Nataly Birch June 13th, 2012

Industrial Makeover: Fully Illustrated Package Designs

Packaging is considered to be one of the main influences in the marketer’s world, instantly forming the first impression. It also helps determine the initial success of the product, since customers are accustomed to making instant decisions. Thus, the more memorable the package designs are, the better the chances that the merchandise will end up in the cart. And when you are depending on the attractive outer shell, artistic package designs definitely run the show. The clear advantage of creating illustrative packaging is that it will definitely stand out among other products on the shelf. Another great advantage is that people instinctively believe that the sophisticated and artistic cover brings with it a higher quality of product. But creating visually appealing design, packed with illustrations is not the easiest approach. Not everyone can rise to meet this particular challenge, providing customers with finely balanced design that reveals both the creative side of the designer and the essential aspects of the product. The collection below showcases excellent examples of fully illustrated package designs that captivate with their originality and creativity, all the while providing the customers with all the necessary information.

Industrial Makeover

1. Burnt Sugar. At first glance the design has 3 memorable things which immediately catch the eye: bright, almost toxic background colors, radically different illustrations for each package and mind-blowing typography. This product is aimed not only to satisfy hunger cravings, but also intended to bring an aesthetic pleasure to the customer. Burnt Sugar illustration 2. Active Packs uses an unconventional approach to drawing your attention to the various advantages and useful properties of the product by filling all available space with hand-written inscriptions and visual images. Active Packs illustration 3. Kiss. Unlike the two previous examples that are packed with abstractions, this one focuses only on a single illustration of a specific object, covering every part of the package. Kiss illustration 4. Saturday Night Live: The Game perfectly utilises the approach of "the more, the better", heavily applying character illustrations, catchphrases and rules. The package design serves two purposes. First, to make the game easy to understand to customers before buying it. Second, to convey the emotions and joy that are hidden inside the box. The Game illustration 5. Absolut Watkins is a really complex design that takes every detail into account. Affiliated with the famous Swedish illustrator, the bottle cover calls on fashion by using stylish figures and trendy colors. Moreover, the illustration has a clue where to buy this product that is hidden in the image of the airport. Absolut Watkins illustration 6. Fisheye Black beautifully combines black and white abstract illustrations and colorful image installations, invoking mixed feelings. Fisheye Black illustration 7. Laranja Mecânica is a great example of how to properly use only two classic colors, black and white, in order to force the product to jump off the retail shelves. Although, the high density of illustrations makes the package looks a bit messy. Laranja Mecânica illustration 8. Interpack 2011 Exhibition Concepts uses monochromatic illustrations throughout these to-go carrying containers, presenting objects of everyday life that together tell the story of one girl. Interpack 2011 Exhibition Concepts illustration 9. Taste of Yellow Chocolate has an amazing background that is filled with yellow drawings that perfectly pop against a black canvas. Taste of Yellow Chocolate illustration 10. Penhaligon’s X'mas Gift 2011 is fully illustrated gift wrap that brings a note of a traditional British feel. With an illustration of classic a brick building as the core identity element on the front side and artistic drawings typifying the short stories on the back, the packaging arouses the vague feeling of British quaintness. Penhaligon’s X'mas Gift 2011 illustration 11. Mari Vanna, in contrast to package design No. 7 that also uses only black and white colors, this one has the perfect combination of a pure white background and elegant, clean black illustration. Mari Vanna illustration 12. Good Ol’ Sailor Organic Vodka effectively utilizes a maritime theme, providing the design with a range of vivid pictured marine inhabitants. Good Ol’Sailor Organic Vodka illustration 13. Tesco Standard Plus Cakes calls on sweetness, using a gentle color scheme and astonishing typography throughout the whole package. Tesco Standard Plus Cakes illustration 14. Brains 'n Bones comes up with an engaging and quite radical solution, creating frightening illustrations of zombies that, at first push you away, but then attracts with skillful execution and enormous attention to detail. Brains and Bones illustration 15. Burger King Global Packaging is the kind of design that you don’t see very often in the restaurant industry. Hand-drawn illustrations of the food and abstract interpretations of the beverages make the restaurant not only a pleasant place to eat, but also the place to boost your inspiration. Burger King Global Packaging illustration 16. Moonstruck Chocolate has an amazing handcrafted nature illustration with a slight fairy touch. The embossed effect that is used to give the wrapper a more three dimensional look, emphasizes the beauty of the composition and creates a multi-sensory experience. Moonstruck Chocolate illustration 17. Captain Ahab gives the impression of a worn-out, slightly dirty packaging, which is obtained by leveraging the old-style typography with a warm colored, noisy background and abrasive illustrations. Captain Ahab illustration 18. Simone Fuchs Tea creates something of a fluid brand with its diversity amongst the package designs. Each product has its own unique, but at the same time similar, scratchy nature-inspired illustration, complemented with a rough typography peppered background. Simone Fuchs Tea illustration 19. Five Point Art Supplies uses awe-inspiring graffiti graphic elements to deliver their message. Hand-rendered typography together with bright colorful ribbons are intended to show artists the right way. Five Point Art Supplies illustration 20. R3 Stories reimagines classic book covers. The brand uses comic style typography, old-school illustrations and a dingy textured background. To further the packages' engagement with personality, every book cover has its own unique and memorable design. R3 Stories 21. Absolut London allows the consumer to dive into the world of London chic. The bottle is decorated with complex illustrations with a predominant use of a muted red and blue palette. The illustration represents 7 different characters, that by means of facial expression and distinctive appearance, tries to embody various fashion eras. Absolut London illustration 22. Naturade uses a bold and simple combination of typeface and abstractions in their packaging. It is a great example of the accurate implementation of vibrant textile textures and condensed graphic elements. Naturade illustration 23. What On Earth. Despite having a simple round label that is not too different or has that enviable of typography, the overall design captivates with its background illustrations. The rough hand-made pictures of the organic world that are beautifully incorporated into the package design demonstrates the main purpose of the goods, and make it complex and attractive. What On Earth illustration 24. Moloko. The designer has done an amazing job building an identity that is noticeable. The regular milk package plays into a new vibe through the reproduced picturesque urban scenes made in 3 different color palettes. Moloko illustration 25. Friggs Rice Cake relies heavily on traditional abstractions of nature and the countryside. With nothing superfluous, the package looks really sophisticated and vibrant, driving home the message of clean and simple food. Friggs Rice Cake illustration 26. Paw Ridge is a most impressive printing, that is upscale without being snooty. The illustration, made in a natural style, consists of fictional characters that make the product adorable by evoking childhood memories. It is a great example of how small package illustrations can send powerful messages. Paw Ridge illustration 27. Rhythm screams urban art deco style by means of simply pictured inherent attributes of modern youth. Despite having a heavily illustrated background, the simple bold typography is well set and really speaks volumes about the product. Rhythm illustration 28. How Stuff Works Box Sets is another example of a heavily illustrated package design. With the use of muted colors and monochrome illustrations, tightly placed on the box surface, the design conveys a warm experience. How Stuff Works Box Sets illustration

All for Now

As you can see, sometimes creating packaging designs can be the perfect solution to convey the brand essence, and establish a connection with customers on an emotional level. All the examples represented above have unique and catchy packages, that will definitely come get noticed. Now it's your turn. Tell us which package designs excite you the most? Which brand, in your opinion, has the most engaging and revealing design? Sound off, we are eager to hear from you. (rb)

Nataly Birch

Nataly is an internet entrepreneur and an amateur web designer and developer from Sevastopol, Ukraine. She is running a blog for web designers and developers where you can find some inspirational and useful stuff. In her spare time she reads books, unveils the secrets of the world and plays volleyball. Visit her blog or follow her on twitter


  1. Mostly very cool stuff. Other stuff, like R3 stories, make me not want to read and instead draw on the book. Not a good redesign.

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