Examples of Package Design Skills Required / Preferred

After 30 years as a self-employed designer / illustrator, I’m moving on. I’m going to pursue other interests, primarily landscape painting, and spending time enjoying life and family. So, my clients are looking for someone to fill the void I’m leaving behind.

Qualified persons will need:

    • Proven skills to provide professional, press-ready package designs, graphics, and images.
    • A strong design sense and extensive knowledge of Adobe applications is essential.
    • The ability to create images and graphics from scratch, and to manipulate & retouch stock images.
    • Good language skills – for writing, editing, and proofing package copy.
Below are some of the designs and graphics I’ve done for one client, which represent the range of skills needed / preferred.

Product Carton Design & Layout from Scratch

SonicBrite Kit Carton - Layout in Adobe Illustrator; Photoshop & Illustrator for package graphics.

ABOVE: Custom Carton Layout based on size requirements for carton contents. Efficient arrangement of contained elements (boxed machine, refill bottle, spoon, folded travel bag, instructions) was determined, and the carton specs were based on that. I sent the rough dieline to the manufacturer and they sent me a modified dieline that was used for the final layout. They had some tweaks to the tab shapes, mostly. 

I created / sourced all images and graphics used on the carton. Searched stock photo sources for the people photos – then retouched as needed to change/remove backgrounds, etc. The other “photo” elements on the carton — the machine closed and open-running), bottle, and spoon — are 3D renders from StrataDesign 3D. 3D model and render skills are not required, but they’re helpful for when you need to produce marketing images ahead of production. Solid Photoshop / Illustrator skills could be used to create these images. 

ABOVE: Finished SonicBrite Kit carton, with contents removed. Rendered in Strata for marketing ahead of carton production.

Product Carton design & layout from provided specifications

Nuvoly Gel Pads Carton - Layout in Adobe Illustrator; Photoshop & Illustrator used to create package icons. logos, graphics.

ABOVE: Client provided manufacturer specs for H/W/D of this carton. I used a similar carton to determine tab sizes. Printed the red dieline on card stock to trim & fold, to test that the carton would assemble correctly.

ABOVE: Quick box mockup in Photoshop for client approval. 

Photo Retouching and Illustration

LEFT: Original purchased stock photo.
RIGHT: Silhouetted in Photoshop using hand-drawn path for clean separation from background.
Background removed, cast shadow on sublayer, Gel Pad drawn in Photoshop.

Simple Photo Retouching

Graphic Elements

Not required, but very helpful . . .

When you need imagery for marketing and packaging, particularly for products that don’t exist, it’s very helpful to be able to make realistic looking mockups, either in 3D software, or in Photoshop or Illustrator. 3D software has the advantage of being able to quickly change view, lighting, staged elements, update labeling… things that would take a lot of time to do another way. For instance, to change the bottle label if the colors are changed, I open the label map in Photoshop, paste in the revised label, and the label in the Strata model updates automatically. Then I render a new image — without having to set up actual studio lights and cameras, and trying to match the original lighting, angles, exposure, etc.. Those are all saved in the 3D scene.

LEFT: Wireframe of 3D models built in Strata Design 3D CX. Models were built from measurements taken from existing products (Machine and Bottle); Reference images gathered online (Spoon and Prosthetic eye). Texture map for the eye was drawn in Photoshop. Texture map for the bottle was made from the working file for the bottle label.  CENTER: Intermediate render of the scene. RIGHT: Same machine model, with 3D carton and packets. Camera angle and lighting changed to match photo of travel bag. Travel bag (photo) in back was added to the 3D scene render in Photoshop.

Other examples. LEFT: Simple vector graphic (Illustrator) used as graphic element on denture whitener package. CENTER: Rendered product with illustrated hand (Illustrator). Used for online product listing. RIGHT: 3D modeled and rendered scene. Images with floating objects, or exploded machine parts are difficult to get any other way, apart from illustration or 3D modeling.