Packaging concepts and considerations
There are three potential components of product packaging: outer packaging, inner packaging and product packaging. Your product may require one, two, or all three of these.
Outer packaging is the first thing a customer is going to see. It’s what protects your product from the outside world. Some examples: a box, cannister, or other container in which the product is shipped.
Inner packaging is what keeps your product safe within the outer packaging. This might as simple as a sealed bag, packing peanuts or tissue paper, or it might be more complicated, such as a molded container in which your product securely rests. The goal of inner packaging is to prevent your product from being broken, scuffed or otherwise damaged before the package is open.
Product packaging is the last layer of packaging before getting to your product: the box containing your item, the label on your bottle, the tag on your garment, the wrapper around the food.
Each one of these layers of packaging gives you a chance to consistently tell a part of your story.
Packaging design budgets break down into two categories:
One-time costs include the original design work, dielines, purchasing a stamp, creating your print-ready files, etc. These are your up-front costs, and typically are incurred only once as you create your packaging.
Per-item costs are the costs you incur as you actually produce your packaging. Each box, label, and/or any other component will cost a certain amount, depending on variables such as quantity printed.
You’ll want to have a ballpark idea of how much you’d like to spend early in the design process. Keep in mind that cheaper isn’t necessarily better; paying a little more for better materials, more colors, etc. could position your product for success and help you better compete in the marketplace.