Elements of a perfect packaging design: How Colours, Shapes, and Layouts Affect Consumer Behaviour

Believe it or not, we have bought the packaging before buying the actual product. Consumers purchase the packaging and then decide if they want to shell out their pennies and buy your product.

Have you ever wondered why in the longest aisles, in between 1000s of similar products you picked up only that box of cereal or toothpaste? It’s all part of the psychology of packaging design. The products you regularly and loyally purchase have been designed to engage with your brain and influence your purchase decision. When you see something on the shelf you experience a sensory emotional experience that makes your brain happy and eliminates the likelihood to justify why you purchased product A over product B. Consumers make purchase decisions within a few seconds of glancing at the product packaging. And the elements of product packaging design rely on those few seconds to connect the emotions of consumers with your brand story. Does the packaging of your protein bar convey health and strength? Does your product packaging create a sense of excitement to consume the product?

The elements of packaging design dwells into all these questions to make your products stand out, fight for your attention, and beat the competition.

Photo by Rostislav Uzunov

What exactly makes a packaging design attractive?

Let’s see what elements of a packaging design attract us and influence us to purchase product A over product B.


Colour is the first thing we notice about any product. Colours produce emotion. Some colours are more invigorating to the human brain than other colours. When played with them well, the right colours will be a magnet to the right consumers and add to the brand identity.

Incorporating colours that resonate with your brand and company into your products helps create a brand family and increase brand recall.

Colours say more than we think. They reflect meaning and evoke emotions. For example, the colour green is associated with health and environment. Red depicts fierce, boldness and excitement. Blue symbolizes trust and dependability. Pink denotes sensitive, joy and innocence. Black induces a sense of luxury and elegance.

Imagine a red symbol for the “Save the Earth” movement. Doesn’t sound appealing. Because for us, luscious green trees are elements of a healthy, peaceful environment.



After the consumer is attracted to the colour, he/she picks up the product and reads the information on the packaging label. Hence the second important element is typography. If the font is legible, congratulations your product is a step closer to being purchased. As it highlights the key aspects of the product such as ingredients and benefits. But if the font is not appealing your product will be back on the shelf.

The design of the font should match your product type and brand. Fonts also convey the brand story. Bolder, cursive fonts illustrate a sense of energy, whereas simpler fonts illustrate calmness or elegance.

For example, fancy fonts, though attract attention can be difficult and time-consuming to read. It is advisable to add fancy fonts for the product name, but the ingredients and other information should be printed with simpler fonts such as sans serif. Customers should be able to easily locate important information related to the product. The use of too many different fonts may confuse and distract the consumers from getting informed which will discourage sales.

Photo by Pixabay

Shape, design, and structure of the packaging

The shape, design and structure of the packaging tell the consumer about the functionality of the packaging. Is it too big, too small, can it fit on the shelf and the hands? Does it have sharp or smooth edges? If you are selling a luxurious perfume or a bag of chips, you can create many unique packaging designs that stand out. But keep the packaging functional, and structure handy. You don’t want a super heavy bag of chips or a lightweight perfume to depict cheap quality. The shape, design, and structure of the packaging should be appealing and the product easily accessible.


Often packaging quality is directly proportionate to the quality of the product. If the packaging looks cheap, the product is also considered cheap and hence this shall affect the sale of the product. The product packaging must look and feel good in the hands of the customers.  

For example, package the pashmina scarf in a box with a window cut, so that the customers can feel the material of the scarf. The colours of the packaging and scarf will surely attract the customers and an opportunity to feel the softness of the scarf will help influence the purchase decision, increase sales, and add brand value.


The elements of a packaging design are of utmost importance for the brand. We don’t want the best product to fail in the market because of packaging. Packaging is the first point of contact between customers and your product. These elements of packaging design tell the story about your product and brand. These elements can’t and shouldn’t be underestimated. When done perfectly, your product will sell itself. Always keep in mind the target audience for your product, which colour, font, shape and design appeal and resonate with them. The middle ground between this data and your brand theme will be the formula for creating a winning packaging design.

Globe Print N Pack is the leading printing and packaging firm in Mumbai. With 20+ years of experience in the printing and packaging industry, we know why it is important to create perfect product packaging now more than ever. Our team of design experts walk with you on every journey of creating perfect product packaging that stands out on the shelves. Speak to our design expert today.

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