Designing for flexible packaging: The art & science

Flexible packaging designs use adaptable materials, such as films, foils and paper that can be converted into pouches, bags, and wraps to create packaging solutions. The flexibility of flexible packaging allows for design, functionality, and sustainability that are often not possible with rigid containers like bottles or cans. There is no doubt that flexible packaging design, with its adaptability, material innovations and focus on sustainability, stands at the forefront of packaging evolution.

The following are the core aspects of flexible packaging design:

Material diversity:

This type of packaging uses different materials, including plastic film, paper, aluminium foil and laminates. With this diversity there are options for developing packaging with a multitude of barrier properties, durability levels and aesthetics.

Adaptability and customisation:

Flexible packaging adapts effortlessly to a range of product shapes and sizes, ensuring a tailored fit. Its adaptable nature improves consumer usability offering the convenience of resealing, different storage solutions for ambient, refrigerated or frozen produce and different cooking methods with ovenable and microwaveable options.

Structural ingenuity:

Films, foils and paper allow greater creative freedom for packaging designers with the ability to include design elements such as spouts, zip locks, seals and handles. As a result, new product introductions are becoming more user-friendly and functional.

Precision print and graphics:

Flexible packaging offers intricate designs, vivid colours and high-resolution graphics. By focusing on print quality, brands can convey detailed product information using captivating visuals.

Sustainability focus:

There’s a marked shift towards eco-friendly flexible packaging. Recyclable, compostable or biodegradable materials are becoming more prevalent, aligning with broader environmental goals.

Functional Excellence:

Easy opening, pouring, dispensing, and resealing are integral to packaging design, enhancing consumer convenience and user experience.

The importance of flexible packaging design

      1. Shelf appeal – well-designed packaging helps products stand out on shelves, increasing visibility, distinguishing them from competitors and making them more memorable. With vivid colours, intriguing graphics and unique structural elements, flexible packaging design will stand out among a sea of products, instantly grabbing the eye of consumers.

      2. Brand Awareness – packaging is an underrated tool for increasing brand awareness. Your logo and other brand elements can be proudly displayed throughout your design. Even if the customer doesn’t buy your product initially, seeing the packaging on the shelves will improve awareness of your brand and help consumers associate it with your other forms of marketing, making them more likely to think of your company next time they shop.

      3. Consumer engagement – you only have a few seconds to grab a consumer’s attention and innovative, bold packaging can help. Consumers love to share images online so innovative packaging design or creative seasonal packaging can get shared far and wide helping to boost consumer engagement. Some manufacturers often include extra details in the design such as web addresses or QR codes that link through to interactive activities on the website.

      4. Product positioning and differentiation – your packaging can inform the consumer, before they even pick up the product, what your product offering is all about. For example, if you’re aiming your products at health-conscious buyers, the combination of colours, typography and imagery you use can convey that you’re a no-nonsense company with healthy ingredients.

Advice for SMEs

Creative consultancy, learning about key design considerations and current packaging trends can be especially useful for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) who might need help getting started with designing packaging for new products.

At Terinex Flexibles, we are masters at helping our customers with creative and functional design for flexible packaging. We provide advice on the best options for optimising the aesthetics and function of your packaging through design and print, to print finishing. We consider your requirements around environmental responsibility to create flexible packaging solutions that meet the diverse needs of today’s consumers while minimising your environmental footprint.

Are you looking to bring your products to life with creative flexible packaging design? Maybe you’re preparing for a seasonal promotion and want some advice on colours and typography? We can help, get in touch today.

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