Resources for Packaging Designers

To help unlock your full potential as a packaging designer (and the full potential of your future packaging designs) we compiled some of our favorite resources that will inspire, inform and guide you as a professional. From the top packaging design and industry news sources to a roundup of packaging design studies and reports, these resources are intended to take your designs and your career to the next level.

Packaging Design and Industry News

Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest has been the Voice of the Packaging Community since 1963. Packaging Digest delivers news, trends, best practices and new technologies to packaging executives, engineers and designers at end-user companies in a variety of markets.

Some of our favorite design-related content from Packaging Digest includes:

BRANDPACKAGING

BRANDPACKAGING covers brand strategy, development, packaging innovations and trends, and is the only publication entirely focused on CPG branding through packaging. Their audience is influential marketing, design and executive decision makers who work at the earliest stages of new packaging, where materials are discussed and where supplier input can have an impact on the final package itself.

Some of our favorite design-related content from BRANDPACKAGING:

Packaging Strategies

Packaging Strategies magazine identifies and analyzes the trends, solutions and innovations for consumer packaged goods processors responsible for food, beverage, household, medical and pharmaceutical packaging. timely, fresh and relevant articles show how companies can use packaging for a competitive advantage by improving shelf impact through package design, or operational efficiencies.

Some of our favorite design-related content from Packaging Strategies:

Sustainable Packaging Design Resources

Sustainability Checklist for Structural Package Designers

Prepared by PAC Packaging Consortium to provide a quick sustainability reference guide for packaging designers to make more educated decisions about packaging sustainability, including emphasizing the importance of a Circular Economy.

Design Guide for Plastics Recyclability

Prepared by the Association of Plastic Recyclers, this guide is a quick reference for package designers and engineers who work with PET, polyethylene, and polypropylene bottles and containers.

PAC NEXT Packaging Evaluation Decision Tree

Developed by PAC NEXT to assist packaging designers, engineers and manufacturer identify the impact of packaging materials, including paperboard, glass, steel, aluminum and plastic.

Comparative Packaging Assessment Tool (COMPASS)

The Comparative Packaging Assessment tool (COMPASS) was developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to help packaging designers, engineers and decision-makers incorporate environmental performance criteria in the earliest stages of packaging development.

Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool (PIQET)

PIQET is a streamlined LCA tool designed to assess the environmental impacts and resource consumption profiles of different packaging options. PIQET also allows for the continuous assessment of packaging and product designs from concept to launch.

PackageSmart

This cloud-based LCA application features built-in parametric modeling for evaluation of different scenarios, assumptions and comparisons of as-built designs to new iterations, to help packaging designers identify and isolate areas of environmental impact environment.

Packaging Design Education and Professional Development

Master of Science in Package Design – Pratt Institute

The M.S. in Package Design is an initial master’s degree that offers students structured courses on the decision-making process for new product and package development, featuring direction in package design, typography, brand development, marketing, structural packaging, packaging technology, fragrance packaging and the business aspects of the package industry.

Graduate-level packaging certificate programs are also available from the following universities:

Packaging360 Leadership Course

Packaging360 Leadership is an advanced-level course that shows packaging professionals how to think about packaging as an integrated system that supports business objectives. Learn to go beyond the traditional thinking of packaging as a tactical function. This online course is ideal for learning how packaging is a strategic asset that enables your company to become a leader in its industry.

Certificate of Packaging Science – The Packaging School

The Certificate of Packaging Science is a one-year online program that teaches the materials, processes, and influences shaping the advancement of the industry. From design conception to production and end-of-life, learn how to speak the language of packaging and utilize it as a key differentiator for you and your company.

The Packaging School also offers individual courses on packaging design, including:

FIRST Prepress Operator Certification

FIRST Prepress Operator Certification creates experts in the field of flexographic prepress (graphics) operations. This expert prepress professional excels in graphic file assembly, preparation and management, image capture, process color calibration, and measuring and controlling print variables throughout the entire workflow.

Learn about other top packaging certifications for packaging professionals.

Packaging Trends, Studies and Reports

Key Packaging Trends

We examined some of the key trends affecting packaging decisions worldwide—specifically in the areas of sustainability, e-commerce and purposeful packaging. Download your copy today and gain valuable insights into these major packaging trends that may affect how you approach packaging design.

2019 Food and Beverage Trends (Evergreen Packaging)

Evergreen Packaging released a white paper forecasting key trends that will shape the U.S. food and beverage industries in the year ahead. Evergreen Packaging has identified opportunities for healthy food and beverage brands and retailers related to packaging innovation. These innovation challenges call for packaging to work harder to protest freshness, align with ingredients, share value and be responsible.

2018 State of Industry Report (BRAND Packaging)

According to a recent survey of BRAND Packaging readers, companies plan to invest more resources in packaging-related design, marketing and materials this calendar year. The poll garnered responses from accomplished professionals with key roles in a variety of consumer packaged goods sectors. Seventy-six percent of survey participants have more than 10 years of industry experience and work in a cross-section of packaging sectors including development, design, sales, engineering and logistics.

Packaging Design Elements and Users Perception

The product packaging has a crucial role to attract consumer, force them to choose the product and act as a brand communication vehicle. The point of focus is how the elements of the package design affect consumer perceptions about products and brand. In this study, researchers from the National Institute of Fashion Technology collected data through a questionnaire that covered areas such as design elements of the package (size, shape, material, graphic design of package, typography, images and pictures), user’s perception (attention, purchase and repurchase) and their experience (feelings evoked and functional benefits).

Packaging Sells: Innovation Best Practices Report

To quantify the impact of package design on revenue and other key metrics, Nielsen recently compared the expected performance of optimized redesign concepts to that of current in-market packaging. The "Packaging Sells" report provides more detail on Nielsen's testing approach and its return on investment. In addition, the report covers the impact of design testing on consumer preference and shelf stand out, as well as its average return on investment.

ALL4PACK 2018 European Study

This report written by Fabrice Peltier, designer and consultant for ALL4PACK Paris 2018, offers an analysis of the contributions of the designers, together with insight from its author. It defines the four challenges for society that lie ahead for the European population, and more broadly for the human race, in the coming 30 years and aims to help readers gain a better understanding of the type of revolution that awaits packaging in 21st-century.

Designing a Premium Package: Some Guidelines for Designers and Marketers

Because a premium image is critically important for many brands in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) categories, it’s important for designers to have a comprehensive understanding of the package characteristics that can evoke such a premium perception. In two studies using water and chocolate as product categories, researchers from Delft University of Technology demonstrate that designers should consider four premium cues (extraordinary differentiation, high quality of packaging materials, minimalistic design and authenticity) as important guidelines when designing a premium packaging.

Is Your Packaging Designed for Distribution?

Packaging designed with the supply chain in mind can result in significant savings. At BillerudKorsnäs, our focus on designing distribution-ready packaging solutions and processes is what sets us apart, and what drives millions of dollars in operational savings for the brands we work with.

Find out how our expertise can support and guide your packaging design efforts.