Packaging Design Company and CPG Design

View of RKS CPG Product Design Firm FreshRealm in Context

Packaging Design Company and CPG Design

We are a human-centered packaging design & development company.

RKS logo small
Mechanical Engineers Prototyping for CPG Product Design and Development
About RKS
As a packaging design firm, we have developed and implemented work on hundreds of projects, including consumer packaged goods (CPG) for companies in the food, beverage, office, cleaning, automotive, and sustainable packaging spaces. Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies to innovative young startups. Similarly, we’ve worked at various stages of product lifecycles. As a full-service packaging design firm, we offer services in design research, design, industrial design, experience design, and digital design. We also have a team of experts that provide more specialized services in definition, technology roadmap creation, future concept creation, user research, usability testing, engineering verification, proof of concept prototyping, beta prototyping, intellectual property support, and more.
RKS is a forty-year-old comprehensive innovation, design, development, and engineering firm. Over our long history, we’ve created and improved CPG, and we assist at all stages of a CPG life cycle. We use our advanced psycho-aesthetic framework to solve complex problems that address design, engineering, brand, and regulatory issues. Our cross-disciplinary specialists, researchers, designers, and engineers leverage their deep understanding of multiple industries and technologies to spark creative and innovative solutions to our clients’ problems.
Mechanical Engineers Prototyping for CPG Product Design and Development
Innovating better, together, since 1980.
We are a human-centered packaging design & development company.
RKS logo small
CPG and Packaging Design Services
View of RKS Design Industrial Design Firm two individuals looking up at wall of Psycho Aesthetics Imagery
Prototyping for CPG Product Design and Development

About RKS

As a packaging design firm, we have developed and implemented work on hundreds of projects, including consumer packaged goods (CPG) for companies in the food, beverage, office, cleaning, automotive, and sustainable packaging spaces. Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies to innovative young startups. Similarly, we’ve worked at various stages of product lifecycles. As a full-service packaging design firm, we offer services in design research, design, industrial design, experience design, and digital design. We also have a team of experts that provide more specialized services in definition, technology roadmap creation, future concept creation, user research, usability testing, engineering verification, proof of concept prototyping, beta prototyping, intellectual property support, and more.

RKS is a forty-year-old comprehensive innovation, design, development, and engineering firm. Over our long history, we’ve created and improved CPG, and we assist at all stages of a CPG life cycle. We use our advanced psycho-aesthetic framework to solve complex problems that address design, engineering, brand, and regulatory issues. Our cross-disciplinary specialists, researchers, designers, and engineers leverage their deep understanding of multiple industries and technologies to spark creative and innovative solutions to our clients’ problems.
RKS logo small
Innovating better, together, since 1980.

Human-Centered Process

Our consumer packaging design company uses a uniquely human-centered approach. Psycho Aesthetics (P/A) is our unique approach to design thinking. Over the decades spent developing and evolving P/A, it has continuously progressed into a highly advanced design-thinking tool and framework that allows designers to create shared objective, pragmatic, and insightful approaches to everything from research, design, and engineering, to UX, branding, name development, mission and vision 

statements, user interaction, and more. It provides an open design framework under which the key understandings of mapping onto a consistent framework combine with the creation of a “hero’s journey” for all stakeholders, from consumers to members of our own teams. P/A is a universal design tool and framework that is only limited by individuals’ openness to working within frameworks and their own talents. Combined with “design doing,” success is exponentially advanced when created through this framework.

View of industrial design, research, and engineering for BigBox Play

Research Design

In many cases, designers are not the consumers. However, with CPG and packaging design our designers often have an intuitive understanding of the needs of users. We seek to overcome any potential overconfidence using our psycho-aesthetic framework to research plan and process to qualify and quantify the exact pains of consumers. Using this deeper understanding and insight into consumers’ behavior and psychological patterns, RKS designs create long and lasting benefits to users over many years. The foundation of this success comes from insights into users, their needs, their aspirations, their challenges, how they work, how they live, how they play, and the interior and social architecture of their lives. We use this picture as the basis of our designs. Ultimately, products informed by user research are safer, easier to learn, and simpler to use, and deliver benefits that are the highest value to users over a long period of time and lowest cost to suppliers. In addition to ethnography and observation, we use interviews, benchmarking, and competitive analyses, as well as evaluative research methods such as human factors evaluation, simulated use, and comparative testing.

Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic research is a cornerstone of our advanced design thinking methodology, psycho-aesthetics. Ethnographic research is a qualitative method where our researchers observe and interact with potential consumers in their real-life environment. For CPG our research is focused on where, when, and why consumers choose to use existing and new products. We routinely go into the field to observe users in a broad range of contexts from their homes to their hobbies. In the case of retail, we visit retailers and learn how purchases are made or not made. In many cases, we ask users to make a switch or behavior change. This ethnographic research helps us deliver benefits that achieve the 10x or more that is required for users to make that change. When we can’t meet with consumers physically, we use current and emerging technology to gather and analyze data such as VR/AR, IoT tracking, and digital presence. Our team has years of experience designing, executing, and transferring data from our ethnographies to award-winning designs.

Consumer Packaging Strategy

Determining a strategy for packaging requires a holistic approach. We consider everything from our client’s priorities, to financial investment, to regulatory requirements, to market identification. In other words, we are not just looking at the product, but the entire UX within the product and the market context. We identify the essential packaging features and balance those against both packaging cost and project schedule to come up with a product that meets the consumer’s requirements at a price that they are willing to pay. Our designers serve as consumer advocates, examining all the elements of the UX including everything from user manuals to product graphics, the UI, and servicing issues. To make the most cost-effective packaging possible, we consider questions, such as what happens when this product is at the end of its life, to what a consumer does with it, to how they disassemble it.

Packaging Regulation Support

Because of their general appeal, CPG often have regulatory and compliance requirements. In the US, edible goods must be approved by the FDA for general sales. Other federal regulations might require certain labels to be added, while individual states may also require the same. Similarly edible goods sold in the EU must comply with Regulation No 1169/2011. Non-edible CPG such as those in the beauty, home, and office, need to have tamper-resistant packing and/or comply with non-toxic guidelines. We consider these regulatory and compliance needs throughout the design process so that our designs are ready to be tested by the relevant agencies and third-party testing centers.
RKS Product Design Firm designed Baby Barista

Market Identification

Once we synthesize our research, we can create insights that will make their way into the product. By identifying repeating patterns of desire in the personas, we are able to define what is most important to each individual. We call these patterns of desire Key Attractors, and we can turn them into considerations to motivate the product design. These Key Attractors will motivate us to choose specific design features, touchpoints, haptics, and emotional responses that engage particular target groups. They will continue to provide guidance throughout the design process and can be evaluated against competitive offerings to ensure the creation of unique products and services that successfully differentiate in the market.

Packaging Design and Development

The experience of CPG is a combination of the industrial design, UI, and branding into a compelling human-centered UX. User-centric design employs an emotionally agnostic approach, focused primarily on the tangible, physiological ways users interact with a platform. Human-centric design on the other hand, incorporates their emotional or psychological preferences as well. For CPG we focus on UX, brand, and digital experiences that not only have a user-centric component, but a human-centered component as 

well. This type of design can encompass the way a product is presented, to the way it feels when opening, to the sound it makes when a user is using it. This type of attention to detail defines our innovative approach. From the color to texture we consider all aspects of the user experience. With a special focus on affirmations, we focus on giving users feedback that they have used a product successfully. In turn, this created positive self images for the user, and a desire to use the item again and again, while recommending it.
RKS Product Design Firm designed Unilever Sustainability Strategy

Packaging Design

Our design and formulation teams use our unique P/A design framework, which aims to create emotional connections between the product and consumers. To this end, we ask not how a design makes a consumer feel, but how a design makes them feel about themselves. As a human-centered food packaging design agency, we consider not only aesthetic aspects, specific shape, color, but also feel, and delivery of “Moments of Truth”. In making choices to fulfill their needs, consumers are seeking acceptance of others, and to convey empowerment.

Sustainable Packaging Design

CPG packaging is often the nexus of complicated regulatory, UX, and sustainability issues. Most packaging has to be both tamper resistant, and child-friendly. Retail as an industry is requiring more packaging to conform to their operations. Packaging is also usually the first interaction a consumer has with a product, and must not only signal what it is, but what the consumer wants, and why their choice delivers a comparative advantage to competition. As more consumers look for this type of transparency, packaging has to be firmly rooted in the value it provides it the consumer. In addition, it’s also more important than ever to consider packaging sustainability. More consumers check packaging for sustainable materials and more municipalities require them, just as more supply chains are being built to create sustainability packaging. RKS has been chosen as one of a handful of key partners to help companies create Amazon-certified sustainable packaging. Sustainable packaging remains a key aspect of a market-leading design.

Proof of Concept

Our proof of concept method enables our team to share internal knowledge, explore emerging technologies on the product roadmap, and provide a tangible concept. By its nature a proof of concept (POC) is a small exercise to test the design idea, an assumption, or a technology. The main purpose of developing a POC is to demonstrate the basic functionality of our design or formulation and to verify a certain concept or theory that can be achieved in development. Before an actual prototype is made a POC is a way for us to solicit feedback from our team and our clients, so that we can narrow our design for the next stage. While it’s tempting to move through this phase quickly, the proof of concept is a stage where key materials, form, and function are often chosen.

Beta Prototyping

Beta Prototyping is a quick and effective way of bringing a proof of concept to life and allows potential consumers to evaluate, test and share their feedback. Often this means seeing how consumers find, open, and use our designs in the real world, or in focus groups. We can use this feedback to make improvements to design and functionality. These improvements often reduce the cost as features are narrowed and technologies and materials are substituted. Internally, beta prototyping also helps our team create a more accurate estimate of how long it will take to complete a production model, and after that to manufacturing. Because our human-centered design framework focuses on the consumer, prototyping is one of the most useful activities for moving forward into production, while quickly finding any issues.
View of RKS Product Design Firm Big Box Play Packaging Design Breakdown
View of industrial design, engineering, and research for Freshrealm

Future Concept Development

After designing a proof of concept and producing a prototype, we roadmap future features, and technologies. Future concept development engages the dynamic environment of future technologies, global trends, changing markets, and user needs. Future concepts can include simple requirements or additional proof of concepts and prototypes. This part of the process often depends on the needs of the client. Often these future concepts are used for creating upgraded and updated versions, as well as creating multiple versions to meet different market demands. Importantly, these future concepts give our clients an idea of the future area of intellectual property.

Intellectual Property Support

Patenting product formulations or packaging can be critical in creating lasting value to our clients and to end consumers. We consider whether there is technology to patent early on in the design process, and work with our customers to file patents to the USPTO. We routinely assist attorneys and agents with the technical muscle to support the patent applications of our clients. Our experts help patent professionals draft effective and comprehensive claims based on the invention and the characterization data. In addition to data, we provide clear technical support throughout the entire application. In the end, patents allow our customers to own outright the innovations we build together.

Product Engineering and Service Design

The experience of CPG is a combination of the industrial design, UI, and branding into a compelling human-centered UX. User-centric design employs an emotionally agnostic approach, focused primarily on the tangible, physiological ways users interact with a platform. Human-centric design on the other hand, incorporates their emotional or psychological preferences as well. For CPG we focus on UX, brand, and digital experiences that not only have a user-centric component, but a human-centered component as well. This type of design can encompass the way a product is 

presented, to the way it feels when opening, to the sound it makes when a user is using it. This type of attention to detail defines our innovative approach. From the color to texture we consider all aspects of the user experience. With a special focus on affirmations, we focus on giving users feedback that they have used a product successfully. In turn, this created positive self images for the user, and a desire to use the item again and again, while recommending it.
RKS designers working with Talis medical on their designs

Packaging UX Design

User experience (UX) defines a great consumer product or service. Three ways that this UX can be measured is performance, accuracy, and usability. To perform a design must meet the basic needs of users, while solving pain points and creating a solution that is multiples better than existing solutions. To be accurate a design works around clear specifications that can be used in manufacture to create a consistent UX. To be usable a design is instantly familiar to users. In order for these higher standards to be met, the UX must be considered from research, through design, development, and on to manufacturing. We consider all aspects of the product from its physical dimensions, and its technical limitations.

Logo and Brand Packaging Design

A brand defines the emotional connection between a product and a user through how the design makes the user feel about themself. For new consumer brands, which often compete in crowded competitive environments, it is absolutely essential to have a memorable identity. A memorable brand creates a foundation for products to differentiate themselves from the competition in the market, attract investors and partners, set guardrails for marketing, and charge based on the value the brand provides. Creating a logo and color scheme, typography, and icon set is an important step in brand creation. In particular, successful logos tell the user how they will receive value, while making the user feel good about themselves. Logos also lead to strong brand recognition over time. It’s not only important that the logo fits the design, but that the design fits the logo. In cases where a brand or collection of brands already have strong recognition in the marketplace, it’s important that the overall design is consistent with that brand or collection of brands. In cases where we are tasked with creating a brand or collection of brands, we begin with a multi-phase interaction of business analysis, audience analysis, brand positioning, creative and messaging, implementation, and maintenance and measurement. Together, and across the entire project we work to find the right brand or brands to represent the new design or designs.

Digital Development

Traditionally, CPG have been analog-first, focusing on the materials that people can physically touch or consume. Newer CPG increasingly blend the analog and digital worlds. In many cases, the software and hardware that are used to dispense the product or use it, are key digital experiences. We believe that this trend will continue. In creating new CPG, we consider the need for digital developmentalongside traditional analog development. RKS is a full-service digital agency that uses the latest tools and technologies. These technologies are augmented reality SDKs, AI based facial tracking and body tracking/scanning, natural language processing with Amazon Lex, blockchain technologies including smart contracts, decentralized security and privacy frameworks, machine machine learning algorithms and deep learning with TensorFlow and sci-kit, video and image processing, on-device hardware integration, IoT and beacon technologies, and 3D imaging using OpenGL.

Other Packaging Design Services

Existing brands often want us to work directly with agencies on the creation and promotion of their new goods. This type of collaboration usually starts from the beginning and includes understanding of the marketing and creative strategy from the beginning. This helps ensure that the result is an expected success that meets the market demand. In other instances, clients ask us to match them with the right creative agencies that can do their marketing. In these types of collaborations we offer a variety of services to our clients that often replicate the traditional agency role. These traditional agency roles go beyond creative work, and include online advertising buying, ongoing logo design and improvement, and marketing strategy.
View of RKS Software Development team going over sticky note wall moving and editing

FAQ's

Packaging Design is the creation and development of the visual and structural design of packages for various consumer products. It is a critical aspect of product marketing, as it helps protect and preserve the product, while also creating an attractive and compelling design that appeals to consumers. Packaging Design encompasses a wide range of elements, including graphics, typography, imagery, and materials selection, to create a cohesive and eye-catching design that conveys information about the product, its use, and the company behind it. Whether it’s a product on the shelves of a store or a package delivered to a customer’s door, Packaging Design plays a vital role in the success of a product.

When it comes to hiring a Packaging Designer, there are several steps you can take to ensure you find the right fit for your needs.

  1. Define your design needs: Clearly identify your packaging goals, target audience, and desired aesthetic.
  2. Research and create a list of potential designers: Look for designers with experience in the specific type of packaging you require and check their portfolios.
  3. Evaluate each designer’s qualifications: Consider factors such as experience, style, and creativity.
  4. Request quotes and compare pricing: Get a clear understanding of the cost and scope of each designer’s services.
  5. Schedule an interview: Schedule a meeting with the top contenders to get a better understanding of their approach and communication style.
  6. Make a decision: Choose the designer who best aligns with your design needs and budget.
  7. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect Packaging Designer to elevate your product and take it to the next level.”

Services offered by a Packaging Design Agency typically include:

  • Design concept creation
  • Material selection
  • Graphics and typography design
  • Prototype development
  • Testing and evaluation
  • Brand strategy and consultation
  • Sustainability analysis
  • A Packaging Design Agency works closely with clients to understand their goals and target audience, and develops a unique and effective design that aligns with their brand and meets their specific packaging needs. By leveraging their expertise in packaging design, a Packaging Design Agency can help bring your product to life and drive sales and success.

Sustainable Packaging refers to the design and production of packaging materials that have minimal negative impact on the environment. It aims to reduce waste and conserve natural resources, while also protecting the environment and promoting a sustainable future.

There are numerous benefits of Sustainable Packaging, including:

  1. Reducing waste: Sustainable packaging minimizes waste and encourages the use of renewable resources, reducing the burden on landfills and the environment.
  2. Conserving resources: The use of sustainable packaging materials conserves natural resources such as water, energy, and raw materials.
  3. Protecting the environment: Sustainable packaging reduces the emission of harmful pollutants, such as greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals, that harm the environment and human health.
  4. Improving brand reputation: Brands that adopt sustainable packaging practices often see a positive impact on their reputation, as consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases.
  5. Cost savings: Implementing sustainable packaging strategies can result in cost savings by reducing waste, conserving resources, and improving efficiency.
  6. By choosing sustainable packaging, businesses and consumers can play a vital role in protecting the environment and promoting a sustainable future.”

Packaging design and branding design are two distinct design disciplines, each with its own unique set of goals, techniques, and considerations. Packaging design focuses on the design of the physical packaging for a product, including the shape, materials, and graphics used to create a package that effectively protects and sells the product. The primary goals of packaging design are to protect the product, attract attention on the shelves, and communicate key information to the consumer.

Branding design, on the other hand, is a broader design discipline that encompasses all aspects of a brand’s visual identity. This includes logos, typography, color palettes, and other visual elements used to create a consistent and recognizable brand image. The primary goals of branding design are to establish a brand’s identity, build brand recognition and loyalty, and communicate the brand’s values and personality to its target audience.

While packaging design is a crucial component of branding, it is just one aspect of a brand’s overall visual identity. A well-designed packaging may play an important role in attracting attention, building brand recognition, and communicating key information, but branding design is essential for establishing a brand’s identity and building long-term brand equity.

Packaging design is a dynamic and exciting career field that requires creativity, technical expertise, and an understanding of consumer needs and trends. If you’re interested in becoming a packaging designer, here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Obtain a design education. Many packaging designers have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, product design, or a related field. Look for programs that offer hands-on experience with packaging design projects, as well as courses in product design, branding, and marketing.
  2. Build your portfolio. Your portfolio is your greatest asset as a packaging designer, showcasing your skills, creativity, and style to potential clients and employers. Focus on creating a strong, diverse portfolio that showcases your packaging design skills and showcases your understanding of consumer needs and trends.
  3. Get industry experience. Gain real-world experience by interning at a packaging design agency, working on freelance projects, or taking on packaging design projects as part of your job in a related field.
  4. Stay current with industry trends. Packaging design is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the industry. Attend workshops, conferences, and trade shows, and connect with other professionals in the industry to expand your knowledge and skills.
  5. Network and market yourself. Build a strong network of industry contacts and reach out to potential clients and employers to showcase your skills and experience. Establish a strong online presence through your website, social media, and professional profiles.

By following these steps, you can lay the foundation for a successful career in packaging design, where you can use your creativity, technical expertise, and understanding of consumer needs to create innovative, effective, and sustainable packaging solutions.

The amount of time it takes to design a package can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the complexity of the design, the number of revisions required, the size of the team working on the project, and the communication and decision-making processes in place. On average, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to design a package, but this can vary greatly based on the specific requirements of the project. To ensure that the design process runs smoothly, it’s important to have a clear timeline, communication channels, and well-defined goals in place. This can help to minimize delays and ensure that the final design meets the expectations of all parties involved.

Consumer Products Project Spotlight​​
BigBox Play​​
A robust low-tech system that provides children with the ability to advance through creative play.
Elevate Grill​​
A compact, portable, grilling experience.
Child Safety Network​​
Repositioning a brand in its 30th year to help appeal to millennial parents and facilitate fundraising to ensure the safety of kids.
Experience more of our Consumer Products​​
Human-Centered Process

Our consumer packaging design company uses a uniquely human-centered approach. Psycho Aesthetics (P/A) is our unique approach to design thinking. Over the decades spent developing and evolving P/A, it has continuously progressed into a highly advanced design-thinking tool and framework that allows designers to create shared objective, pragmatic, and insightful approaches to everything from research, design, and engineering, to UX, branding, name development, mission and vision statements, user interaction, and more. It provides an open design framework under which the key understandings of mapping onto a consistent framework combine with the creation of a “hero’s journey” for all stakeholders, from consumers to members of our own teams. 

 

P/A is a universal design tool and framework that is only limited by individuals’ openness to working within frameworks and their own talents. Combined with “design doing,” success is exponentially advanced when created through this framework.

View of industrial design, research, and engineering for BigBox Play
Research Design

In many cases, designers are not the consumers. However, with CPG and packaging design our designers often have an intuitive understanding of the needs of users. We seek to overcome any potential overconfidence using our psycho-aesthetic framework to research plan and process to qualify and quantify the exact pains of consumers. Using this deeper understanding and insight into consumers’ behavior and psychological patterns, RKS designs create long and lasting benefits to users over many years. The foundation of this success comes from insights into users, their needs, their aspirations, their challenges, how they work, how they live, how they play, and the interior and social architecture of their lives. We use this picture as the basis of our designs.

 

Ultimately, products informed by user research are safer, easier to learn, and simpler to use, and deliver benefits that are the highest value to users over a long period of time and lowest cost to suppliers. In addition to ethnography and observation, we use interviews, benchmarking, and competitive analyses, as well as evaluative research methods such as human factors evaluation, simulated use, and comparative testing.

Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic research is a cornerstone of our advanced design thinking methodology, psycho-aesthetics. Ethnographic research is a qualitative method where our researchers observe and interact with potential consumers in their real-life environment. For CPG our research is focused on where, when, and why consumers choose to use existing and new products. We routinely go into the field to observe users in a broad range of contexts from their homes to their hobbies. In the case of retail, we visit retailers and learn how purchases are made or not made. In many cases, we ask users to make a switch or behavior change. This ethnographic research helps us deliver benefits that achieve the 10x or more that is required for users to make that change. 

 

When we can’t meet with consumers physically, we use current and emerging technology to gather and analyze data such as VR/AR, IoT tracking, and digital presence. Our team has years of experience designing, executing, and transferring data from our ethnographies to award-winning designs.

Consumer Packaging Strategy

Determining a strategy for packaging requires a holistic approach. We consider everything from our client’s priorities, to financial investment, to regulatory requirements, to market identification. In other words, we are not just looking at the product, but the entire UX within the product and the market context. We identify the essential packaging features and balance those against both packaging cost and project schedule to come up with a product that meets the consumer’s requirements at a price that they are willing to pay. 

 

Our designers serve as consumer advocates, examining all the elements of the UX including everything from user manuals to product graphics, the UI, and servicing issues. To make the most cost-effective packaging possible, we consider questions, such as what happens when this product is at the end of its life, to what a consumer does with it, to how they disassemble it.

Packaging Regulation Support
Because of their general appeal, CPG often have regulatory and compliance requirements. In the US, edible goods must be approved by the FDA for general sales. Other federal regulations might require certain labels to be added, while individual states may also require the same. Similarly edible goods sold in the EU must comply with Regulation No 1169/2011. Non-edible CPG such as those in the beauty, home, and office, need to have tamper-resistant packing and/or comply with non-toxic guidelines. We consider these regulatory and compliance needs throughout the design process so that our designs are ready to be tested by the relevant agencies and third-party testing centers.
RKS Product Design Firm designed Baby Barista
Market Identification
Once we synthesize our research, we can create insights that will make their way into the product. By identifying repeating patterns of desire in the personas, we are able to define what is most important to each individual. We call these patterns of desire Key Attractors, and we can turn them into considerations to motivate the product design. These Key Attractors will motivate us to choose specific design features, touchpoints, haptics, and emotional responses that engage particular target groups. They will continue to provide guidance throughout the design process and can be evaluated against competitive offerings to ensure the creation of unique products and services that successfully differentiate in the market.
Packaging Design and Development

The experience of CPG is a combination of the industrial design, UI, and branding into a compelling human-centered UX. User-centric design employs an emotionally agnostic approach, focused primarily on the tangible, physiological ways users interact with a platform. Human-centric design on the other hand, incorporates their emotional or psychological preferences as well. 

 

For CPG we focus on UX, brand, and digital experiences that not only have a user-centric component, but a human-centered component as well. This type of design can encompass the way a product is presented, to the way it feels when opening, to the sound it makes when a user is using it. This type of attention to detail defines our innovative approach. From the color to texture we consider all aspects of the user experience. With a special focus on affirmations, we focus on giving users feedback that they have used a product successfully. In turn, this created positive self images for the user, and a desire to use the item again and again, while recommending it.

RKS Product Design Firm designed Unilever Sustainability Strategy
Packaging Design
Our design and formulation teams use our unique P/A design framework, which aims to create emotional connections between the product and consumers. To this end, we ask not how a design makes a consumer feel, but how a design makes them feel about themselves. As a human-centered food packaging design agency, we consider not only aesthetic aspects, specific shape, color, but also feel, and delivery of “Moments of Truth”. In making choices to fulfill their needs, consumers are seeking acceptance of others, and to convey empowerment.
Sustainable Packaging Design

CPG packaging is often the nexus of complicated regulatory, UX, and sustainability issues. Most packaging has to be both tamper resistant, and child-friendly. Retail as an industry is requiring more packaging to conform to their operations. Packaging is also usually the first interaction a consumer has with a product, and must not only signal what it is, but what the consumer wants, and why their choice delivers a comparative advantage to competition. As more consumers look for this type of transparency, packaging has to be firmly rooted in the value it provides it the consumer. In addition, it’s also more important than ever to consider packaging sustainability. More consumers check packaging for sustainable materials and more municipalities require them, just as more supply chains are being built to create sustainability packaging. 

 

RKS has been chosen as one of a handful of key partners to help companies create Amazon-certified sustainable packaging. Sustainable packaging remains a key aspect of a market-leading design.

View of RKS Product Design Firm Big Box Play Packaging Design Breakdown
Proof of Concept
Our proof of concept method enables our team to share internal knowledge, explore emerging technologies on the product roadmap, and provide a tangible concept. By its nature a proof of concept (POC) is a small exercise to test the design idea, an assumption, or a technology. The main purpose of developing a POC is to demonstrate the basic functionality of our design or formulation and to verify a certain concept or theory that can be achieved in development. Before an actual prototype is made a POC is a way for us to solicit feedback from our team and our clients, so that we can narrow our design for the next stage. While it’s tempting to move through this phase quickly, the proof of concept is a stage where key materials, form, and function are often chosen.
Beta Prototyping
Beta Prototyping is a quick and effective way of bringing a proof of concept to life and allows potential consumers to evaluate, test and share their feedback. Often this means seeing how consumers find, open, and use our designs in the real world, or in focus groups. We can use this feedback to make improvements to design and functionality. These improvements often reduce the cost as features are narrowed and technologies and materials are substituted. Internally, beta prototyping also helps our team create a more accurate estimate of how long it will take to complete a production model, and after that to manufacturing. Because our human-centered design framework focuses on the consumer, prototyping is one of the most useful activities for moving forward into production, while quickly finding any issues.
View of industrial design, engineering, and research for Freshrealm
Future Concept Development
After designing a proof of concept and producing a prototype, we roadmap future features, and technologies. Future concept development engages the dynamic environment of future technologies, global trends, changing markets, and user needs. Future concepts can include simple requirements or additional proof of concepts and prototypes. This part of the process often depends on the needs of the client. Often these future concepts are used for creating upgraded and updated versions, as well as creating multiple versions to meet different market demands. Importantly, these future concepts give our clients an idea of the future area of intellectual property.
Intellectual Property Support
Patenting product formulations or packaging can be critical in creating lasting value to our clients and to end consumers. We consider whether there is technology to patent early on in the design process, and work with our customers to file patents to the USPTO. We routinely assist attorneys and agents with the technical muscle to support the patent applications of our clients. Our experts help patent professionals draft effective and comprehensive claims based on the invention and the characterization data. In addition to data, we provide clear technical support throughout the entire application. In the end, patents allow our customers to own outright the innovations we build together.
Product Engineering and Service Design

The experience of CPG is a combination of the industrial design, UI, and branding into a compelling human-centered UX. User-centric design employs an emotionally agnostic approach, focused primarily on the tangible, physiological ways users interact with a platform. Human-centric design on the other hand, incorporates their emotional or psychological preferences as well. For CPG we focus on UX, brand, and digital experiences that not only have a user-centric component, but a human-centered component as well. This type of design can encompass the way a product is presented, to the way it feels when opening, to the sound it makes when a user is using it. This type of attention to detail defines our innovative approach. From the color to texture we consider all aspects of the user experience. 

 

With a special focus on affirmations, we focus on giving users feedback that they have used a product successfully. In turn, this created positive self images for the user, and a desire to use the item again and again, while recommending it.

RKS designers working with Talis medical on their designs
Packaging UX Design
User experience (UX) defines a great consumer product or service. Three ways that this UX can be measured is performance, accuracy, and usability. To perform a design must meet the basic needs of users, while solving pain points and creating a solution that is multiples better than existing solutions. To be accurate a design works around clear specifications that can be used in manufacture to create a consistent UX. To be usable a design is instantly familiar to users. In order for these higher standards to be met, the UX must be considered from research, through design, development, and on to manufacturing. We consider all aspects of the product from its physical dimensions, and its technical limitations.
Logo and Brand Packaging Design

A brand defines the emotional connection between a product and a user through how the design makes the user feel about themself. For new consumer brands, which often compete in crowded competitive environments, it is absolutely essential to have a memorable identity. A memorable brand creates a foundation for products to differentiate themselves from the competition in the market, attract investors and partners, set guardrails for marketing, and charge based on the value the brand provides. 

 

Creating a logo and color scheme, typography, and icon set is an important step in brand creation. In particular, successful logos tell the user how they will receive value, while making the user feel good about themselves. Logos also lead to strong brand recognition over time. It’s not only important that the logo fits the design, but that the design fits the logo. In cases where a brand or collection of brands already have strong recognition in the marketplace, it’s important that the overall design is consistent with that brand or collection of brands. In cases where we are tasked with creating a brand or collection of brands, we begin with a multi-phase interaction of business analysis, audience analysis, brand positioning, creative and messaging, implementation, and maintenance and measurement.

 

 Together, and across the entire project we work to find the right brand or brands to represent the new design or designs.

View of RKS Software Development team going over sticky note wall moving and editing
Digital Development

Traditionally, CPG have been analog-first, focusing on the materials that people can physically touch or consume. Newer CPG increasingly blend the analog and digital worlds. In many cases, the software and hardware that are used to dispense the product or use it, are key digital experiences. We believe that this trend will continue. In creating new CPG, we consider the need for digital development alongside traditional analog development. 

 

RKS is a full-service digital agency that uses the latest tools and technologies. These technologies are augmented reality SDKs, AI based facial tracking and body tracking/scanning, natural language processing with Amazon Lex, blockchain technologies including smart contracts, decentralized security and privacy frameworks, machine machine learning algorithms and deep learning with TensorFlow and sci-kit, video and image processing, on-device hardware integration, IoT and beacon technologies, and 3D imaging using OpenGL.

Other Packaging Design Services
Existing brands often want us to work directly with agencies on the creation and promotion of their new goods. This type of collaboration usually starts from the beginning and includes understanding of the marketing and creative strategy from the beginning. This helps ensure that the result is an expected success that meets the market demand. In other instances, clients ask us to match them with the right creative agencies that can do their marketing. In these types of collaborations we offer a variety of services to our clients that often replicate the traditional agency role. These traditional agency roles go beyond creative work, and include online advertising buying, ongoing logo design and improvement, and marketing strategy.

FAQ's

Packaging Design is the creation and development of the visual and structural design of packages for various consumer products. It is a critical aspect of product marketing, as it helps protect and preserve the product, while also creating an attractive and compelling design that appeals to consumers. Packaging Design encompasses a wide range of elements, including graphics, typography, imagery, and materials selection, to create a cohesive and eye-catching design that conveys information about the product, its use, and the company behind it. Whether it’s a product on the shelves of a store or a package delivered to a customer’s door, Packaging Design plays a vital role in the success of a product.

When it comes to hiring a Packaging Designer, there are several steps you can take to ensure you find the right fit for your needs.

  1. Define your design needs: Clearly identify your packaging goals, target audience, and desired aesthetic.
  2. Research and create a list of potential designers: Look for designers with experience in the specific type of packaging you require and check their portfolios.
  3. Evaluate each designer’s qualifications: Consider factors such as experience, style, and creativity.
  4. Request quotes and compare pricing: Get a clear understanding of the cost and scope of each designer’s services.
  5. Schedule an interview: Schedule a meeting with the top contenders to get a better understanding of their approach and communication style.
  6. Make a decision: Choose the designer who best aligns with your design needs and budget.
  7. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect Packaging Designer to elevate your product and take it to the next level.”

Services offered by a Packaging Design Agency typically include:

  • Design concept creation
  • Material selection
  • Graphics and typography design
  • Prototype development
  • Testing and evaluation
  • Brand strategy and consultation
  • Sustainability analysis
  • A Packaging Design Agency works closely with clients to understand their goals and target audience, and develops a unique and effective design that aligns with their brand and meets their specific packaging needs. By leveraging their expertise in packaging design, a Packaging Design Agency can help bring your product to life and drive sales and success.

Sustainable Packaging refers to the design and production of packaging materials that have minimal negative impact on the environment. It aims to reduce waste and conserve natural resources, while also protecting the environment and promoting a sustainable future.

There are numerous benefits of Sustainable Packaging, including:

  1. Reducing waste: Sustainable packaging minimizes waste and encourages the use of renewable resources, reducing the burden on landfills and the environment.
  2. Conserving resources: The use of sustainable packaging materials conserves natural resources such as water, energy, and raw materials.
  3. Protecting the environment: Sustainable packaging reduces the emission of harmful pollutants, such as greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals, that harm the environment and human health.
  4. Improving brand reputation: Brands that adopt sustainable packaging practices often see a positive impact on their reputation, as consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases.
  5. Cost savings: Implementing sustainable packaging strategies can result in cost savings by reducing waste, conserving resources, and improving efficiency.
  6. By choosing sustainable packaging, businesses and consumers can play a vital role in protecting the environment and promoting a sustainable future.”

Packaging design and branding design are two distinct design disciplines, each with its own unique set of goals, techniques, and considerations. Packaging design focuses on the design of the physical packaging for a product, including the shape, materials, and graphics used to create a package that effectively protects and sells the product. The primary goals of packaging design are to protect the product, attract attention on the shelves, and communicate key information to the consumer.

Branding design, on the other hand, is a broader design discipline that encompasses all aspects of a brand’s visual identity. This includes logos, typography, color palettes, and other visual elements used to create a consistent and recognizable brand image. The primary goals of branding design are to establish a brand’s identity, build brand recognition and loyalty, and communicate the brand’s values and personality to its target audience.

While packaging design is a crucial component of branding, it is just one aspect of a brand’s overall visual identity. A well-designed packaging may play an important role in attracting attention, building brand recognition, and communicating key information, but branding design is essential for establishing a brand’s identity and building long-term brand equity.

Packaging design is a dynamic and exciting career field that requires creativity, technical expertise, and an understanding of consumer needs and trends. If you’re interested in becoming a packaging designer, here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Obtain a design education. Many packaging designers have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, product design, or a related field. Look for programs that offer hands-on experience with packaging design projects, as well as courses in product design, branding, and marketing.
  2. Build your portfolio. Your portfolio is your greatest asset as a packaging designer, showcasing your skills, creativity, and style to potential clients and employers. Focus on creating a strong, diverse portfolio that showcases your packaging design skills and showcases your understanding of consumer needs and trends.
  3. Get industry experience. Gain real-world experience by interning at a packaging design agency, working on freelance projects, or taking on packaging design projects as part of your job in a related field.
  4. Stay current with industry trends. Packaging design is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the industry. Attend workshops, conferences, and trade shows, and connect with other professionals in the industry to expand your knowledge and skills.
  5. Network and market yourself. Build a strong network of industry contacts and reach out to potential clients and employers to showcase your skills and experience. Establish a strong online presence through your website, social media, and professional profiles.

By following these steps, you can lay the foundation for a successful career in packaging design, where you can use your creativity, technical expertise, and understanding of consumer needs to create innovative, effective, and sustainable packaging solutions.

The amount of time it takes to design a package can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the complexity of the design, the number of revisions required, the size of the team working on the project, and the communication and decision-making processes in place. On average, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to design a package, but this can vary greatly based on the specific requirements of the project. To ensure that the design process runs smoothly, it’s important to have a clear timeline, communication channels, and well-defined goals in place. This can help to minimize delays and ensure that the final design meets the expectations of all parties involved.

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