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The Importance and Evolution of 3D Packaging Design


Packaging design is an important part of selling a product. The right CPG packaging attracts consumers to the brand and its products.

Packaging choices matter to consumers. Per Domestika, up to 73% of consumers make their food buying choices based on how well they like the packaging.

As a brand, you need to differentiate yourself from all other products on store shelves and online. Branded CPG packaging helps you do that.

One more recent innovation that helps brands stand out is three-dimensional or 3D packaging. Though this is a relatively new trend, it’s gaining ground among brands.


The Evolution of 3D Packaging

Packaging design has long been two dimensional (2D). While 2D designs do a great job of communicating imagery, 3D packaging designs are more complex and stand out.

A 3D packaging design can include several elements like:

  • Tactile – Use 3D elements like raised letters to add tactile elements consumers can touch. Raised images are also great for enhancing the CPG packaging.
  • Shape – Use a 3D box shaped like the product so consumers can more easily imagine what it will look and feel like. This helps consumers visualize the product just by its packaging design.
  • Display – Create a 3D look for clear packaging so it appears your product is on display. Use elements like 3D graphics on labels or items inside the packaging that call attention to products to make them stand out.
  • 3D Printing – Use 3D printers to print graphics that will stand out against the product. The right colors and images will make huge differences in your 3D printing packaging design. For example, bright colors on a dark background enhances the 3D effect.
  • Holograms – A holographic packaging design adds a new dimension to the packaging. Holographic images use 2D designs, but appear as if they’re 3D. This type of CPG packaging also helps increase brand recognition.

The ability to include embossing on packaging plus the advent of 3D printing enables 3D packaging design. This type of packaging offers more creativity and helps brands reimagine their product promotions. It also helps them get more realistic product renderings to consumers using tactile elements and imagery.

The trend of 3D packaging is here to stay. As technology continues to evolve, so will the capabilities of this type of design. Here are five ways it can enhance your brand.

Brand Differentiation

3D elements can make your packaging unique. They give consumers realistic depictions of the products inside and help them engage with your brand.

Use 3D packaging design elements to tell stories about your brand and show off product features. Each element can serve a specific purpose. For instance, embossed letters or images will provide a unique feel for when consumers hold the packaging in their hands, and 3D images will jump out at them from store shelves.

Using 3D packaging adds to your marketing strategy. It gives you more options for the design and enables you to be more creative in how you advertise your brand. The use of colors can elicit emotions for consumers that can make them want to buy your product. Different shapes, customizations, and other visual details help communicate your brand values, personality, and quality.


Consumer Engagement

Well-designed 3D packaging captures the attention of consumers. It creates a connection with the product and brand by evoking emotions. It can communicate information about product features and benefits while providing valuable information about your enterprise.

Consumers like to share their experiences on social media. 3D packaging will give them something unique to communicate to others. It can also enhance the unboxing experience, which is widely shared via videos and photos.

Shelf Impact and Purchase Decision

The retail environment is extremely competitive. 3D packaging design can positively impact a consumer’s purchasing decision.

3D packaging that’s eye-catching and visually appealing can grab the attention of consumers on store shelves. It can also increase product visibility and impulse purchases.

Product Protection and Safety

Effective 3D packaging design ensures products remain intact. This keeps them undamaged during transport, storage, and handling.

3D packaging design will keep products safe from unwanted external factors. These include extremely high or low temperatures, impacts, and moisture.

Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging is important to many brands and consumers alike. Using 3D packaging will speak to your sustainability values as a brand and entice consumers who make their purchasing decisions based on whether sustainable materials are used.

3D packaging design is sustainable as it optimizes the use of materials, reduces waste, and takes environmental factors into consideration.

3D packaging design enables the use of eco-friendly materials and innovative designs that minimize carbon footprints.


3D packaging can increase brand loyalty. It helps brands differentiate themselves from all other competition so their products stand out on store shelves.

3D packaging is easier for consumers to spot in stores and online. This increases product visibility and influences buyers to try new brands.

3D packaging design becomes more relevant when you consider that consumers purchase products from all over the world. Per Insider Intelligence, the global ecommerce market was  estimated to be $5.7 trillion in 2022. It’s expected to continue growing exponentially over the next few years.

3D packaging creates more realistic shopping experiences for consumers by showing them 3D depictions of product features. This helps them better understand how to use products before buying them and showcases their benefits. This helps increase brand awareness and consumer loyalty.

PKG Brand Design is always at the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives. Subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!


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