Tridimage executives share their thoughts on the factors involved in packaging design
In its beginnings, the product’s container or packaging had the function of containing the product, protecting it from contamination and transportation, and at the same time was the bearer of the brand. Currently, it is a fundamental element of communication of the spirit and soul of the brand, subject to in-depth analysis in order to perfectly fulfill its delicate function. “All the constituent elements of the packaging, especially the shape and color, are closely related and must correspond to the communication strategy, perfectly coordinated,” says Virginia Gines, design director of Tridimage, who leads the company founded 13 years ago in Argentina together with Adriano Cortese and Hernán Braberman, the main creative director and design director.
“What is first recognized as a brand’s heritage is its chromatic stain, so the choice of colors to use in packaging is strategically important. Form is related to materiality. Flexible or rigid packaging gives the designer endless possibilities for differentiation,” explains Braberman.
All three agree that good design creates an emotional connection with the consumer and boosts product sales: “The equation of successful packaging consists of consumer excitement and producer satisfaction,” they say.
Environmental awareness advancing in society has changed the landscape of the packaging market, especially in terms of material development. Sustainable solutions are being sought, and some materials that were on the sidelines are being looked at again with interest for their favorable properties for environmental care. Braberman explains that this trend “works as an incentive to explore new materials and production processes that are friendly to the ecosystem.”
As for colors, describing the trends is more difficult, given the paradigm shift in recent years in the use of the color palette, as well as the multiplication of consumption levels. “Generally speaking, the mass product represents an explosion of colors, while the Premium product is characterized by monochrome and relies on the exclusivity of resources such as materials, foils and special inks.”
If you want to talk about the changes that are happening in this sense, the three agree that the exchange of resources between categories is on the rise. Thus, there are alcoholic beverages whose packaging is reminiscent of perfumes. Categories share their resource pools. “Black was the paradigm of Premium, and today it is food for bathing, something unimaginable 20 years ago,” Braberman is an example.
“On the other hand, we see from packaging design that globalization means that large cultural groups share color codes. Before, for example, Europeans, Japanese and Mexicans interpreted colors from different perspectives. All the philosophical, social and cultural movements that are emerging in a globalized way affect all aspects of consumption,” explains Cortese.
Gines adds: “Today there are also countless advances in printing technologies and the use of different colors. This situation enriches the creative possibilities of designers, it allows us to more effectively express what we want to communicate through packaging design.”
The importance of color
Although the original use of colors corresponded to rigid cultural guidelines, globalization has favored flexibility in their use. As previously mentioned, the color applied in the product launched on the market must correspond to the defined policy and respect the brand strategies. “Color can be used to relate to a category and sometimes to stand out, creating disruption on the shelf. It has to be handled carefully, given that the product launch has as a priority the achievement of the previously defined differentiation goal,” explains Braberman.
Sometimes risking something different has its rewards: “We at Cunnington Exclusive decided to use black in the cola market, which is dominated by red and blue. Consumers very quickly recognized that the product belongs to that category,” says Cortese proudly.
Virginia Gines explains that they were able to do this because it was a drink that was entering the market, because generally “when presenting an update to the image of a brand that is installed, something that has to be handled carefully is the color, because it is one of the main factors of consumer recognition on the shelves.”
Consumer habits are also causing changes in the choice of colors for food packaging. For example, bright and healthy today is associated with the color green, a color that the Ser line has appropriated, making it difficult to use in similar products. “However, these concepts can be developed through white or desaturated colors. There are opportunities to differentiate yourself, it’s important to always have a global view of all aspects of packaging: color, shapes, materials, resources, market,” says Braberman.
“In these healthy products, the packaging usually includes the benefits of the product. The honesty with which they approach the consumer is accompanied by design resources that are highlighted by the appropriate color palette,” adds Gines.
The development of a 3D image of product packaging, integrating structural and graphic design, involves, in addition to the design agency, suppliers who print and manufacture containers. Constant dialogue is necessary to achieve the best results.
“When it comes to a product that is already on the shelf, it is our responsibility to deeply understand all marketing variables and related techniques, favor and optimize processes. In some development situations, where a major change in packaging is required, having in-depth technical knowledge is especially important,” says Gines.
A question of attitude
The economic crisis currently affecting the world is keeping Tridimage managers on their toes. “Making the best use of available resources is a goal we must always strive for. Optimizing the cost-benefit equation is our business. Of course, in times of crisis, caution in this sense must be extreme,” explains Cortese.
The same behavior allowed them to expand the portfolio of the markets in which they operate. “Tridimage started in the beverage market, but our choice was to participate in other product categories,” they say. They currently have experience in premium and mass products in the beverage, food, home and personal care categories.
“We can deal with all areas of consumption. This is very interesting because as a team of designers we have flexible thinking, we say, a little jokingly, we have a “switch” that allows us to understand the expressive, chromatic and material resources that the product requires to be positioned in the segment in which it is located. where you want to place it,” explains Cortese.
The team understands that behind every project they undertake is a company that works hard, invests and trusts them. That’s why they work under the premise of creating with their eyes fixed on the sky, but with their feet on the ground. “The idea is for the client to perceive that we are creative and that we take care of their backs and property. “We work on optimizing the presentation of your product on the shelf,” concludes Gines.