The Evolution of Packaging and the Role of Graphic Design

Packaging in its true essence and functionality is an object that holds, protects and stores the product inside. Although, throughout the years, this simple package has become complex, evolving into a means of advertising and the most important channel in marketing a company’s brand. Packages are now being created in unique forms and shapes, with specialty inks that give the appearance of vivid colour, and/or environmentally friendly materials that make up the actual package. New packaging is also being created with an approach to customer convenience. Things such as easy re-sealable bags, self holding twist tops, peel and stick containers, packaging that increase the shelf life of food products, and so on, all make it easier for customers to consume and appreciate the product inside. All these aspects of packaging help form the brand identity of the company. Packaging has become such a fundamental part of our culture and society, that there are government rules and regulations that must be followed before a product is allowed to sit on the shelves of major retail stores.


Today, the basic form and functionality of a package is being taken for granted, and replaced by the message and emotions that a package communicates upon consumers. It is no longer just a box, can, bottle or container that protects against damaging the product. It is now a representation of the product inside the package, a representation of the company itself and most importantly, the package is about the feelings a consumer evokes when seeing it on the shelf. Simply put, a great package design leaves a great impression upon consumers, while a poor package design leaves a bad impression upon consumers. Consumers use the imagery and text outside of the package to determine whether the product inside the package is worth purchasing or not. Package design has now become an integral part of making a sale and increasing the bottom line! This is the importance of having a strong, well thought out package design.