The Essentials of Packaging Design: Should You Choose Photography or Illustration? - Immotion Studios



The Essentials of Packaging Design: Should You Choose Photography or Illustration?

Photography vs. Illustration

You’re confident that your products are fantastic. Now, you just need to make an instant impact that gets consumers on board.

Packaging design is hands-down one of the best ways to communicate what you have to offer. The real question is whether you should use a photograph or an illustration to tell the tale. Here’s how to decide which has the most shelf appeal.

How Illustration Proves Points

Illustrations portray things with reduced visual complexity. With only a limited range of colors, shapes and lines for the consumer’s eyes to follow, it becomes easier to direct their attention towards what you want them focusing on.

Using illustrations is a great way to reinforce branding. Since you can simplify your depiction of a product at will, you have more leeway to add logos, clean text and thematic elements without worrying about whether they might get lost in the shuffle. You can even repeat the colors of your product or brandmark to create a more unified image that attracts attention.

Why Photos Turn Heads

High-quality photography confers numerous benefits on the packages that use it. With retail food packaging, a well-positioned, appetizing sample photo may be all that stands between you and your competitors. Consumer packaged goods that show people enjoying using a product may be more likely to sell. Some manufacturers even skip product images in favor of displaying the results of use.

Creating Your Own Style

Whereas illustrations help highlight specific visual information, photos set the mood and build immediate trust. Both types of imagery have different strengths.

So how do you decide what kind of packaging might suit your products best? There’s no universal rule, so you need to address each package on a case-by-case basis, and never be afraid to combine these tools. With many products and food items, for instance, you might use a front photo to grab attention and a rear wireframe illustration to leave room for legible text that describes key features.

Still confused? Working with a specialist is always a good start when you’re trying to chart your course. Visit our Photography and Illustration pages to see what we can do for you.

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