What is the first thing you mostly notice about a product when flicking through the shelves at a local store? Most probably the colorful box it comes in or the informative plastic wrapping?
A packaging designer is responsible for drawing customers’ attention while relaying important information regarding the product.
A packaging designer's job is to catch the customer's eye while also conveying essential information and providing the item its buying power. However, a packaging designer needs much more than just savvy design skills.
This article will walk you through the essentials of hiring a freelance packaging designer, what qualities to look for, and the top sites to easily find a professional packaging designer
What Does a Freelance Packaging Designer Do?
A freelance packaging designer’s job description includes everything from start to finish of the whole design process.
They develop a prototype for eye-catching packaging materials, using design aspects such as form, color, graphics, and text to produce packaging that is attractive to consumers.
In most instances, a freelance packaging designer may take the following responsibilities:
Leads the design process for product packaging materials, which includes brainstorming, drawing, and prototyping.
Consults with clients to determine their requirements.
Analyzes consumer and market trends.
Develops eye-catching designs, collaborates with marketing and creative teams, particularly graphic designers and copywriters.
Presents designs to clients and stakeholders using drawings and design tools while ensuring that clients' brands are properly represented.
Redesigns prototypes in response to input from customers and engineers.
Top Quality to Look for in a Freelance Packaging Designer
“It goes without saying for any design role, employers want someone with a good design aesthetic, strong technical chops, and the ability to think conceptually,” says Karin Katselis, senior vice-president of The Creative Group.
“That’s no different when it comes to the world of package design. Hiring managers seek designers who can think dimensionally, bring a concept to life and tell a story.”
Since you’re on a hunt for a packaging designer, before you consider hiring a designer, take a look into the skills and professional experience a freelance packaging designer ought to have.
A packaging designer must have prior experience in package design, including the creation of dielines and prototypes. The potential candidate must have a diverse portfolio that shows their inventiveness, attention to detail, and understanding of the market and consumer trends.
It's beneficial to be familiar with various packing materials. Skilled packaging designers have a good understanding of creative tools, such as Adobe Creative Suite, 3D software applications, and photography, and may have a bachelor's degree in graphic design or industrial design.
Moreover, packaging designers must be very organized with the ability to fulfill tight deadlines due to the nature of their job.
They must also have excellent problem-solving abilities in order to detect and correct errors promptly.
Strong interpersonal and project management skills are particularly beneficial for packaging designers since they need input and support from a variety of groups.
This combination of skills enables them to develop practical, but innovative and distinctive products that attract customers.
An Ideal Packaging Design
Before moving forward and assessing candidates for hiring, it’s important for you to understand the salient features of a packaging design.
Attractive packaging takes its cues from both the product and the brand. A package's color palette, finishes, typeface, texture, and images may make it stand out from afar.
Creative packaging design communicates a high-quality product, boosts sales and promotes brand awareness.
The packaging design should be flexible to adapt to growth and trends, whether you're creating a flagship product or a range of goods.
It's crucial to research your consumer base and competitors. When it comes to packing goods for online sales and e-commerce stores, they must also appear appealing when viewed on a screen.
The packaging for your goods must clearly convey (in seconds!) what's within. It must also have a purpose, such as keeping goods safe and fresh while being environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Technical standards like labeling and ingredients must also be considered.
Your First Step to Hiring a Freelance Packaging Designer
Writing a design brief to share with your packaging designer is one of the simplest ways to get started. Many designers will ask you to complete one anyhow, so this is a smart method to save time.
What Is a Design Brief and How Do I Write One?
A design brief is a document created by a person or team in collaboration with the client/customer for a design project. They define the project's deliverables and scope, as well as timelines, and budget.
To craft a design brief, consider your design requirements carefully, and don’t forget to focus on the following questions in your creative design brief:
What Do You Do?
Briefly describe your product or service to the packaging designer. Describe your company's core beliefs so that they may be reflected in your design.
What’s Your Target Market?
Is your product aimed at a particular niche? Make sure your freelance packaging designer understands who you're attempting to target by being as detailed as possible.
For example, attempting to target busy female executives who don't have time to prepare meals is not the same as trying to reach women aged 25 to 40.
What are Your Goals and Design Inspirations?
Set the tone and direction for your packaging design. The final design must consider how you want your audience to respond when they view your product. Be as detailed as possible.
At the end of the day, the aim of a packaging design is to achieve marketing goals by clearly conveying the personality or function of a consumer product and generating a sale.
It's also a good idea to make a mood/inspiration board at this time. You may not know how to explain an idea to your package designer as a non-designer, but giving them a mood/inspiration board is an excellent approach to get your point across.
Who Are Your Competitors?
Tell your packaging designer who your competitors are. By identifying your rivals, the designer will be able to better grasp important aspects of your product and business, ensuring that you stand out from the crowd.
What’s Your Deadline?
This is an important aspect of every project. It's critical to set timelines with your designer when it comes to packaging design since you'll need to account for design time, the date you place your order, manufacturing time, fulfillment time, and the date you need your packaging completed.
Where to Find a Packaging Designer?
The freelance industry is growing, which is great if you need a freelance packaging designer. Finding a freelance designer isn't difficult, but finding one you can depend on and trust is a different story.
Checking through the designer’s work on online portfolio sites, freelance marketplaces and crowdsourcing websites is an excellent place to start when looking for a trustworthy freelancer.
Behance is a free online portfolio site for freelancers and other creatives. A designer creates a digital portfolio that is available to everyone online by uploading pictures of their recent work.
Package designers specialize in a broad range of areas, including branding, architecture, photography, packaging design, and just about any other creative sector you can think of.
TaskShift is your go-to freelance platform for finding talented freelancers from across the globe. TakeShift allows freelancers to create Offers on a wide range of services, enabling you to find the specialized service provider for your desired project.
Browse through the marketplace and filter out freelancer packaging designers according to their feedback and ratings. TaskShift also guarantees the security of your money through its Escrow-protected accounts and a fair Dispute Resolution Policy.
Packaging Designers’ Salary
The average yearly salary for a Packaging Designer in the United States is $71,135 as of June 15, 2021.
While ZipRecruiter has observed yearly wages as high as $132,000 and as low as $33,000, the bulk of Packaging Designer salaries in the United States presently vary from $50,000 to $77,000, with top earners making $105,000.
Should I Hire a Packaging Design Company or a Freelance Packaging Designer?
Necessarily choosing one option over the other is not always beneficial. It’s not a question of better or worse – it’s a question of which way is right for you.
A freelance packaging designer might be the best bet for your design project when:
You’re tight on budget
Speed of project delivery is your priority
You want to maintain a direct chain of communication with your designer
Usually, freelance packaging designers can take on a project for less money than a packaging design firm, and since they are people working on their own, they usually offer a lower turnaround time.
As a result, freelance packaging designers are a better option for cash-strapped small businesses wanting to try something new with their package design or for firms that need fresh designs in no time.
On the flip side, agencies cost more. There’s no getting around it. If you have a big budget for your packaging design, you may as well go to hire an agency for your project.
Over to You
Since you now know the fundamentals of hiring a packaging designer, the important aspects to look for, and which sites to seek out, you are all set to find the right candidate for the job.