Research and Trends / From the editor

Design Packaging with Depth

September 1, 2014
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I’ve been tired this week. It feels wrong to admit that publicly, a bit like a business no-no. But you know as well as I do that no matter how much we love our work, and despite the way we all try to be superhuman, we are human, and we’re real people. And so are your customers.

While doing some scouting at the shelf for this issue, I happened upon a local brand of coffee: Detroit Bold from Detroit Bold Coffee Co. (formerly AJ’s CoffeeWorks). The packaging is simple but standout: a small brown bag, with a red label and white text on my chosen blend.

Forgive me for sounding slightly pitiful, but buying that product was a respite in my week. Sure, the caffeine helped, but that little bag of coffee felt so authentic. The Detroit spirit — hardworking, determined, unshakeable — meaningfully comes through in the copy. The kraft paper bag felt humble, strong, attainable.

I picked up the coffee on that busy Wednesday because the brand connected with me through its package design. Humans desire genuine, poignant interactions, even in their buying experiences, and especially in hectic hours. Days later, it still makes me happy every time I walk into the kitchen and see that diminutive yet powerful pack on the counter. Good brand packaging forms fast connections with consumers.

If you don’t already know it, find your brand equity, and use it proudly in your art. Design in a way that is true to your brand’s reason for being; put some depth into your structures. Think of your buyers as the complex, real people they are. Create packages that make your fans care.

I’d love to see you at Packaging That Sells, where we focus on impactful brand packaging. We’re a month out from the show, but it’s not too late for you to join our team as well as other brand owners, designers, marketers, and manufacturers and suppliers at the conference. Sign up at

Attending or exhibiting at PACK EXPO? Send me a note before the show; I will be in attendance and would be thrilled to meet up with you or stop by your booth.

 And don’t forget to vote for your favorite packages online (and onsite at Packaging That Sells): We’ll be closing the polls October 14. 

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to BRAND PACKAGING Magazine. 

Recent Articles by Laura Zielinski

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