4 Stunning Primary and Secondary Packaging Designs

Published February 4, 2020

There’s been a huge aesthetic shift in the secondary packaging industry—meaning that blank corrugated boxes just aren’t cutting it anymore for a variety of goods. Eye-catching secondary packaging designs, often seen adorning subscription boxes, are a sure way to get customers thinking about the products you’re selling. Not only is this a visually pleasing trend, it’s backed by psychology—impressive outer packaging designs suggest outstanding products within. 

We see the line between primary and secondary packaging design blurring more and more each year, so we like to keep an eye on both categories. You never know what will spark inspiration for your graphic design team!

Best Practices for Secondary Packaging Design

Let’s discuss what makes an attractive, effective secondary packaging design. We’ll also take a look at a few examples of these techniques in action with real-life packaging on the market today.

Choose the Right Size and Shape

Be sure that the size and shape of your packaging allow for easy transport to retailers or buyers. This sounds obvious, but a rectangular or square-shaped box is preferable to something oblong or otherwise misshapen—unless you have the resources to dive into fit-to-product packaging. A more conventionally-shaped package will also reduce shipping and storage costs. You’ll want to keep your packages compact, too, but they should also allow your product room to “breathe.”

Convey Relevant Information

Again, a no-brainer, but it’s worth a mention. If your secondary packaging will pass in front of consumers, be sure to convey accurate, truthful information on the outside of your design. Don’t get too wordy, as big blocks of text may overwhelm your customer.

Understand Your Target Audience

When ordering online, the first real glimpse your customers will have of your product (or their first “point of contact”) will be its outer packaging. That’s why it’s essential that your secondary packaging appeals to that specific audience.

For example, if you were selling a skincare subscription box that promoted a lighthearted, fun form of self-care, you wouldn’t want your packaging to be monochrome and utilitarian. On the other hand, if you wanted to attract buyers to a no-frills camping provision kit, you probably wouldn’t opt for loopy, cursive lettering and cutesy hearts and flowers.

Combine Text and Images

Human beings are more visually-oriented than text-oriented, so while it’s important to convey accurate information about your product, your packaging will also benefit immensely from an appealing graphic or two. When in doubt, opt for a minimalist image while using several eye-catching colors.

Be Genuine in Your Representation

Living in the Internet age means that customers have become more adept at spotting a scam than ever. If you mislead the customer and they end up disappointed, they’ll keep associating those feelings of disappointment with your product—and potentially take their experience online in the form of negative reviews.

Examples of Attractive, Effective Secondary Packaging Designs

Now that we’ve discussed how to develop stunning secondary packaging, let’s take a look at some of these practices in action, shall we?

1. FabFitFun

The FabFitFun subscription box allows you to indulge in a variety of health, fitness, and home products with its customizable boxes. Your standard FabFitFun box contains cheery background colors (such as bright yellow or pink) and whimsical graphics, like doodles of cactuses or hearts. These boxes are compact—all of the items tend to fit inside of them like a puzzle—and the outside of these boxes aren’t overly wordy. In fact, they usually just feature the company logo alongside coordinating artwork.

2. MunchPak

MunchPak curates snack boxes according to your tastes with popular treats from all over the world. The majority of their subscription boxes come in red (a color scientifically proven to increase appetite) with a punchy white font. They’re carefully packed to the brim with these international snacks while avoiding the risk of crushing the goods within.

3. Square. Chocolate

This one’s a little off the beaten path, but their packaging design is stunning, so why not? Square. is a premium chocolatier in Dubai. Their jade green boxes with shiny gold font suggest sophistication and luxury. And that’s exactly how you want to feel after you’ve just purchased some fancy chocolate, isn’t it? The color scheme extends from their larger outer shells to the inner containers cradling the luxury treat.

4. Bose QuietComfort Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Bose headphones are high-tech, but sleek and minimalist, and their primary packaging more than reflects this. Limiting their packaging’s color scheme (often to a combination of gray, white, black, or pale pink) reflects the calming quality of the noise-cancelling feature. This is one of those instances where a bright, flashy box design would not accurately convey what was being sold. We love this example for its adherence to the enduring minimalist trend, and we could see this kind of design working well for consumer-facing secondary packaging designs, as well.

Secondary Packaging Insight From INSITE

At INSITE, we’re committed to providing industry knowledge and developing equipment that will simplify your packaging process, not complicate it. Our case erectors and case sealers are designed to get the job done reliably, leaving you with the bandwidth to focus on other aspects of your manufacturing and packaging processes. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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