The Essential Guide: Designing Your Custom Product Packaging

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One of the most important decisions you need to make as a brand owner hinges on great design. Remarkable packaging not only establishes your brand—this also helps you stay top-of-mind. All that said, creating your unique and marked custom product packaging is no easy feat.

We live in a world that places a premium on visual appeal. This leads to a need for attractive packaging and memorable product labels.

How can you ensure you get the best results when designing your product bags and product labels? Read on to discover how.

Preparation is key to achieve your particular vision for your custom printed packaging or custom printed labels.

The first important step you must do when creating your product packaging? Outline all the essential factors to consider. Start by deciding and then finalizing basic information such as:


The shape and size of your custom labels will largely depend on the size of your product’s custom bags or boxes. The size of your product packaging (box or other rigid container) will depend on your packaging style. This then depends on your product’s size, if you are adding wiggle room or need to package to size.


Your final product packaging aesthetic is a powerful visual cue. This alone can set you apart from the competition.

Using clear labels on clear containers will highlight the color and texture of the contents that they should feature. Most often, format also identifies your type of product. For example: Bags with spouts are telling of liquid content, and boxes cushion more fragile items.


The narrative you choose should reinforce your brand’s identity. Injecting story elements, both on the actual packaging or via a specific unboxing ritual, engages customers over time.

Sharing the reason for making the product instead of only focusing on the product’s features will help your customers relate to your brand on a more personal and emotional level.

In your brand story, talk about your business, its practices, processes, and how what you stand for and offer differs from your competitors.

TIP: By now, you will have had an intimate understanding of your product. Compile all the necessary information that must appear on your packaging. Since this information is the foundation of the content of your design, it helps to have it at hand for quick reference. Include keywords and identifiers in your custom bag design and custom label artwork.

After setting the fundamentals in place, align your design with your target market.

Your aim is to clarify details about your ideal customers. Alongside this is benchmarking your potential competitors.


Your custom packaging should capture your potential customers’ attention and present details that resonate with them. For example, use words, phrases, and vernacular that your target audience uses to increase their affinity with your brand.


There’s no better way to gain insights to differentiate yourself in the market than to benchmark your competitors. Don’t copy the style of existing brands—remember, you want to secure a unique brand and product image.

You can also use customer reviews about your competitors’ current product packaging formats. Use the insights to come up with innovative and creative solutions.


Research is as easy as looking at similar products in the local store, market, or doing online data analysis of your competitors.

Conducting research allows you to get valuable information about product perception and value. Use data to design and create remarkable product labels, custom product bags or boxes.

TIP: Creative block hindering progress? Looking at design concepts of products you admire can help you define your ideal packaging design. Don’t confine yourself to your market. You can definitely draw inspiration for innovative packaging design from a different industry.


Before starting on your layout, get everything ready. Complete necessary materials to use on your custom packaging:

  • Your brand story
  • Insights from your research
  • All legal information, if applicable
  • Your product specifications (size, weight, flavor or variant, other supporting information)
  • Design swipe files and notes (or a mood board)
  • Chosen material to use for your product packaging (custom bag, custom product label, et al)
  • Special packaging considerations for your specific product
  • Final dimensions of your custom bag or custom label

To make the design process for your product packaging easier, start with the position of your product name, business name, or brand name. This should be very identifiable and visually captivating to your customer.

After the anchor pieces, add the other necessary information. Make changes depending on the reading hierarchy. Use font size, color, shapes, borders, and other design elements. *If your products contain more than two ingredients and are edible, include a Nutrition Facts table in the correct format as specified by the FDA.

Don’t forget to leave room for your products’ UPC barcode on your product packaging design. If you do not have a UPC barcode, you must get yours through the UNIFORM CODE COUNCIL (UCC).



The fonts on your product packaging design affect the buying behavior of consumers. Your font choices are among the most important tools here. These influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.

For your product name(s), don’t choose typical fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman when designing your custom labels and custom bags. Pick a font that conveys the personality of your product and brand. Buy fonts online, or have a graphic designer create a new font for your brand.


Colors you select for your product packaging can directly influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. Review the following factors when choosing the color palette for your branded packaging:

  • The color of your product’s container or any external packaging;
  • The color palette your competition already uses;
  • The color of the actual product itself (especially if you’re using transparent containers for packaging)

CONSIDER THIS: 85% of consumers say a product’s color is one of the primary reasons they buy a particular product; 93% look at visual appearance when buying a product. When designing your custom packaging, leverage the emotional power colors hold.


  • Inject more personality if your brand story is inspired by a person, an animal, a concept, advocacy, or a place. Customers connect more with personable brands than faceless corporations.
  • More than a means of identification, your packaging is a vehicle for making your products more remarkable. Add representations of an official representative where applicable. For instance, if you are selling dog care products, adding a dog character highlights the significance of dogs while making your brand more personable.
  • Using professional graphics such as illustrations or photographs can go a long way with quick communication and capturing the attention of the market of your product.

Time to Get Started!

Your product packaging goes beyond identifying and containing your products. These are powerful design tools for communicating value with your customers. Follow the manual above to create custom packaging that will strengthen your brand position, attract new customers, and ensure your products stand out the way they deserve.

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About the author

Inkable Label Co. has been designing and producing stunning custom packaging and print marketing materials for over a decade. They are print consultants and providers that print and ship custom labels, bags, tissue paper, packing tape, and other branded collaterals. For a free consultation, you can visit them at

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