Packaging Unwrapped – 3 Design Secrets

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Packaging Unwrapped – 3 Design Secrets

Product packaging is an often-misunderstood art – it’s not enough for product packaging to look nice (though it’s a bonus if it does). Carefully designed packaging, assessed in isolation by the board of directors, looking at it on a boardroom table, is completely different to immersing it in amongst 50,000 other items on a 21st century supermarket shelf.

The most successful products have packaging that engages with shoppers on a psychological level – but how do you really do that?

Read on to learn three of the best kept secrets of using product packaging to boost shopper engagement.

The Right Hand Rule

90% of people are right-handed. This may sound like a useless little tid-bit but it is far from that. When it comes to packaging, images on a product that are orientated towards the shopper’s dominant hand are more likely to evoke a motor response to pick up that item.

A number of studies have shown that packaging with an image orientated towards the dominant hand of the shopper results in heightened purchase intentions. Conversely, products orientated towards the non-dominant hand can actually lead to decreased purchase intentions and lower sales.

So when you have images of your product on your packaging, make sure they’re orientated for right hand dominant shoppers. Sorry left-handers – it’s just statistics!

Size Matters…

…or at least it does when it comes to your logo or brand name. There’s a generally accepted wisdom in some circles that states that larger logos look tacky and reduce sales – but statistics show that this couldn’t be further from the truth!

Researchers have found that when companies utilise bigger brand logos, not only were they more eye catching as recorded via eye tracking, but study participants also perceived the item more positively.

Not Just a Pretty Face

We’ve already mentioned that it’s not enough for a product’s packaging to be pretty. Shoppers are bombarded with hundreds of products every minute – a products ability to be processed quickly is vital to engage passers-by.

Where you put the main images and words on your packaging significantly impacts how shoppers process your brand. Just like reading a book in the western world, most shoppers will take in a product from left to right. Putting the image on the left and the text on the right increases processing fluency – meaning shoppers will absorb product information more quickly and generate a more favourable impression.

These are three relatively basic examples of how to apply human physiology to packaging design and boost shopper engagement – but there’s much more to learn!

To find out more about the psychology of packaging design, talk to our experts on 01543 255 259 or email