Cosmetic Packaging Design & Package Design Services Costs and Pricing

cosmetic packaging design firm

This post covers cosmetic packaging design and package design services costs and pricing. An adage says that one should not judge a book by its cover. However, market research suggests that people or consumers are slightly more superficial than they’d like to admit. Most buyers jump to conclusions about a product’s quality just by glancing at its packaging.

It is not a coincidence that big food and beverage companies like McDonald’s, Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Dairy Queen use red and yellow colors in their 3D logos design and packaging designs. As it turns out, red and yellow are psychologically stimulating colors to make people think about happiness, comfort, love, power, and contentment. In combination, they are effective in triggering appetites. 

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If packaging design services can affect how people perceive foods, the same applies to cosmetic products. Like the food industry, the cosmetics market is highly competitive, where brand loyalty almost doesn’t exist. A cosmetics design North America study found that the most active cosmetic shoppers would purchase more than eight brands on average.

While every product uses packaging to protect the product and inform buyers, cosmetic companies should feel a heightened sense of necessity to attract customers and develop that loyalty. Hiring a packaging design expert for effective packaging design is one way to achieve the objectives.

Cosmetic packaging cost

Cosmetic packaging design is more than just pretty pictures on boxes and bottles. How the packaging looks and feels can directly impact how customers perceive the product. The illustrations, texts, and overall graphic design only make up one part of the process because you also have to determine the shape of the packaging itself in the first place.

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The shape, dimension, and materials will affect the manufacturing company’s cost, attrition, and shipping. Glass is more expensive than paper or plastic. Some beauty products must be packaged or contained in glass, or the consumers will not touch them.If you start from scratch and have to build everything from the packaging shape to the graphic design, the cost can be $18,000 – $60,000. Here is a simple breakdown:

  • Brand Strategy: the first step of the packaging design process is market analysis, based on which the company determines an effective brand strategy. The scope of work includes consumer insights, product messaging, brand story creation, and competitive insights. Brand strategy costs between $5,000 and $20,000, with some money allocated to research tasks.
  • Brand Identity: packaging design is the visual expression of the company or the brand behind the product. Logo design and illustration are essential to convey the right message on the package, but the right shape and material can deliver the message as effectively. For example, two identical hair products contained inside two different types of packaging can yield two distinct value propositions as well. The one in an all-plastic bottle is not in the same league as another in a glass jar with stainless steel lid. Brand identity is about creating a value proposition. The cost is in the range of $5,000 to $20,000.
  • Visual Design: the graphics come last but are possibly the most expensive. The design work usually starts with analyzing the competitors’ varying visual languages. Before the drawing and illustration process starts, it is crucial to understand their brand positioning and performance. Most consumers associate specific colors, images, symbols, and visual signs with specific brands. Being unique yet acceptable is one of the main goals here. An in-depth understanding of consumer trends also helps set up the design direction. The visual design is between $8,000 and $18,000, so you get professional graphics.

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Most modern cosmetic packaging design services offer the same advantage of consumer trends as food products. The approaches to quality and manufacturing processes such as organic, healthy, green, artisanal, herbal, or all-natural benefits are product characteristics to be used as leverage to penetrate the market. The artwork creation begins once the cosmetic packaging design direction is selected, considering the competitors and trends. When the budget is tight, it is best to prioritize the physical design over the graphics.

Packaging Design AspectCost Range
Brand Strategy$5,000 – $20,000
Brand Identity$5,000 – $20,000
Visual Design$8,000 – $18,000
Packaging Shape, Dimension, and MaterialsVaries based on specific requirements
Overall Cosmetic Packaging Design$18,000 – $60,000 (starting from scratch)

Please be aware that the cost ranges mentioned fluctuate based on factors such as the intricacy of the design, the extent of the project, and the level of expertise of the design agency or freelancer involved.

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Additional costs of cosmetic packaging design

There might be some additional cost associated with original photography (in case the graphics design includes real photos instead of CGI) and an extensive copy of usage instructions. Assuming the product is already in the market and the brand strategy/identity has been established, perhaps all you need is the visual design to refresh the outlook.

What cosmetic packaging design should accomplish

Perspective and image are everything in the cosmetics industry. The whole point of the market is to offer products with which buyers can look their best. Consumers want their cosmetic products to look pretty on the outside and inside. The sense of exclusivity also matters in a market flooded with similar-looking products boasting more or less the same benefits. That’s why hiring a product design expert company you can trust is essential.

New product packaging design has extended its role in the cosmetics industry from a mere necessity to a novelty influencing people’s purchasing tendencies. The cosmetic packaging design should deliver the following functionality.

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Product protection

A critical purpose of packaging is to protect the product inside, and it should keep the content intact regardless of environmental changes. Waterproofed packaging can maintain the product’s purity and extend the shelf life. Protective packaging is vital for any product and indispensable to cosmetics. People apply the products to the skin, face, eyes, nose, mouth, hair, and every part of the body. Any changes to the chemical structure due to environmental effects can pose a severe health risk to the users.

A tamper-evident sleeve assures that the product remains sealed from the factory and has not been opened, used, contaminated, or tampered with in any way. At the same time, a durable container ensures the product remains pristine during distribution from the factory to the stores. One can almost say that cosmetics are treated like medical-grade products.

In this context, it is essential to emphasize the significance of freelance custom product packaging design services. These services focus on creating packaging solutions that provide optimal protection for cosmetic products, ensuring the integrity of the content throughout the entire supply chain. Freelance custom product packaging design services encompass expertise in developing waterproof packaging, tamper-evident features, and durable containers to meet the unique needs of cosmetics. By utilizing these services, brands can ensure their new cosmetic products are designed with safety, quality, and reliability in mind.

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Packaging is equally essential as a display instrument. Colors play huge roles in affecting customers’ perceptions of any given product. Some might argue that colors have little effect on people’s emotional state, but the truth is the opposite. Colors are essential yet powerful visual elements and can play tricks on buyers’ minds.

Colors are essential for beauty products because buyers often look for cosmetics with appealing visuals. If eye shadow, lipstick, and blush appear highly pigmented, concealer and foundation must match users’ skin tone. The graphics on the packaging must be able to represent the colors accurately. Some companies choose to use clear glass packaging to simplify the matter. However, some colors might not be consistent with the brand’s 3D logo design, so explicit labeling is necessary. On the other hand, companies tend to use translucent tinted packaging if the product is colorless. 

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Certain colors send specific messages, and buyers will associate the message with the products. Color catches the attention of individuals as they encounter a product, drawing them closer before they delve into the details presented on the labels.

The Psychology of Color
RedPassion, love, excitement, and intensityIt creates a sense of urgency and stimulates appetite. Red represents high energy and is known to increase heart rate.
BlueWater, reliability, peace, professional, and corporateUnlike red, blue curbs the appetite and triggers a sense of calmness or tranquility. It also promotes trust.
GreenHealth, nature, organic, and environment-friendlyGreen is often associated with relaxation, stimulating emotional balance, and approval. 
PurpleRespect, royalty, wisdom, and successIt is the color for regeneration and mystery. In the cosmetics industry, purple is often used for anti-aging products.
Orange and YellowWarmth, cheerfulness, and excitement Either yellow or orange reflects enthusiasm and competence. Both also represent affordability.
BlackStability, power, authority, and sophisticationIt can deliver an image of professionalism and intelligence when used with moderation.  
WhiteCleanliness, purity, and safetyThe color speaks of neutrality and adaptability, giving a sense of clarity and sparking creativity.

Different colors trigger different psychological effects on buyers. Ideally, the color combination should reflect both the brand’s vision and the product’s positioning in the market. Cosmetic packaging shape is often overlooked, and colors can draw buyers’ attention to a product. The effect is even more significant if you add a unique profile to the equation. 

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Pass the 5-year-old test

The test is simple: ask a five-year-old kid to find a product in a store. If the kid comes back with the right product, the packaging does a great job of creating a unique emotional connection with buyers. For example, you can tell some kids to get a blue pack with a cookie dipped in milk, and they will all come back with Oreos; if you ask them to get a salt pack with a girl under an umbrella on it, they will get you Morton Salt. Only the most recognizable brands can pass the test, and your packaging needs to create instant recognizability.

It is no secret that cosmetic products rely heavily on packaging design to boost sales and popularity. Packaging quality and graphics are often benchmarks to gauge the products’ efficacy. Although not always the case, high-quality packaging demonstrates the brand’s seriousness and professionalism, ultimately developing trust. Regarding cosmetic products, the importance of freelance packaging concept design services cannot be overlooked​.

How Cad Crowd can help

When it comes to finding the right freelance packaging concept design services, platforms like Cad Crowd can simplify the process. We specialize in connecting businesses with capable and talented freelance new product packaging designers, offering vetted packaging concept design companies for confidential assistance on demand.

With their expertise, businesses no longer need to sift through countless resumes, conduct extensive interviews, or worry about the quality of the designers they work with. Cad Crowd handles the freelance packaging designer hiring process, ensuring businesses find the right fit for their project without the hassle. Contact us for a free quote.