Darlene offers potentially business-saving advice on packaging design.

by Darlene Veenhuizen

As a graphic designer, I’ve seen my fair share of packaging triumphs and, well, let’s just say, not-so-triumphs. I’ve worked on packaging for all kinds of products and business sizes, from startups and cottage industry mom and pops, to multimillion dollar businesses selling products worldwide. Great packaging design can be the difference between a product that blends into the crowd and one that leaps off the shelf (or onto the screen). So, whether you’re a large business, a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, here are 5 tips to help your product stand out:

1. budget before beauty 

We all dream of eye-catching packaging, but before you fall in love with the aesthetic, consider your budget. Explore what packaging options are available within your price range. This will help guide your design direction and ensure you don’t end up with a beautiful box you can’t afford to produce, or you can only print a small run of. If you need to source custom packaging, DASH recommends you reach out to The Packaging Chic, Sharon Eucce knows her stuff and can help you find the package of your dreams! 

2. know the rules

This is especially important for food, beauty and wellness products. Regulations can dictate everything from font size to required information panels. Schedule a meeting with your state’s agricultural department or head over to the FDA website to familiarize yourself with the legalities of packaging design. Don’t get caught off guard by a label snafu! Knowing the rules ahead of time can save you having to pull packaging or waste money and time on design that will never see the light of the store shelf.

3. see it to believe it 

Don’t settle for a mock-up on your screen. Get physical samples printed! This allows you to truly assess the design, colors, and functionality of your packaging. Factor in the cost and time needed for sample printing – it’s a crucial step that shouldn’t be skipped. Work with your packaging designer and printer to pinpoint colors, materials and printing methods that you love and work to communicate your brand. Printers should not be underestimated here, they really are the best people to help you understand printing and production methods.

4. ship shape

If you’re selling online or shipping wholesale, put your packaging to the test! Simulate the shipping process and see how well your creation holds up. A perfectly designed box won’t do you much good if it arrives looking like it went through a warzone. Here is where you can perfect your inner packaging materials, adding extra packing material to ensure your products arrive in the hands of your customers looking pristine!

5. don’t be bland 

Now for the fun part! Infuse your packaging with your brand personality. Play with colors, fonts, and even textures to create a design that reflects your product’s essence. Don’t be afraid to add a touch of whimsy or humor – a little personality can go a long way! Using your brand voice on packaging is a great way to connect with your customers.

bonus tip! be eco-concious

Sustainable packaging is not only good for the planet, but it can also resonate with eco-conscious consumers. Consider using recyclable materials and soy-based inks. However, keep in mind that these choices may impact your final design or budget, so plan accordingly. 

By following these tips, you can create packaging that’s not just functional, but also captures attention and reflects your brand’s unique personality. Remember, your packaging is a silent salesperson – make it one that speaks volumes!


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