Packaging Development: Tips For Start-Ups

30 Oct 2018

Start-ups and smaller brands often find it difficult when developing packaging for a new product.  They face a host of challenges, such as budget, time, market competition, differentiation and promotional value – so it is critical to get things right first time.

No other element in a brand’s marketing toolbox is as essential as its packaging. It’s the ‘face’ of the brand and is featured in everything; advertising, consumer promotion, web, and point of sale. When used strategically, packaging can be used as a huge sales driver in just about any setting.

However, what is it exactly, that start-ups need to get right? We look at three key factors that new brands need to consider when designing packaging.

Shelf appeal

According to Business Insider, first impressions are formed in around seven seconds. You have 7 precious seconds to convince your customer to choose your brand – a decision that involves the purchase, rather than the dismissal, of your product. So, how can you, as a new brand, turn this brief encounter into long-term customer loyalty?

For in-store purchases, consumers are drawn to products that are visually appealing and inviting. As the packaging is the first thing consumers see, touch and even smell, its shelf appeal is vital for the initial stages of engagement.

Sharp, high-definition graphics can make all the difference when looking to captivate your brand’s target market. As a start-up, you’ll need to stand out from your competitors. However, to achieve this, you need to create packaging with high-quality artwork and more.

Incorporating multi-sensory designs into your brand’s packaging will give your product the wow-factor that consumers crave.  Many food and beverage companies are already introducing multi-sensory aspects to enhance customer experiences.  For example, this diamond glass bottleby Harrogate Spring Water. The design disperses light to bring the bottle to life with a wave-like effect, and its innovative, embossed surface creates tactile appeal when pouring.


Creation believes in delivering the highest quality print solutions. Specialising in design concepts and press-ready artwork for packaging, we consistently incorporate innovative elements in to packaging design. For example, we recently explored a tactile finishin a food compliant UV flexo rough texture varnish, with partner Pulse Roll Label Products. The concept draws attention to the experience of touch by examining wood effect, hessian feel, wallpaper and simple text formats, and provides a tactile coating solution for labels and packaging.


Building brand consistency in packaging fosters consumer brand recognition. Keeping to two or three consistent complementary colours and harnessing distinctive graphics can help brands keep their messaging clear across multiple sales channels. Colours and imagery become the iconic factor in a brand’s identity.

Colour and imagery, as opposed to form and feel, are the most attention-grabbing features of packaging, according to research by WePack. In a survey of more than 650 members of the UK public, 37% said colour and 25% said imagery catches their attention the most when it comes to product packaging.  This data indicates that the basic foundations of getting colour and imagery right the first time (and also time after time) apply when presenting products to market.

Consistent production relies on the types of inks, their lay down, and the plates used to print the packaging. Creation is committed to delivering maximum consistency on any material and in every printing process. Through effective and reliable colour management, Creation helps brands match their colour quality and consistency needs across substrates and pack types. With a scientific approach to the control of colour, Creation help brands maintain premium standards throughout the entire design to printing journey.


Pressure on packaging design to incorporate sustainability credentials has noticeably increased in recent years. Increasing consumer awareness around packaging waste and recent pledges from the UK government to eliminate plastic waste by 2042 have pushed brands and retailers to re-think whether the packaging of their product is truly sustainable.

However, sustainable packaging isn’t just the production of renewable, recyclable or eco-friendly materials – it covers a whole spectrum of design and production choices.  What brands need to consider is how the product is produced in the first place, as well as how it will be used and disposed.

Packaging is a huge industry and sustainability in packaging production is the end result of a series of activities that in themselves must be sustainable. To make a positive difference, a holistic approach along the entire packaging value chain is needed. This means addressing sustainability challenges across the whole supply chain – so everything from packaging design and development to production process and logistics is considered.

As a start-up in today’s marketplace, it’s beneficial to put a packaging sustainability structure in place right from the beginning, to address the entire design and printing journey.

At Creation, we are serious about minimising our environmental impact along the whole packaging chain. For brands to develop genuinely sustainable packaging, we believe that the entire design to disposal process must be addressed. This is why we have taken the step to become ISO 14001 accredited– an international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system (EMS) within a company. We have also recently pioneered the Asahi AWP flexographic plate, which is water washable, removing the need for solvents and eliminating the need for high temperatures in processing. Along with these, we have also invested in Kongsberg table technology, which ensures accurate cutting of plates for printers and minimises plate waste.

Creation fully understands the complexities of the packaging development process for start-ups across many markets including food & beverage, personal & home care and horticulture. If you’d like to speak to us about developing a packaging solutions for your new product, please get in touch today.

Contact us on +44 (0) 1327 312444  or
and we’ll be happy to help