When browsing the shelves at a local supermarket, what’s the first thing you generally notice about a product? Maybe the colourful box it comes in or the informative plastic wrapping? The right packaging can boost any product’s appeal and designing that packaging can make for an inspiring career.
Packaging designers are responsible for drawing the customer’s attention while relaying important information and giving the item its purchasing power. But a packaging designer needs more than just savvy design skills.
Collaboration is key to their job. They work closely with clients and marketing teams to ensure the company’s product and brand are well represented through the packaging materials. And to create prototypes that are cost-effective, sustainable, and safe for customers, they need to team up with accounting professionals, engineers, and consumer safety stakeholders to ensure all needs are met.
But if you’re in the market for top packaging designers to help put the finishing touches to your project, where should you be looking and what should you be looking for?
What is a packaging designer?
A packaging designer guides the design process from beginning to end. They conceptualise, design and execute a prototype for attention-grabbing packaging materials, using design elements such as shape, colour, graphics and typography to create packaging that is functional and appealing to customers.
Experience with package design, including creating prototypes, is a must for a package designer position. They must have a strong portfolio with a variety of samples that demonstrates their creativity, attention to detail and knowledge of market and consumer trends. Familiarity with different packaging materials is helpful. A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or industrial design may be preferred, and successful candidates have a strong knowledge of creative tools, including Adobe Creative Suite, 3D software programs and photography.
Due to the nature of their work, package designers must be very organized and able to meet tight deadlines. They must also have strong problem-solving skills to quickly identify and rectify mistakes. Packaging designers also require input and assistance from several different groups, so strong interpersonal abilities and project management skills are helpful. This combination of skills allows a package designer to create functional, yet creative and unique materials that engage the customer.
But how do you go about ensuring that you hire a packaging designer that’s able to understand your goals for a project and create packaging that completes it.
What to look for in a packaging designer
For any design role, employers want someone with a good design aesthetic, strong technical chops and the ability to think conceptually. That’s no different when it comes to the world of package design. They seek designers who can think dimensionally, bring a concept to life and tell a story.
There are several questions that all brands and agencies should be asking potential packaging designers during the hiring process.
What’s your customer base?
The end goal for any business is to drive sales and having a product that appeals to its potential customers is essential. You must aim to narrow down your target audience as much as possible to give a clear idea to your designer. This helps you as a business understand how packaging design is adjusted to appeal to an intended consumer.
What design aesthetic are you looking for?
When you think of packaging design, it’s either a minimal and contemporary aesthetic, a more detailed and maximal approach, or a sweet compromise somewhere in the middle. Given the expected aesthetic requirement, the selected packaging designer, can advise, innovate, and design a product fit for the industry and also bring the individuality of your business to it.
What software do you use?
Most professional packaging designers use Adobe creative cloud, as this is the gold standard for design, you may also be familiar with the name Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, etc., your perfect designer should be well-versed in this software and offer design packages that individual designers using software such as Canva won't be able to provide. When checking for proficiency, in packaging design, try to find someone who is a senior designer or higher as they will have the highest level of proficiency in the above-mentioned tools.
Can we see your portfolio?
You have searched designer profiles, and have found an individual designer based in the region that aligns with your work schedule, now it's time to review past work and testimonials from previous clients. It will be rare if you find a single designer who checks all of the boxes on what you need for your packaging design. Although someone with a similar aesthetic to your vision and proficiency in using tools to create real products before is good enough.
Are you more than just a packaging designer?
Running and growing businesses is hard work. A package design, albeit great; can't do that for you by itself. A vital part of this is considering all the requirements around your product. When hiring a packaging designer, you may need help with other design disciplines as well. This can include social media designs by a social media expert, help on building a website from a web designer, or a print design for print collateral like a sell sheet or business card as well.
Where to look for packaging designers
Of course, the first place to look should always be your current team. Next, check your existing circle of contacts. If your immediate circle isn’t turning up any obvious candidates, the next logical step is to take the search online.
LinkedIn is always an option, but it is a vast and cavernous resource. Creativepool, meanwhile, is focused specifically on creative professionals and there are hundreds of packaging designers within our ranks ready and waiting to meet you.
Writing a job description
Of course, if you’re going to be casting the net our for a packaging designer, you’ll need to write a decent job description. Start by figuring out how much you can afford to pay them.
The average base pay for a packaging designer is around £35,000 - £35,000 per year according to Glass Door. Those with more experience and a proven track record of success in this area can also command even higher salaries.
Be specific about your expectations. While it's important to hire the best person for the job, it's equally important to be clear about what your company needs from that person.
With your priorities and skillset in mind, it's time to create a job description. This should include a clear overview of what the role entails and any specific requirements or qualifications you have in mind.
You may also want to note any benefits that come with the position and let candidates know what you can offer. This will help you attract the right packaging designers for the job.
Looking to hire a packaging designer? Creativepool has thousands of super talented individuals waiting to bring your static projects to moving life.
There are 3 ways for you to find a motion graphics designer on Creativepool.
1. Search and Contact
Want greater control of who you work with and the process behind it? Searching for talent directly and then handpicking who you would like to work is a great way to be proactive in your talent hunting.
Simply search for packaging designers and browse through the results. You will be able to look through projects, CVs/Resumes of the talent listed to make an informed decision on your next hire.
On Creativepool we use a series of indicators to rank our members based on job title. Looking through the top 25 ranked motion graphics designers is also a powerful and quick way to view the best in talent on the platform.
Once you have found someone whose style and experience works for you, contact them directly by clicking on the message tab. Searching is ideal if you have a very specific idea on who it is that you would like to be working with.
2. Post a studiogig
Looking for a freelance motion graphics designer? The quickest way to find available talent is to advertise your brief. With us, briefs for individuals are called studiogigs.
Posting your role is formulated to be quick and easy and once you have posted your role, we get busy behind the scenes selecting the best talent to send out your brief to and then post the role on the jobs board. Once you have advertised your brief then just relax and wait for applicants to come to you directly!
3. Post a job
If you are looking for a permanent motion graphics designer, then advertising a motion graphics designer job is the way for you to attract talent. The process is identical to posting a studiogig.
Once you have posted your role we will check the details of the adverts, send out job alerts to our community that best match your criteria and post on the jobs board. Like studiogigs applicants will apply to you direct.
Whether posting a job or a studiogig or searching for talent you are in control on who you hire. You are under no obligation to choose any of the applicants, and you negotiate with them directly on rates.
If you need any help on your talent hunt. You can chat with us or send us a message. We'd be happy to help.