Sep 28

Use all the space and overlap!

Posted by Packaging Sense in Design | Uncategorized

No doubt we see today a lot of great designs in advertising, point-of-sale or packaging, designs that are simple, interesting and communicate well as for instance McDonald.

However, I also see more and more average, even mediocre designs that do not do the job for which they stand for, i.e. selling a product.

I have found that there are mainly 5 areas where the designer (or whoever puts text and picture on a screen, paper or a wall) fails. Here they are, most likely in order of weakness:


Designers don’t use the space given to them in an appropriate way in order to highlight/increase/amplify the message which should be the most important to trigger sales. I see too many outdoor ads where you literally have to look for the brand, i.e. the advertiser, or they are too crowded with information. Always keep in mind that outdoor advertising is mainly for branding, as the purchasing situation is seldom immediate.

As each media has its role to play, I find that the product illustration/information in packaging and point-of-sale could still be largely increased, as you are here very close to the purchasing act and it is the product (and not the brand) that will be bought.


… which is in one way related to the first point: I believe that instead of ‘filling a surface’, one could let the various elements overlap a great deal more. Besides, this would give an added 3D communication and reduce the number of elements, as you ‘group’ by overlapping. When you overlap or ‘bleed over’, you also increase optically the elements in question, be it a logotype or an illustration, as the viewer will automatically fill in the missing part.


… still too much text, unless it is an advertisement in a weekly press when the viewer takes the time to read it, but of course only if an interesting headline invites to do this!


The ad/pack, etc. is often created in an office in front of a screen, not considering how and where it will be used. For an outdoor ad, a brand must be seen from a distance of 30-50 meters, while on packaging, it is the product or USP that must stand out.


Creativity is quite low, mainly due to the lack of art which would make an ad, a pack or a website unique. Most print communication consists of a typographic logotype + a photo of the product + too long text lines. Instead, it could be an artistically hand drawn logotype, possibly incorporating the icon, an illustration that could be a mixture of a photo and a drawing, plus a text with a serif typography rather than a non-serif font.

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These are just 5 things to think about when creating good communication!

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