How To Avoid Common Packaging Design Errors

Common custom packaging errors to avoid

📦 Top 4 ways of avoiding complete product recalls due to packaging design errors

  1. Avoid Wasteful Packaging
  2. Explore Materials and Specs
  3. Consider the Design
  4. Rigorous Testing

Custom packaging is crucial for your business and products; that much is certain.

It’s what sets you apart, and the right custom packaging can create an excellent experience for your customers.

Because of its importance for your brand, it’s vital to ensure you’re avoiding custom packaging errors as best as possible.

This will save you lots of time, money and stress in the process of obtaining your dream custom packaging.

Designing and executing custom packaging requires a lot of thought, care, and attention to get the best result.

To avoid custom packaging mistakes, here is a guide to help you navigate through production and execution to help you get the perfect custom packaging for your product.

1. Avoid Wasteful packaging

The first thing to consider is the usefulness versus wastefulness.

How much material do you need to create the perfect custom box? 

Is your design completely optimized for functionality?

For example, does your packaging require a lot of extras such as bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts or other solutions that will likely go into a landfill?

If so, the first thing to consider when designing custom packaging is how to reduce that kind of waste, while keeping your product safe.

Example of wasteful packaging.
Source: The Guardian

With the rise of the eco-conscious shopper, consumers don’t like wasteful packaging, and it ends up being more costly for your business anyway!

You can easily avoid this mistake by working with a professional custom packaging provider who can advise and guide the design process to ensure that your packaging meets environmental standards and keeps your product safe.

Furthermore, ensuring your measurements are accurate will also help in reducing the amount of packaging materials being used. 

Making sure your product and packaging are a tight fit will ensure that your product remains in place during movement, reducing risks of damage and saving on your material costs! 

2. Explore Materials and Specs

What you’ve probably noticed throughout this article is the focus on wastage, design, and testing.

But at its core are two elements: the materials used to create the packaging and its specs.

The wrong material ruins the effect of the product and can make it challenging to transport.

If the specs are incorrect or don’t work for the product, there are far higher chances of product damage during transport.

For instance, If you are an e-commerce business who relies on shipping your products long distance, you’ll want a material that is durable and can withstand harsher shipping conditions.

Picking a corrugated packaging material will keep your products much more safe than folding cartons for example. 

example of corrugated box
Source: PakFactory

When thinking about materials, don’t go for the popular or expensive option without determining what your product needs first

Wastage is an important consideration here, of course, but it’s also about picking the right material for your product.

Read more on how to choose the right packaging material for your products. 

Which option is the most practical and functional? What will keep your product safest and still look good too?

Similarly, it’s easy to get caught up in the design element with specs and not necessarily think about proportions or how the product will be stored.

But again, practicality and functionality matter in this context too.

If your packaging is too large, there will be wastage, and your product will be jostled around during transport, increasing the risk of damage in turn jeopardizing your customer experience!

If the custom packaging is too small, your product will likely get damaged trying to squeeze into the custom box and it won’t be usable at all.

This is another area where professional expertise can help!

3. Consider The Design

One of the significant benefits of custom packaging is that you get to have complete control over your design.

One of the big things to think about in this respect though; Does my design resonate?

Will your customers love your custom packaging? 

Is the design high-quality, or does it look a little dated once executed?

Many designs look great during the ideation process but may not be the right choice once you see a prototype.

Packaging design is a crucial element of customers’ overall experience, so take your time in getting this right.

Measurements need to be precise, the labeling and design need to be perfect, and it has to create the right brand narrative to leave a lasting impression on your customer base.

example of successful design
Source: PakFactory

Go through custom packaging samples bit by bit and thoroughly examine them to ensure that each packaging element is entirely reflective of your brand.

Working with an experienced custom packaging company will be pretty much the best way to avoid this common packaging error.

They will have the knowledge and expertise to guide you during the design process and create a custom packaging experience that customers will consistently love.

Custom packaging companies have the capacity to spot minuscule errors and advise you on these issues before entering the production stage of your packaging.

However, design consideration isn’t just about the aesthetic look of the custom packaging. It relates to the materials and specs of your custom packaging as well!

4. Rigorous Testing

Although in the last several years we have had a great revolution of automation tools for packaging quality control, several companies are still not up to date with the technological advancements which can help with packaging issues.

A large number of companies are still implementing manual packaging inspection in the production process, which leaves plenty of room for packaging errors.

The practice has shown that manual packaging inspection is ineffective, risky and the result is often complete packaging recalls due to human error.

The consequences of such mistakes indicate that it is the time for the production process to be automated.

For example, in the food industry, manual packaging inspection errors are almost unacceptable because of the high recall costs, and most importantly the severe consequences that may happen.

Food industry recalls are categorized into one of three classes, according to the level of hazard involved:

  • Dangerous or defective products that predictably could cause serious health problems or death.
  • Products that might cause a temporary health problem, or pose only a slight threat of serious nature.
  • Products that are unlikely to cause any adverse health reaction, but violate FDA packaging or manufacturer laws.

In order to protect the company and, above all, the consumers, manufacturers should be aware of the benefits of packaging quality control automation.

Apart from the separate control of each stage of product production, automated technology enables manufacturers to implement an all-in-one quality control platform that can be integrated with other systems and hardware.

The advantages of such a production system include a maximum return on investment, time efficiency, and increased customer loyalty.

It might be tempting to forego testing altogether and begin shipping products out once you’re happy with the overall design.

However, not testing at all leaves your brand vulnerable. You won’t proactively catch mistakes…but your customers will.

Request prototypes of your packaging before giving the green light for production. This way you’re able to evaluate the design, quality and durability.

Furthermore, shipping out prototypes to a small, loyal customer base will allow you to get some feedback from those who matter most!

example of products being sample
Source: PakFactory

Testing packaging such as custom boxes allows you to:

  • Correct measurements
  • Ensure a phenomenal unboxing experience
  • Catch any glaring mistakes that might end up damaging your products.

The second error is not testing custom packaging to its full extent.

Packaging might work in certain aspects, but it might end up causing damage through small mistakes such as;

  • Small measurement errors
  • Misplacement of artwork designs
  • Spelling mistakes
  • Structural engineering errors

Rigorous testing before shipping physical products to customers and doing some periodic testing will allow you to proactively catch errors and eliminate chances of costly mistakes down the line.

Think of it this way; do you really want to pull your product off the market because your packaging didn’t do the job it intended to?

Working with an expert helps mitigate any potential custom packaging error since they will know exactly what material will work best for your product, understand the measurements that will fit your product perfectly with minimal room to move around and will have extensive knowledge on testing your packaging.

It can save a lot of time and headaches as well as avoid any potential damage to your products.

The best way to avoid custom packaging errors is to be deliberate, patient, and thoughtful during the ideation and design process.

Take time to look at samples and test when needed…and rigorously too.

Focus on the material, the specs, and think about what your customer wants each step of the way.

Using a more empathetic mindset will help in creating custom packaging that your customers will love and that your business can be proud of!

If you feel unsure about how to avoid custom packaging errors or that you’re not entirely certain about your decisions, don’t hesitate to work with experts!

Custom packaging is challenging, but working with experienced professionals who can guide you through it can make it a far smoother process overall.

Looking to work with a professional for your upcoming custom packaging project? Get in contact with PakFactory today to find out how!

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