Fundamental Principles of Two-Dimensional Design

The principles of two-dimensional design are the foundation of packaging design. These design principles relate to the use of elements such as line, shape, color, and texture. They are both general, such as composition, or discipline-specific, and serve as guidelines that then shape visual communication. These principles aid the ability to maneuver through a design process.


Visual problem solving is at the core of packaging design. Whether introducing a new product or improving the appearance of an existing product, creative skills—from conceptualizing and rendering to three-dimensional design, design analysis, and technical problem solving—are the ways a design problem is resolved to meet a desired goal. In the multivariate puzzle of packaging design, the goal is not simply to create designs that are purely visually appealing, since packaging designs that are solely aesthetically pleasing do not necessarily achieve marketable results. Instead, a defined methodology must be used to creatively accomplish a strategic objective.


Two-dimensional design begins with an understanding of a layout: the purposeful arrangement of design elements to form the visual communication. The first step in creating a layout is to understand how design elements relate to one another and how these relationships impact the overall visual communication.

The key objective of a layout is to visually organize the communication ...

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