A whopping 70% of customers form their first impression of a brand based solely on a product’s packaging. This means your packaging has to do a stellar job. And you have to do even better when selecting the right agency to design it for you. But with countless packaging design companies out there claiming they can design a package that sells, how do you know which one to hire? We’ve reviewed hundreds of companies using a comprehensive analytical process to curate a list of the most highly-regarded. Scroll down to discover the innovative packaging design winners along with actionable tips for choosing the perfect agency for your brand.
We use multiple qualitative and quantitative factors in our research process to rank the companies. We check each firm’s scope of services, depth of expertise, creative skills, the professionals involved in it, and, most importantly, the ability to craft a strategic and visually-pleasing package that sells.
We explored all these categories, along with responsiveness, transparency, manner of operation, and finally, the value they provide for the fees they charge. Scroll down to find detailed information on the areas we investigated.
We check the agencies’ industry and client focus to make it easier for you to filter the options that fit your needs. As you can see in the table, some packaging design firms offer expertise tailored for businesses in certain industries, while others cater to clients of specific sizes such as small, mid-size, and enterprise-level businesses or international companies.
Note that this step doesn’t affect the rankings, it just helps us classify the agencies.
The companies’ case studies let us examine their work in action, with real clients. We check how the agency approached and solved a specific problem; from strategy and recommended solutions to the implementation process, and identify the factors that led to success or failure.
We further analyze the firms' portfolios to discover whether they have a proven track record of helping clients drive sales. We take the time to check their clients' performance before and after hiring a specific packaging design company. We also use the help of professionals with a keen eye on design to determine whether the agencies have a good sense of color, light, shape, visualization, and ability to bring the concept to life without hurting the planet.
We end by checking the package designers’ narrative skills in terms of visual graphics and slogans. Those can help the package deliver an engaging story, inspiring consumers to take action.
We performed extensive research to make sure we recommend only packaging design companies with a spotless reputation. We explore reviews on Clutch, Trustpilot, companies’ social media accounts, and everywhere on Google to explore consumer satisfaction and agencies’ quality of service. We also track how likely peers are to recommend a rival agency to potential clients.
After verifying the authenticity of the reviews, we analyze the data found on business directories, websites, and elsewhere to gain a deeper understanding of the companies’ experience. We wrap up by taking notice of potential issues and problems.
Only the most respectful, transparent, and creative firms have landed a spot on our list.
In this step, we get up close and personal with the packaging design firms. We conduct interviews with their leaders and teams to find out more about their skills, structure, work ethics, manner of operation, and culture.
We start by checking the agency’s size for classification purposes. What matters most to us is whether the agencies have diverse in-house teams that offer versatile and in-depth expertise. We interview team members, ask for measurable results from past projects, and evaluate their skills first-hand. Underneath the best packaging design lies intelligently applied creativity. Teams that approach strategy and design processes with outstanding creativity rank on top of our list.
Last but not least, we review company culture. Packaging design companies that cultivate a happy and enjoyable work environment for their employees get a boost in our rankings.
We pay special attention to each agency’s strategy building process because that can make or break packaging design. As a rule of thumb, good strategies start with a marketplace, audience and trend analyses.
The packaging design studio should use the data and insights for a creative search to discover the identity and style direction of the brand. The areas examined at this point involve a choice of aesthetic course, color palette, logo drafting, and more. After coming up with potential options, the agency should test them in different sizes, environments, refinement, etc. Finally, the best prospective package designs should be presented to the client.
While we award higher ranking to companies with well-established package design strategies, we also consider whether the agencies can tailor this process to each client’s needs. With no two customers alike, packaging design companies must be able to provide a unique experience for every brand they serve.
We wrap up by checking whether agencies implement packaging design strategies with safety, functionality, convenience, protection, brand recognition, communication, budget, and ROI in mind.
Firms should be able to elevate consumer’s experience beyond the mere utility of a product or service. In that sense, companies that offer services within the scope of full-service branding agencies are awarded a higher ranking in our table.
The elements that set the standards for the entire creative process include brand identity systems and brand guidelines. In the first category, we check the branding capabilities of each packaging design agency that span naming, positioning, voice definition, as well as logo and design. As of brand guidelines, we examine the ability of the agencies to define core values, mission, and vision statements, as well as the overall brand character.
We also research the success of agencies’ clients comparing their performance before and after hiring the agency and against the competition to shortlist the top packaging design agencies.
To remain competitive, brands need to invest in marketing and creative efforts, with businesses preferring agencies that offer a full scope of services in addition to packaging design.
Packaging design companies with versatile expertise in branding, marketing, and design get a ranking boost. We evaluate the additional services they offer to ensure their quality and ability to use a holistic approach when applying multiple services together.
With print still a vital element of marketing, many agencies offer graphic design services for brochures, magazine ads, packaging, signage, etc. We evaluate these agencies in detail against our criteria for graphic design companies to ensure only the best secure a spot on our list.
We go through past graphic design projects to determine whether they successfully deliver the brand message, if they are in sync with the overall brand aesthetic and easily adaptable to different mediums. The packaging design firms that fully satisfy our criteria and show outstanding levels of creativity get a boost in our rankings.
Almost every packaging design company on our list offers logo design. We rely on our evaluation criteria for logo design specialists to examine their skills to craft an appealing logo. We analyze the logos against the brands they were intended for, to determine whether they fit the overall message. We give advantage to packaging design agencies capable of crafting simple, memorable, and unique logos that represent the brand in its most accurate form.
While social media management is no rocket science, it still requires smart, systematic work and consistency that over time can give you a massive ROI boost. Running a brand’s social media is far from enjoyable scrolling, double-tapping, and pinning.
That’s why we searched for packaging design companies that double as social media marketing experts. We stalked their clients on social media to check whether their virtual aesthetic and communication are in sync with the brands’ character and values. Companies that can build a notable and aesthetically-pleasing social media presence that drives engagement and sales get a higher ranking on our list.
The newest research from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs reveals that 63% of businesses don’t have a documented content marketing strategy. Just like a person, a brand can be socially awkward and send confusing messages — something no one wants from their business. Content marketing experts can help you use this overlooked advertising opportunity to get ahead of the competition.
Considering the potential of a smart content strategy, we sourced firms that can create any type of content in written and visual form. We ensure their approach embodies all available touchpoints from social language and sales support to a website, online shop, in-store narratives, and more, creating compelling communication and storytelling that drives consumer engagement and sales.
A one-stop-shop for all your marketing and design needs could be very beneficial for your business. You get to work with teams that understand your brand, providing services that help you achieve goals in one cohesive effort.
With that in mind, we tracked top packaging design firms that, in addition to packaging design, offer web design and development services. We choose agencies that can create outstanding digital experiences using a rich collection of visual elements that portray the brand identity in the best possible way.
While you can hire a dedicated advertising agency, it makes sense to have the same firm that designed your package also market it to the audience. We have developed high-standard ranking criteria for marketing companies that came in handy when selecting the best names in creative packaging design that double as successful, full-service advertising agencies.
The best advertising campaigns use a targeted approach blending traditional and digital methods across multiple channels. They also follow trends, embody strong branding, and contain entertaining storylines that engage audiences. We made sure to include packaging design agencies with in-depth expertise and outstanding creative power in all forms of advertising, from TV and print to digital. We further ensure that the agencies can synchronize their advertising efforts with the client’s brand identity, values, and aesthetics.
We continue by examining the collaboration and communication management of each packaging design firm. Agencies should value transparency, and provide clients with reports on agreed-upon intervals. Whether it’s a conference call, in-person meeting, or written brief, companies should update customers about the results and should optimize further efforts, based on these results and feedback.
We present ourselves as a future client to learn more about agencies’ reporting system including:
After getting answers from hundreds of companies, we shortlist those with a well-established report system, seamless communication and collaboration management, and high responsiveness.
Before sealing a deal with a packaging design agency, you should know how much their services cost. On average, the packaging concept design prices stand between $8,000 and $18,000 with artwork ranging from $500 to $2,000 per SKU, depending on the products packed, their complexity, and the amount of work to get the design ready.
We try to give you agencies whose average rates fall within industry standards. Our goal is not to include the cheapest or the most expensive companies, but those that satisfy our evaluation criteria and provide the best value for money. It’s best to get a pricing quote from at least a few agencies that tick all the boxes before hiring one.
After presenting you with the best companies for top packaging design, we go a step further in helping you choose a firm that will revolutionize your business with its strategic and creative powers.
The following tips will guide you to the right decision.
Defining a target audience is tough but essential for success. Defining your brand persona in advance helps packaging design companies refine the design to appeal to your customers. While pastels, bright colors, and fancy fonts may appeal to Gen Z and Millennials, an older audience might prefer clear, large text and minimalistic packaging. Affluent customers meanwhile are likely to pay extra for a luxury look and feel, while those shopping on a budget will favor function over fashion.
Size and services are not the only things that define packaging design companies. It’s the team and its culture that form the personality of each agency, which is an important factor to consider. Organizations that combine deep expertise, experience, and innovation with seamless collaboration, strong work ethics, and a positive can-do attitude are the ones you want to hire.
Technology makes it easy to get your package designed anywhere in the world. While you don’t have to limit your choices to local agencies, in some cases, local designers might provide a more successful packaging design. Any agency can create a pretty package, but what you need is a research-backed aesthetically-pleasing design that sells.
If your business operates on a local level, it makes sense to hire someone from the community. Small businesses limited to a city or region might want to opt for packaging design companies that understand the local market. That said, set your priorities: do you want someone local that you can visit in person, or is it more important to hire an agency that offers high-quality services and innovative package designs? Answering these questions will help you choose the option that would work best for you.