PORDUCT PACKAGING DESIGN – Packaging is something we’re bombarded with on a daily basis. So creating an eye-catching packaging design that can be reproduced for years is a real challenge, especially with design trends now demanding biodegradable or renewable packaging.
Luxury Product Packaging Design Ideas
Now more than ever, packaging design matters. The designs below show the direction in which many different industries are focusing their packaging design for years to come.
Halo is an adventurous brewery that takes the traditional recipes of rare styles of beer and experiments with the ingredients. With a taproom and bottle shop that welcome inquisitive visitors, the brewery needed an approachable brand that matched its unconventional sensibilities.
“We created a logo, labels and packaging that use geometric patterns in unexpected colours, resulting in a look that’s energetic, modern and a bit rebellious,” explains Claire Dawson, creative director at Underline Studio, the studio behind the project. “This direction was very intentionally chosen as a way for Halo to stand apart visually in the craft beer space.”
Dawson admits it was a challenge to keep each label unique while still being recognisable as part of a larger system. “But finding abstract ways to graphically represent each of the beers was our favourite part of the project,” she adds.
02. Juice Society
Third-year design student Ryan Hicks was tasked with revamping the visual identity of Austin-based juice bar Juice Society as it expanded into the wholesale market. “They felt that their previous identity was too rustic and gave an outdated reflection of their upbeat spirit,” explains Hicks, adding that the company has a philosophy of promoting realistic balance when it comes to wellness.
“I decided to convey this playful attitude through an ecosystem of whimsical, somewhat scientific iconography that hinted at the juice’s benefits, but provided some element of optimism,” he says. “I also wanted to convey the brand’s unconventional approach to the health realm, so to stand out on refrigerator shelves and catch shoppers’ eyes, I chose to design the labels to be as minimal as possible.”
03. Stefano Sauces
Montreal-based agency lg2 took an original approach to its branding of the first ready-to-eat products from well-known chef Stefano Faita and his partner Michele Forgione. Featuring a jovial, energetic caricature of Faita, the identity gives each sauce a unique typographic treatment – with nutritional and legal information presented in an unusual vertical fashion outside the shape.
“It was a major challenge to differentiate the brand in this type of category, where all brands merge into one,” says David Kessous, creative director at lg2. “The concept’s originality produced a real, appealing identity and packaging that leaps out.”
04. Fierce & Noble
Bristol studio Halo was approached to create a strategy, name, brand identity and packaging for a new craft brewery in St Werburghs, Bristol. The name – Fierce & Noble – represents the brewery team’s fierce independence and respect for the heritage of the craft, while the bold creative, custom type and bespoke patterns reflect the local vibrancy of its location.
“The product needed to jump out on bar and shelf,” explains Halo design director Andy German. “And what with the brewery being in a creative vibrant area of Bristol with other craft breweries in it, it made sense for the building to stand out and be seen. The main pattern for the brand was based around the ampersand we made – my eyes went a bit fuzzy creating this one.”
Musician Beck’s latest album Colors sports a customisable record sleeve created by designers Jimmy Turrell and Steve Stacey. Formed from layers of different die-cut coloured transparencies, the cover can be assembled into a bespoke sleeve by listeners.
“We decided on a route of colour and shape – simple and strong,” explains Turrell, who was art director and video director on the project. “We tried not to set too many restrictions on where we went with this in the initial stages. We started looking at a whole range of things for inspiration – childhood games like Ludo and Connect 4, old VHS and cassette packaging, all the way through to artists like Bridget Riley and Piet Mondrian, and Beck was really open to us experimenting. Seeing it all out there – and the positive feedback it’s been getting – is really satisfying.”
When Québec-based microbrewery Boréale launched a new series of beer, Artisan, it tasked creative agency lg2 with designing the new identity. “The client’s main objective was to restore the brand’s credibility among fans of microbrews,” explains graphic designer Marie-Pier Gilbert. “We had to establish Boréale in a niche segment without detracting from its mass appeal.”
lg2 worked hand-in-hand with the master brewer. For some products, the recipe influenced the artistic direction; in other cases, the reverse happened. “For example, for the Pilsner des Mers, the name and design were developed first, which then inspired the master brewer to give the recipe a salty note,” says Gilbert. “Flexibility and listening were a big part of the teamwork.”
07. Moses Lake Cellars
Thirst is a design agency specialising in the craft drinks industry, and it’s currently exploring new techniques and executions in packaging design as part of its Studio Series. This range of bottle labels for luxury wine brand Moses Lake Cellars was designed to work as a collective on a dinner table.
“We wanted to explore typographic lettering techniques that were bold and youthful, yet still carry the luxurious qualities associated with wine,” says Thirst. To give an extra touch of luxury, the studio used heavy paper stock, and each label is double folded, white onto gold.
08. CS light bulbs
Everyday products such as light bulbs tend to lend themselves to fairly utilitarian packaging, but these, produced by Belarus electrical company CS, boast beautiful boxes that turn the product into an important part of the packaging design.
Designed by Angelina Pischikova, with line illustrations by Anna Orlovskaya, this amazing packaging uses detailed drawings of insects, and the bulbs themselves are paired with certain bugs depending on their shape and size. Long, thin bulbs are stored in dragonfly boxes, while the coiled stripes of an energy saving bulb become the abdomen of a bumble bee.
Located in the heart of Belgrade, Serbia, Dolce is a cake shop that combines traditional techniques with a modern approach. Independent design studio Metaklinika was tasked with creating a range of packaging for the brand. The whimsical result takes inspiration from Baroque aesthetics, and uses iconography based around the theme of Alice in Wonderland.
10. Leafs by Snoop
With cannabis slowly becoming less and less illegal in the USA, cannabis branding is increasingly becoming a thing, complete with packaging to match. Snoop Dogg brought in none other than Pentagram to design the brand identity and packaging for his line of cannabis products: Leafs by Snoop.
Stepping far away from the idea of furtively buying a grubby little bag of greenery, Pentagram’s designs include a distinctive leaf-based logo (including an animated version), luxurious weed boxes and a range of edibles including six chocolate bars and cannabis sweets called, of course, ‘Dogg Treats’.
11. Colour me Blind
For her graduation project at , graphic design student Alexandra Burling wanted to see if it was possible to create an aesthetically appealing packaging design for the visually impaired. Following her research period, she decided to focus on groceries.
“I wanted to give blind people the liberty of doing something so obvious as going down to the supermarket and buying milk,” explains Burling. “The aim was to provoke discussion and pave the way for innovative thinking about how packaging design can appeal to more senses than sight.”
Copenhagen design studio Bessermachen created this frankly beautiful branding and packaging design to reflect the handmade aesthetic of the caramel producing Karamelleriet.
Creating an entirely new visual identity that contains everything from the logo to packaging to display and flyers, Bessermachen has achieved an expression that is caramel production worthy.
13. Allsorts Black and White
Back in 2014, Liquorice Allsorts had a mini facelift from Bond Creative Agency for Cloetta – a leading confectionary company in the Nordic region. The new packaging used the traditional sweets’ distinctive shapes and colours and used them as the basis for a more modern design.
The agency’s recent update for Cloetta’s Black and White edition follows the same theme, but with the colour stripped away. “The silver print and matt finishing give a tasty touch to the functional cardboard box,” says Bond.
14. Spine Vodka
German designer Johannes Schulz created this inspirational packaging for Spine Vodka. “It was a private project I started after my graduation of an international communication design school in Hamburg, Germany,” he explains. “Spine is a high quality product just like the design, reduced and simple with a consciously ‘twist’ in his message and a memorable name fitting to the project.”
Integrated the spine with the ribcage to communicate a product with a ‘backbone’, the uniqe 3D design approach sets it aside from its 2D counterparts. “The transparent glass material stands for a product that doesn’t have to hide something,” Schulz concludes.
15. The Lovely Clinic
London-based creative agency SomeOne created this tactile packaging as part of its branding scheme The Lovely Clinic. Faced with the challenge of branding a beauty client, SomeOne decided it was time to challenge the industry norms. “The beauty sector is awash with images of impossibly beautiful women, who hint that if it wasn’t for a particular brand, they would resemble the back of an elephant rather than a glowing example of perfection,” it points out on its website.
“We centred on the visual theme of paint – globally recognised as a way of either enhancing the existing – or a way of working with basic elements to create something astonishing,” adds senior designer Tom Myers.
US company Brandless has taken minimalism to the extreme by trademarking white space in its range of food and home items. Co-designed with Brooklyn agency Red Antler, each product is made up of a single colour with the white box design dropped on top. The text in the boxes is effectively negative space, and is readable thanks to the colour underneath peeking through.
Interestingly, the lack of identity means that the range can dodge a fee known as Brand Tax, which means Brandless is able to sell all the products at a standard price of $3. Read more about the range here.
After the huge success of its American Summer limited edition bottles, sparkling wine brand Chandon approached London-based agency Butterfly Canon to create a new series of limited edition branding. The sleek design retains the elegance and playfulness of the original concept whilst replacing the ‘Americana’ approach with a more globally recognised nautical theme. This way, European and other non-American customers will further relate to the brand.
Thelma’s is a cookie delivery business run by mother and son, Lana and Dereck Lewis. Each day, they lovingly bake chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles, and deliver them by the dozen, warm in this brilliant oven-inspired packaging design.
“Great-Grandma Thelma grew up in Monroe, Iowa, and was famous for her snickerdoodle cookies,” the agency explains. “In honor of her 108th birthday this year, our client launched Thelma’s – delivering warm cookies to businesses and selling ice cream cookie sandwiches at events. Saturday Mfg helped create the branding from scratch.
19. Nike Air
Nike Air is arguably one of the most popular sneaker designs ever released. Not content with a regular old shoebox, Berlin-based agency Scholz & Friends came up with a brand new, reimagined packaging design for its favourite trainers.
Very much taking the ‘Air’ aspect into account, the team placed the sneakers in an air-tight plastic bag to give the illusion of floating trainers. Highlighting the Air cushioning of the brand, this design also reduces the risk of damage when shipping.
20. Nail packaging
Designer Melissa Archer ‘s project manages to make a boring set of nails look sexy – getting the thumbs up from us. The simple but clever packaging hangs from the user’s belt loop, providing easy access without reaching into a box, bag or pocket and being stabbed. The materials and typography used for the design adds a touch of sophistication and desirability to what would usually be thought of as a pretty mundane object.
Luxury perfumier Penhaligon’s is known for being witty, creative, and quintessentially English. So when creating its gift packaging, independent design agency Jones Knowles Richie took this theme and ran with it. The decadent packaging designs feature offbeat wildlife illustrations, luxurious velvet ribbons, and an unusual colour scheme that mixes jewel tones and golds with pops of bright green and coral.
22. McDonald’s Fries
How about a side of art with your burger? McDonald’s packaging is as recognisable as packaging comes but artist Ben Frost decided to mix things up by drawing some famous faces as well as some pop-culture icons onto the red and yellow box.
23. Phantom Cigar
Here, designer Alex Pabian uses old naval symbols and a minimal design to reinvent the packaging for an exclusive brand of cigars. Alex is a Polish/South African graphic designer and art director, currently based in Miami, Florida. This project involved the redesign of the case, labels and tubes, with a vintage look and feel.
24. Onuma Honey
This offering from Japanese studio Akaoni Design is a bee-utiful example of ‘less is more’ when it comes to packaging. It consists of a small jar, simple stickers and classic brown paper, with an array of sweet coloured stamps to finish it all off. Art direction and design was taken care of by Motoki Koitabashi and it’s clear he knows what’s he doing when it comes to making a striking impact in the aisle.
25. Half Acre beer
You won’t be able to take your eyes off of these label designs created by artist Phineas Jones for speciality Chicago-based brewers Half Acre Beer. After each beer is lovingly crafted, the label is then designed to reflect the inspiration behind the brew. Ranging from cats and robots to donkeys and daisies, the labels are just as delicious as we expect the beer to be.
26. Cervecería Sagrada
While Corona is probably the most recognisable beer exported from Mexico, Cervecería Sagrada is a Mexican craft beer that captures the country’s colourful history and spirit in its label. Designer José Guízar was inspired by Lucha Libre wrestlers, who wear bright masks and have equally colourful personalities.
During the 1950s Lucha Libre were considered folk heroes and starred not only in the wrestling ring, but also in comic books and movies in Mexico. Guízar’s labels recreate the masks of some of the most famous and recognisable wrestlers.
27. REN Skincare
Kangan Arora is a London-based designer with a particular flair for bold textiles and vivid prints. Global skincare brand REN brought Arora in to create Christmas gift packaging to go with the theme ‘little boxes of joy’. The studio created seven different abstract patterns inspired by traditional festive products such as wrapping paper, fairy lights and cosy textiles.
28. Stranger & Stranger Spirit No. 13
Beverage bottle branding guru Stranger & Stranger designed this limited edition holiday give-away liquor that features one of the most detailed labels you will ever see. The Spirit No 13 label just screams vintage and consists of over 500 words. To top it all off, the bottle is presented wrapped in a specially printed piece of newspaper that gives it what they call a ‘moonshine’ feel.
When planning the packaging design for spice blend range TIQLD, Alphabet used humorous illustrations to convey a playful, confident brand identity. The pouches each feature a split design capturing an unexpected combination of objects. “We wanted to bring the idea of making meals more bold and adventurous into the brand imagery.
The structure of the illustrations combines the base ingredient that the spice works with (either meat, fish or veggies) and juxtaposes this with an unexpected abstract element that visualises the story that accompanies the spice blend,” explains Alphabet. “The stories not only represent the bold personality of the brand but also the bold flavours that they create.”
30. Movie-inspired drinks
Created by Woody Harrington for fictional drinks company Pulp Friction this fantastic series of movie-inspired carbonated drinks – with titles such as ‘Dial M for Mango’ and ‘Silence of the Limes’ – is sure to win over the most hardened movie critic. But the fun and games don’t end there, with nifty movie trivia to add to the enjoyment.
31. Flower Garden
Many garden centres give you a plastic bag, which makes little sense as gardening is meant to help not harm the environment. It also usually ends with half the plant’s soil having fallen out. This clever packaging by Milena Włodarczykis made from a single strip of cardboard allows the viewer to check regularly on their new plant and is biodegradable, making the whole purchase carbon-neutral.
32. WFP Paints
This design by Reynolds and Reyner for a small Finnish company takes the ‘does what it says on the tin’ concept to its logical conclusion. This effect is useful for the consumer because ultimately it makes it easier to know what material to use the paint for, and the bright colours also help make the products memorable.
33. NYC Spaghetti
This award winning design from student Alex Creamer takes the simple idea of line creating form in a whole new direction. The bottom of the container contains a replication of the design stemming from the top, which in turn causes the spaghetti lines to be pushed into the shape seen above.
34. Görtz 17: Shoelace Box
Claiming to be the first recyclable shoe bag, which is also 100 per cent biodegradable, this bag from design agency thjink screams innovation. This Görtz bag changes the idea of the shopping bag by getting rid of the awkward plastic handle, introducing tough and stylish shoelaces and replicating the colours of Görtz 17 converse shoes. Best of all, you get a pair of free laces.
35. Two Hoots
Perth based designer Maegen Brown created this packaging design for wine label Two Hoots. Her brief was ‘a new wine collection targeting a young, fun and carefree audience (20-35)’. Each owl character has been designed to match the characteristics of the wine, with their textures and colours lifted from a variety of different trees.
36. Topography of America State Magnets
This stunning example of packaging design was created through a collaboration between Mette Hornung of Bureau of Betterment and Greg Jones of Fifty-Four Forty. The packaging design was inspired by the jigsaw used to assemble each state, with a piece of charcoal coloured chipboard sandwiched between layers of thick cardboard.
To highlight each state’s unique attributes, a small pamphlet with state facts was created with images and notable geographic landmarks.
LA-based multidisciplinary designer Shanti created this delicate packaging design for cosmetic collection Bloom. The product sells itself on celebrating nature by using natural ingredients; an aspect that Shanti’s design taps into. When the owner unhooks the top of the plain white box, the package unfolds to reveal a blooming flower.
38. Pasta La Vista
Created by Andrew Gorkovenko, this packaging design was created for a batch of homemade pastas, which are represented by various illustrations. We love the illustrated chefs as well as the clever opening, showcasing the pasta as hair.
39. Poilu paintbrushes
This excellent example of packaging design comes from Simon Laliberté and offers the function of assembling two paintbrushes together with only one cardboard piece, which is printed on both sides.
The natural hairs of some paintbrushes have been dyed to give the illusion of the moustache and beard combos. The font at the top of the handle is also noteworthy.
40. Minus The Bear: Steel and Blood
The now defunct ACDSleeve was known on the indie music circuit as one of the best packaging design agencies out there. From CDs to vinyl, these guys catered to each band with impeccable design feats that had people buying the record even if they didn’t like the band.
This first cut cover 7in vinyl sleeve for Minus The Bear was made using thicker card than the cut cover CD Slipcase, with the cut cover sleeve designed around a printed inner sleeve from DMS. It was machine cut then handscored, folded, and assembled.
Canadian art director Sophie Pépin drew inspiration from the roots of the Native American nomadic lifestyle for this tea packaging design she calls North American Teapee. The Native American patterns that are placed around the packaging are cleverly torn away to reveal the teabags themselves.
42. Mighty Nuts
This incredible pistachio packaging design was created by student Maija Rozenfelde, when she was still completing her degree in packaging design at Pratt Institute.
She says of the design: “A crucial part of the thought process was to focus on user experience and second function of the package. The main intention was to create graphics that depict the crunchiness of pistachios, that’s where the hand-made type treatment comes in.”
Helvetimart is a Swiss shop that sells specialty food products. For its packaging design, branding heavyweight Anagrama took inspiration from the regional flags of the country’s 26 sovereign states.
“We simplified these flags to create a homogeneous language, using representative elements and colours to develop the labels for the brand’s products and the signage within the store to ease its navigation,” the agency explains.
44. The Great Bonza
When designing the packaging for this Australian wine, Swedish advertising agency United Power wanted to create something cheerful and retro, that also related to the product’s heritage.
“We thought: since the wine is powerful in flavour, and The Great Bonza is a quirky name for a wine – why not use a quirky Australian circus?” says the agency. “The design is playful with a nod to the classic image of the boxing kangaroo. We chose happy and bright colours that are perhaps a little unexpected in the context.”
45. Utopick Chocolates
Based in Valencia, Spain, Lavernia & Cienfuegos is a multidisciplinary design studio specialising in graphic, product and packaging design. When master chocolatier Paco Llopis required a new design and packaging for his products, the team pulled out all the stops. Llopis already had an icon: a ship, to represent the spirit of adventure and hint at the long journey cocoa pods must make to reach the chocolatier.
Lavernia & Cienfuegos opted for an origami version of the ship, a decision that led the theme for the rest of the packaging design. “Utopick package their batches by hand so we created a unique way of folding the paper to wrap the bars,” explains the team. “The paper folds to create two triangles on the front of the design, each with their own colour and texture, personalising every bar.”