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A growing interest in environmental concerns has led to the concept of sustainable behaviour. This concept is of particular interest to manufacturers and packaging designers, as it relates to serving consumers who demand more eco-friendly production processes for sourcing materials or making products.

Here are important design principles to consider for contributing to sustainability. Successful package design may include the following principles:

1. Create awareness in the consumer's mind - The package should communicate a clear and meaningful message with graphics and text in minimal space.
2. Showcase benefits - Whatever the product's benefits are should be evident on the package. A bright package can indicate a fun product that gives consumers joy.
3. Made for a long-term home - The package should live on in some form after its use of protecting the product. It should be made to be reused by the consumer or a recycling center.
4. Communicate a solution to the consumer - Tell the consumer what they need to know about how the product solves a problem. Explain how to use the product.
5. Triangulate communication between the designer, manufacturer and consumer - The designer must understand the needs of both the manufacturer and the consumer by interviewing them and getting their feedback on design ideas.
6. Responsive to a need - The consumer needs to know from the packaging that the product will be responsive and not a waste of investment. Once they trust the product they will identify the package as part of the solution.
7. Remind the consumer of something - Triggering memories or creating an association with a lifestyle or set of values can be a successful design strategy.
8. Guide the consumer to the next step - The package should be like a ticket to a show in which the ticket tells the person where to sit. Instructions should be easy to find and read on the package.
9. Develop a level of trust - Before a consumer can trust a product, they must first trust the package, as it should match or exceed their expectations in conveying the product's purpose.
10. Offer an alternative to conventional options - Many conventional packaging methods have yet to meet the goals of modern sustainability. A package can stand out from competitors if it uses the most eco-friendly materials available.
11. Reward the consumer with positive energy - The package should make the consumer feel good about contributing to greener solutions.
12. Be innovative - Consumers appreciate innovation if it provides new solutions. There's always room for new ideas when it comes to packaging.
15. Take pressure off the consumer - Communicating comfort will help relieve the consumer of pressure in trying to decide how to reduce waste and contribute to more sustainable solutions.
16. Allow for personal meaning - The feel of the package will help deliver personal meaning. The package should make the consumer feel they are embracing a treasure that is meant just for them.
17. Comprised of natural materials - The more the materials come from the earth without adding harmful chemicals, the more sustainable value packaging will have.
18. Based on strict rules - While there's room for creativity, the overall design process should follow strict rules that ensure the package has sustainable value.
19. Live up to its promise - The product should deliver what the package promises.
20. Committed to improving the quality of life - The most authoritative sustainable packaging provides a sense of long-term commitment to improving quality of life.


Innovation and sustainability are driving factors in successful modern packaging. Communicating sustainability to consumers through packaging is a challenge for designers that can be met with combining these principles and imagination.

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[1]  More articles on "Opportunities for Sustainable Packaging Design (2015)", by Alex Yoon Choi ,Dan Lockton, Clare Brass ,John Stevens

Topics: Metal Packaging, Packaging Design