I just finished up a project that involved designing for packaging.  I’m primarily a web designer so switching gears to print design was interesting to say the least.  Check out these tips and tricks that I picked up during the process.

#1 Think about color

Since I’ve been working mostly in web design my brain operates in RGB and hex codes. It’s difficult to get used to using pantone colors, or remember to create CMYK documents. If you start working with an RBG file and then convert to CMYK you get all sorts of funky color problems – its always best to start out working with the correct color space.

#2 Think in 3d

I also had a hard time with this. I was trying to figure ot how the box for the packaging would fold up. For some reason my brain could not compute this process so I had to make a paper mock up and sketch from that. If you are having problems coming up with a design for the container itself check out this sweet book!

#3 Flat is boring (make it pop!)

Have you ever looked at toy packaging? There is absolutely nothing flat about this packaging. They all use tons of cheezy effects to get your (or your kids) attention – but some do it well. I had to learn how to use glow, drop shadows and highlights (sort of) tastefully.

#4 Illustrations!

One of the constraints of this package design was that they didn’t have an product photos. Since this was the case I created some simplified and cute illustrations of their products.

#5 Print, Print, Print

You should always try to print your designs out and look at them from a distance. I tend to work really zoomed in illustrator and indesign. Its always a good idea to look at a printed piece (even though colors may not be completely accurate). Looking at a printed piece at 100% also gives you an idea for the level and intensity of detail needed to stand out from a distance.

Other Suggestions?

Do you guys have any suggestions for switching gears to print design? Leave a comment and let me know!