Why great packaging design helps make the world go round

We all have to buy stuff, that’s a fact, but there are things we need and things we just desire.

I recently found myself in a little corner shop in Southern Italy surrounded by a vast selection of products, everything from whole parmesan cheeses and local Grappa to washing powder and tourist postcards.

Being a designer, I can’t help but love beautifully designed things and this definitely includes packaging. I find myself drawn to packaging that enhances the buying experience, things that make me want to pick them up and take a closer look.

At its best, great packaging design can entice you to buy something you really didn’t need, in this case, toothpaste. Marvis and Pasta Del Capitano caught my eye and somehow ended up in my basket, they oozed Italian tradition and heritage. In my mind I imagine this packaging having been around for many years, firm family favourites in households throughout Italy, but in reality, they could be clever modern design made to feel traditional.

There’s a real trend for simpler, more personal, artisan packaging design, less material, less cluttered but with more provenance and tactility and that’s fantastic. So many of our buying choices are now made via a screen, it’s always refreshing to interact with great product and packaging design, even if it is toothpaste you really didn’t need.