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The (common) mistakes to avoid when designing your packaging

Packaging is a value, for your brand and your product. Tell a message, inform and encourage the customer to purchase, protect and preserve the goods you sell: those who follow us know how much we love effective and well-made packaging!

Whether you are a big brand or a small company, when planning and designing the new packaging of your products it is important not to do common mistakes. There are different types of mistakes, some are simple oversights, others more structural errors in communication techniques: in any case they are mistakes that can damage the effectiveness of marketing, the image of the company and - last but not least - the product. .

Today we will give you a little help to avoid making the so-called "blunders". Here is a list of what you should NOT do when designing packaging, with some advice for designing good ones instead.

1.Too many elements for one message… confused

Packaging must communicate a clear and direct message. And it must do it consistent with your brand values ​​and your other products. The message is one: what is your product, or what does the public expect to find inside the packaging?

It seems trivial, but proposing a confused message is one of the most frequent “concept” errors in packaging. Don't misunderstand us: there are many ways to tell this message and creativity is useful and effective. However, you should avoid inserting too many communication elements in the packaging that can disorient the customer: too many images, too much information, too many written elements.

In short, the mantra for good packaging is the evergreen called “less is more”. Get help from professional and experienced graphic designers to design a good image!

2.Use the wrong material for the product

Sometimes we tend to forget it, but the primary function of packaging is to protect and preserve the product. Each type of packaging and each material has unique characteristics that are good for some products and less for others.

Concerning flexible packaging, materials are used to the best of their ability and it is important to choose them well. Aluminum, for example, is particularly suitable when you have to pack products sensitive to light and humidity, such as coffee for example, while the film is also suitable for liquids and allows you to create a window in the pouch to show the product to the public.  Recyclable paper, on the other hand, is a particularly sustainable choice, but not very suitable for liquid products or oil preserved food.

In this article we have carefully explained all the materials of flexible packaging and for which products they are suitable.

3. An old, out of date design

On the shelf, outdated and unintentionally outdated graphics are not a good thing for your brand: it negatively impresses customers and risks associating an old and sloppy image with your brand.

Do not let the design of your packaging "expire", but renew it. You don't have to distort it, but a touch-up and a re-design are needed from time to time. Thanks to digital printing - the technology we use in Packstyle - it is possible to create short runs of packages and update them frequently.

This technology can make your packaging even better. For example, it allows you to surprise the public with seasonal packaging: dedicated, for example, to holidays and special days such as Christmas [our tips here], Valentine's Day or Carnival. Or again: it is possible to carry out market surveys more simply by inserting alternative packaging, printed in limited quantities, on the shelf, so as to evaluate its effectiveness.

4. Oversights in the texts

Image: Flickr/ Quinn Dombrowski [CC BY-SA 2.0]

It's something that happens more frequently in small businesses, but big brands don't have to let their guard down either. Typos in your packaging give a clear message to customers: lack of professionalism and attention. They can therefore damage the image of your band much more than you think.

Always double check your graphic files before sending to print. And if you really missed something ... among the many advantages of digital printing you know that you don’t have to throw away large quantities of packaging in the unfortunate case of an error.

5. Elements that exceed abundance

Here we will go into the technical details, but it is something you have to be very careful about when sending the graphic files to be printed through the Packstyle portal. Important texts and graphics - a logo, a writing, a label - must remain within the area of the safety line, while the rest of the graphics can be inserted up to the margin of abundance.

When printing a packaging, in fact, some marginal parts of a few millimetres can be cut off during the trimming phase of the envelope or assigned to the side and zip seams. If it seems complicated, but don't worry… it's not: Packstyle provides a practical template to start with and a clear tutorial on this issue: “How to set up the file to print Packstyle envelopes”.

6. Misplaced transparent window

Another technical precaution to keep in mind when printing your flexible packaging concerns the positioning of the transparent window. The transparent window enriches the packaging and allows you to show the product inside, a solution particularly suitable for food products.

Be careful not to place the transparent window too low in the envelope or too close to the side sealings: follow the instructions of the Packstyle template and try to position it inside the safety area. In fact, on the edges, there will be a small weld that is used to join the material that creates your flexible packaging, a transparent window too close to the edge risks revealing the weld, resulting not optimal from an aesthetic point of view.

To make a transparent window envelope you can follow our short tutorial.

7. Missing environmental labeling

Last "rule" to follow: do not forget the environmental labeling on your pouches. From September 2020 it is in fact mandatory to put environmental labels on the packaging: a series of information that identifies the type of material from which it is made. From 1 January 2022 it will be mandatory also to add the indications on the separate collection to which the packaging should be destined.

In Italy the label is required for all packaging intended for consumption. On the other hand, pharmaceutical packaging and packaging intended for marketing in other countries of the European Union or for export to third countries are free from the obligation.

If you have any (reasonable) doubts, in our blog we explained which environmental labels should be printed on the packaging.

Are you ready to create creative and effective packaging, without falling into the most common mistakes?


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