Packaging Design: Expert Tips for Containers and Boxes

Are you planning to develop and design the packaging of your product? Below, we give you some basic recommendations from experts in two basic models of packaging: containers and boxes.


To keep his troops fed during the war between France and Russia (1810-1815), Napoleon I offered a prize for anyone who created a method of food preservation. The winner was Nicolás Appert, who designed a glass bottle covered with cork, secured with wire and sealed with wax, then subjected to heat. This is how the packaging industry was born, in 1810.

A container serves to maintain its contents in good condition. Therefore, the following properties must be foreseen: barrier, hermeticity, optics, mechanics, and if it is thermal. The materials depend on the level of security required and environmental needs.

Industry experts highlight two trends worth noting:

  • Biodegradable packaging. There are degradable polyolefins – derived from petroleum and adaptable to thermoplastic technologies, composites – mixtures of synthetic polymers – and biopolymers – obtained from renewable resources.

The choice of biodegradable materials and inks is the way a designer can take a responsible position.

  • Active and intelligent packaging. Active packaging produces a change in the state of the packaged product to prolong its useful life, improve hygiene conditions and provide barriers between the product and the environment. Intelligent packaging uses properties or components of the food or packaging material, as indicators of the history and quality of the product.

The objectives of emerging technologies are to give the product a longer life, generate less energy expenditure and be friendly to the environment.

Remember that appealing to functional attributes is not enough. Innovation tends to incorporate new packaging models, but the sale focuses on visual competence, impact and the ability to create a sensorial culture towards the customer. A brand can stand out for its iconography and quality in the presentation.


The most common material in this packaging model is cardboard and the most popular form is the cube. The first thing you have to do is decide where you will concentrate the creativity of your packaging: in graphic design or in volumetric composition.

The box is such a normal package that graphic design is everything in terms of distinguishing it. Even the quality of the material is not as relevant as the execution of the design to take advantage of its virtues and visual effectiveness.

The basic design elements

Logo. Since the logo will be the business card of your business, the first “face” that the public sees and the one that will identify you inside and outside your facilities, you have to dedicate enough time and effort to find the characteristics that project your brand. To do this, you must choose a type of logo, evaluate the images of the competition, the colours, and the applications that you will make of the logo in different spaces, etc.

Typography. A typeface must represent the qualities of the brand. Its possibilities range from a simple chromatic range to an exclusive creation that relates only to your brand. This allows easy identification by users.

Product shot or illustration. The image that serves as proof of the quality of a product needs to be consistent with the experience it sells to the consumer. The type of emotions and intellectual incitement the product aims to project must be matched by the photograph or the illustrations that accompany your packaging.

Colour combination. The colour palette is a catalogue of moods that will facilitate the sale of a brand. It is best not to use more than three when building a visual identity of your brand, as it is easier to remember the visual characteristics of your business.

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