What makes people pick you up off the shelf?

The influence of packaging design on branding and on our every purchase is insane.

From the smallest of details to the shape of the box, anything that seems out of place can really be a turn-off for most customers.

It’s not worth losing out on business due to some easily fixable issues.

Role of Packaging in Branding

We are very visually driven creatures: If something looks nice, we’re far more likely to associate with it.

Aesthetics drive sales, especially when first impressions take up a split second in our minds, and we move on to the next.

1. Design.

The colours, graphics and overall design of your packaging are how you attract your target audience.

Any eye-catching visual can get attention, regardless of your marketing materials.

2. Standing Out.

Be unique and follow through with design ideas that are a little “out there”.

Memorable logos, distinctive colour schemes and recognisable packaging design can help shape your brand’s iconic status.

If people can remember what your packaging looks like, you’re more likely to have increased brand recall and awareness.

3. Communication.

The best packaging speaks for itself.

It subconsciously conveys the values, messages and narratives that are the driving forces for your brand identity.

4. Emotion.

Whether it’s nostalgia, excitement, or a sense of luxury, the right design can create a profound emotional connection between the consumer and the brand.

Packaging can sway customer loyalty and repeat purchases.

Think back to a time when your favourite brand changed logo and packaging, did you still buy it immediately, or did you have to think about it first?

Elements of Effective Packaging Design

The influence of packaging design on branding is powerful and shouldn’t be underestimated at all.

Let’s get into the core elements that make packaging design truly impactful.

  1. Strategic Aesthetics: Packaging’s visual allure acts as the initial magnet, guiding consumers towards a product.
  2. Consistent Brand Imagery: Consistency in logos, colour schemes, and visual elements creates a cohesive and easily recognisable brand identity.
  3. Practical Design: User-friendly designs make the product accessible, easy to open, and convenient to store, enhancing the overall customer experience.
  4. Protection and Preservation: Effective designs ensure the product reaches the consumer in pristine condition, cultivating trust in the brand.
  5. Recognisable Branding: People should be able to identify a product as belonging to a particular brand, even before reading any text or examining the contents.
  6. Harmonising Elements: A harmonised approach makes sure each product aligns with the brand’s established identity, from packaging materials to typography.
  7. Narrative Elements: Imagery, symbols, and even the choice of materials contribute to a narrative that communicates the essence and values of the brand to the consumer.
  8. Emotional Connection: Evocative imagery and a nostalgic colour palette, packaging can resonate with consumers on a deeper, emotional level.

Consumer Psychology and the Influence of Packaging Design on Branding


Psychological Impact: Colours carry inherent meanings, capable of evoking specific emotions. Warm tones like red may convey passion, while cooler blues evoke calmness. Strategic colour choices allow designers to elicit desired emotional responses.

Cultural Nuances: Colours also carry cultural significance, their interpretations varying across societies. Navigating these nuances ensures colour choices resonate positively with diverse audiences.


Subconscious Associations: Shapes integrated into packaging design trigger subconscious associations. Rounded shapes may convey comfort and friendliness, while sharp angles might evoke a perception of edginess or modernity.

Product Imagery: Packaging shapes can provide visual cues about the product itself. Sleek and elongated packaging might suggest a premium product, while compact and sturdy shapes could imply durability or convenience.


Font Personality: Serif fonts project tradition and reliability, while sans-serif fonts suggest modernity and simplicity. Selecting the right font aligns with the brand’s identity and communicates its values.

Readability and Impact: The legibility of text on packaging is paramount. A clear, readable font ensures quick absorption of essential information, fostering a positive interaction with the product.

Emotional Connection:

Personalisation: Understanding consumer psychology allows brands to personalise packaging designs, aligning with the preferences and values of the intended audience.

Brand Storytelling: Using psychological elements allows brands to create narratives that evoke emotions, allowing consumers to connect with the brand on a deeper level beyond the product’s functional aspects.

Trends in Packaging

  1. Sustainable Packaging Practices: Brands are adopting materials that are recyclable, biodegradable, or made from renewable resources, reflecting a commitment to sustainability.
  2. Minimalism and Simplicity: Less is more. This trend not only conveys a sense of modernity but also aligns with the growing consumer preference for straightforward, clutter-free aesthetics.
  3. Personalisation and Customisation: Packaging is becoming a canvas for personalisation. Brands are using new technology to create customised packaging that resonates with individual consumers.
  4. Innovative Materials and Structures: From unconventional textures to interactive packaging, brands are experimenting with innovative elements to captivate consumer attention and create memorable experiences.
  5. Bold Typography and Colours: Vibrant and unconventional colour choices are also gaining popularity, adding a dynamic and energetic touch to packaging designs.
  6. Augmented Reality (AR) Integration: Consumers can use their phones to unlock additional content, such as product information or interactive games, enhancing engagement.
  7. Storytelling Through Design: Brands are using design elements to narrate their journey, values, and the story behind the product.
  8. Smart Packaging with QR Codes: QR codes are making a comeback, enabling brands to provide consumers with quick access to product information, promotions, or exclusive content.
  9. Geometric Shapes and Patterns: These elements add a layer of sophistication and visual interest, making the product stand out on the shelf and reinforcing brand identity.
  10. Emphasis on Transparency: It now extends to packaging, where brands are adopting clear packaging or providing transparent windows to showcase the product.

Importance of a Consistent Brand Image

Maintaining a consistent brand image is like giving your brand a reliable and familiar face that customers can trust.

It’s not just about looking good; it’s about making your mark in a busy market and building solid connections with your crowd.

When your packaging designs have that consistent vibe, it’s like telling your brand’s story in a way that people get, whether they’re picking up a product from the shelf or scrolling through an online store.

This visual consistency isn’t just about being seen – it’s about creating a friendly, recognisable brand that people can count on.

It’s the secret sauce for standing out, building trust, and making sure your brand stays in the hearts (and shopping carts) of your customers.

Challenges In Using the Influence of Packaging Design on Branding

Navigating the intricate world of packaging design poses a dual challenge for brands, requiring a delicate balance between creative innovation and practical considerations. Here’s a closer look at the hurdles faced:

  • Creativity vs. Practicality: Striking this delicate equilibrium involves overcoming challenges in ensuring that eye-catching designs do not compromise the ease of production and implementation.
  • Logistical Feasibility: The challenge becomes pronounced as brands seek to create packaging that not only captivates consumers but is also logistically feasible.

Adapting to the ever-shifting landscape of consumer preferences and market trends further complicates the equation:

  • Dynamic Market Trends: As consumer preferences evolve, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. Brands must remain agile, anticipating and responding to dynamic shifts in the market to stay relevant.
  • Sustainability Demands: This not only aligns with changing consumer values but also poses the task of integrating sustainable materials without compromising the visual appeal or functionality of the packaging.

It’s a fine dance where creativity meets functionality, and the ability to synchronise these elements becomes a cornerstone for success in the competitive arena of packaging design.

These challenges underscore the importance of strategic thinking, adaptability, and a keen understanding of the dynamic interplay between creativity and practicality in the ever-evolving landscape of consumer goods.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the influence of packaging design on branding is super useful when it comes to developing any kind of branding strategy.

On one side, you’ve got the urge to unleash your creative genius and make your product pop on the shelf.

On the other side, there’s the practical reality of getting that design from the drawing board to the production line without turning it into a logistical nightmare.

Here at Toast, we can give you the best of both worlds.

Get in touch today for a chat, and we’ll pull the limo out front.

Do you need help with your branding?

If you would like to discuss your branding, logo or identity project, call us on 01295 266644 or complete the form.