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The packaging industry has changed more in the last 15 years than in the entire century preceding it.
As package designers, the variety of tools, technologies, materials and manufacturing capabilities have exploded, allowing designers to create nearly anything they can imagine on nearly any scale.
With the advent of digital printing, package designers can do amazing things for small and medium size businesses, levelling the playing field and barriers to entry.
Just look at the American beer industry, where craft brewers have overtaken 20% of the beer market revenues as of 2016.
There’s no doubt that superior package design and messaging on a regional scale are large drivers of this growth, showing just how much power a package designer has for a brand when utilising the right tools.
It’s more important than ever before that package designers stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the packaging industry when you consider the current competitive climate.
So, if you’re looking for a collection of amazing package design resources to follow for inspiration, news, updates and design help, you are in luck.
Here’s a list of 25 of the best package design resources online.
If you know of any great package design resources that I left off this list, please comment below so everyone else can benefit from them as well.
As always, feel free to share this article with your friends and fans!
Package Design Inspiration
The Dieline – http://www.thedieline.com – A wonderful mixture of packaging design inspiration, this blog combines features on innovative packaging projects with conceptual packaging ideas from major brands to students and everyone in between. This blog curates a wide variety of package styles and design concepts to help spur your creativity!
Packaging of the World – http://www.packagingoftheworld.com – Package design inspiration with an international flair! This blog highlights creative packaging from a variety of industries and regions of the world. Signing up for their newsletter is a must for any designer.
Lovely Package – http://lovelypackage.com – This blog showcases “the very best packaging design”. While it is a little barebone when compared to some of the other design inspiration sites on this list, the submissions are strong and the site does a good job of explaining the premise of the packaging projects depicted in the images.
Packaging Design Archive – http://www.packagingdesignarchive.org – This site seeks to provide an “analytical reading of [packaging] and its elements.” They accomplish this task through hyper-tagging the featured package designs with properties like typography, minimal, or biodegradable. The user can then sort through designs that only feature “identity by typography” to see brands and package designs that utilise this principle. This site takes a minute to get the hang of the navigation, but once you realise how it works it is a fantastic tool for isolating specific package design concepts.
BXP Brand Experience – http://www.bxpmagazine.com/design-packaging – BXP Magazine’s package design section showcases packages that utilise the latest technologies to create interactive experiences with consumers. As brands become more focused on engaging their audience in multiple channels, package designers need to utilise new tools that connect the consumer to multiple channels. Ultimately, the package should connect the consumer to the brand behind the product. This is a great resource to see ways that your packaging can accomplish this goal.
Dezeen – https://www.dezeen.com/tag/packaging – A combination of packaging design industry news and inspiration, what’s neat about this site is that it goes in-depth about the creative process, motivation and background of the designers and brands who created the featured designs.
Behance – https://www.behance.net – Behance is probably well-known to most designers as Adobe’s design sharing and showcasing service, but it’s not to be overlooked here. With thousands of submissions and a variety of creative styles, this is a good site to check out for additional inspiration. You never know what sort of unique design you may find.
Package Inspiration – http://www.packageinspiration.com – As straightforward as the name implies, package inspiration is a selection of package designs intended to inspire packaging designers! With a large portion of the designs coming from concept drawings or student submissions, you can find unique ideas to spur your own inspiration here.
Beach Packaging Design – http://beachpackagingdesign.com/boxvox: This is Beach packaging design firm’s blog. I included it here for its unique stories and takes on package designs from both the past and present. As of the writing this post, the first blog featured is about a 1970’s cherry soda title “I Like Worms” with an investigative dive into the package’s murky past. It’s off the wall, fun to read and in the process, brings out some good points about package design.
BP & O – http://bpando.org/packaging-reviews – More than just pictures and articles about stunning packaging design, this blog actually reviews the designs and offers critiques, which is something strangely hard to find when surfing the web for information about packaging design. Additionally, while most of the other sites listed here contain articles written by the brand or package designer themselves, this site’s reviews are written or edited by independent packaging experts, allowing for genuine design critiques.
Package Design & Industry News
Packaging Digest – http://www.packagingdigest.com – A blog focused on keeping readers up-to-date on the latest developments in packaging technology and industry news. This publication takes in-depth looks into the packaging industry and does a great job of examining the large-scale issues that packaging creates for society.
Packaging World – https://www.packworld.com – An industry standard publication, Packaging World highlights the latest big-ticket news items in the packaging world. This page covers a wide spectrum of topics on things like unique designs and packaging campaigns, industry research, technology changes, and advances in manufacturing equipment.
Brand Packaging Magazine – http://www.brandpackaging.com – Focusing on market research and consumer insights, Brand Packaging is a publication that examines packaging innovations and trends with results based analysis. They examine everything from material and technology trends to retail directives and consumer research and are a great resource for communicating trends with your brand owner or marketing team.
Packaging News – https://www.packagingnews.co.uk – A good source for keeping up with market analysis, packaging design awards, and industry news. This site is especially good at collecting global information, news and trends.
Flexible Packaging – http://www.flexpackmag.com – Information and news for the flexible packaging market, this publication provides news updates and industry changes in the flexible packaging vertical.
Packaging Strategies – http://www.packagingstrategies.com – Packaging news with a focus on emerging technologies, global issues and strategies.
Packaging Europe – http://packagingeurope.com – A great catch-all for packaging news across the European continent. Where this site really excels is in the retail performance section. This section brings to light actual successes and failures in the real world and raises issues – like designing for color-blind audiences for example – things that most package designers don’t necessarily think about. Overall, it’s a very well-done site with solid content.
Printing News Labels & Packaging – http://www.printingnews.com/labels-packaging – Keeping abreast of the latest technological developments in label and package manufacturing is key to keeping your package designs on the cutting edge. In our pre-press & design department for our digital label printing line at LabelValue.com, this is one resource we make sure to check daily to see what new advancements, materials or industry regulations are out there. Their buyer’s guide also features a huge listing of companies and vendors that can help with manufacturing your packaging.
Unique Package Design Resources You May Not Know About
Book Cover Archive – http://bookcoverarchive.com – Package design and book cover design are nearly identical twins in concept – each type of design must connect with a specific audience, jump off the shelf and still serve the functional purpose of conveying information and protecting the interior contents. That’s why this is one of my favourite resources to get a fresh take on package design ideas. You never know what you’ll find to inspire your next project.
Fast Co. Design – https://www.fastcodesign.com/product – More product design than packaging design focused, this blog highlights the most interesting products and design concepts across a wide variety of verticals. While not specifically packaging oriented, the principles employed by the big players in the product design world should be studied by packaging designers.
Fonts In Use – https://fontsinuse.com – Can’t figure out the perfect typeface to use for your packaging? Fonts In Use identifies you guessed it, fonts in use in the world today. Wondering what font that awesome movie poster for the latest King Kong reboot uses? You can find it here, along with a bunch of other awesome fonts in use in a variety of applications today. This is a great off-the-wall resource for typographic inspiration.
Grain Edit – http://www.grainedit.com – Looking to create a 1950’s-1970’s vintage package design that’s not too cliché and don’t know where to start? Grain Edit serves up a variety of design inspiration, interviews, and rare vintage finds put together in a blog that will be sure to bring out the right amount of retro flair in your next project’s design.
It’s Nice That – http://www.itsnicethat.com – It’s Nice That is a daily updated website providing top-notch articles on art and design news covering everything from the latest highbrow art projects to the newest Adobe paintbrushes. This is a highly professional publication that every creative should follow to keep up to date with the latest trends, projects and resources in the design world.
Digital Arts Online Tutorials – http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/tutorials – Not sure how to get that texture or effect to work in Illustrator? No worries. Digital Arts Online Tutorials has you covered with tutorials on nearly anything you can dream up. If you’re not sure how to make your way around a certain aspect of your design software, this is the first place to look. Or if you just want to pick up new design tips and tricks, this is a great resource.
Paper Specs – http://www.paperspecs.com/category/gallery – Paper Specs is a “small, independent team on a mission: To make this world a better place through great design… and information about paper and printing technologies.” Their gallery features a rich collection of packaging materials. If you’re looking for a unique material for your next package design project, this is the place to start.
There are 25 of our top package design resources. Hope you found some useful sites for your next package design project.
Again, please like and share this post and let us know if we missed any in the comments below!
Author Bio: When not convincing clients to try out new materials & digital printing technologies for their labels, you can find Josh soaking up the sun at a Florida gulf coast beach with his lovely wife and daughter or out throwing disc golf. He’s a jack-of-all-trades at LabelValue.com, carrying out marketing, graphics or pre-press management on any given day. You can contact LabelValue.com for your label or shrink sleeve printing needs at [email protected]