The Vital Union Of Package Design & Digital


Packaging, once known as the ‘silent salesman’, is silent no more. Now at the center of many innovations, product packaging is gaining importance in how brands convey their essence, and enhance their relationship with the customer in an end-to-end lifecycle.

Package Design For Screens

The 2nd dimension of package design refers to graphics and the 3rd dimension to structural design, and digital is having a huge impact on these most basic physical elements of a product.



One major change in how brands are approaching their packaging is to address the omnichannel nature of how consumers shop. Packaging has traditionally been designed with the store shelf in mind, but now to complicate things, creatives must consider the online experience. Online, the consumer will be making decisions in a few critical moments. With another product a click away, it is important for the product package to convey the product benefits in seconds, and often in a small format such as a ‘thumbnail image’.

‘Instagrammable packaging’ is another trend in product innovation, according to Jill Tomandl at Smashbox. Product packaging must not only capture the brand essence, but it must also  be created with consideration of how consumers are using packaging for self-expression on social media.



Digital Footprints & Experiences

The 4th dimension of package design is where physical and digital worlds collide. It is where package and consumer relationships are mapped together, connected packages become brand-owned media, and designed for the end-to-end lifecycle in real-time.

For buyers in the packaging business, 29% think that connected packaging is required to differentiate packaging aimed at millennials from that aimed at baby boomers. Until now, packaging communication has needed to be ‘decoded’ by consumer.


Advances in how consumers can connect with a package – NFC, RFID, QR, Computer Vision – are tools that brands can use to embrace the 4th dimension of package design. The challenge now for traditional designers to collaborate with technology counterparts to move beyond novelty to position product packaging as an emotional selling point.

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