How to choose the right packaging designer

packaging designer office

Choosing the right packaging designer is an extremely important decision and can often feel like an overwhelming one. Where do you start? How can you be sure that you’ve made the right decision? What elements do you need to take into consideration? These are all questions you might be asking yourself right now if you’re looking to choose a packaging designer for your product.

The design of your packaging can be make-or-break for the sales of your products. It is also a crucial part of keeping your product safe. In order to ensure that you don’t get damaged stock and that everybody receives their products safely the packaging needs to be designed with this in mind - not just to make it look pretty. The right packaging designer will ultimately design packaging that sells and safely delivers your product.

This is a detail guide to help you choose a packaging designer for your product that will suit all your needs and requirements, sell your product, meet your budget, and deliver you products safely.

So where do you start with finding your packaging designer?

First of all, you need to identify a few things before you go searching for your designer. If you have sorted out what you require from the offset, it will be easier to identify the right packaging designer for you.

Budget

First things first: budget. It is often important to identify your budget before you go searching for a packaging designer. Simply because you don’t want to get really involved with a designer to then find out that they are way, way above your budget.

A design brief

Once you have chosen a packaging designer, or even before, you will be asked to provide a design brief for the product. It can be useful to think about this before you start searching for the right packaging designer because it can help you to identify who might be the right person for the job based on their experience and everything else they have done.

In short, a design brief should include the following elements:

  • An overview of what you company or business does
  • Who your target audience are and what you can say about your market
  • Your goals and aims for the business and the product that you need designing
  • A little bit of information about your competitors
  • A deadline and a budget for the packaging design

Where do you go next?

Once you’ve sorted out your budget and your design brief you will need to start looking at packaging designers and compiling a shortlist of potentials. There are various places you can find packaging designers.

Design agencies

Design agencies can be a great place to find packaging designers for various reasons and are often the go-to for people who want to outsource their packaging design.

Pros of design agencies:

  • They will usually have a large selection of packaging designers to choose from
  • They are often very reliable and trustworthy
  • They will often have a wide range of experience

Cons of design agencies:

  • Costs may not be as flexible as you like depending on the agency

Freelancers

Freelancers can be a great alternative too for various reasons, it depends on you and your company and what you design brief might be. There are multiple sites to find freelancers such as Fiverr and UpWork

Pros of freelance designers:

  • They are often very flexible with timings and budgets etc.
  • You can choose those who have the right experience for your product

Cons of freelance designers:

  • It can be difficult to find a reliable and trustworthy freelancer

What do you need to look at in your potential packaging designers?

Portfolios

All packaging designers will have portfolios with a selection of their past work on. It is crucial that you ask for and look at packaging designers’ portfolios in order to decide and choose the right person or agency for you and your product and/or business.

Retail experience

It is often important for packaging designers to have strong retail experience in order to optimise their design and packaging understanding. This is often overlooked when choosing a designer but can be an important aspect.

Strong strategy and process

It may be useful to look at the process and strategy of designers in order to make a good decision. Their design process and strategy can tell a lot about whether they will be good for your business or not.

Flexibility

Depending on your product and deadlines it might be important for you for your packaging designer to have a certain level of flexibility. Think about this when chatting to potential designers and make sure that you enquire about their timescales etc. if you are working to a tight deadline yourself.

Happy clients

Make sure that the packaging designer has happy clients. Look at customer reviews (on customer review sites not their own website) and establish those with happy customers in the past.

If you’ve got to this point already, well done! Now you need to try and choose the right person or agency for you. Our advice is to make a list of priorities and pros and cons of each designer and then make contact with your shortlist. Get a feel for the person or the business and try and establish whether you can work with them or not. As much as the design and their skills are crucial and absolutely essential to get right, it can also be important to make sure that you can work well with that person.

Finding a packaging designer can be a very challenging and difficult process but if you follow our advice, you should find the right person for your job. Remember that the right person for you is not necessarily the person who charges the most or has the most reviews but the person who is best for you depending on your budget, their portfolio, flexibility etc.

Whilst you’re here, we offer packaging design services. If you want like to find out more about us, get in touch. We have over 20 years of experience and our designers are highly experienced in creating extremely innovative and interesting packaging designs.


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