Resource List: Packaging Design
Supermarkets, groceries, stores, malls are probably the most visited places on our planet. Consumption became a mix of lifestyle and religion, education and entertainment. As a designer whose role is to turn a straightforward commercial message into an aesthetic dialogue, I see packaging as a powerful channel to broadcast my vision to billions of people. Stores are the most visited museums and my goal is to fill them with art. Packaging creates a mood, invites for discoveries, delivers ideas and even teaches. On the other hand, wasted packaging endangers the environment with pollutions and forces us to be more responsible and look for proper solutions.
Any design process starts with research and inspiration.
Pentawards is one of the biggest international packaging competition that has an archive with all the winners. They are focused on marketability and craft. Besides real projects, you can see concepts and student works as well.
Dieline is a curated blog with a variety of articles. They publish packaging design cases and include thematic collections, trend reports, industry news, interviews, etc.
Packaging Of The World is another great gallery that is more liberal and has fewer biases about particular styles. It could be useful to research design by countries or continents.
Sainsbury Archive is a unique online museum about retail culture that showcases numerous retro packaging designs and advertising.
Don’t forget to check your local stores as offline experience is more valuable. Tactile feeling is often underappreciated.
Some Font Sources
Typography is probably an essential part of packaging design. Sometimes you do not need anything else - the font is enough. I don’t think it is necessary to list font markets like MyFonts, Fonts, FontShop, etc. as they are well known. Before we decide to buy a font, it is important to understand that the chosen font fits our project the best. There are websites that allow us to rent fonts for a short time for small fees and try them out.
Rentafont, their collection is not huge, but it is constantly growing.
Fontstand has an application that allows work from a tablet.
Both websites work with different foundries, so both are worth visiting.
Besides buying and renting, you can always contact foundries or type designers directly to ask for demo versions. Typically they are glad to help.
Sheaff: Ephemera is an inspiring collection of typographic art.
Some Image Sources
Images are the second essential element in packaging design. I believe the best approach is to create your own images and collaborate with illustrators and photographers. However, sometimes you need readymade materials due to different reasons. As an example, when you create a draft design.
Biodiversity Heritage Library is a gallery where you can download retro illustrations for free. However, if you want to use any picture in your commercial project, you need to double-check copyrights for each image. More information is available here.
Old Book Illustrations has more images on different topics with free downloads. A lot of images are in the public domain, but it is vital to check copyrights. The laws regarding public domain images are different in every country, so it is also important to be confident it is a public domain image in both your country and the country that your client is a citizen of.
British Library is another source of old illustrations.
Some Technical Sources
Packaging standards in Canada , a guide to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations. Clients should provide all technical information; however, it is good to know the official source to validate the information.
Barcode generator is one of the free (works on donations) tools to create barcodes in vector. It’s always handy to have this link ready.
Yellow Images can help with packaging visualization as they sell quality mock-ups and 3D models.
Packaging World is probably less interesting to creatives however, it provides news on such topics like sustainability and innovations in packaging technologies.
Yurko is Ukraine born graphic designer and art director. In 2005, he launched Gutsulyak.Studio in Kyiv and the agency quickly earned national recognition as a leading design boutique. Yurko’s work has received some of the most prestigious design awards, including Red Dot, European Design Awards, Epica Awards, Pentawards, Dieline Awards, Graphis and Communication Arts. His design has been exhibited in museums of France, Germany, China, Poland and Mexico. In 2017, Yurko moved to Toronto and Gutsulyak.Studio continues to work on both continents. The studio is mainly focused on packaging design and corporate identity.
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