If your product is set to be sat on a shelf crammed with competitors, you want it to stand out. A label or packaging that grabs attention, but also tells your brand story, is key if it’s to catch the eyes of consumers.
The design process is as important as the packaging itself, so here are some tips to help small business owners get it right.
Laura McLeod, senior marketing manager for Europe at online design marketplace, 99designs, says that, before anything else, remind yourself of the product that the packaging will adorn. Ask yourself: who’s buying it, where and how? “These answers will focus your mind on the brief that you pass onto a designer,” she says.
Badly-written briefs result in unwanted designs, which wastes everyone’s time.
Kamil Shah, co-founder at olive oil company, Olive Branch, says that knowing the environment in which the product will be sold is particularly important. “If you're targeting delicatessens and farm shops, consumers tend to spend more time browsing and will look for something that tells more of a story,” he says.
So you might want to find room on the product for things such as the company’s history, serving suggestions or social media accounts.
Supermarket shoppers, however, are often rushing around, he explains, so labels should be bold and say what it needs to say in few words.
Choosing the right talent
Julian Abel, managing director at pasta and pizza sauce brand,
The Nowt Poncy Food Company, reminds business owners to search out commercial printing companies with experience in your sector.
“Find out about the various options – digital printing, offset printing and so on – and ask about print run size,” he says. “Most firms will send samples of their work.”
Get multiple quotes, he adds; it’s a competitive market and prices can vary greatly. “A big office doesn’t always mean that a designer or printer has the best ideas,” he says. “Consider freelancers and go by recommendations from other people.”
When it comes to selecting a printing company or designer, ask lots of questions, he adds. The designers that worked with Nowt Poncy listened to precisely what he wanted, took lots of notes about its brand story and considered the company name, before returning a dozen different mock-ups for its signature sauce.
But always keep in mind your vision for the product, adds Mr Shah. “It’s easy to get led in lots of different directions, but you’re the captain of the ship, so make sure that the people with whom you’re collaborating stick to the brief.”
Wajeeha Husain, founder of chocolate company, Chocolateeha, reminds business owners to keep an eye on the costs – and negotiate for everything.
“Our goal was not to spend more than 30p on some high-quality, premium packaging,” she explains. “We were initially quoted £1 a unit for 1,000 units, but negotiated to bring the cost down by ordering 5,000 units instead.”
Join everything up
When it comes to the process of producing the packaging, Ms McLeod says that an open and regular dialogue with a printing company is essential. “Ask them specifically what they need: file format requirements, dielines and colour options. Don’t be put off [by the technical jargon]; it’s not as scary as it first seems.”
Pass that information onto your designer in good time, and you should be able to get ready-to-go packaging or label files at the end of the process, she says, adding that good organisation speeds up the process, saves money and makes for very happy designers and printers.
Consider any legal obligations
Don’t forget that a label must conform to regulations for your sector in respect of font size, readability, barcodes and so on.
In the food sector, for example, there’s a minimum font size of eight points, and you can’t use a decorative font for the mandatory nutritional and ingredient information, says Mr Abel. “Everything else is secondary, so if there isn’t enough room, increase the label size or reduce your product description.”
It’s a complicated area and easy to fall foul, so if you’re unsure, get an expert to check for you, he suggests.
Original article on The Telegraph.