Power of Design: How Creative Packaging Adds Value to the Consumer Product Experience

by Jessica Deseo on 09/29/2021 | 20 Minute Read

If, as a brand, you want to convince people with your products you will not just design packing for them; you will design experiences. Outstanding packaging ideas at the pulse of time were iF DESIGN AWARD 2021 winners.

Brighter, more colorful, louder—those have long ceased to be the days, my friend. Today, packaging design is no longer merely a matter of gaining consumer attention and animating consumers to buy. It is nothing less than making your brand and its values tangible at first glance. That is why the trend is clearly toward storytelling and enhancing the user experience. Packaging design must tell a story and create an emotional bond between brand and people. That the packaging must, in view of the climate crisis, be especially eco-friendly is a matter of course. Some designers have nevertheless succeeded in respect of eco-friendliness in taking a further great forward to the future.

Packaging is Not a Wrapper but a Part of the Product Experience

With “The CreatiFe Power of Design” iF DESIGN AWARD 2021 winners present the latest trends in packaging design. Everything is one; What used merely to be an eye-catcher and protection that fast found its way into the trash is now part of the product experience by which customer retention is to be consolidated. Upcycling is the slogan and packaging is transformed from a wrapper into a coveted bonus product. Even though it may not be reusable, most packaging now at least consists of plastic-free or eco-friendly material and not infrequently tells a story that relates to the brand. From electrical equipment and tools to socks and pens, be they retro look or future trends, the following packaging designs offer genuine added value.

You will find all iF DESIGN AWARD 2021 winners in the packaging design category here And also in the brand new iF Design app – download it here

You will find all iF DESIGN AWARD 2021 winners in the packaging design category here

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Environmental Energy-saving Lamp Packaging 

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Enlightening shade: This is an environmentally friendly and energy-saving light bulb packaging concept designed by Zhongshan Torch Polytechnic and manufactured by Guangdong CAILE Intelligent. It not only reflects an environmentally friendly approach but also meets consumer demand for packaging of various sizes and specifications and enables a clever secondary usage: the packaging can be opened and turned into a simple lamp shade. It is lightweight, requires no glue and has less printing than standard packaging. 

Environmental energy-saving lamp packaging / Lamp packaging

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Philips Hue Iris Limited Edition Lighting Packaging 

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A special gift feeling: The Philips Hue Iris by Signify has been a successful lighting product for a long time. To boost this success, a new series of specially designed limited edition variants have been developed and packaged in a premium gift box. The four boxes use a color range that matches the lighting effect. The image on the front of the packaging shows the product from all sides. The package contains no plastic wrapping materials. Inside, the cardboard inserts include room for an envelope with manuals and leaflets. 

Philips Hue Iris Limited edition packaging / Lighting packaging

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Treasure Box of Time Catalog Packaging 

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Seeding future: This packaging consists of two square pieces of ash wood, edged with beautiful curves and concaves on the inside to reference the shape of a natural seed. Inside the seed case are a catalog and notebook, symbolizing the actual seeds, nestled on leather cushions. The two pieces of the opened outer core can be used as condiment trays, making the design a good example of eco-friendly reuse. The Treasure Box of Time was designed by Hsiuping University of Science and Yeong Jin Furniture Factory Corp.

Treasure Box of Time / Catalog packaging

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Mi 10 Youth Edition Cellphone Packaging

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Funny faces: Xiaomi 10 Youth Edition is a cellphone launched by Xiaomi for young users. The packaging design showcases five new emojis as the main design element, marking a new approach to cellphone product packaging design and a departure from the monotonous functional positioning. The emotive emojis on the box give customers an immediate way to interact with the product, such as taking a selfie with the packaging as a fun mask. The design also makes a strong display statement in both online and physical stores. 

Mi 10 Youth edition packaging design / Mobile phone packaging

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Galaxy Z Fold2 5G Thom Browne Edition Digital Device Packaging 

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A collector's item: The IT and fashion industries come together in this packaging design collaboration, built on signature elements from Thom Browne to present a Samsung Galaxy product suite: the Fold2, Watch3, and Buds Live. To maintain a simple but powerful statement across a wide range of products, the packaging design limits itself to the essences of both brands. The unboxing process showcases this careful selection of design elements, making even the packaging itself a popular collector’s item. 

Galaxy Z Fold2 5G Thom Browne Edition / Digital decvice packaging

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Easy Keep EPE Laptop Packaging 

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Rethink reuse: Laptop packaging materials usually only offer one-off use. Even if they are recyclable, they still waste resources. Designed by Hefei LCFC Information Technology and manufactured by Zhongshan Zhongjian Environmental, Easy Keep EPE is a reusable packaging material, in this version as a thermal pad for laptops. Just reusing the material three times ensures that it has helped to protect the environment. If used as a laptop stand and cooler, the material improves laptop stability and helps the user to maintain a good posture. 

Easy Keep EPE / Laptop packaging

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Roberts Beacon Bluetooth Speaker Packaging 

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Retro meets future: The Roberts Beacon packaging designed by Outfly Innovation marks the introduction of the latest Bluetooth speaker by Roberts Radio. The cleverly designed box harks back to the brand’s genesis through a cut-away grille on one face, evoking the silhouette of the retro Roberts Revival radio for which the brand is best known. At the same time, it looks to the future with a clean, sleek shape, a characterful array of color choices and an effortless, premium unboxing experience. The packaging is completely plastic-free.

Roberts Beacon Packaging / Bluetooth speaker packaging

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Samsung Upcycling Solution for TV Packaging

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Creative sustainability: The Upcycling Solution is an innovative new way to package and ship Samsung TVs, released with Samsung’s 2020 Lifestyle TVs. This true innovation is disguised in a simple design. The standard-looking packaging box is imprinted with a dot matrix pattern and a QR code that guide the user in transforming the box into a whole range of useful objects for the home. The concept is an environmentally friendly, all-in-one toolkit that repurposes the packaging material and prevents its disposal.

Samsung Upcycling Solution for TV Packaging / Television packaging

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LesParc Cluster Set Jewelry Packaging 

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Treasures boxes: This jewelry packaging was designed by AIM Design e Consultoria and is manufactured by Empire Industries as a hybrid solution for presenting a jewelry collection that creates an emotional bond with the recipient and also doubles as a practical case for storing the individual pieces. The designers looked for inspiration by old jewelry boxes and keepsake containers. The box needed to accommodate multiple pieces of jewelry while facilitating proper and safe transport, especially for shipping overseas and export. 

LesParc Cluster Set Packaging / Jewelry packaging

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OLIVIO & CO Sunglasses Eco-packaging 

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Sustainable view: The use of sustainable and renewable packaging material for the OLIVIO and CO sunglasses collection underscores the brand’s high ecological standards and its efforts to set a good example for the younger generation. Designed by Yellowdot Design, each pair of sunglasses comes in a 100% biodegradable, molded sugarcane bagasse pulp clamshell container. The rounded form is sturdy and lightweight, offering protection for e-commerce shipping. It is stackable as well as easily customizable in different colors.

OLIVIO & CO Sunglasses Eco-Packaging / Sustainable eyewear packaging

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FOUSU CC SOCKS Sock Packaging 

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Touch of science: The designers of FOUSU CC socks packaging, Shandong Veikao Advertising, wanted to create a solution that was cutting edge with a feel of so-called “black technology” and next-level evolution. The choice of materials also needed to adhere to environmental protection standards, so they chose pulp die-casting technology to produce the degradable shells. The result is a packaging that is more practical and also doubles as a storage box for a whole range of objects. Manufactured by Zhejiang Fousu New Material.

FOUSU CC SOCKS / Sock packaging

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STEELHEAD Packaging for Tools 

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Less, but better: Steelhead is a new brand of tool products packaged in eco-friendly materials. The packaging is made of upcycled corrugated cardboard that offers high compressive strength. The design by TEST RITE entirely drops the use of any glue and plastic cable ties, instead securely fixing the product through slots in one piece of corrugated cardboard that also doubles as entirely plastic-free external packaging. A black watermark is used as the main graphic element for the logo and to illustrate the hidden part of the tool.

STEELHEAD Tools / Tool packaging

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GreenArc Shopping Tote 

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A new spirit: GreenArc is an artist collaboration that draws its inspiration from Roman Catholic imagery as a design motif for packaging. Its first collection, Divine Lumiere, borrows design elements from one of the world’s most famous cathedrals, La Sagrada Familia. An illustration of the church’s complex ceiling is printed on the inside of a shopping tote bag, adding a spiritual element to the process of removing whatever product is presented in the bag. The GreenArc shopping tote was designed and manufactured by B:SCOPE.

GreenArc / Shopping tote

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Reinvent Reusable Gift Packaging 

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Eco-friendly welcome: The company presents office supplies in a box as a welcome gift to newcomers. However, the boxes are unfortunately usually discarded immediately after delivery. The Reinvent box by Sincerely, Crevisse Partners was designed to reduce this type of waste by transforming it into multiple objects. The packaging converts into bookends, a business card holder, a pen holder, coaster, etc. This is truly reusable packaging that can be used as a gift box for office supplies and then as a desk organizer for storage purposes. 

Reinvent Package / Reusable gift packaging

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RRD Pen Packaging 

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Beastly good: The design of this children’s pen packaging by Dongguan Donnelley Printing makes creative use of unique animal skin textures. The packaging features abstract silhouettes of four animals in a tactile material, each containing a pen covered in emblematic animal skin patterns. The inner box showcases the pen with Post-It notes with the same animal silhouettes as cutouts in a matching color gradation, a striking alternative to the traditional tray structure. The materials are also practical, reusable, and eco-friendly. 

RRD Pen packaging / Pen packaging

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BooKi Learning Materials Packaging 

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Innovative Book Kit: FABO Booki by Shanghai Fabole Education Technology is a modular packaging system for STEAM courses. The user unfolds the BOOki package to reveal assembly instructions for the product along with a project guide. It has improved class efficiency by 10%, according to the company, and reduced the likelihood of learners making mistakes or incorrectly assembling pieces. The intuitive nature of the product also lends itself to remote learning. The packaging is made of recyclable materials.

BooKi / Learning materials packaging

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Sesn, Eco-friendly Outdoor Shower Marble Packaging 

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Return to sender: The Sesn packaging design by CKOY creates the most significant value by making the product more user-friendly for outdoor scenarios. The packaging material is made of stone, which can be reused many times, recycled, and then remade at the factory. It prevents the inner product from coming into contact with water, preventing the Sesn Shower Marble from dissolving before use. The package comes with a pre-printed stamp for mailing it back to the factory after use so that consumers become involved in the circular economy. 

Sesn, Eco-Friendly Outdoor Shower Marble Packaging / Body care UX packaging

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goQ – Premium Hand Disinfection

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Every second counts: goQ is a fast-acting, clinically-proven hand disinfection gel that works against viruses and bacteria in 15 seconds at an efficiency rate of 99.999%! The packaging was designed by chilli mind and manufactured by B. Braun Melsungen AG. The box offers two smart features: flip the 3-bottle inlay to transform the packaging into a single gift box for your loved ones and share this clinical-grade disinfectant. Additionally, the label can be customized. Get for every situation a small bottle that is sustainable and refillable. 

https://ifworlddesignguide.com/entry/314223-goq-premium-hand-disinfection

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Coralis® Shoulder System Surgical Instrument Sterilization Container 

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The human factors: This case for orthopedic surgical instruments was designed by Sungshin Women’s University, Hanyang University and Hype Studio, and manufactured by Corentec. The design of the container aims to enhance user experiences for multiple stakeholders in three ways: ensuring safety; enhancing medical service flexibility and maximizing the visual experience, including brand identity. This project is a unique package design based on a human factors approach in this product category.

Coralis® Shoulder System Sterilization Container / Surgical instrument sterilization container

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