Decisions in Packaging That Are Shockingly Time Consuming

A third of consumer decisions are based on packaging… No pressure! Picking colors, choosing pictures and approving designs, this is the fun stuff! We thought. There are many more decisions to be made plus millions of customers to please. After going through the process, it is no longer shocking that people go through entire university programs dedicated to the art of packaging. Here is the list of most time consuming decisions in packaging from least to most shocking.


It’s not just about the pretty pictures. Dimensions have to be decided first. This is a decision made based on product’s size, shelf space, retail space, how the product will be shelved/hung and most importantly, customers’ preference of size.

Once you get to the art and design, that’s where everyone has opinions and doesn’t hesitate to share them no matter how contradictory they are. The package needs to show as many details as precisely as possible. Nailing the color, dimensions, features, requirements and images without looking cluttered is one time-consuming challenge. Despite all this, the design part does get fun once you can trust your design team. They have a gift for identifying the most important things on marketing’s wish list and creating simple, elegant ways to include it all.

Color Indicators

Obviously, when you’re buying a product that comes in two or more colors, the color of the product inside needs to be obvious. You can go about this by either creating distinct packaging per color, or you can have add-ons such as stickers and sleeves to specify. Simple enough!? Not quite. Making separate boxes requires deep pockets and choosing the add-on route is slightly more complicated. Stickers need to work with the design and manufacturer so that they do not interfere with important images or information. You also don’t want them slapped on sloppy. It is important to think through the color display options before the design is in the works.


Will the box explode on an airplane because we bagged it too tight? Will humidity damage the product? We have to predict and prepare for these scenarios by simulating drop tests, humidity tests and temperature tests. It takes lots of money and time to prepare and conduct it all.

Box Colors

Fun fact: there area 1,700+ colors in a pantone book. If you’ve picked paint colors, you know our pain. 55 options of blue?! The colors need to match branding guidelines but even if you use pantone books to choose, samples will not look the same with different finishes.


Matte, gloss, foil, glitter! Countless options make your packaging go from genius to gaudy way too easily. You have to decide which finishes will go with what text, image or portion of an image without seeing the final result instantly (It took us 5 samples to decide on final finishes).


Don’t get us started.

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