Twenty Sources of Package Design Inspiration

Some of my freelance design work involves packaging design and as such I am always looking for inspiration for creative packaging solutions. Most recently I have been working on some pet food packaging for which I will show my design process in a future post. I have always felt that packaging design is one area of graphic design that is far less publicised than other areas such as logo design.

1. Look in your Cupboard
You only have to open one of your kitchen cupboards to be bombarded with packaging design, and for some reason those food packaging designs have connected with you in some way and persuaded you to buy them. It’s useful to look at these to work out the key element of a successful piece of packaging design.

What made you choose them before you even knew what they tasted like? Was it the beautiful photography, the fun typography, the copy writing, the colours? Can you take this and apply it to your design?

food packaging in cupboard

2. Online Supermarkets
You could take a walk around a local shop or supermarket to source packaging  ideas, this is fine if the products you are looking at are relatively cheap and you can buy a few, but otherwise it could be a problem as most Supermarkets will not allow you to take photos in the shop. Many of the online supermarkets only offer small images of their products (the big UK ones do) but Amazon groceries do. Mashable has a list of 50 places to buy groceries online so its also worth checking out some of their other links for different product packaging design.

Amazon food package design

3. Deviant Art
A quick search on Deviant Art for packaging and you get 15366 results. You can choose to view the designs by popularity from the design community or newness.

packaging Design Gallery at Deviant Art

4. Packaging of the World
Packaging of the World
is a gallery of packaging design broken down into different sections such as toy, vintage, alcohol, and there is an interesting addition of a student/concept packaging design section.

creative packaging solutions on packaging of the world

5. Sustainable packaging ideas
Sustainable Gallery
is a gallery of ideas for sustainable/recyclable packaging design. Sections include compostable, recyclable and reusable packaging design.

sustainable packaging gallery

6. Brand packaging
Also from the same company as the sustainable packaging gallery is Brand Packaging featuring packaging arranged in categories of  rigid plastic, paper/board, flexible, metal and glass/

brand packaging

7. Istockpack – for packaging templates/box nets
If you are looking for inspiration for the shape of your packaging istockpack might give you a few ideas. You can search for packaging templates (box nets) and download then for free. If you have any packaging templates you want to share you can also upload them to the site

packaging templates and box nets from istockpack

8. Lovely package
Lovely package
is a packaging blog where readers are invited to submit their packaging designs.

lovely package design

9. The Package Unseen
The Package Unseen
is a blog written by a package designer which features not just images of beautiful packaging design but the author also writes about packaging design history and his influences.

packaging blog package unseen

10. The Dieline
Probably one of the most well known blogs on packaging design The Dieline is a great source of package design images but also gives a little background to why the packaging was created as it was.

dieline packaging blog

11. Box Vox
Box Vox
Another packaging design blog started by Randy Ludacer who has a small packaging design company in NYC.

boxvox packaging design blog

12. Dzine Magazine
Dzine Magazine
is another packaging blog with inspirational design images

Dzine packaging design blog

13. Enveloop
Enveloop
has plenty of packaging images and they can be viewed by country as well as type.

package design blog by Enveloop

14. Flickr Package Design Groups
Type in the search package into Flickr and many packaging design groups can be found, a few are listed below

flickr package design gallery

http://www.flickr.com/groups/packaged/ – general packaging design
http://www.flickr.com/groups/packaged_food/ – food packaging
http://www.flickr.com/groups/soappackaging/pool/ – soap packaging
http://www.flickr.com/groups/packaging/ – general packaging design
http://www.flickr.com/groups/1324472@N22/ – Toy Packaging
http://www.flickr.com/groups/618217@N23/ – Japanese Packaging
http://www.flickr.com/groups/mid-centurypackaging/pool/ – Packaging From 1940- 1970

15. Packaging Design Magazine
Package Design Magazine
is website targeted at the package design industry including packaging images and news.

packaging design magazine

16. Behance Network
Behance
is a network of creative people, where individuals can also upload their work. A whole variety of package design ideas can be found here.

beahnce package design network

17. Book: 1000 Package Designs
packaging design book - 1000 package designsI have always found it much more difficult to find books on packaging design than most other design subjects. I have recently bought 1000 package designs book which is basically packaging eye candy. If you are looking for the reasoning behind the design work its not for you but if like me its just for inspiration its spot on. I have a couple of the other books in the 1000 series and they are all good (except avoid the icons and symbols one).

18. Book: Demographics Packaging
package design book - DemographicsAnother good packaging book I have previously mentioned is Demographics which breaks packaging down into target markets by age ie. packaging for kids, teens, adults, mature adults. The book shows a variety of packaging design with a few case studies including the design of X Box packaging and Sainsbury’s kid’s food packaging.

19. Strata 3D Packaging Case Study and Showcase
A case study for a package designer showing their package design process to 3D visual in Strata Design 3D for producing a new sauce label design (3D software which I use myself for 3D visuals). Also available on the Strata site is a showcase of 3D package design visuals.

strata 3d packaging design case study

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20. Other Package Design Links
Beautiful and inspiring package design
from Smashing Magazine
Designfeedr
inspiring package design
Abduzeedo 30 beautiful inspiring packages

Useful Resources for Package design
Presto Visual royalty free images of boxes, bottles, tubes and other packaging on to use for your package design visuals – found via davidairey.com
A free online barcode generator – make sure you donate if you use

This entry was posted in Design Inspiration, General Graphic Design, Package Design and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

10 Comments

  1. Posted February 23, 2010 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    nice post.package designing is one of the toughest task to do! these sources are very useful!

  2. Posted February 23, 2010 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Those are some good designs. Thanks for sharing. But I guess how successful a design is also depends on local tastes and the target market. From a designer’s point of view, some of the packaging designs from Japan are pretty out of this world but they just won’t sell over here in Malaysia.

  3. Posted February 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Great article and very useful information. Thanks for all the informative links. I am a web designer and don’t think I will ever try to explore this part of the design industry. A lot of products I am persuaded to purchase are usually due to the packaging, yes I know, I am practically paying for the packaging. It’s just usually what grabs your attention.

  4. Posted February 25, 2010 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the useful links. I never thought of Flicker as a source of package designs, yet it is so obvious nowthat you mention it. I do not know why I never thought of it myself!

  5. Posted February 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Interesting. I haven’t done any packaging designs but I hope I would someday. This will come in handy…and will be useful as well in generating new design ideas. Thanks.

  6. Posted March 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Lots of useful links here. These will definitely come in handy when I want to do package design in the future. I will be bookmarking this article for future reference and maybe I can get ideas for new web designs from these sites too. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Posted March 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Oliver
    I hope you find them useful, thanks for commenting

  8. Posted March 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Great post, there is some really inspirational packaging out there. I am not a packaging designer but would love to try it.
    Thanks.

  9. Posted June 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi Tara,

    I think the same approach as in „1. Look in your Cupboard“ fits to other areas of design as well. To have a closer look on delivery vans or trucks on the street is useful, too. I have found many good Ideas for Logo Design in this way.

    Generally we should walk around with open eyes. You can find inspiration everywhere around you. We just need to look at things the right way.

    Deviant Art is always worth a look. I believe there is no greater and larger design collection on the net.

    Many of the other sources I did not know, thank you for that useful links.

    Greetings
    Marcus

  10. Posted September 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Especially like the link to flickr…good idea.

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