6 package design tips you probably haven’t heard before

By Shane Breault in Packaging Design on July 30, 2019

Finding real estate on your package for real engagement with customers just takes a little creative thinking…and some pointers from someone who’s been there, done that.


For those who make their creative contributions via the written word, package design often feels like that velvet roped off club you can’t get into.

Packaging purists want to simplify in the name of clean design. Understandably, the notion of adding more elements feels counterintuitive. But then again, there’s also the old adage that content is king.

So somewhere in the full, 360 brand experience, you’ve gotta pick your spots.

This isn’t a calling to carve out more space for the classic back panel romance copy or origin story. It’s more about surprising and delighting your consumer in a way only your brand can and in places you perhaps haven’t considered much in the past. 


1. Start from the bottom up

The bottom of the package isn’t always top of mind. But you never know how it’ll be shelved at home. For Lucky Charms, it was a chance to share magical good fortune. With Rocky Mountain Provisions, it was about inspiring a natural connection with the outdoors (see image at top of page).


2. Give ’em your best opening line

Does a tear strip have to say open here, or can convey the same in a more interesting way? For Blue Bunny, it became an opportunity build anticipation with “pull slowly, drumroll please.”


3. Blow the lid off

With Chilly Cow, a bodacious brand statement became a compelling design element. On the flipside, under the lid can also be a good spot for a joke punchline or riddle reveal.


4. Stick or schtick?

Why throw away a chance to add a little joy? When dropped, a frozen confection stick could suddenly become “an ant bridge to paradise” or “a squirrel’s kayak paddle.”


5. Crack the code

If the barcode is a packaging mandate, you might as well have some blippin’ fun with it. The idea of infusing design into a barcode isn’t entirely new, but when done right, it can be a clever way to celebrate a key point of differentiation like we did here with PopCorners.


6. Deliver the goods

If your product is shipped, consider the outer box as another chance to bring your brand personality right to their front door. The brand experience begins the moment the package is in their hands. First impressions matter. Make it count.



MinnPack 2019 (Oct. 23-24; Minneapolis) is where serious packaging professionals find technologies, education and connections needed to thrive in today’s advanced manufacturing community. See solutions in labeling, food packaging, package design and beyond. Attend free expert-led sessions at multiple theaters around the expo.


Shane Breault

Shane Breault is vp/partner/creative director at Ultra Creative Inc. in Minneapolis. He has more than 25 years of brand experience with clients like Amazon, Foster Farms, General Mills, Heinz, Hershey’s, Jack Links, Land O’ Lakes, Miller/Coors and Wells Dairy Enterprises.

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