21 June 2022, 08:41 AM
  • Lawrence Barnett, owner and managing director of Wonderland Design gives his top tips on how language can play a huge role in your packaging
Lawrence Barnett, Wonderland Design: Talk your talk

If you think about packaging design, most of us picture logotypes, colours, imagery and pack shapes and formats. But not necessarily language.

Language can play a huge role on pack. It has the ability to not only reinforce your brand’s personality but also to help present all sorts of product messaging in a clear and logical way.

The use of language and how it works on pack is shaping how products are positioned to consumers. Our own work with Planet Organic and their packaging is a good example. Whilst pack graphics can provide a sense of what the brand feels like, language can be far more direct as a means to communicate with consumers.

Consequently, language should be considered as a key brand equity – in the same way that more graphical assets work for a brand. Inspired by what a brand stands for and its personality, the brand’s language should develop its own tone of voice. This gives it huge flexibility, not only to deliver engaging product messaging but it can also use a recognisable typographic treatment.

Language can work to support a range of different brand and product characteristics. Some of the following might be useful considerations:

Think occasion
Your product might be highly convenient or perhaps perfect for sharing or wonderfully indulgent. Language can work well to reinforce how you want your consumers to see the product.

So tasty
Tell them about the taste. Product descriptors don’t have to be bland and functional. By injecting the brand’s tone of voice into describing tastes, textures, even perfect pairings can create that all important appeal.

Being healthy
Healthier eating and drinking trends, natural or free from ingredients and provenance stories are all adding more to what product packs need to say. Instilling your brand’s personality in to how your claims are presented will not only create differentiation but avoid claims working more like tick lists.

Always sustainable
Sustainability messages are becoming increasingly more important. By using your own tone of voice can help sustainability messages fit more seamlessly with the brand, rather than a looking like an afterthought or something quite detached.

And there’s more
Back of pack is often neglected. Yet this provides a further opportunity to expand your brand story, present the craft behind the product or talk recipes. Again, your brand language will add interest and reinforce your difference.

Language is not something that can be created overnight. But you will be able to set its direction so that it will evolve into something unique over time. And it is not a brand asset that should be reserved just for your packaging. It has as much of a role to play across your website, social media activity, point of sale, exhibitions and even presentations to your customers – all of which perhaps offer even more scope to use it to its fullest potential.