We are living through a golden age for design. In the past, designers had to contend with limited numbers of printing techniques, materials and aesthetic tastes. Today, however, designers can create almost anything they can imagine, and their clients are letting them do it, especially in their product packaging. After all, what better way is there to stand out on the shelf than with some really creative packaging?
To see just how imaginative designers are getting, check out this showcase of really creative packaging.
Dominos is an internationally known brand with instantly recognisable branding. When they wanted to try a new design for their box, they could have tried to modernise the existing elements, but instead they scrapped the old design and gave the box a type-heavy, old-fashioned looking box.
Stiga Table Tennis paddles needed to stand out in the paddle market, so as well as making a quality product,they used their packaging to highlight the other stand-out feature of their product – the gorgeous, bright colours.
Up Inc is a design firm that created these bottles of sparkling wine for clients’ holiday gifts. Not only is it a clever way to show off their skills, but the cute pun will ensure all their clients remember who put the happy in their holidays.
Most soups in the supermarket just tell consumers what is in their soup. Delhaize took the “show, don’t tell” approach, using bold images of their soups’ main ingredients literally bursting from the bowl.
This pasta company demonstrate another way to let your product do the talking. Being able to see the pasta – with just a bit of text to tell consumers which kind it is – really makes sure the focus stays on the product.
Eggerdink is a family-run brewery, and they specialise producing stouts. The packaging keeps the focus on their beer and their traditional techniques.
One of the best ways to suggest the natural qualities of your product is to put it in either packaging that is wooden or references the product in its natural state. Bzzz Honey uses both in its charming puzzle-like packaging.
A frothy, frosty glass of beer is one of the most irresistible sights, and this packaging tempts consumers with a peek at the refreshment they are about to enjoy.
The design was created to dress up sustainable, yet unfamiliar and often ugly, fish species in supermarkets. It would take a somewhat intimidating product and make it look more attractive, and it would help ease the strain on the over-fished species by getting consumers to buy other species.
Rosé wines have a reputation as being popular with women on girls’ nights out. They are fruity and light, and the shade of pink is just so pretty. Other wineries might try to make their rosé look more serious, but this packaging plays up the fun side, literally letting consumers see life through rose-tinted glasses.
The image on this packaging was created by dumping coffee beans on paper, then moving around precisely until this image of a Pegasus was formed. The result is a more textured package with an organic feeling, ideal for a specialty roast of coffee.
The gift packaging for The Unrefined Olive is as simple and unrefined as the olive oil. It is simply a cardboard box with a handle. It is designed to be held in pairs comfortably, as the two sides of the triangles lay together nicely.
This is concept packaging for a range of modern unisex perfumes by L’Artisan Parfumeur. The designer used photographs of coloured ink in a glass to subtly express the scents within.
This is also concept packaging, though it is for a fruit-flavoured jelly snack. The designer gets right to the point, showing a cross section of the middle of the fruit to let consumers know exactly what to expect.
The Klein Constantia wine estate in South Africa found itself in possession of a small batch of honey, and they wanted to package the honey in a very luxurious package. The box gives consumers a little peek into what they will be getting, but the bee confetti is an unexpected yet lovely surprise. Even custom box designs alone can make a huge impact on your brand and product sales.
This packaging was created for a student project, where the designer imagined President Obama giving out a sampler package of the beer he brews on the South Lawn of the White House. It lets the colours of the beers seep through, and the frosted glass and wooden beam nod to the saloons of the Wild West.
Many pet foods claim to be natural and well-balanced, but the designers of this packaging wanted to demonstrate how Purina Smartblend is where scientific research and natural ingredients meet.
The designers of this packaging had to meet two standards: make the sports products appeal to a slightly younger demographic and to make the categories of products easier to distinguish. Using bright colours, they found a modern way to do both.
How many times do parents complain that they spent so much money on a toy, only for their child to be more interested in the box? This packaging is deceptive, as the box doesn’t contain the toy; it is the toy.
Office workers often use their coffee or tea breaks as a time to natter with colleagues, when doing so at their desks might be frowned upon. This packaging empathises with that kind of atmosphere, by letting the consumer rip the gag off the characters and enjoy a chin wag over a biscuit.
Penguins have long been popular with children and grownups. The bottle itself mimics the shape of the bird, but the packaging quietly reinforces the idea with splodges of yellow that subtly form the image of a penguin around the bottle.
Carrier trays are convenient, but they use up so much material in their construction. The designer of this packaging wanted to change that and came up with this design. The device can be used for a single cup, but it can also be interlocked with up to three other coffees to create a carrier that is as convenient but much less wasteful.
This packaging simply says the name of the wine on the front and has an introduction on back that sounds like the wine to talking to directly to the consumer, telling them its life story. It is an eye-catching and consistently charming way to package wine.
This packaging uses photography and cut outs to let the consumer see exactly what they are getting, and the main colours of the box make the beer bottles look like the dark-robed monks who brew the beer.
This packaging, created for a design competition, looks like it has been sculpted by robots from porcelain or some other hard but luxurious material. It is, in fact, heavy paperboard.
This packaging, for a premium New Zealand muesli, uses the New Zealand mountains as a design inspiration. This gives the produce a high-end, yet completely natural, feel.
Single-serve butter packets are often served in situations where utensils for spreading are not necessarily easily found. This solves that problem, simply by topping the packet with a wooden spreader.
New York is an iconic city with the iconic Empire State Building. This packaging displays spaghetti in the shape of the building, instantly associating the brand with the city.
Women love cuddling up to fuzzy men and fuzzy yarns: both are warm, squishy and instantly comforting. This packaging draws on those associations with not a small amount of humour.
Fast food pies are notoriously hot, but the packaging does little to make it easy to eat them straight away. This packaging solves that problem in a really eye-catching, appetising way.
Generally, people know what they are getting when they buy a pack of biscuits, so it can be hard to stand out. Fruute has solved this problem with clear packaging that lets the biscuits grab the eye, decorated with some amusing thoughts on the importance of cookies.
This concept packaging is for a brand of beer. The box displays the white bottle, using a font that looks like it has been hastily painted on. Everything about this package is totally modern and eye-catching.
Students on the go are an incredibly hard market to grab. This packaging uses neon colours no one could ignore, with emoticons show the consumer what’s in the sandwich or soup. This packaging is talking students’ language.
Glass makers Memento discovered an innovative way to colour and produce glass, and they needed packaging that reflected the uniqueness of these new products. They decided to package them like high-end food products, vacuum-sealing the glasses and then putting them in a bag that reflects what inspired the products’ designs.
Bar and restaurant Trafiq wanted food packaging that was as creative as the bar. They decided to go for a design that mixed elements from the turn of the twentieth century with modern production techniques and a dash of irreverence.
Colorfall is a toy set made of coloured blocks, and the box illustrates that with bright colours and an unexpected shape.
When it comes to designs, sailors and their tattoos have been a rich source of inspiration. These bottles use seaworthy illustrations to make a plastic bottle of organic vodka look like the physical manifestation of a sea shanty.
Everyone knows to trust a fat chef’s taste, and these boxes use charming illustrations of chubby cooks to frame the windows that show off the pastas. Cleverly, they’ve changed the item in his right hand, giving consumers a hint about the kind of sauce they should use.
By contrast, these pasta packages use pasta to form the chefs’ hair. Though the basic elements – a window showing the pasta, an illustration of a chef – are similar to the example above, the feel is completely different. This pasta is for confident, experimental cooks, whilst the one above is for traditionalists.
Tequila is a notorious drink, one that appeals largely to those who are pretty fearless or adventurous. This bottle design is collaboration with 1800 Tequila and design boutique I Love Dust, and it really captures the sense of adventure that seems to come with a bottle of tequila.
Men are discerning these days: it’s no longer enough to have a good product. That product needs to look good when it’s not being used. That was the entire idea behind this line of men’s shaving products. The boxes are simple and luxurious, and the products come in attractive wood stands.
There is little more closely associated with Scotland than tartan and scotch whiskey. This vintage scotch brings both together with its tartan label, collar and bag.
One surprising source of innovative design is the salt and pepper shaker set. This set demonstrates that perfectly, but the packaging is what really sells the concept. Those of us who remember buying D batteries are instantly whisked back to the good old days with the packaging and the product.
Like the example above, this product uses the packaging to really sell the concept of the product. The tea bags look like shirts on clothes hangers, and the box is the wardrobe or rack in a shop.
In most cases, BYO tells people to supply their own drinks, but in this case, it means “build your own”. The wine comes with stickers, so consumers can play with their wine before drinking it.
This is one of the best examples of how powerful packaging can be. People think nothing of ripping the corner off a packet of ketchup, but by just adding the image of a person’s legs, it suddenly becomes a poignant reminder of how real the danger of landmines is for so many people.
Many creative people like to buy sets of notebooks, and this product supplies that with a wink and a nod. Outside of the package, the notebooks don’t look especially like bread, but the packaging just makes it seem like the wooden toy foods we all used to play with.
One of several boxes in the same design range, this packaging was designed to illustrate clearly the many emotions experienced in front of a Bell TV. Other reactions include fright, surprise and laughter.
Ceylora is a packaging concept for cinnamon sticks that comes in an apple-shaped package. When it is opened, it looks like segments of an apple that the sticks are nestled in.
Even something as simple as an egg can be transformed into a sculpture with some creative packaging. Though not exactly practical, this single egg carton does show how artistic packaging can be.