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t h e a r t a n d s c i e n c e o f
package design
Bridging the gap between
business strategy and design
Text
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the art and science of package design
32 p ack a ge de si g n wor k b o ok
E
very day, we are faced with mak-
ing both rational and emotional
decisions. People are drawn to the
rational because it is explainable, mea-
surable, and nite. However, rational
thinking does not always play into con-
sumer behavior. Sometimes it’s all about
emotions. Whether you are a package
designer or a product marketer, it’s criti-
cal to understand both the emotional and
the rational drivers that affect product
success in the marketplace. To do this,
you must examine the in uences of both
the left and the right brain.
Right- or Left-Brain Thinking
Although the two sides of the brain are
similar in appearance, the function of
each cerebral hemisphere is different.
The left side governs linear reasoning,
rational and analytical thoughts, while
the right side deals with holistic reason-
ing, the emotional, and the artistic. This
is a broad generalization, but research
does support the notion of specialized
areas of brain function. Apparently
individuals do have a preferred method
of approaching the world—rationally or
emotionally, using left- or right-brain
thinking. By recognizing the existence of
“right-brained people” andleft-brained
people,” theory becomes practice when
objectives to satisfy both or either are
woven into the design process. This is
especially signifi cant in the early plan-
ning and strategy phases of development.
Packaging Calls for Both
Design taps into both modes of thinking
to make lasting connections with con-
sumers. Successful package design plays
both sides of the fence by integrating
left-brain strategies with right-brain cre-
ative vision. Although these two forces
often seem at odds, in the hands of a
skilled team, design provides a balance
that motivates purchase. A package can
be pleasing to the eye while offering pre-
cise product information, for example.
Effective design is a vital ingredient
for building successful brands. Here,
again, the impact of both right-brain
and left-brain factors is seen. All too
often, strategic issues, operational con-
cerns, logistical tactics, and entrenched
marketing attitudes can overshadow
design, cutting off its full potential to
contribute to the bottom line. Design
can be a powerful emotional language,
but it’s also a highly effective means
of clarifying and organizing messages.
That is why it is key to translate scientifi c
knowledge, marketing research, and
other left-brained pursuits into unique
right-brain solutions. The services of a
skilled package designer are not purely
about creating a beautiful design; they’re
about an intuitive understanding of
what motivates consumers to purchase
a product or service.
Creating the rational
and emotional Connection
If you eliminate the emotional guiding factors, its impossible for
people to make decisions in daily life.
The University of Rochester School of Medicine
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{ s e n di n g t h e r igh t i n f o r m a t i o n }
left side of the brain: words
The brain's left side governs the rational
and analytical. It’s the side of the brain that
makes us logical, sequential, and objective.
right side of the brain: pictures
The right side processes the emotional and
artistic. This brain's hemisphere causes us
to be holistic, random, and synthesizing.
Right-brain focus is emotive and creative.
seeks answers
values explanations
controlled and
mechanical
literal and explicit
works step-by-step
examines and questions
values observation
spontaneous
and intuitive
metaphysical and organic
sees the whole at once
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