Packaging Innovation
January 12, 2015

What defines luxury packaging?

It’s hard to define luxury, let alone create luxury packaging. For starters, luxury is subjective – what is pure luxury to you, might be common for someone else. And yet, we know luxury items when we see them, don’t we? Why is that? In other words, what defines luxury goods and how can package designers create packaging that has “luxury” stamped all over it? With luxury packaging, it’s all about the senses. What sensory cues are being activated that trigger a positive response in the mind of the consumer?

1)    Luxury equals quality

No matter how luxurious your packaging design is, if the product fails, it won’t do well in the store. So the most important trademark of luxury is quality content. Packing an inferior product in a shiny box might trick one or two customers but once the word is out, you might as well pull the product from the shelves. If you sell your goods as luxury items, make sure they are!

2)    Consider sound, vision, touch and smell

Creating luxury packaging means taking into account all senses, specifically smell, vision, touch and sound. To begin with the latter, consider every sound your packaging makes. Each one provides you the opportunity to fine tune the perceived value of your packaging design and therefore the brand. Each sound can be adjusted through material selection or manufacturing processes to deliver the brand-appropriate pitch. Even though smell is often neglected by packaging designers, a nice odor can transport users and create memorable signature olfactive moments regardless of the environment. The same holds true for touch. Tactile design features are able to create brand defining cues. A classic cue to luxury is pairing an all-over embossed uncoated paper with a sculpted metallic of high-gloss hotstamp. As for the visual cue to luxury, always ensure your stock is smooth and crisp, consistent in color and evenly distributes light across the sheet without imperfections regardless of texture.

Prestige is a matter of restraint, not excess

Be careful not to overdo it. Favor a less is more approach, one step past luxurious you might find yourself in the area of kitsch. Minimalist design and discrete luxury are key.