Packaging design as a theatre

By 09 Jun 2021

Packaging defines your product, and behind every package is a different story, says Shrihari Rao of EPL.

EPL (formerly Essel Propack), one of the most innovative packaging companies globally, is betting big with its environment-friendly range of tubes/plastic packaging. Shrihari Rao, global head – printing technology, EPL shares how packaging design helps in brand building.

“Steve Jobs famously said, ‘Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story.’  And stories are what millennials today seek from their brands. Packaging, hence, adds to brand appeal, enabling your products to seamlessly stand out from competition,” says Rao.

Great pack design imparts identity. According to Rao, brands are primarily recognised by, and loved for, the design of their packaging. Global love-marks such as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Coke, Colgate, Olay, Toblerone and Dove owe their identity to packaging as much as to their product.

“Great pack design seduces – it knows what consumers really want and gives it to them in a way that takes their breath away,” explains Rao. “It allows them to believe they are making rational decisions, even as it powerfully appeals to their emotions, the seat of most purchase decisions.”

Rao believes that great design drives find-ability. He says, “It separates a successful brand from one that languishes on the shelf.”

“This is where print-finishing and embellishments come in. They enhance packaging by adding shine, texture, pattern and a variety of 3D effects. A seasoned pack designer can also combine different embellishments – such as varnishes, spot UV coating, foil, embossing, 3D effects, glitter, screen/texture, pearlescent coating and invisible UV printing – to create custom looks that are truly original,” he adds.

Rao reveals that luxury brand teams love such embellishments, as they add excitement to packaging and entice consumers to engage with their brands. Special effects are eye-catching and intriguing, even as they add value and premium to the brand. And in some price-insensitive markets or segments, packaging itself can offer the largest ‘rational’ reason to buy into the brand.

“At EPL, we believe in the power of pack design. Our laminate tubes provide versatile canvases for embellishments and enhancements. This in turn creates new opportunities, especially on short-run jobs. We relish working with clients to create inimitable designs that raise the bar for their brands, even as they allow us to express our creativity and technical abilities fully,” Rao concludes.

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