Jun 16

Design & Copy = Copy Designer

Posted by Packaging Sense in Typography | Uncategorized

In an advertising agency, we have project leaders, creative directors, account executives… and copy-writers.

At the beginning of my career, I was mostly trying to solve problems visually, i.e. with pictures, photos, etc. while during my last 20-25 years, I have become more interested in the verbal side of the communication. And here I should like to coin a new term: Copy Designer! and promote this function in a design agency. Most designers with whom I worked during my career were only partly interested in the written word. We therefore did not always reach optimal solutions for package designs, as well as in-store communication.

Today, my main interest is the communication side of package design (hence this website packagingsense.com) and this involves both the verbal and the visual sides. Most designers are mainly interested in the front panel or in the pack shape. The back panel – I prefer to call it the service panel – is often left to be just filled with text, i.e. it is not designed. By the way, my nickname, during my Nestlé years was ‘Mr Back Panel’ as I relentlessly tried to establish a stronger link with our consumers through interesting service panel designs!

So today, I am launching the new word ‘copy designer’ to promote better verbal communication on packaging!

May I suggest that the copy designers try to make the pack as interesting as the free journals Metro and 20 Minutes, following basic rules for the service panel design:

  1. no need to repeat brand or product denomination;
  2. inform with big letters how to best enjoy the product which for instant coffee will be the right dosage, for a prepared meal or pasta the correct cooking time, for a shampoo not to use too much of the product, for a fresh milk product the last day of consumption, etc.
  3. The second most important information, if not already given on the front, is a big website, the QR code, the company address and telephone number;
  4. Information which doesn’t interest every consumer, such as ingredients list, legal information, etc. can then be given.
  5. As word-of-mouth is the most efficient and cheapest media, I always suggest to add a sentence like “We hope you will be pleased with our product and be encouraged to tell your friends about it. Thank you!”

To succeed with the above, you need a designer who is interested in both the layout (the visual part), and the content (the verbal part) of the front, as well as the service panel. Let us call such a designer “the copy designer”!

June 2012

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