Most people know that it is unwise to judge a book by its cover, but they still make a lot of their purchasing decisions based on how the product looks. That is a simple fact of life, so every entrepreneur and manager needs to put some serious thought into making sure that their products look as good as possible. That is a complicated field, and it can be wise to get help from a professional, but there are a few rules of thumb that can help anyone make sure that the design process goes smoothly.
Know Your Goals
Success is a matter of figuring out your objectives, finding a way to achieve them, and putting that plan into action. That means that you need to figure out what your packaging and any aesthetic additions to the product are going to accomplish before you start designing them. There are a lot of different factors to consider at this stage, so it can be a good time to hold a meeting with the design team to make sure that everyone is on the same page before getting started.
In general, you need to create a design that will encourage people to buy the product. That means that it needs to be simple and easy to recognize, while also looking professional and appealing. It should stand out, but not so much so that it seems strange. The ideal product also creates an emotional reaction when people see it, since those emotions are often the driving force behind a shopper’s purchasing decisions. Weighing those goals against each other and deciding which ones are most important can be a challenge, but anyone who keeps their major goals in mind during the design process can count on starting off the right way.
Use Color Theory
Color is one of the first things that a potential customer will notice when they look at your products, so it pays to choose your color scheme with care. There is actually a lot of science that goes into understanding color, and it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with it. Color theory explains how different colors look when they are near each other, and breaks them into practical groups that make the relations easier to understand.
The precise set of colors that you should use will depend on your goals for the product, so you can’t simply use color theory to provide a list of good choices. Instead, you should use it to help you narrow down your options and find the colors that will harmonize with your goals. Think of it as a set of tools to help you make good choices rather than a simple set of correct answers.
Target a Market
People have their own preferences, so it is often a good idea to tailor your product’s appearance to appeal to a specific segment of the market. This sort of thing is a common practice in industries that market items separately to men and women, but you can also appeal to subcultures or any other group.
Research is the key to doing this properly. It is absolutely vital to tailor the look to a group that will already be interested in the product. It is also important to understand the sort of things that will appeal to that group. It can be very difficult to get this right, and it does add a lot of effort to the design process, but it can be worth it.
Form cannot always take priority over function. You need to take the time to make sure that your product’s aesthetic features do not get in the way or detract from its practical value. Things that get in the way will quickly antagonize most customers and can lead to bad reviews and a bad reputation that can cause the product to flop.
Masters of design try to ensure that there is harmony between form and function. Aesthetic additions should try to work with the features that have practical roles to create a greater whole. That can be hard to manage, but a designer that pulls it off will produce something that is both beautiful and functional.