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The Best Shape(s) for Your Product Packaging

white cardboard boxes

The shape of your packaging matters. It can grab the attention of consumers on store shelves and set your product apart from the rest.

Moreover, CPG packaging shapes serve an important purpose. A particular shape can help reflect the style of your product or the personality of your brand.

Some packaging shapes work better for certain products. For instance, square products often come in square boxes that are sometimes customized just for them.

Your packaging design should be eye-catching. This can be the first impression consumers get of your brand, so you want to make it count. This is crucial as consumers form first impressions in only seven seconds.

Here, we’ll explore the best shapes for your product packaging in 2023. We’ll discuss available designs and what makes them effective.

Why Are Packaging Shapes Important?

Packaging shapes are an important part of your overall packaging design process. They lend creativity to your brand and can speak to the look and style of the product inside.

Packaging shape impacts how you market your product. You may need to select certain shapes for certain products. For example, if your product is a poster, it would make sense to package it in a cylindrical container to maintain its integrity during transport.

What Are Some Popular Packaging Design Shapes?

There are numerous packaging shapes to choose from when deciding on CPG packaging. Each will be functional for different reasons. Common shapes include:

  • Square
  • Rectangular
  • Round
  • Cylinder
  • Triangular
  • Tray and sleeve design
  • Window boxes
  • Gable boxes

Square Packaging

Square packaging fits products of all shapes. It comes in a variety of sizes and is easy to stack for shipping and displaying on store shelves.

Square boxes are frequently used to pack products. Extra packing material fills in any spaces between the product and outside the box. This type of CPG packaging works well when additional items like user manuals and accessories need to accompany the product. Square packaging includes cardboard, wood, metal, plastic boxes, or glass containers. 

Rectangle Packaging

Rectangle packaging is similar to square packaging. Rectangle boxes can accommodate a wide range of product types and work well when including additional items in the box.

Rectangle packaging is also easy to stack for shipping and arranging on store shelves. Square and rectangle packaging are among the most common types of CPG packaging because of their versatility. Rectangle packaging includes cardboard, wood, metal, plastic boxes, and glass containers.

Round Packaging

Round packaging can be useful for products that are circular in shape or if they include several small pieces in one container. Examples include bath beads or small toy sets.

Round packaging design types include jars, round plastic containers, and round boxes. Food items like spreads and condiments often come in round packaging.

Cylindrical Packaging

Cylindrical packaging is long and round. It's used to package specific products like bath bombs, candles, and certain types of candy.

Cylindrical packaging materials include paper, cardboard, and plastic. Glass jars and aluminum cans are other great examples of cylindrical packaging. They're frequently used to package food and beverage items.

Designing cardboard packages

Triangular Packaging

Triangular packaging design is popular as it can accommodate many different types of products. Triangle containers come in different shapes and sizes. Materials include paper, cardboard, and plastic.

Triangular packaging can hold items like jewelry and cosmetics. It's a unique shape, so it'll stand out on store shelves.

Tray and Sleeve

The tray and sleeve packaging design is perfect for several products. Use this design for things like ornaments or bakery items. 

Tray and sleeve packaging is known as drawer packaging. A box contains a product, and an outer sleeve fits over it. This design makes for a great unboxing experience because when the sleeve is removed, the product is instantly revealed.

Window Boxes

Window boxes are great CPG packaging options as they display the products inside, giving consumers opportunities to see them before making purchasing decisions.

Window box packaging is either partial or completely seethrough. It can be made of cardboard with a plastic window on one, two, or three sides. It can also be made of transparent or translucent plastic that protects the products inside.

Examples of products packaged in window boxes include toys, cosmetics, and food items. They often hang on hooks above store shelves so their products are easily on display.

Gable Boxes

Gable boxes are often used for packaging glassware or other fragile items. Boxes have rectangular bases with two triangular sides that extend up. This makes them look like gable roofs, hence the name "gable box."

Gable boxes provide greater protection for breakable items than other packaging shapes. They're also attractive to look at on store shelves and thus appealing to consumers.


Packaging shape is an essential part of your packaging design. It protects the product and is highly customizable.

Packaging shape helps identify and distinguish your product while making it more noticeable. This is important as 70% of consumers say they form brand impressions based on packaging alone.

When choosing your packaging shape, consider the type of product you're selling. Think about its shape and size and what consumers will expect when opening the box. Thought-out CPG packaging can set you apart from the competition and make your brand more recognizable from the rest.

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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