Retailers often define their luxury status based on the products or experiences they sell; boasting the high-quality of their items, scarcity, and originality. Luxury packaging is not much different in philosophy. When you design and create packaging for your luxury retail items, the quality, craftsmanship, and little details are what matter the most.
What is Luxury Design?
What constitutes as luxury design for your packaging will vary based on your brand. For some, luxury branding may be minimalist and sophisticated, for others it may be bright, bold, and easy to recognize. Either way, it should be something unique to your brand that is memorable to anyone who sees it. Luxury can be found in all of the details of your packaging design. From the materials used, to the printing methods, to special finishing touches like custom inserts, textures, or unique colors.
When it comes to packaging, design limitations may vary based on the type of printing you choose, your designs, and the machinery. It all starts with the right design. Using your logo, signature colors and themes, you can create packaging that represents your products beautifully. You may want packaging that is subtle in its luxury, or you may want packaging that features intricate and eye-catching designs that are unique and truly stand out. It’s always possible to create a luxurious custom packaging project, even on a tight budget, because sometimes the most luxurious designs are the simplest.
When creating luxury packaging for your brand, the materials should be your first consideration. High-quality materials that are heavier in weight and have a tactile presence are a simple way to elevate your packaging. This can include paper, plastic, reusable and natural materials, and the special finishes you choose such as matte or gloss lamination, textured elements, or soft touch coatings. Choosing the right base material for your custom packaging will help contour your design to represent your brand accurately.
Unique Finishing Touches
Even packaging that appears to be simple may have more design elements than you realize. There are a lot of small finishing touches that go into packaging design and create a finished product that truly stands out. This includes not only the basic design, but the finishes of your packaging items. When customizing your bags, boxes, tissue paper, hang tags, and ribbon there are finishing options that can elevate your style and make the packaging look and feel more luxurious.
When it comes to custom printed bags and boxes, finishes are a popular way to further customize your design. There are several ways to add unique finishes to your packaging, including embossing and debossing designs, adding texture, lamination, or UV printing.
Texture can be added to your packaging using a few different methods. You can create custom bags or boxes using textured embossed paper, or add onto your packaging with additional textured elements like embossing or raised printing techniques.
Embossing and debossing your packaging involves using metal plates to stamp an indented design into your packaging. Debossing involves stamping onto the top or outside of your packaging for a depressed design, and embossing involves stamping your packaging from the inside to create a raised design. This method can also be used to create textured paper to use for your packaging design.
Film lamination can provide exactly the right finish you want for your packaging. It also adds strength and resilience to your packaging materials. Lamination can be matte, glossy, or even ‘soft-touch’ which is a popular choice for luxury packaging designs.
UV printing is a unique way to make your packaging look more luxurious. UV printing involves using a clear ink to accentuate parts of your design or create unique patterns on your packaging. The clear UV ink can be flat or raised for a more 3-Dimensional effect.
The Little Details
Another aspect of luxury custom packaging that sets it apart from other packaging is the little details. Luxury packaging should take into account the look, feel, mood, and usability of a design. When you open a box with a new iPhone or Apple watch, you’ll notice the level of detail placed into the exact design of the packaging. Brands should strive to create functional packaging for their customers that incorporates memorable design elements.
The little details include the features that your customers will notice and comment on. Something like adorning your box with custom printed ribbon or creating an easy-opening tab for a package that is smart and unique. With some custom packaging items, like custom boxes, you can design your boxes with custom inserts, custom opening and closing features, and unique designs. Boxes can have magnetic lid closure, ribbon tied closure, or custom designed lids with various cut-outs, colors, or shapes.
Another great way to make your packaging stand out is to utilize printing inside, outside, and on the bottom of your packaging. When making a fully customized packaging item, like a bag or box, printing small details or designs on the inside of the packaging, side gussets of a bag, or bottom can make your design more interesting and engaging. When a customer opens your gift box to see a unique message printed on the interior, it adds a touch of surprise and feels more personal to them.
One of the main goals of custom packaging is to bring your branding into the hands of your customers. When a customer visits your store or website, they are immersed into your branding. This may include your signature colors, logos, and designs that make up your business’s signature style. This design flows from your retail space or website, to your social media, and to your products. An overall branding theme is important in creating an identity as a luxury retailer.
Luxury custom packaging should make the fluid transition from your store, website, and products to the packaging you use in your store or restaurant, or even e-commerce packaging. That way your customer can take a little piece of your unique identity home with them. Your packaging should be an extension of your branding that exudes the same quality and characteristics as your storefront and products.
Your Signature Style
To accomplish fluid branding, you should have a ‘signature style’ that is present across all of your platforms. Your signature look can include your logo or variations of your logo, your brand colors, and possibly an easily recognizable design feature. Taking these design elements, you can create a whole packaging program that is fluid with your overall brand. Whether you need custom bags, boxes, tissue paper, printed ribbon, food takeout packaging, or other accessories, you can incorporate your signature design into all of your packaging.
Having fluid design doesn’t mean that all your packaging needs to have the same design, in fact it opens up a lot of possibilities for interesting ideas. Using different elements of your signature design across different packaging items creates a more unique and visually interesting packaging program.
Luxury packaging starts with ideas and inspiration, but becomes a reality when you work with a custom packaging supplier with experience. Contact us to speak with a packaging specialist that can offer you options, creative solutions, and previews of what your luxury custom branded packaging could look like. We can help turn your inspiration into a reality.