15 Inspiring Examples of Packaging Design
- O.J. Randall
- April 1, 2013
Packaging design is one of the most under-appreciated areas in the whole design world. Most consumers only detect packaging’s cues subconsciously, never pausing to admire the beauty and sheer genius that goes into some designs. Well, it’s time that changed. We’ve put together our 15 favorite examples of gorgeous, well-thought out and intellectually-challenging product design – from the big brands to the impossibly small.
Featured image: Egg packaging for Den Stolte Hane designed by Tank
Starbucks’ cups are already a long-acknowledged master class in memorable, minimal design – the Apple of coffee shops. But they really scored a hit with their thought-provoking, occasionally controversial ‘The Way I See It’ series. A quote or thought from a great thinker adorns each cup, imploring you to stop and ponder the universe over your morning coffee.
This fab Monopoly reboot is a one-off by a Baltimore design student, and we like. Elegant, simple and trading on the brand’s most-iconic image while evoking thoughts of wealth and riches, this is a real winner. We’d be surprised if Mr Moneybags himself doesn’t come calling soon.
These coffin cigarettes are the brainchild of two Ukraine-based designers, combining a serious social message with an awesome playful side. If only real cigarette packaging could be this inventive…
Sticking with ‘playful’ for a moment, Wanted snacks scored a direct hit with these spaghetti-Western inspired crisp designs. The retro feel is cleverly observed, while including enough nods to modern design to ensure the product never feels archaic.
Seemingly inspired by the 80’s punk packaging vision of Repo Man, Euro Shopper’s complete brand overhaul is a visually-inspired mix of stark minimalism and loud, attention grabbing brashness.
A beguiling mash up of beautiful emptiness and one of Twitter’s many logos, the design for ‘Whale Milk’ has oodles of charm, while still remaining uber-classy.
Sticking with a theme, this calcium-filled alternative makes the most of retro postmodernism, feeling almost like a visual whirlwind tour of the best of the 20th century. The stark lines stand in magnificent contrast to the plain white front, and the elongated shape does wonders for our hungry eyeballs.
Every now and then, a design idea comes along that is so breath-taking in its simplicity you can’t believe no-one thought of it sooner. This is one of those designs. Tiny jars of honey shaped to look like the creatures that produced their contents – this wins our vote for ‘cutest idea’ of the year.
An energy drink for the blue collar crowd, Rivet makes an asset of its target audience’s perceived ‘roughness’, presenting itself in a battered old industrial can. Straightforward, subversive and bound to stick out from a mile away, this design’s a winner.
You probably remember this image doing the rounds on the blogs a while back – put simply it’s a mind-bendingly inventive way to package something inherently boring, and even more impressive for knowing Alex Creamer was still in Uni when he did it. If his first big effort is anything to go by, that kid’s going to be winning every award from now until the end of time.
What’s the best way to market ‘pure’ water? By letting the product speak for itself. Somewhere between a 1930’s throwback and blisteringly modern, this redone bottle design pushes all of our buttons.
Sometimes, simplicity is the best. This Hellman’s packet design does everything a package should do: it grabs your attention then rams the product name down your throat, without ever really feeling like it’s trying.
An old one and a good one, these generic ‘Beer’ cans both manage to be witty, informative and unforgettable. By simply playing it as straight as possible, the designers ensure the idea never falls over into kitsch or becomes too weighed down – a fine balancing act.
Tea storage meets doll’s house wardrobe design in this cute favorite of ours. A wonderful alternative to the smelly old tin you’ve been using for years.
A runner up at the Dieline Awards 2 years ago, this fishy design has everything we love rolled into a single package. It’s informative, unusual, a little bit cheeky and easily recognizable. Exactly what you want, in other words.
O.J. Randall is a writer and graphic designer at London print company Print Express. In his spare time, he collects vintage print discoveries and other oddities.
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