We present tips from a new book, The Visionary Package, that package design authority Gerstman co-authored with Herbert Meyers:
• Know your competition. Study the market in a variety of shelf situations so your package will not "disappear" on the crowded shelf.
• Understand the user of the product and develop a strategy for a brand personality that connects with the user and represents the essence of the brand. Establish your product point on a scale, which may range from "good taste" at one end through “medicinal” at the other. This is most important, since your package design will reflect what the outside world thinks of your brand and your product.
• Consider a unique package shape. Whether tablet, liquid, grain-based or other, it will lead to a decision on the type of packaging to be used. Don’t settle for an easy answer. Perhaps a unique bottle shape or a modular carton configuration could make the packaging more effective.
• The brand identity should be recognizable and memorable. Look for a unique name, logo, and color scheme. These elements, along with the styling of the logo, will communicate the brand personality. It can communicate strength, fast-working, mild, etc.
• Graphics should be simple and informative. Packages are small, so make the product understandable with as little copy as possible in order to keep it uncluttered. Avoid ancillary elements on the front of the package that are unnecessary.
• Use graphics to reflect your price/value strategy.
• Do not over-package. If you can use a primary package without any overwrap, you save money and contribute to a better environment.
Herbert Meyers and Richard Gerstman formed Gerstman+Meyers (now Interbrand) in 1971. The two are recognized leaders in branding and design.