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3 Tips for Cheaper Packaging

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For a package that delivers your product safely, creatively, and economically, form must harmonize with function.  Think of a clay pot.  A potter shapes clay on the wheel thinking both about its intended function (will the lip of a cup be thin, imagining tea, or thick, for coffee?  Will a bowl be sturdy through time or strong with the appearance of fragility to be used for special occasions?).  Or, think of an essay or poem and how the structure can work with the content to create the intended effect.

In the same way, packaging is not just an extra detail for your product; it can help you sell its meaning (or even create that meaning).  Here are a few tips in how to do so economically:

  1. Sometimes too many choices can make us indecisive.  Before you start delving into possible packaging, think: what’s the main thing you’re trying to communicate to people?  Make all packaging selections based on that main point of communication and de-prioritize other areas.  Don’t clutter your decisions.
  2. Consider destination. It’s important to consider your audience, but you also need to consider where the package is headed and the kind of space it’s going to take up while it’s there.  It may not make complete sense to spend a lot of money on an interesting looking label if a display will wind up hiding it.  Given the space, think about what you can draw out of the package to meet people’s eyes.
  3. Do the math meticulously so that you optimize as much product in your package as possible; don’t waste space.  In some cases, economically, this may actually mean making the package bigger than the product (let the package be part of what the customer’s buying), and in others it will mean filling it to the brim (some things, like bulk tea, are satisfying to open that way).
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