5 Ways to Create Product Packaging That Stands Out


Today’s world is full of options. The frozen foods aisle alone is home to upwards of 50 ice cream brands. Amazon offers thousands of reviews for customers to ponder the quality of everything from gummy bears to electronics. Like never before, customers are truly inundated with the paradox of choice.


All these choices mean business owners have a whole lot more competition, no matter what industry they’re in. Hence, it’s more important than ever to make your product packaging stand out. Packaging influences a customer’s first impression and could make or break the sale within a millisecond, so make sure you wow your customers with outstanding product packaging design in Utah. Here are five tips to consider in the design process:

1. Keep Things Simple

Many businesses have gone over the top with their efforts to stand out, adding flashy colors and excessive pizazz to their designs. But there’s a backlash happening against companies who try too hard. Today’s successful brands create simple, minimal designs that are a relief to overwhelmed customers.

2. Know Your Audience

Though simple design is almost always better for any audience, there are plenty of other design choices you’ll make that depend on your target customer. Use market testing to find out what appeals to your customer base, then apply those principles to your designs.

3. Do Something Different

Consider what your competitors are doing with their packaging, then tweak it to stand out from the crowd. If all the other companies are using glass bottles, maybe you should use cardboard boxes. If all the other companies are using red and green color schemes, consider going with blue and white, etc.

4. Learn the Psychology of Colors

Speaking of colors schemes, make sure the colors in your packaging work in your favor. Studies show that certain colors can have a subconscious influence on our emotions and decision-making processes, so choose wisely.

5. Be Practical.

Though your design may be simple, eye-catching, and unique, you still need to make sure it’s practical. Customers need to be able to easily transport the package and understand how to open it. You’ll also want to consider cost and practicality of shipping before committing to a certain design.


Creating beautiful, eye-catching packaging is an investment that will pay off in the long run. Take greater care in designing your packaging with the help of Traco – Utah Packaging. Traco offers packaging design in Utah to help any business rise above the rest. Contact us to get started today.

The History of Packaging


Plastics were discovered in the 19th century and used primarily by the military. Since this time period, a variety of plastics have been discovered and include the following: Styrene, Vinyl Chloride, Celluloid, Cellulose Acetate, Polyethylene Film Wraps, and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE).

Styrene was distilled from a balsam tree in 1831. Early products made of styrene were brittle and chartered easily. Germany improved the process in 1933 and by the 1950s Styrofoam was available to the world. In addition, this styrene was used for insulation and cushioning materials as well as foam boxes, cups, and meat trays.
Vinyl Chloride discovered in 1835. Vinyl Chloride was used for packaging, molded deodorant and squeeze bottles. In addition it was used for heat shrinkable films.

Celluloid was invented during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865. Because of an ivory shortage, a United States manufacturer of billiard balls offered a $10,000 reward for an ivory substitute. A New York engineer named John Wesley Hyatt and his brother Isaiah Smith Hyatt created the new material.

Cellulose Acetate was derived from wood pulp in 1900 and developed for photographic uses in 1909. DuPont manufactured cellophane in New York in 1924, but it was not commercially used for packaging until the late 1950s.

Polyethylene was discovered in 1933. It is the most common plastic. Its primary use is in packaging plastic bags, plastic films, geomembranes, and containers.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE) was patented in 1941. It is the most common thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used for containers and in combination with glass fiber for engineering resin.


A label has a variety of uses but generally provides information about a product’s origin, use, shelf-life and disposal. Most labels are made of paper, polymer, cloth, or metal. There are nearly 750,000 registered trademarks in the United States. Labels contain a great deal of information intended to protect and instruct the public.


The Chinese were the first to use flexible packaging materials in the form of treated mulberry bark to wrap foods in the first or second century B.C. Additionally, the Chinese also developed techniques of paper making. Papermaking was introduced to England in 1310 and arrived in America in 1690.

Paper is a thin sheet of cellulose. Cellulose is a fibrous material that comes from plants. The process of extracting cellulose from wood pulp was developed in 1867. Paper bags were first manufacture in England in 1844. In 1852 the bag-making machine was invented in the United States.

In the 1870s glued paper sacks and the gusset design were invented and, produced the types of paper bags used today. As a result of the development of the glued paper sack, cotton flour sacks were replaced.

The first paperboard carton was produced in England in 1817. In 1850 corrugated paper appeared. This form of cardboard is made from thin sheets of paperboard that are molded into a wavy shape and a faced between two flat sheets of paperboard.

Foldable cartons were first developed in the 1870s. The development of cereal boxes advanced the use of paperboard cartons. The Kellogg brothers were first to use cereal cartons.


  1. Kenneth R. Berger, reviewed by B. Welt, University of Florida, A Brief History of Packaging
  2. Paula Hook and Joe E. Heimlich, Ohio State University Extesion Fact Sheet, Community Development, 700 Ackerman Road, Suite 235, Columbus, OH 43202-1578, A History of Packaging CDFS-133
  3. Walter Soroka, Fundamentals of Packaging Technology, Second Edition, 2000, published by the Institute of Packaging Professionals
  4. Packaging Manufactures Association, History of Packaging http://www.ambalaj.org.tr/en/environment-history-of-packaging.html
  5. ooducate Eat a bit better: http://blog.fooducate.com/2008/10/25/1862-2008-a-brief-history-of-food-and-nutrition-labeling/
  6. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Label
Shrink Sleeve Design Guidelines

The Dieline – Your Key to Success

The first step to a successful shrink sleeve project is to request a dieline from Traco. The dieline is custom-sized to your product and will serve as the design template for your project. A sample container is required in order for Traco to produce a custom dieline for your project. Your sales rep. can instruct you on submitting your container to Traco.

How to Use the Dieline

The dieline is provided as a PDF that you can import into your design software and use as a template. This dieline should be placed on a separate layer from your artwork. The dieline is always provided at 100% of actual size and should not be reduced or enlarged. The dieline contains the following information:

ALayflat Size: This is the finished width of your sleeve after it is D seamed. The vertical lines of the layflat are where the sleeve will be folded. These folds can be moved horizontally across the sleeve, but must remain at least 20mm from the seam of the sleeve.

B 2mm area of clear at the top and bottom of the sleeve.

C Unseamed Width: The flat, unseamed web width of the film

D Seam Overlap: this area will be covered by the overlapping film from the opposite side of the sleeve. This area can include background image, but should not include any important copy.

E Fold Locations: The Layflat can be moved either left or right to accommodate your design, but this distance must be more than 20mm from the seam. To maintain the layflat size, the fold lines must remain the same distance apart if moved.

FClear Area: In order for the sleeves to be cut from the rolls on which they are produced, there must be a clear area between each repeat on the roll. The resulting 4mm of clear space between each repeat allows the sleeves to be cut accurately.

GProject Specs: This area is used for listing the project specifications

HInk Swatches: All ink colors must be designated with a swatch. Add or remove colors as needed. Remember to designate all spot colors. On clear film, opaque white ink is required to print opaque colors. Swatches for all Pantone spot colors, metallic inks, varnishes and adhesives should be included.

IProof Approval: This area is used for your approval of the proof that Traco will provide prior to your sleeve being printed. A signed copy of the proof must be returned to Traco before any printing can begin.

JSafe Area: This area (shown in green) is the safe area for your copy. Avoid placing important copy outside of this area. Background image can extend to the seam edges and clear areas as shown by the pink area. Items should not extend beyond the red lines. No bleed is required. Avoid placing barcodes and important copy on the layflat folds.

Traco Dieline


You are limited to 10 total plates for gravure printed sleeves. This includes CMYK Process Colors, Pantone Spot Colors, Metallic Inks, Opaque White, Varnishes and Adhesives. Use SWOP standards for process colors and Pantone (PMS) Coated Solid colors for spot. Show all colors used as swatches on the dieline. If white ink is used as a flood of the entire print area, no white layer is needed.
If white is used other than a flood, use a contrasting color to show white ink coverage on a separate layer. Clear areas should also be shown in a contrasting color on a separate layer. Be sure color mode is set to CMYK, not RGB.


Adobe Illustrator CS6 (.ai) is the preferred application for designing your shrink sleeves. We can also accept CorelDraw EPS files,
hi-res PDF files, QuarkXPress files and Adobe InDesign files with some limitations. Adobe PhotoShop is NOT an acceptable format for use in printing sleeves. It is, however excellent for editing photographic images that may be used on sleeves, but it should not be used for anything that contains type or vector graphics.

Submit files as Illustrator CS6 AI files whenever possible. Submit a PDF proof of your artwork also.


Place images as 300dpi, layered PhotoShop PSD when possible. DO NOT EMBED IMAGES. Include placed images with the art files. Use Bitmap (1-bit), Grayscale (8-bit), RGB (8-bit), or CMYK (8-bit) modes only.


Convert ALL type to curves (outline). If type changes are anticipated provide all font files with non-outlined document. Use Sanserif typefaces for small text. Avoid use of small script fonts that have fine serifs and swashes.


All positive type must be 6-point or larger for solid (single-ink) and 12-point or larger for CMYK process type. Limit CMYK
build type to 3 process colors or less. Consider using sans serif fonts for type smaller than 10-point.

6-point or larger single spot color or black

CMYK 3-color build or less 10-point or larger

No 4-color builds


All reversed type must be 6-point or larger and bold face or heavier. Type that is thinner than bold face must have a 0.2 pt stroke added. Reversed type smaller than 12-point can only be reversed from one color and sans serif only. No CMYK process type smaller than 16-point. Small reversed type (> 6 pt.) can be reversed out of spot colors or spot colors can be used to outline the text.

Reversed from: Black (K only)

6-pt. Bold or larger

Reversed from: Single Spot Color

6-pt. Bold or larger

Reversed from: CMYK build (3-color only)

12-pt. Bold or larger

Reversed from: CMYK image

Not Recommended

Reversed from: CMYK image + spot color stroke

6-pt. Bold or larger with spot color outline (1.5pt outside stroke)


Remove all extra colors from the Adobe Illustrator Color Palette. Use only CMYK colors or Pantone
Coated Spot Colors. Be sure all spot colors are set as SPOT and not CMYK. Do not use RGB colors.


UPC codes and barcodes should be rotated so that the bars of the code are horizontal on the sleeve. This will help eliminate scanning errors caused by distortion when the sleeve is shrunk to the container.Barcodes must be backed by opaque white and the bars must be black (K) only. Barcodes must be vector artwork (lines and curves) and not bitmap images. Barcodes can be reduced up to 80% and bar height can be reduced as needed.




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