5 The Packaging Design Profession

Surprisingly few consumers understand how a product's packaging design comes to be. Fashion design, advertising design, graphic design, interior design, architectural design—even automotive design—are all commonly recognized professions. The business of packaging design, however, has only recently gained a foothold in the public's consciousness—even though most people come in contact with consumer packaged goods from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. From personal hygiene products to after-dinner snacks, consumers interface with packaging designs all day long.

Yet the average consumer has little, if any, awareness of the lengthy, costly, creative process of strategically developing not only a salable product but also its packaging design. Customers distinguish products from one another despite a crowded, competitive retail landscape and often maintain lifelong loyalties to one or more brands. Rarely do they think about the complexities involved in the visual communication of those brands and their packaging designs.

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