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15 pro tips on how to design packaging in illustrator?

Using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, you can create a template from a simple rectangular box to very complex and attractive designs. We'll also aim at how you can effectively and conveniently apply pattern and form to your package. It is a perfect all-around tip to the design of packaging for beginners. A little information about Illustrator and Photoshop is helpful, will save time, and increase overall performance. You would require access to both Adobe Illustrator to create a vector die line for your package and Adobe InDesign to create an illustration for the packaging. There are 15 different points you should keep in mind on how to design packaging in illustrator that makes you a pro designer.

1. Use of right software

The first move in creating a perfect package is to use the best apps, and package designers use programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, or Inkscape. Adobe Illustrator is an application for package designers, but Inkscape is the open-source software that provides support for package designers.

2. Create a precise dieline of your project

Dieline is something you make that shows where the project would be cut or perforated for folding, which is the secret to designing package templates, envelopes, and directories. It's essential to set up your project the right way from the start to not waste time modifying and redesigning your plan later. When you start building dielines for the first time, make sure you save your work to use them again as models for upcoming work.

3. Use template provided

Please make sure that you use the models provided by your client or printer, whether they are provided to you. Try to get the concept in the pre-approved prototype early with the printer, even if you're already working on it. Do this more to make sure the dieline is right; the pre-design approval is not so much about the illustration.

4. You can use pro-build templates

If you are not equipped with a prototype, you can also look for a pre-build template that can be used as a time-saving reference. If you have more artistic project approval, you can get creative and carry out custom shapes. You can spur your family & friends with custom-made gift sets and can get their feedbacks. If you've got the fundamentals of the box construction, explore more complicated shapes like this polygon box, and so on.

5. Follow Cutter Guide

Designers sometimes make errors for a package design project if they do not follow the cutter guides properly. Please, make sure that you can see them in your prototype, and if you need to, adjust their color to something which will stick out much more, like bright red or blue.

6. Design a Label First

If you're new to packaging design, it's quick to start. First, take the basics and learn to make label designs for products. Get inspired by this collection of retro print labels in a range of iconic sizes from Hustle Supply Co. They are the pioneer in what they do and have helped many designers to get inspired by their designs.

7. Highly focus on Contrast

The package designs must be evident. When creating packaging that your design has to look attractive from others across the room on the top shelf, use color contrast to make the most important components appear. You may use strength comparison with very bright colors or lightness and dark contrast, one, or both, to fit well.

8. Use Typographic Pairing

Typographic designing refers to a unique design that combines writing, art, and design in a beautiful way. It is indeed important for package design programs because sometimes there isn't a lot of room for design, but a lot of material needs to be used. Font pairing makes it easy to differentiate between different areas in a close-knit design and to create a visual hierarchy.

9. Make easy to read labeling

On the contrary, type pairing may be used to establish consistency between details, using the same font, with minor variations, such as the use of a somewhat bolder or drop cap variant of the same typeface. The ultimate aim of typographical pairing is to present the exact relationship of knowledge by style choices.

For example, as you look at makeup products, you can find that the style of the ingredients is done in a totally different manner than the name of the product. Ingredients appear to be in thin, san serif, and simplified fonts very frequently, while the font used for the name of the product is in the show typeface. Owing to their visual comparison, the fonts often fit well together but work together in a broader style.

10. Add Illustrations

A product packaging can appear very simple without the inclusion of any sort of illustrative feature. Illustrative components are also an ability to build a brand narrative and creatively tell us all about the product.

11. Use Patterns

Patterning is a perfect way to bring visual appeal and a functional aspect to the design. You may also use patterning to differentiate between different variations or tastes of a substance.

12. Make space for Visual Effects

If you want a product design feature to stand out and provide a visual appearance, add sufficient space around it. Minimalist packaging construction, like Mr. Smith's hair goods, illustrates this design strategy.

13. Add flayers and layers to the packaging

Product packaging can be a lot like opening a gift, particularly for novelty items—think how the package will open and consider the layers from which the whole package appearance will be exposed. Is there an exterior box here? Is it going to have tissue paper or filling? Is there an inner box in there? What's the stuff? Offer layers to make the most of your kit concept presentation. The architecture project has layers, tells a narrative, and offers a way for the commuter to make the most of their morning meal on their trip.

14. Provide protection by packaging

Packaging with certain items serves the dual purpose of offering a good box as well as being a safety shield between the commodity and the environment. You must weigh-in this consideration when selecting your packaging approach, particularly when you come up with how durable the content needs to be. Barry the Tiny Yeti by Tougui comes in a sturdy wooden shaved box to make his journey safe.

15. It's all about 1st Impact

We suggest that all design is about appearance, but the packaging design is probably the most relevant. Presentation is an important part of the translation and marketing of the logo or message of the brand. Is the introduction beginning with a boom or a whisper? Is the kit construction intangible and effortless, or is it multi-layer, patterned, and textured, with several parts? If your design answered the above questions, then we have made the 1st impression perfectly.


When you've sent your package illustrations to the printers, it's time to sit down and wait patiently for your boxes to be shipped. Nothing is more thrilling than having the packaging artwork in 3D form—especially when the boxes are on the store shelf! All the above 15 pro tips will help you on how to design packaging in illustrator. If you are excited to make more packaging designs, free models can be a simple and convenient alternative if you're low on time. A number of packaging designs and mock-ups can be found on Envato Elements and Graphic River.