Top Package Design Companies

Check out agencies with the skills to concept and create the best package designs for any product.
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Top Value Propositions and Differentiating Factors of the Best Package Design Companies

Overview

As an element of branding, package design is central to the way consumers perceive a product. We’re always told not to judge a book by its cover but when we’re in the store buying products that’s usually precisely what we do. Product packaging has the power to make or break a purchase for a consumer. Bold and interesting packaging designs make consumers take notice, while boring or unappealing ones will cause a product to go ignored.

It’s vital then, that when launching a new brand, product, or product line, sufficient attention is paid to package design. The right package designer will help define the visual identity of the product and make your brand more visible in the marketplace. If you don’t have a dedicated graphic design team with packaging experience in-house, you’ll need to partner with an agency. To distinguish the best package design companies from the competition, be on the lookout for the following key differentiators.

Top packaging design companies invest in relationships

The success of any business in the client services sector hinges, ultimately, on the ability to build and maintain relationships. Maintaining good relationships with clients is a chief concern among top agencies. Some lesser competitors may be content to churn and burn through clients, taking them for everything they can and then moving on to the next one if and when they fail to deliver. Not so at top agencies. The best package design companies value their relationships with clients, which means they always strive to exceed expectations.You can count on them to be open, honest, and communicative.

The Los Angeles design agency La Visual sums it up well on their website: “We believe in taking care of our clients, our people and our community. It’s all love. The love of branding and design. Of our work. Of Los Angeles.”

Leading package design companies are bold

There’s an old saying that “fortune favors the bold”, and it could not be more applicable to the field of design. Particularly when it comes to package design, being bold and taking risks can reap major rewards. In your search for a package design firm, look for an agency that’s committed to pushing boundaries to go beyond what’s expected. In their portfolio you should expect to see custom designs that make a distinct impression. Look for packaging that’s disruptive and imaginative. Even if you’re planning to be more traditional in the packaging approach for your own brand, you should aim to partner with an agency that employs packaging designers who are capable of doing innovative work.

The best package design companies take a holistic approach

Packaging does not exist in a vacuum. It’s only one element of brand identity, and it must exist harmoniously within the broader context of that identity. Most design companies offer package design as part of a larger suite of services, and they’ll usually be able to handle all the components of brand identity, including naming, logo, and brand standards. Even if your company already has some or all of these elements in place, you should search for a package design company that’s able to take a holistic view of your branding. They should be able to work comfortably with existing assets in order to create packaging that jives with your brand’s identity.

Effective package design companies are guided by process

Never underestimate the power of a clear and consistent design process to produce quality results. Process is what ensures that everyone on the team understands their responsibilities and delivers to specification. It’s what ensures both client and agency representatives know what to expect from each other at every project touchpoint. A top packaging design agency will know that the best way to guarantee an exceptional end product is to stick to an established process that keeps all parties accountable. 

Top design firm, Pulp and Wire, emphasizes the benefit of being process-driven on their website, saying: “From start-ups to established enterprises, our holistic branding & marketing process finds the focus that builds enduring brands.”

Expert package design companies do their research

Design is an art form, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for science in it. On the contrary, the proper foundational research is essential to effective design. The best designers rely on research to inform their approach to any given project. Package design research will entail surveying the client to get an idea of the company’s sensibilities, goals, design preferences, and overall mission or guiding philosophy. Research will also take the form of consumer surveys and focus groups, competitive product packaging analysis, and market analysis. 

Service offerings of top packaging design companies

Most package design companies are able to handle a number of different design needs, from brand identity to user experience design. At top agencies you can expect to find many of the following services on offer:

●     Naming -  Naming is one of the most fundamental elements of branding. Naming strategies may be done for brand new businesses or those looking to pivot in a new direction.

●     Logo Design - Custom logo design, including brand brief, logo concepts, and multiple iterations leading to selection of the final design.

●     Brand Identity - A full set of assets and standards, including logo, typography, color palettes, core messaging, and packaging if applicable.

●     Corporate Identity - Logo and brand assets for corporate clients, including business cards, letterhead, and assorted print materials.

●     Package Design - Custom package design for a single product or line of products. Including research, cost analysis, packaging material selection, mockups, and production.

●     Web Design - Many package design teams exist within broader design companies that can also handle web design and development needs. Bringing web under the same roof as branding can be a good way to streamline projects and reduce the need to onboard separate teams.

●     Print Design - Print may be less dominant now than it once was, but it will never fade away completely. Many brands still have need of print design services and most graphic design agencies are able to accommodate print needs of all shapes and sizes.

How the best package design firms market themselves

Many package design companies seek to define themselves as industry leaders by submitting their work in design competitions. Winning a prestigious design award puts a spotlight on their brand and helps cement their reputation as a leading agency. Awards also signal to prospective clients that an agency is trusted and respected in the field.

Because design firms are so visual by nature, they are likely to use social media marketing to promote their work and aesthetic. Content marketing is also key and many design companies publish materials that promote the firm’s leadership as industry tastemakers. Testimonials, client references, and case studies are also central to the marketing of a packaging design company. Top agencies are proud to feature examples of their work prominently on their websites.

Takeaways:

Package design is a critical element of branding. When designed effectively, packaging will help a product get noticed even in the most crowded of marketplaces. If your company is looking for a package design agency to take on your next product launch, these are the differentiating factors to be on the lookout for:

●     Investment in relationships - Does the agency emphasize their desire to forge a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship with their clients? Do they present themselves as open and honest communicators?

●     Bold vision - Is the design firm comfortable making bold choices and taking risks if the project calls for it? Does their past work indicate an innovative approach to packaging design? Has the firm won any design awards recognizing their work (eg; dieline awards)?

●     Holistic approach - Is the firm able to handle multiple aspects of your company’s branding needs? If you already have branding elements in place, can the firm work confidently and effectively within existing parameters?

●     Process-oriented - Is there a clear process in place that dictates the progress of the agency’s projects? How is this process communicated, and how are teams kept attuned and aligned to project goals and timelines?

●     Research-driven - Is the design process built on a foundation of research? What kinds of research will the agency undertake before beginning design and how will they use their findings to inform their work?

Top Qualities of the Best Package Design Companies

Brand Understanding

The best packaging design companies are able to take your brand’s vision for your products and represent that vision through packaging. Packaging is a hugely important element of your brand’s overall design. It must be aligned with brand values and company mission, and be easily identifiable on the shelf. The agency you ultimately choose to work with should make the effort to understand what makes your brand unique, and what you hope to communicate via the packaging of your products. They should clearly explain how these values and objectives will impact the final design.

Practical Timelines

Before you begin working with an agency, you should be told what to expect in terms of a timeline for completion of work, and be given an understanding of the agency’s process and approach to your project. The best packaging design agencies will incorporate time for feedback on at every stage of the design process so that the end product is one that you’re completely comfortable with and no time is wasted pursuing an approach that doesn’t align to your vision. Agencies should maintain responsibility for timelines and guarantee delivery dates barring delays from the client side.

Innovative Ideas

The world is your oyster when it comes to package design. Whether you’re looking for something classic or totally groundbreaking, your agency should bring their best minds to the table to create a solution that works for your brand. The end result should feel fresh and have a unique appeal that will make it distinct from the competition. Be sure to assess the agency’s portfolio to get a better sense of what they’ve been able to do for other clients. Ask them to detail ways they’ve solved problems for their clients and look for examples where they were able to bring an innovative approach to their work. 

Customized Offerings

Your product is unique, and your packaging should be too. Look for an agency that will develop a customized approach to your project. Top packaging design companies will spend time getting to know your brand and developing solutions that are specific to you. Though at the end of the day there will be some similarities between the packaging of your product and your competitor’s (nearly all drinks get packaged in bottles or cartons, for example) there are still a lot of ways to develop unique elements. Talented designers will be able to offer a creative take on existing baselines in order to craft something that is completely unique to your product and brand.

Strong Portfolio

Nothing could be more important in selecting the right packaging design company than taking a long hard look at their portfolio. The portfolio is the best indicator of the quality of work the agency is capable of. The best package design companies will be happy to share examples of past work with you before you agree to a contract. Look for examples that reflect the skills that are necessary to your project and don’t be afraid to ask questions about why a specific approach was taken or what the outcome of the redesign was.