Beginning the Assignment

Packaging design is a creative means of expression—brand expression, not personal expression. The designer's (or marketer's) personal preferences—for color, shape, material, typographic style, and so on—should have little bearing on a packaging design. Designers must abandon their personal biases.

A design concept must perform on many aesthetic and functional levels. A brand's expression—one that attracts the target consumer market—is derived through a strategic creative process. That process culminates in a way for the brand's physical and visual elements to communicate the necessary information as well as the effective emotional, cultural, social, and psychological cues.

After the marketing brief is delivered to the designer or design firm, the design proposal is approved, and the agreement of terms is signed, a team orientation meeting involving all stakeholders in the project is conducted. At this meeting, the design director should provide creative leadership and keep the focus on the strategic objectives and the target market for the packaging design. The roles of the various stakeholders are as follows:


Fig. 4.2The design brief.

Marketer: provides the objectives

R&D team: supplies appropriate information on the product's attributes

Structural engineer: provides manufacturing guidelines and final engineering drawings for the physical packaging

Production: ...

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