Packaging Innovation
Do you dream of becoming a packaging designer? What to study and how to best prepare yourself for a career in packaging, you’ll find out here.
October 6, 2014

How to become a packaging designer?

Are you a regular visitor of the Esko blog? Do you often buy products you don’t really need but simply couldn’t resist because of their creative packaging design? In short, are you a packaging aficionado who can’t wait to start on your own designs, making a living out of your passion? Find out what you need to do to become a packaging designer and fulfill your dream!

Earn a bachelor’s degree in packaging

The first step to becoming a packaging designer is proper schooling, naturally. Earn a bachelor’s degree in a graphic design program or follow some packaging design specific courses – though these aren’t common in most community colleges. Typical coursework in graphic design covers typography, digital photography, 3D design, illustration, multimedia, web design and drawing. Many programs also require students to complete an internship to gain practical experience in the field.

Graduate school for packaging designers

If you have your bachelor’s degree, you could consider graduate school and earn your master’s degree. Though not absolutely necessary to become a packaging designer, some extra years of packaging specific training can really increase your chances of finding your dream job.

A master’s degree in graphic design takes about 2 to 3 years to finish and includes directed research that allows students to work on individual projects or thesis planning under faculty supervision. Some of these programs include courses specific to package design, such as cosmetics packaging, electronic media, marketing, logo design and food packaging.

Get some experience as a packaging designer

Now that you have a degree, it’s time to get some experience. Package designer positions may be available at design firms or corporations with an in-house design staff. If you can’t find a vacancy, try becoming a freelance designer. That way you learn to create package layouts for a variety of products, such as beverages, cosmetics, toys, apparel and food. With some experience in your pocket, you can try applying as a senior packaging designer. Five or more years of experience are required for these positions.