Packaging Design Briefs Checklist (Experts Verified)

Packaging Design Briefs Checklist (Experts Verified) by GoVisually

Have you ever visited the store and admired the packaging – a beautiful box or a stylish bottle that makes you get the product? That is more like it; that must be what the experts mean when they speak of great packaging design! It is, however, not very easy to make the packaging look that amazing, which invariably implies that the packaging works as it should in terms of functionality and branding. Consistently, those who develop packaging must have particular guidelines known as a packaging design brief.

Imagine creating a completely out-of-the-box new business: a juice company. You know it is tasty, delicious, and icy, but how do you design the wrapper to look as fresh and appetizing as possible? Well, that’s where the concept of the packaging design brief comes into the picture!

  • It is a guideline that helps the designers understand what you want in the packaging.
  • It provides information about what color to select for designing outer wrapping, what picture to place, or what words to write on it.

Tools like GoVisually can also help you effortlessly streamline the design review and feedback process, instilling a sense of reassurance and confidence in your ability to manage the design process effectively.

 

What is a Packaging Design Brief?

The packaging design brief is a powerful tool that allows you to communicate your vision to designers, ensuring your product’s packaging is exactly as you envision. It’s like a detailed checklist that guides designers in creating a design that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience.

 

Inside the design brief, you can explain:

  • What your product is
  • Who it’s for
  • It is more appropriate here to specify such things as what colors and logos are to be used
  • There are certain specifications that packaging should adhere to or meet in case there are special considerations

It is a way of providing hints on what the designers can use to create the right, unique packaging for the product.

 

Who can use a Packaging Design Brief?

A packaging design brief is a tool that values your input, whether you are ordering packaging for a large company or starting your own business. It ensures that you get exactly what you want, making you an integral part of the design process.

The packaging brief is targeted towards professionals from the labeling and packaging industry and departments, including:

  • Product Managers
  • Marketing & Branding Professionals
  • CPG Startup Owners

As Jon Morgan illustrates, “If we’re redesigning packaging for an eco-friendly cleaning product, the overview should highlight the brand’s commitment to sustainability and its target audience.”

 

How to Write a Packaging Design Brief? Experts Verified Outline.

At first, writing an efficient packaging design brief may seem like quite a staggering task, but do not worry! Here’s what the professionals want you to know about things that should be included in your design brief. Let’s go through them one by one:

 

1. Project Overview

The designer really wants you to introduce your product and explain why it is awesome. This helps the designers understand what they are doing.

For example, if you invented a new kind of juice box, you could say something like: “My product is a juice box that comes with an in-built straw and a convenient twist-off cap. The juice is made with 100% real fruit and has no added sugar, so it is very healthy and tasty.”

This way, by presenting them with an overview, the designers will understand that your juice box is all about leading a healthy lifestyle, being fun and easy to consume.

As Priyanka Swamy, CEO of Perfect Locks LLC, emphasizes, this section should include a “Product Description” that accurately captures the essence of the packaged item.

 

2. Objectives and Goals

After conceptualizing the packaging, you must inform the designers what you expect it to achieve. Do you want it to be exquisite on the shelf? Or would you like it to be straightforward for others to open?

As Jon Morgan wisely advises, “specific, measurable goals help the creative team focus their efforts and measure the project’s success.”

Now, for your juice box, you can mention “The major idea behind the packaging is to grab people’s attention at stores and perhaps compel them to taste the juice. The design, therefore, needs to be beautiful, attractive, and cheerful.”

 

3. Target Audience

As Wishine Ali notes, “Understanding the target audience is paramount in creating impactful messaging and design.” This information will guide design decisions to ensure the packaging speaks directly to the intended audience, increasing the likelihood of capturing their attention and driving purchases.

Understanding your target audience is crucial in designing impactful packaging. Whether your product is for children, young adults, or a specific demographic, the design brief helps designers create a design that appeals to your target viewers, increasing the likelihood of capturing their attention and driving purchases.

If your juice box is for kids, you could say, ‘ When choosing the coverage, I aimed at children aged 6 to 12. ‘They are playful, like vivid colors and fun characters, and want healthy snacks.’

You can also include details like:

  • Demographics (age, gender, location, income, etc.)
  • Psychographics (values, interests, lifestyles)
  • Preferences and pain points related to your product category

4. Brand Positioning and Messaging

Even experts recommend including “Brand Guidelines (Logo, Colors, Typography)” to maintain a cohesive brand experience across all touchpoints.

Therefore, if your product has a unique logo or colors that appear on its package, you need to inform the designers. This way, they will ensure that the packaging you get best represents your brand.

Suppose your juice box brand is named “Fruity Blast,” and the logo on the box is an image of a large orange with a straw. You could tell the designers: “The three distinct colors of my brand are orange, green, and blue, and my logo is the ‘Fruity Blast’ swirly orange with a straw.”

 

5. Competitive Landscape

If there are other products like yours, go to the respective brand’s website, look at their packaging designs, and consider what you like/dislike or wouldn’t do when designing your own product. This will help them make yours stand out.

For example, you could say, “I think using bright colors and creating fun characters, as seen on MoguMogu’s boxes, are good because they get people interested, but I don’t like that they use many words and make the design a bit confusing. I want it to be easy.”

 

6. Design Requirements and Constraints

Experts recommend this section cover “Packaging Specifications (Dimensions, Materials), Compliance, and Legal Requirements” to ensure the final design meets all necessary criteria.

With this in mind, it is essential that if there is something that the packaging has to do in specifics – whether it is easy to open or must display some information – the designers must know it.

With your juice box, you might say: Depending on the packaging type, there should be a place to print the nutritional information and the ingredients list; the packaging should be easy for a child to open and close—with no mess—to get to the cap.

 

7. Deliverables and Timeline

For their time management, the designers must also be informed of the date by which the packaging design is expected to be completed.

You could tell them: As you may know, I plan to begin selling my juice boxes at the back-to-school fair, and that is why I require the final packaging design by August 1st.

Also, understand what Joe Bowab mentioned. He said, “Agency briefs might include contractual and legal aspects” related to deliverables, which should be outlined in this section.

 

8. Evaluation Criteria

Explain to the designers what factors will influence your perception of whether their design is good or not. Will you go in and ask other people what they expect? Or will you check if it matches your brand?

For your juice box, you might say: Depending on its design, I will be able to present it to a couple of age groups and get their opinion on it. I also need to ensure that the design follows my brand colors and logo.

 

9. Budget

Jon Morgan reminds us, “Understanding the financial parameters can guide the creative process and ensure that the proposed solutions are feasible within the given constraints.” 

Last but not least, inform the designers about the amount of money you have in your budget for the packaging design. This helps them ensure they do not extend their spending beyond the agreed amount of money by your side.

If you are a start-up selling lemonade, the budget can be extremely small. But if you are a big company, you can spend more money. Either way, it’s essential to let the designers know so you could say something like: I would like to pay $500 on packaging design.

 

Conclusion

Now that we know that writing a packaging design brief is not as complex as rocket science let us level up. The next best thing you can do is to write down questions that you believe the designers of your product should answer.

By putting all these constituent parts into your page, you will, in effect, be outlining a complete design reference that will enable designers to find how to design the perfect box, bottle, or any other package for your product. But let me tell you this: as it has been said before, in the decision-making of packaging design, it is possible that your juice box (or whatever) will become a true hero among the background of shelves with competitors!

Also, if you want assistance making the design process easier, consider tools such as GoVisually. Our easily accessible and practical solutions allow for seamless communication and feedback, bringing iconic labels to market more quickly.

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Payal Rajpoot

Payal Rajpoot

Writer and content strategist at GoVisually
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