How Much Does Packaging Design Cost?

How Much Does Packaging Design Cost?
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: November 20, 2023

How much does packaging design cost? From the complexity of your package to the choice of materials and the nuances of printing, there are different components that affect the overall price, as you’ll see below.

How Much Does Packaging Design Cost?

Depending on the expertise of the packaging design agency you choose to work with, you can expect to pay anything between 10,000$ and 50,000$, excluding the manufacturing cost. However, if the price seems too steep, you can collaborate with freelancers who usually charge $500 for simpler and up to $3000 for more complex designs.

More than this, you can also explore:

General Packaging Design Cost Tiers 

What’s Included  

Budget-Friendly Options 

  • Template-based designs - provide a foundation for design, allowing for quicker and more economical customization. 
  • Basic printing techniques - limiting the use of special finishes and elaborate printing techniques contributes to affordability. 
  • Simplified structural designs - require less material and labor, contributing to lower costs. 


Mid-Range Pricing 

  • Custom designs - engaging graphic designers to create custom visuals for the packaging. 
  • Moderate printing enhancements - add visual interest without significantly inflating costs 


Premium and Luxury Packaging Design 

  • Exquisite materials - not only enhance aesthetics but also contribute to a tactile and premium feel. 
  • Advanced printing techniques - add sophistication and detail that sets the product apart. 
  • Intricate structural design - incorporates complex and unique structural elements beyond standard packaging. 


Understanding these cost ranges empowers businesses to make informed decisions based on their budget constraints and brand positioning.

We’ll find qualified packaging design agencies for your project, for free.

Factors Affecting Packaging Design Costs

  1. Complexity of the Design
  2. Materials Used
  3. Printing and Production Methods
  4. Minimum Order Quantities
  5. Regulatory Compliance

The final packaging design expense depends on a multitude of factors, including:

Complexity of the Design

The detailedness and customization of the graphic design affect the overall price. If we're talking super intricate designs, graphic designers need to put in more time and skills, which naturally bumps up the project cost. Unique product packaging usually requires a lot of brainstorming compared to generic designs, so keep that in mind too.

Custom shapes, complex structures, tricky folds, or die-cut features require more effort and may also require specialized printing techniques to come to life, adding to the overall expenses.

Materials Used

While materials influence visual appeal, don’t forget about economic considerations. Premium materials generally come with a higher price tag. The type and quality of materials also have implications for the printing process and available finishing options, ultimately shaping the final cost of the packaging design.

Printing and Production Methods

To make your packaging truly stand out, the cost of printing, encompassing both design and the actual printing process, must be factored in. For those constrained by budgetary considerations, exploring alternative and cost-effective printing methods becomes a prudent strategy.

When it comes to printing methods, businesses usually choose from the following options:

  • Digital printing: More cost-effective for short print runs
  • Offset printing: Becomes more economical for larger quantities

As far as production, customization, and finishing options go, these may also influence the price. Embossing, debossing, foil stamping, or spot varnishes, for instance, can contribute to higher costs.

Minimum Order Quantities

An often overlooked but critical factor is the minimum order quantity imposed by many companies to secure favorable pricing. When calculating cost, consider this minimum order requirement, particularly when dealing with larger quantities. Striking a balance between quantity and cost is essential to optimize the overall financial equation.

Regulatory Compliance

Packaging design must comply with various regulations and standards, which may vary by industry and region. Ensuring that the design adheres to these requirements involves additional efforts, including testing and verification, which can contribute to overall design costs.

How Much Does Packaging Design Cost: Key Takeaways

The cost of packaging design depends on several factors, such as the complexity of the design, the expertise of the designer, materials used, and the scale of production. While it may be tempting to cut corners in the pursuit of cost savings, it is crucial to recognize that packaging serves as the first point of contact between a product and its consumer.

An investment in thoughtful, well-crafted packaging is the best packaging design tip anyone can give you as it can not only enhance brand identity but also communicate the quality and essence of the product within.

How Much Does Packaging Design Cost FAQs

How much do designers charge for packaging design?

Reputable designers can charge up to $10-20,000. As a rule of thumb, junior designers may charge less, while experienced professionals or design agencies may command higher fees.

Get connected with the right packaging design agencies for your project.
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