Monday, March 16, 2009

Package and label expertise

Several acquaintances, friends and relatives have agreed to provide you with their insights into package and label design. Perhaps more broadly, their experience can lead to even greater value for those seeking a differentiated brand in the growing craft beer market.

I have invited three designers and artists with diverse backgrounds to comment on the following questions. I will let them speak for themselves as their answers are posted here, but let me introduce them briefly.

Dean Lindsay: Dean has many years of experience in package design and in food package design in particular. There is plenty to see and learn from his website.

Holly O'Leary: Holly is a talented designer and illustrator with experience in food packaging and is currently working on another favorite beverage, coffee. Her portfolio is available here.

Paul Mort: Paul works with clients across a range of design disciplines. You can reach Paul at Felt Hat.

The questions submitted to Dean, Holly and Paul are:

1. Describe the process for developing a good package design. What steps do you take with a client and in what order?

2. How do you incorporate existing brand identity, i.e. logos, color, typography, into a package or label design?

3. Do you treat package design differently than you would an overall brand and identity scheme for a client?

4. What considerations, other than legal requirements, do you see as unique for beverage package design, and in particular, beer package design?

5. What impact does the package as a physical entity have on the overall design? For example, when do you recommend a special bottle or can vs. a graphical treatment of a standard bottle?

6. For you, what makes a great package and/or label for a beverage?

7. For some brewers, making the step from draft beer to packaged beer is a big one involving significant investments. What weight, in terms of time and budget, should a brewer put on the package and/or label design?

8. When do you know it’s time for a new design?

9. In your opinion, what are three particularly interesting package or label designs?

The questions are not exhaustive, but should give you some workable ideas about the use of packaging and labeling as a way to differentiate your products. If you have questions you would like to submit, just add them in the comment boxes below.