When you play with toys you learn a thing or two about toy packaging design. Not only do we have the design chops, but we know the ins and outs of packaging design. Step into the classroom for a few of the lessons we've learned over the years:
What's in a Name?
The name of your product is by far the most important element of the packaging. It's what people will remember, will talk about and will ask for—unless the name's a dud and people forget. The name is a golden marketing opportunity, so make sure your product's name is pulling its weight. Keep your product name simple and descriptive.
What's it For?
A kid shouldn't have to guess why a toy is going to be fun. Good packaging design immediately communicates a product's benefits. The gizmos, the glow in the dark, the sparking wheels, the slip on shoes—whatever makes your product fun should be clearly on display. Don't ever leave a kid wondering how they play with your product.
When it comes to packaging a toy, the package really needs to work for you. There's nothing worse than encasing your toy entirely in plastic and keeping out curious little fingers. Let kids see, feel and even play with your toy while it's still in the package. Build "try-me" features into the packaging to entice kids to pick up the toy and give it a try. Putting your toy's fun on display is the most important thing you can do.
Toy packaging that pulls double duty is always cool. Packaging that can double as storage for the toy itself or some kind of extra for play—a runway for dolls modeling outfits or barracks for army guys—is an extra incentive for kids and parents.
Your toy is designed for a specific age, and your packaging should likewise be age appropriate. Don't include tiny plastic pieces that pose a choking hazard to toddlers or use bags that can suffocate kids or require a sharpened machete just to open the package. Keep it safe and simple.
Being environmentally friendly is en vogue, but it's also second nature for the next generation. Kids are green. And their toys should be, too. Keep that in mind when coming up with the packaging, whether that means minimizing the materials, using recycled and/or recyclable material, cutting out plastic or making the package part of the toy itself.