Aesthetic or Functionality: Which Is More Important for Your Packaging Design?

31 August 2020

There are many different design elements that help manufacturers create a successful packaging design. Often it can be confusing as to which ones should be considered as more important than others. Aesthetic and functionality are commonly put against one another, when, in fact, they work together and complement each other. The consumer market of today is drawn to an appealing design that is convenient for their unique lifestyles. So, the real question is, how can manufacturers create an optimal packaging design with aesthetic and functionality in mind?

Defining Aesthetic and Functionality

Aesthetic is usually associated with the appreciation of beauty and art form. But where does this fit in with product packaging? Today's consumer market is attracted to products with unique, colorful design elements as these items are visually appealing and draw potential customers in. An aesthetic packaging design incorporates many different creative aspects from color and shape to texture and balance. Packaging design is meant to tell the product's story and make it appealing for potential customers to invest in.

Functionality is incorporated into a packaging design by identifying unique ways in which the manufacturer can provide value-added consumer benefits. These benefits can range from convenience and reusability to sustainable or flexible materials. Packaging design has continued to advance over the years, meaning many different functional features can be added to your packaging design to make your product stand out from the competition.

The Qualities of a Functional Packaging Design

The consumer market of today wants convenience regardless of the type of product. There are many different functional components that can be incorporated into packaging designs that offer advantages for the buyer. Functional packaging design is meant to be hassle-free and provide as much convenience as possible. When looking at products, both new and old, potential customers are drawn to products that can be incorporated easily into their busy lives rather than making lifestyle changes for the product. Below are a few elements that manufacturers commonly incorporate to allow for a functional packaging design:

  • Resealable Design
  • Sustainable Materials
  • Easy-to-open
  • Protective Features
  • Minimum Space Requirements
  • Flexible Materials

All industries can benefit from a functional packaging design as it's an effective and affordable way to build a positive relationship with both established and potential customers. Functional packaging allows you to be creative as you are pushed to discover what elements work best for your product to make it both convenient and visually appealing. Regardless of the components you choose to incorporate into your packaging design, your customers must be informed of these features, such as extended freshness, resealable capabilities, or packaging that caters to sustainability practices.

An Aesthetic Focus on Packaging Design

Aesthetics are used in the packaging design creation process because an attractive design complements the usability and enhances functionality. While the consumer market is drawn to functional properties in a product, aesthetic is also important. Many products having the same purpose sit on retail shelves across the United States. The aesthetic of your packaging design can make or break a potential customer choosing your product over others. Buyers are attracted to products that are pleasing to the eye, incorporate bright colors, and have unique elements, unlike other products. Below are the essential elements of aesthetic design that can help you create an aesthetically pleasing packaging design:

  • Color
  • Shape
  • Pattern
  • Line
  • Texture
  • Visual Weight
  • Balance
  • Scale
  • Proximity
  • Movement

When creating your packaging design, paying attention to the aesthetic elements is extremely important. Color has been proven to have a significant effect on the consumer market's emotions and can directly influence their feelings or actions. The latter is just one example of the impact aesthetic can have on the success of your product. Each element plays it's own role in successful packaging design, meaning manufacturers are encouraged to take time when creating and pay attention to detail every step of the way.

Putting Everything Together

Whether you're just starting your packaging design or are looking to fine-tune your existing, becoming familiar with your target market and becoming knowledgeable of what they're drawn to is the first step to succeeding in your product sales. Each target market is attracted to different elements and features. For example, if you have a candy product, your target market is likely younger, making it necessary to incorporate easy-to-open features and bright, fun colors into your design. Alternatively, suppose you have a hair regrowth product. In that case, your target market is likely older, making it necessary to incorporate protective features, proof of the product working, and simple, neutral colors into your design.

Does One Really Outweigh the Other?

When it comes to packaging design, aesthetic and functional properties work hand in hand to create the optimal packaging design for manufacturers. Focusing on your packaging design's aesthetic properties will help draw the consumer to your product and away from the competition. Once the consumer is considering purchasing your product, the functional components can make or break the deal depending on how convenient they are and how well they're communicated. Ultimately, the aesthetic and functional properties work together as a team for manufacturers to successfully sell their products.

Optimize Your Packaging Design With Aesthetic and Functionality in Mind

Whether you're a new or established manufacturer, it's vital that you pay attention to both aesthetic and functionality when creating your packaging design. The consumer market is drawn to an appealing packaging design with unique aesthetic elements that your competition might not have. Along with an attractive design, your potential buyers are also drawn to convenience. While convenience can come in many different forms, it's encouraged to think outside the box. Create your packaging design with your target market in mind and think of ways to make your product convenient for their lifestyle. Packaging designs with appealing aesthetic and impressive functionality are the ones that stand out from the competition, so start optimizing your packaging design with these focuses in mind today.

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