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Customize Your Packaging Designs With Illustrations 

Can you think of what attracts you the most about a product when you see it? If you are strolling through a store, what is the one thing that makes you explore a new brand or a product? 

The answer is the packaging design.

Packaging designs are one of the most underrated mediums of marketing and brand building. Whether you are an offline store or an online store, this is the first physical element that your customers will interact with.

The quality, design, and overall style of packaging designs convey a lot more than you can with other design formats.

Irrespective of what your product is and where you sell it, product packaging has one primary purpose. It must grab attention away from all competitors and cement a bond between your product and the potential customer. 

So, the role of packaging design is to facilitate that interaction and ensure that the packaging impresses the customer enough to make a sale. 

There are many ways you can approach packaging designs. But, if you want to ensure that your products fly off the shelf – custom illustrations are what you need. 

Custom illustrations are tools of visualization that use the principles of art and design to uplift your brand in the market. WIth illustrations designers create unique artwork that closely depicts the emotions and personality that you want to convey as a brand.

They can be an effective tool in making your packaging design shine. 

But before we dive deeper into that, let’s take a look at the significance and role of packaging design in a business’ success. 

Why do packaging designs matter?

You may think that packaging design is just a part of boxing your product and ensuring it reaches the customer safely. But if you plan well, it can be much more than that. Depending on the industry you work in, packaging designs can hold a lot of significance. 

Let’s take a look at how packaging design is a significant element of many prominent industries.

E-commerce

For the E-commerce industry, packaging is a great way to connect with customers. After making an online purchase, the package is the first physical touchpoint between the brand and the customer. So, brands must use this medium to bring out excitement and a deep emotional connection right off the bat.

Also, unboxing is a huge part of any purchase experience today. So, with an intriguing and expressive packaging design, you can enhance the customer experience a lot. 

E-commerce packaging is less concerned about the product placement on a shelf and the subsequent design parameters. Instead, it is more about the unboxing and interactive experience for the client.

Retail 

In complete contrast with E-commerce design, retail product packaging design needs to draw attention to the product and captivate the audience. Here, the immediate goal is to convince the shopper to pick the product up and find out more.

Consider factors like product size, shape, shelf placement, stacking position, and readability to succeed in your design goals. 

Each product category in retail plays by a unique set of rules in packaging designs. A good practice for the food industry does not always work for the health and wellness industry. 

Usually, Kimp designers leverage the power of design elements, such as logos, text, imagery, typography, and color, to subtly convey a brand and product’s values. 

But no matter what the packaging design brief is, you will always benefit by including custom illustrations in it. 

Wondering why and what is so special about illustrations? 

Let’s jump right in. 

Why use illustration in packaging designs?

You want your packaging design to be entirely unique to your brand and something that helps you stand out from the competition. When there are thousands of brands and products in the market, that becomes a little difficult to do. Not just your direct competitors but all those that are vying for consumers’ attention. 

At the end of the day, there are only so many unique combinations of color, typography, and design style.

But illustrations are unique to every concept. Custom illustrations can achieve what even photography cannot in most instances. They are also comparatively inexpensive than elaborate photoshoots to feature in your packaging design. 

By including custom illustrations to your packaging designs, you can: 

  • Create a memorable brand identity and visual identity that is relatable, easy to recall, and relevant to the image you want to project. 
  • Form a deep and meaningful connection with your customer base, especially the younger demographic 
  • Weave a visual story about your brand, product, and the value you bring into your customers’ lives. 
  • Humanize your brand and project a fun side of the packaging. 
  • Convey complex ideas about such topics as manufacturing process, product personality, usage methods, and USPs with ease. 
  • Leverage your packaging designs to convey your brand personality to the customer.
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Source: Shopify

After understanding the benefits custom illustrations bring to your brand, we are sure you can’t wait to get started on creating your own. Before you connect with your design team, you must understand that custom illustrations are not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

You can adopt various custom illustration styles that serve the purpose you want your packaging designs to achieve. 


To give you a clear understanding of the options available, Kimp Graphics brings you a curation of popular custom illustration styles for packaging design.

Custom illustration styles for packaging designs 

Pop Art

Illustrations generally connect well with the younger demographic. It appeals to their sense of whimsy and creativity, painting the brand in a favorable light. If you want to step it up, then pop art custom illustration styles are the way to go. 

The pop art illustration style borrows art from modern popular culture right from the imagery to the color palette. And pop culture, being what it is, immediately attracts the clientele no matter what the shelf placement is. 

If you work in an industry where the primary audience consumes a lot of pop culture or your product line relates to it, it is a perfect choice.

For example, this pop art custom illustration design is for a chip brand. The bold style makes them stand out from the rest of the generic chip packaging designs, while also creating an instant connection with the shoppers.

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Source: Trend Hunter
Comic strip 

Now, we know that custom illustrations help you convey a visual story about your brand, industry, product, or service. And what better way to tell that story than through comic strips? Comic books are a crowd favorite. They are actually the best example that illustrations are a better storytelling medium than text alone. 

When you combine them with packaging design, you have got gold. When you have an illustrated story right there on the cover, everyone who comes across it will pick it up and read it. If you get the design right, then they will make the purchase too.

For e-commerce companies, this is a fun experience they provide to their clients and make them feel special and connected with the brand. 

This packaging design with comic strips provides great relief from solid backgrounds while also engaging customers in the story.

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Source: Trend Hunter
Illustrated Branding Elements 

When you think of packaging design, two things pop into your mind: the brand logo and name. What if you could combine the power of custom illustration with those design elements? 

Illustrations add flair and style to your logo. Hand-drawn logos show the care and effort that have gone into it. You also create a unique visual identity for your brand by illustrating the font you employ. 

When you are looking for minimal designs, or if the package is small, you can choose the simplistic style of having illustrations in your logo and brand name. Illustrations also provide a lot more depth and detail to images than photographs. 

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Source: Kimp

The packaging design above is quite simple in nature. But just by illustrating the brand name, the brand personality is conveyed instantly.

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Source: BP&O
Flat and Spot illustration 

Continuing with the theme of simplicity, flat illustration is a great way to go. Flat illustration styles use clean, sharp edges, and bright colors. In this style, the focus is on just one or two pivotal elements with no surrounding ornamental elements.

You can choose to spread the spotlight on just one or two major designs that are important for your brand. In flat illustration styles, customers have just one element to focus on and it makes it easy to recall. 

Product packaging, such as food, apparel, footwear, and accessories, can employ this illustration style for maximum emphasis and recallability. 

We usually create this illustration style on a computer in vector format, making it suitable for web designs, too. 

If a similar illustration style is hand drawn or sketched, people usually refer to the illustration style as spot illustrations. Both spot and flat graphic illustration styles are minimalistic, clean, bright, and quite engaging. 

Doodles 

For a lot of people when they hear “illustrations in package design”, it often means doodles. This design style has become quite popular in the past few years. It is more abstract, free flowing, and devoid of any one central element. 

The doodle aims to draw attention and give a sense of your brand personality with no specific message in most cases. 

Again, ideal for younger demographics, it is gaining ground among the older generations too. Doodles make packaging fun and interactive. It provides a unique product experience to customers and breaks the monotony of generic product packaging designs.

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Source: Behance

How to Customize your packaging design with custom illustration 

Yes, there are many options when it comes to custom illustrations and their application in packaging design. 

It can intimidate you, but the good news is that the Kimp Graphics team is right there with you in this process. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps and you’ll get the best custom illustration for your packaging design. 

1) Product type and customer base 

The first consideration, in any case, is the product you are designing for, and the customer who will interact with it. You cannot have just any illustration style on your packaging and assume you’ll get the best results.

So defining this in detail will help you narrow down your choices. 

2) Brand identity

Next comes your brand personality and identity. If you are an experienced brand with a serious and earthy-toned brand identity, you cannot choose pop art. You need more subtle and nuanced designs. 

You create a brand identity by knowing your brand and the customers you are targeting. So, it makes little sense to deviate from it just because you like a style or a design. Stick to the brand identity if you want to build recognition in the market.

3) Packaging technical decisions

You know the customer and your brand in detail. The next step is to get designing, right? Actually, no. Packaging design is a highly technical process, and you need a lot more details before the design team can begin.

You must finalize the printing material, printing style, and packaging details to get the design right. The last thing you want is for the color to look less than optimal or for the comic strip to be cut off. 

Talk to your printing team and get the exact details about the paper, printing mechanism, and finishes you will use. If you recall, we spoke about how different color schemes figure in web and print design in an earlier blog. So, the choice of material is important for the illustration to work well on the final product. 

4) Design Brief

The last step is to create a comprehensive design brief for the graphic design team. You need the design team to know all the information you have, including those covered in steps 1-3. You can also include competitor packaging designs, industry standards, and a mood board of your likes and dislikes for more clarity. 

A good design brief saves you half the time on revisions and explanations. Sometimes more!

Enhance your Packaging Design with Kimp’s Custom Illustration services 

Finding a talented illustrator can be an enormous challenge. Finding someone who understands packaging design and marketing is really hard too. It is a very core part of your branding, and you have to get it right. 

Thankfully, with Kimp Graphics’ unlimited graphic design subscription you get custom illustrations AND many different types of graphic design – including packaging design. You can make unlimited design requests, revisions, and have access to a wide range of design services.

All at a flat monthly fee and no hidden charges. Sign up for the free trial to test out the service, and up your packaging design game!