Good packaging design is about more than good looks. It’s about finding the sweet spot between aesthetics, function, and strategy
We like to think that what makes a good design great goes beyond the aesthetics. Design should include strategic as well as creative thought. In other words, there should be purpose behind the artfulness.
Admit it: When you shop the wine aisle, do you search for the perfect varietal to pair with your dinner, or do you pick the bottle with the most eye-catching artwork? No judgment, here. That’s good design doing its job.
Not long ago, big brands like Tide and Dawn — both owned by parent company Procter & Gamble (P&G) — began offering eco- and shipping-friendly versions of their products, leading to a domino effect of benefits. For e-retailers like Amazon and Walmart, these flatter, less bulky variations free up shelf space and don’t require additional packaging. In turn, P&G saves money on packaging costs, and consumers can purchase products that are more ergonomic and convenient than their in-store counterparts. And of course, there’s less waste.
Tactical packaging has made strides recently in the beverage world, where winery 19 Crimes has outfitted their bottles with augmented reality (AR) activations, while Garçon Wines has introduced flat bottles designed to survive indelicate handling and be cost-efficient at the same time.
Our experiences working with beverage companies have been no different. For example, when working with Houston-area breweries to design new labels and packaging, we had to consider objectives, logistics, and budgets as part of the overall design process. When picking the perfect color palette, for example it’s important to weigh print costs, as one enticing tone may be more expensive for a long-term run. If you’re selling bold, distinct brews that some customers may not be familiar with, then perhaps the bottles themselves should provide educational insights into their contents.