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Why does an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to product innovation, packaging design and development make sense?

Why does an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to product innovation, packaging design and development make sense?

Product innovation and packaging design and development are complex processes that require competence in many different areas. The specific knowledge of facts and rules of packaging design is of course the basic prerequisite, but by far not enough. An interdisciplinary and holistic approach is needed to develop a product (design) that does justice to everything and everyone, from the brand in question to the consumer and the environment.

What distinguishes good product and packaging design?

If we summarize the many small individual points that make up good, successful packaging design into three overarching areas, then these are

– the representation of the corporate identity
– a high recognition value and
– an excellent user experience.

The product or packaging design must reflect the corporate identity 100 percent, i.e. it must be in harmony with the philosophy and everything that the respective brand stands for.

The product selection on the market is getting bigger and bigger, regardless of the industry. This makes it all the more important to really stand out with your own product design and to be immediately recognizable as a brand.

An optimal user experience was once a nice-to-have – now this criterion has risen to a must-have. The design must evoke positive emotions in the consumer.

Packaging designers need know-how at all corners and ends

In principle, it should be noted that product innovation and packaging design today are generally no longer end-to-end processes, but have a continuous character in the sense of product life cycles. Brands can no longer avoid continuously testing their products for suitability, because the requirements for sustained success with consumers and thus also on the market are changing faster than ever.

But whether it’s a completely new development or “just” a special adaptation of an existing product or packaging design to the current zeitgeist, there are numerous aspects to consider in every situation. What we mean specifically, we will go into a little more detail below.

1. aspects around the brand

When developing new packaging, product designers must take into account the corporate identity already mentioned, which in turn includes several sub-items, such as the brand purpose and, of course, the corporate design. The task becomes particularly complex if the brand in question does not yet have a fully developed corporate identity.

In addition, basic framework conditions must be taken into account: What budget is available to the brand for design development? What time frame does it have?

2. aspects relating to the consumer

What does the end consumer want, what exactly does the target group expect from the product in question? What is needed for a good user experience? Product and packaging designers have to deal intensively with questions like these.

3. aspects around the industry and the market

What is the competition doing on the market (good or bad)? What can the brand use to stand out from the competition, what innovations can help it stand out from the crowd?

Before the brainstorming and design development can even begin, a lot of market research has to be done.

4. creativity and design competence

Packaging designers have the difficult task of first clarifying the various aspects and then coherently incorporating them into the development of the design. To accomplish this requires enormous creativity and design competence. Central questions here are, for example:

– Which visual elements should be used? Take the food industry, for example: Are “real” food shots or stylish illustrations better suited to the brand’s identity?

– Which text modules are suitable to meet all requirements (appearance, readability, information content)?

– Which layout is best? Where do we place which design element, how do we connect everything to create a unified, flowing whole that is visually convincing and clearly presents the important information to the consumer?

5. technology

The best ideas are of little use if they cannot be implemented with first-class technology. So you need modern printing processes and a lot of know-how to get the best out of the technical possibilities – always taking into account all the surrounding aspects.

6. environment

And then there are those points which the world expects and demands that we do not ignore. Currently, this concerns the environment in particular. Sustainability is not only increasingly important for brands, but also for packaging designers.

In short, product and packaging designers have to consider all kinds of economic, psychological and technical aspects in addition to their own specialist factors. If even one area is neglected or a detail is misunderstood, this can lead to massive communication problems, especially between brand and consumer. To prevent this, an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to product and design development is simply indispensable.


“The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” The Greek philosopher Aristotle already knew that.

For us, this means that it is not enough to develop a suitable solution for each essential aspect, because in the end, all details must be compatible and result in a harmonious whole.

The interdisciplinary and holistic becomes even more important if one subscribes to a motto that reads “We don’t design a package, we design an experience”, as we have boldly done.

About Berndt+Partner Creality
As a global agency for brand and packaging design and innovation for food, non-food and OTC products in the fast moving consumer goods sector, we present the latest trends, news and insights from the packaging industry. Our interdisciplinary team with an experience of more than 1,000 projects in over 20 years keeps you up to date.
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We are Berndt+Partner Creality, a global agency for brand and packaging design and innovation for food, non-food and OTC products in the fast moving consumer goods sector. We are designers, engineers, conceptioners, developers, market researchers, tinkerers, strategists and idea providers. An interdisciplinary team with an experience of over 1,000 projects in more than 20 years. We are insiders with an outside perspective. Local and global. Directly for your target group.
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