How Long Does It Take to Design Packaging?

packaging mockup

Packaging, to most consumers, is just as important as the actual product. Packaging can show a lot about the company and how much they care about the product and their consumers. However, most companies use basic packaging because they believe designing packaging is too complicated and time-consuming. 

While there is no hard timeline for packaging design, it generally can take anywhere from 5 weeks to a year. The factors that affect the timeline the most for packaging design are:

  • The Design Process
  • Production
  • Testing

No matter how long package designing takes, you will see the impact on your sales and how willing people are to share your products and company. If the packaging sets your opening back by a few months, you will make up those sales with your unique packaging when you follow the process. 

Package Design Process

There is a pretty defined process for packaging design and while you don’t have to follow the whole process, there are perks to following the process and allowing time for your design to work through the process itself. 

Overall the process can take a while to fully complete, but, the process is broken down into 3 different steps that allow you to only take on one thing at a time. 

1. Design Your Concept

This step in the process may be the easiest for you or the hardest for you depending on a few things such as:

  • If you are a creative and inventive person
  • If you already have a design in mind
  • If you have to outsource any sketching or ideas
  • How large, complicated, simple, or small you need your packaging to be

Now, this step in the design process is the most important because this is where everything starts from and branches off of. Without the design step, you wouldn’t have anything to request to be made, printed, or purchased.

Our BIG tip for you here is to try using packaging mockups to get a general idea of what you are looking for. This will allow you to use templates with professional packaging designs to create one for your product.

Keeping Focused is Key

The most important things to focus on during your design are:

  • What is your product? – how big is it and what does it need from the packaging
  • Who’s buying the product? – what will make the biggest impression on your target audience
  • How is it being purchased? – Online or in-person purchasing can change the need for packaging

(Source: 99 Designs, Peter Man Firm)

2. Final Assessment and Send-Off

Once you have your plans for your packaging you need to assemble a final mock-up. You have to include everything you want your packaging to look like and if you forget anything it could cost you time and money to print or create everything again. 

You have to ensure that you take into consideration certain key factors when making a final decision on your packaging. You need to make sure your packaging reflects and includes things such as:

  • What your product is
  • Company message and intention
  • Instructions or usage guidelines
  • Safety warnings
  • Legal information
  • Company contact information

Once you have gone over all the basic necessities, you need to meticulously comb through all of your design details before finally locking everything down. You will want to make sure all of your ideas and desires are taken into account and included. Having to redo any part of your packaging can cost a large amount of money and push your timeline back even further. 

This step is one you absolutely can not skip because 66% of people believe the packaging is just as important, or almost important as the actual product. 

(Source: Learn G2, Smash Brand)

3. Testing And Application

This is the step where you will be able to apply your designs to every product you have and run a test of how it is received and reviewed by customers. You can get test packaging from certain companies you are looking to fully produce your final product and this will allow you to see realistic sizing, weight, and application. 

Once you have your test packaging you can find a group of friends you trust to be honest with their reviews and have them be the first customers and the ones who receive the test packaging. From their opinions and reviews, you should be able to fix any possible issues or tweaks before sending them off for your final production. 

(Source: 99 Designs, Peter Man Firm)

Final Thoughts

No matter what your time crunch looks like, or even your financial outlook is, you need to invest some time and money into packaging design. Even if you simply commit to one part of the packaging at a time, investing time into designing shows how much you care for the customer and the product.

We can’t stress enough how helpful using packaging mockup templates is in this process. It will get the ball rolling, rather than trying to start from scratch, which can ultimately save you months and thousands of dollars.