The power of beauty in packaging design

Design's aesthetic quality increases value for products and brands, making them more desirable.

Portrait of Guillermo Dufranc Guillermo Dufranc Buenos Aires

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In packaging design, we always talk about communicating the promise of the product contained in the package; we talk about telling a story, connecting with interests, expectations and needs of consumers. One of those needs to satisfy is to consume visually appealing products.

Clearly, it isnʼt enough with a «nice» design, it must tell a pertinent, relevant story to its target. But it is clear that such story has to be told in a aesthetically attractive manner.

Possessions and power

A living example of the power of beauty are royalty palaces, with their grandiose carpet, tapestry, molding, painting, sculpture and other forms of decoration. In the historical-cultural context they were built, the urge of communicating to the rest of the people the power and superiority of the kings through such accumulation of overwhelming beauty appeared.

In few words, we can say that «possessing beauty» is synonymous of power. Eventually, that was the role which so many artists took when exercising as visual communicators while providing their services to the nobility, who requested to be portrayed in solemn postures, in order to satisfy their egocentrism and to exhibit their wealth as credentials of power.

Beauty transforms

Throughout the history of art, one can see how functional objects were decorated with the single purpose of making them more beautiful. In this way, the object was transformed, getting to an extreme where aesthetic value far surpassed the objectʼs practical function.

I remember I was impressed by some clocks in the Royal Palace of Madrid, where its soaring decorative value allowed to clearly observe that the primary need of marking hours and minutes was no longer the most important. The circumference where the clock hands is occupies a minor surface of the objectʼs wholeness. It is practically a furniture filled with ornamental resources whose beauty transformed it in something more than a witness of the passage of time.

Bracket desktop clock John Ellicott, circa 1757. Royal Palace of Madrid, National Patrimony.

Purchasing beauty

If we regard this cultural heritage, bring it to nowadays and up to the supermarket, when we pick a product because we like its design, we can establish the idea of possessing beautiful things not only as an attractive one, but also as gratifying to the buyer.

Beauty sells, attracts, pushes buying and when we are talking about everyday objects that «decorate» our day-to-day, the choice is performed more often.

The most beautiful a packaging is, the greater odds it has of being owned by someone. It doesnʼt necessarily has to be something luxurious or expensive to make us feel attracted. Suffice it to match our notion of aesthetic beauty.

It also happens that when the consumer, loyal to a brand, discovers that his favorite product changed its design, making it more beautiful, it feels gratified for having the object as usual but with a more appealing aspect. Ultimately, surrounding ourselves of beautiful things makes us feel good.

Translated by Joel Alejandro Villarreal Bertoldi Córdoba

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Guillermo Dufranc

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