Monday, July 5, 2010

I Love Packaging Design

Of all the pieces I have designed since I became a graphic designer, the ones I found the most challenging but the most fulfilling have been in packaging. I find them challenging because of their three-dimensional shape, which requires consideration of all angles. They also need to be carefully considered for their audience and where they will be seen and sold. This can greatly change the typography, form and color. I also find them the most fulfilling because of all their constraints, they can be appreciated for their form and their two-dimensional qualities. They can be touched and experienced and well as looked at and compared to others around them.

I have spoken of packaging many times when teaching design classes and have shown examples of which ones exemplify good design in many ways. Either through their typography, materials, color, concept or a combination, the packaging has been well considered and stands out from others in the same category. I have assembled only a small example of the packaging I am struck by and who or which company designed them.

This green packaging for Puma was created by Yves Behar and the Green Products Innovation Initiative. It displays the Puma brand while using innovative materials and industrial design to create a flexible, earth friendly solution. This link from the Dieline explains in detail how the pieces came together to create this package.

This simple, PANTONE Home Paint Concept was designed by Samy Halim. The design is straightforward and aesthetically pleasing in its concept.

Coca Cola has always been known for their ever constant brand colors, logo and even bottle shape. This fresh approach to the aluminum bottle packaging, design by Turner Duckworth is original, simple graphically, smooth in its shape and yet still recognizable as Coca Cola.

This milk packaging for Schroeder was designed by Capsule here in Minneapolis. The colors stay within the ever present conventions that most people recognize but the main design is experienced through the typography, which I highly appreciate. The typography is also unique because it hugs the edge of the form, creating just the right amount of tension.

The Pangea Organics were designed by IDEO. The look is striking and yet organically minded. The color theme also adds a touch of sophistication to the bottles.

The Thymes packaging always amazes me with its variety but constant softness and freshness. The details and colors are always unique. This Red Cherie version, designed by Minneapolis Duffy & Partners is beautiful in its simple yet sophisticated approach. I especially love the green and red color combination with the stripe for typography.

For an almost completely typographic approach, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products designed by Werner Design Werks is bold and contemporary. It also can be seen at a wide range of stores.

This design is absolutely one of my favorites. It is a concept design created by Anchalee Chambundabongse while she was at BBDO. I cannot say enough about keeping sketches and concept designs. Often through the approval process, the original idea and collaboration can become muddled and lost. Some of the most open and unique design solutions that are created are worth keeping in the beginning of the process. This is an example of Splenda packaging that had a wonderful subdued color palette and retro approach. While the form of the box is not altogether unique, the attention to detail and fine touch make the graphics themselves very compelling.


  1. Great posts, Elizabeth! Not only do you remind me to open my eyes and appreciate the design around me, but you make me miss MSP sooooo much. I am surrounded by nature and love it every minute of every day, but there is nothing like the design present on nearly every street corner in Minneapolis. Best of luck with your ventures, love your work!

  2. I've never seen that Pantone paint before! I'm in love. And while I hate Splenda itself, that is one pretty box. Just imagine how wonderful the world would be if everything was designed this well!

  3. I appreciate all of the information that you have shared. Thank you for the hard work!
    - packaging design boston