8 Common Packaging Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


To customers, what’s on the outside matters: 72% of Americans say that product packaging influences their purchases. So while you might have a great product, most will never know it if your packaging fails to leave a good impression.

That’s why you should spend a great deal of time planning and designing packaging when developing your product. After all, a rushed package will likely lead to a product rushed right off the shelves and into the clearance bin.

Read on to learn about eight common packaging design mistakes and what to do instead.

1. The Package Design Is Boring

Simple can be effective. But you’ll still want your product to stand out, and your packaging can help. Packaging should always communicate what is unique and different about your product. When lined up next to the competition on retail shelves, it should be obvious what makes your product and brand special.

You can use packing prints and graphics to grab the attention of consumers. Just be sure that these designs are unique and one-of-a-kind for the best effect.

2. It Doesn’t Protect the Product

Packaging is useful because it can give important information about a product for sale. And while proper marketing is important, don’t let that distract you from the real purpose of packaging: protection. Packaging must effectively protect the products inside. Otherwise, customers will purchase a defective item that they’ll likely return to the store.

Everything from boxed pasta to high-tech gadgets should have proper packaging. Test your packaging to make sure products can survive being dropped, hit, or squeezed between other inventory, without the product breaking.

3. You Ignore Sustainability

Product packaging is one of the top sources of waste, and in particular single-use plastics. When designing your packaging, you have a responsibility to factor in the environment and sustainability.

Eco-friendly packaging is available even for the toughest products. For example, packaging for large products can be wasteful, but there are creative ways to keep plastics to a minimum. Even single-use coffee packaging can be sustainable by using recyclable materials.

No matter what product you’re creating, make sure the packaging takes the earth into account.

4. The Packaging Is Misleading

Packaging should enhance a product, but it should never be misleading. Steer clear of overpromising what’s inside or making superlative claims. Stick to the facts to avoid disappointing customers.

Another common mistake is making a product appear larger than it really is. This often happens when the packaging is (whether intentionally or not) oversized. Some examples include chip bags too large for the few chips actually contained inside and cups with large empty spaces underneath.

5. It’s Hard to Open

Your packaging was appealing enough for a customer to buy it. But once they’re home, they realize it’s nearly impossible to actually open the product. When thinking of packaging design ideas, don’t forget to plan how to open the package. Ideally, packages can be opened without needing scissors or other special tools.

If you can incorporate easy-to-open tabs, zips, or lids, customers will be more likely to purchase the item again and again.

6. The Package Text Has Typos

Most product packaging involves some text, such as a list of ingredients or directions for how to use the product. This text must always be free of typos and errors. Spelling, grammar, and capitalization should always be checked (and then checked again).

Silly mistakes can make a product look amateur and not worthy of consumers’ trust And that means that one tiny punctuation or spelling issue could be enough to destroy your profit.

7. It Hides the Product

While packaging should be protective, it’s more appealing when it doesn’t completely conceal the product. As much as possible, the product should still be visible to the customer. If, for example, a product in a tube is then placed in box packaging, customers won’t know what the product really looks like and what its actual size is.

In this scenario, skip the outer box layer, and limit packaging to the tube only. When this isn’t possible, show a picture of the actual size of the product contained inside on the packaging. That way, customers have an idea of what they’ll receive if they purchase your product.

8. The Text Is Tiny

You probably have a lot to say about your product. And a lot of that information may be helpful in convincing customers to buy your creation. But not everything needs to be expressed on the packaging. When you cram too much text on product packaging, it can look chaotic and overcrowded. To alleviate this, you may then opt for small text, in order to squeeze everything in.

But this, too, is a common mistake. Product packaging should be easy to understand in a short amount of time. Small text requires shoppers to stop and squint just to learn more about your product. And in many cases, if they struggle to read the text, they won’t read it at all.

Only put the most important points about your product on the packaging. What can’t be written can be expressed in other ways, such as through bold colors, decorative images, and effective branding. Avoid These Common Packaging Design Mistakes

You probably have an impressive product on your hands, but customers will never know if it’s covered in the wrong packaging. Avoid these eight common packaging design mistakes, and use our tips to create packaging that’s sure to be a hit with customers.

To continue learning about marketing, product development, and more, check out our latest business articles!

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