Packaging Design : What should prepare to be a packaging designer for food company?

Hello there,
thanks for give me a chance for ask in here. This time i wanna ask you guys who have more experiences in " packaging design ". I was join to be a packaging designer ( amateur ) in manufacture company. When i start work in here i’m little confused about the work flow and how my team work, because we are working without used any valid data about consumer demographic and content data for our consumer in this era. We just imagine how our design will work when our consumer use them ( our packaging ). For me its all little bit confusing because i just make a " beautiful design " without care about our consumer need, but just based on our " owner taste ". For long this time i made some designs i’m always did research about consumer needs or clients needs. So i wanna to ask you to you guys, are we need to find data about consumer or just working like this ? what should i do when working on the company like this?

thank you guys, your answer will help me and other designer in this world : )

  1. Create a paper trail. Always keep a record of communication between you and your client (your owner, in this case).

  2. Check for any and all government regulations pertaining to your product, plus all other elements that have to go on the packaging.

  3. Then start the design process.

Hello Eriskay,

Thanks for your answer, i agree with your opInion. From the point 1 until 3 i have did that, but the problem is in my company we dont have any data about consumer needs, so sometimes we are wasting more time to trial our packaging and the graphic. Maybe you have advice for this case?

thank you : )

Clients can be difficult to work with — especially those who think their gut instincts are better than evidence. Their hunches and experience are absolutely important to consider, of course, since clients know more about their products and audiences that we, as designer do. But clients can also be too close to the problem to recognize other, better ideas.

You’re right, market research is important. Sometimes the budget just isn’t there for it, but it can be done fairly inexpensively through informal focus groups, A|B testing and simulated purchase situations.

When a company invests millions into a product while ignoring the importance of packaging or going on gut hunches from the CEO about it, it’s a recipe for an expensive disaster that could often have been avoided with even just a little unbiased research.

Dammit, JB, you beat me to it … again! Agreed, agreed, and agreed.

1 Like

This isn’t a packaging story, but it’s of a similar nature and on my mind since it happened not too long ago.

We hired a polling/market research company to investigate why people weren’t buying a client product that really should be selling.

The results of the study were unambiguous, a solid target base existed, but the product was being positioned to appeal to a group who had aged out of it being important to them.

We made some recommendations and were well into moving ahead with a campaign when a late-night phone call from the CEO happened. He was worried about it and, despite all the research indicating otherwise, his gut instincts told him that people weren’t buying the product because they thought they might have to drive too far to get it.

Like, what? This was totally wacky since this concern hadn’t even registered as a blip in the study. Anyway, he insisted the entire campaign be shifted to one of telling people that the product was available closer than they thought. We argued back, but he wouldn’t back down.

Predictably, the campaign was a flop. Sales remained totally flat. Now, somehow, its become our fault (in his mind) for not doing a better job in implementing his bad idea.

Hello Just-B,

your answer really helpful. Yeah i agree with your opinion and like what you say is still happen in my company. They just focus more budget for product, until they’re forget about to keep quality about the packaging ( branding, content messages, packaging function, etc ). But the owner push us to make the packaging keep look good ( keep look luxury ) and can save the product until to consumer. So what should i do for this case ?

Thank you : )

Are you in a position to make an argument that doing a little research and testing is worth the money? The research might very well confirm his or her opinions, but if it doesn’t he’ll be in a better position to make informed decisions, sell more stuff and make more money.

Investments of any kind, whether in time or money, should not be undertaken without some investigation. People don’t just jump in their cars and drive for two or three days in the general direction of their destination without having done some research into which roads to take.

If the person in charge at your company is an intelligent person open to new ideas, the logic of similar research into what packaging will best achieve the desired goals in the most cost-effective way should be obvious.

no i’m not working it just for find some money, but for make efficient in work flow. Because when we are dont have any data we will need more energy and time just make some mock ups and debated every week without any good solution. But from your answer i’ve got the point it was " make a good mock up and try to consumer ( simulation ) " for cheap and easy to get more data about audiences. Yeah my company still have any problem especially at Manager, just need fast without care about good problem solving. But thanks Just-B for helping me.

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