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How to design cosmetics packaging: the ultimate guide
There are few industries out there with as much potential to develop loyal, die-hard customers as beauty and cosmetics. Beauty products are a staple in bathroom cabinets around the world; whether a person is going for an “I woke up like this” look or the avant garde “makeup is art you wear on your face” feel, just about every woman (not to mention tons of men!) use beauty products on the daily.
Which means if you own a beauty or cosmetics line, the potential for some serious business is there. But it also means if you want to grab that business and take it for yourself, you’re going to need to find a way to break through the clutter, jump off the shelf at Sephora, and tell your ideal customer “THIS is the lipstick for you!” And the best way to do that is your cosmetic packaging.
Your packaging is the first thing the beauty die-hards you want to turn into customers are going to see. If your packaging grabs their attention and speaks to what they’re looking for, they’re likely to take your product home and give it a try. If not? It’s likely to gather dust on the shelf.
But how, exactly, do you design the kind of packaging that makes your ideal customer scream “I need that blush yesterday?” Never fear, 99designs is here with all the information you need to design packaging that stands out on the shelf and gets your product into your customer’s bag (and, eventually, on their face).
Prime before you design
Before you get started with your packaging design, there are a few things you want to clarify:
Define your ideal customer
It’s important to know who you’re designing for. Who’s your ideal customer? Are they tween girls just as obsessed with sparkles as they are with boy bands? Are they women of color who want makeup that actually (finally) matches their skin tone? Are they men who are masculine… but also want baby soft skin? And once you know who they are, what are they looking for in a cosmetics brand? What’s going to grab their attention?
Define your brand personality
Just as important as your customer’s identity is your identity. What’s your branding? Are you dark and edgy (like Urban Decay)? Simple and classic (like Bobbi Brown)? Luxurious (like Dior)? Accessible (like Wet n Wild)? Who you are as a brand—and the personality you want to portray to your customers—is going to determine what design elements you use in your packaging.
Define how your ideal customers are buying your product
You’ll also want to consider how you’re going to sell your products. Are you selling online or in store? In small boutiques or in large retailers? Your design strategy might change depending on where you’re shelling your goods.
Create a mood board for your brand
A great thing to do before you start designing is to create a mood board for your brand. Pull together images, colors, advertisements and whatever else you feel embodies your brand personality; these will act as inspiration as you go through the design process.
Let cosmetics packaging box trends inspire you
If you need a little inspiration for your packaging design there’s no better place to start than looking at the latest cosmetics packaging trends. Once you know what’s currently trending, you can create packaging that caters to what’s important to your customers right now and that speaks to them in the right way.
Remember that you want to pick a look that’s both modern and on trend, but also timeless and universally appealing, so your packaging design looks up-to-date for as long as possible.
Here are the cosmetics packaging trends we’re seeing everywhere right now:
1. Intricate line drawings
Intricate drawings using fine lines and lots of detail are a timelessly beautiful trend for cosmetics packaging and boutique box. Particularly floral and hand-made drawings work well, either cleverly placed in select areas or covering the whole product. If you’re going for something less feminine but still want something elegant and detailed, a more geometric, clean and cool drawing-style may be right for you. This trend is perfect for you if your brand has an eye for detail or if you’re looking for a subtle yet beautiful way of showcasing what’s inside your packaging, by drawing the ingredients you use.