend to make your brand stand out.
Contrasting or complementary colours, combined with unique shapes create a cohesive feeling over your entire packaging design.
Use a pattern on the sides of your box, but leave the top surface empty with nothing more than your logo.
This creates a frame around the surface of your logo, drawing the eye in and forcing it to focus on the logo.
Want to use a professionally designed pattern on your packaging?
Take a look at Packhelp's design showcase and customise your packaging pattern in our online editor.
Taking a step back with your packaging design is a great way to stand out. There are many innovative packaging ideas that fit the minimalist design style.
It might be as simple as using nothing but your own logo and letting the natural texture of kraft cardboard do the talking.
Take a look at Oase, a high-end supplement brand using minimalist packaging design to its advantage.
The unboxing experience
For e-commerce and retail brands alike, there's more to packaging than just a box.
As an online retailer, your packaging is the first physical touchpoint between your company and your customer.
For retail stores, the packaging is what makes your product stand out, so you need to follow through with those feelings.
In both of these situations, an unboxing experience can be the difference. An unboxing experience leaves your customer thinking 'Gee I really got a lot more than I thought I would'.
This is a feeling that, when leveraged correctly, your brand can turn into customer retention, loyalty, and satisfaction - 3 potent metrics for any brand.
Either way, it's what's inside that counts.
An effective unboxing experience also sets the stage should your product become part of an unboxing video.
Not only does it leave a good impression on the person making the video, but in the world of customer reviews and user-generated content, your product, and brand, will appear in a much more positive light.
Over 67% of millennials say that they prefer to use brands that are sustainable.
Combine this with the fact that single-use plastics and petroleum-based materials account for up to 96% of landfill worldwide, and you can see the role that your packaging has to play.
Sustainable packaging is now the norm, not a 'nice to have'.
But luckily, implementing sustainable packaging doesn't mean using cutting edge materials technology, or changing each and every one of your packaging supplies.
It may very well mean just certifying your existing materials, or using less of them where you can.
The FSC certification is a globally recognised symbol that tells consumers and producers alike that this paper, wood or other pulp product comes from a renewable and ethically harvested source.
Other certifications like 'One Tree Planted' take a step further and show how trees are planted to offset the consumption of this specific product.
Long story short, recyclable paper pulp, or cardboard, is one of the best, cheapest and easy to implement forms of sustainable packaging on the market.
The natural texture of the cardboard complements the design of many 'sustainable brands' with brown often being a part of an 'eco' colour palette.
If cardboard isn't an option for your brand, look at a plant-based poly mailer.
These mailing bags are alternatives to traditional polythene mailing bags, but rather than being made from oil-based materials, they're made from plant products - usually corn, beetroot or carrot leftovers.
Not only are they made from plant-based materials, they're also stuck together with an organic adhesive which means that the entire bag (including the ink) is biodegradable.
Sometimes a box is a box, and it's not all that eyecatching.
But it's not hard to make that bland square a totally different shape or give it some form of unique design to make it pop.
Sometimes, a box isn't needed at all.
Selling small jewellery, clothing accessories, teas or other sweets? Try a paper can with a metal lid. The cylindrical shape is one that's always going to be used again by your customer.
As a small business, you've spent a lot of time creating your logo, your brand book, your typography, your tone of voice and many many other ways to communicate.
This 'branding' is on your website. It's on your Facebook and Instagram pages. It's on transactional emails, receipts, storefronts, letterheads and newsletters.
So put it on your packaging.
Branded boxes are a great way to tell your customer that they're holding something that a business takes ownership of.
Branded packaging isn't about the product, it's about your brand that stands behind the product.
It can be small and subtle like Koti
Or loud and in your face like We Are Knitters.
But putting your brand into your packaging shows that you care about your brand and the products that it sells.
It's not hard to find your average packaging ideas, but finding ideas that your brand can implement is a little harder.
No matter your budget, some of the thoughts put forward in the above article are ones that can help you create a better form of packaging for your brand.