Joel Warneke Follow

With 20+ years in the field of design, Joel has been recognized nationally by several publications and organizations for his contributions to design including: The Addy Awards, Graphis, Print, HOW, LogoLounge and featured in the book Design Alliance: Uniting Print and Web Design. Joel continues to guide Matter Creative Group in the creation of strategic brand programs, print, digital, interactive initiatives and marketing solutions for a diverse list of healthcare, B2B and B2C clients.

Blog Feb 27, 2019

Why Spring is the best time to rethink your package design.

brand agency Louisville Slugger training aids

A great time to knock your brand out of the park.

After a cold, dark winter, the much anticipated time for rising temps, blooming flowers, longer days and (most importantly) spring training baseball is finally upon us. It's a time of renewal, rebirth and excitement. As we're preparing our yards and sweeping out the garage, it's also a good time to consider if your brand and packaging could use a springtime clean up. For a lot of brands, it's well overdue—much like my flower beds. 

We were recently tasked by GameMaster Athletic to re-design their line of Louisville Slugger branded game-improvement, training and performance products. When we approach a project like this, there are five key things we consider as part of our process. Think about it, you only have a few seconds to grab the customers’ attention, differentiate your products and quickly and clearly communicate the product benefits.

Five things to keep in mind when considering your package design:

1. Know your audience

Before we begin the design process, we have to know who we're designing for and what motivates them to make a purchase. Makes sense right? But you would be amazed at how many creatives design for themselves rather than the intended audience. 

You should be asking yourself:

  • Who is purchasing your product?
    (gender, age, education and income level, interests, geographic location, etc.—any information that you can gather that helps shape the buyer persona)
  • What problem are they trying to solve? 
  • How are you uniquely solving that problem?

2. Visual hierarchy 

Visual hierarchy refers to the arrangement or presentation of elements in a way that implies importance. In other words, visual hierarchy influences the order in which the human eye perceives what it sees. This order is created by the visual contrast between forms in a field of perception. Objects with highest contrast to their surroundings are recognized first by the human mind. So it's vital to know what priority of communication is most important to our audience.  

3. Shelf appeal and differentiation

Today 70% of consumer purchasing decisions are taken at the retail shelf. That should tell you how important packaging is at point-of-sale. Does your packaging pop off the shelf and grab the customers attention?

Your packaging should:

  • Be well-crafted and skillfully designed
  • Clearly depict the product and benefits
  • Emotionally stimulate through color, layout and typography 
  • Utilize professionally produced and proprietary imagery
  • Prominently communicate your brand  

4. Consistency and continuity

During the creative development phase, you must consider how the design language will translate and consistently adapt to other products and packaging configurations. Brand continuity is essential for success because it helps businesses reinforce their image. The more often customers see the same image, the more likely they'll retain it.

5. Keep it simple

Simple design is more effective. In a busy, visually crowded market, we so rarely experience moments of visual (or auditory) calm that we gravitate toward it. "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." —Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Matter Creative Group is an independent, award-winning design agency with locations in Cincinnati, Ohio and Austin, Texas. Our expertise is blending strategy and creativity to build and activate brands. Together, we can create relationships with your audiences that drive desired business results. Your brand matters. Let’s cut through the clutter and tell the world.