A Complete Definition of 2D and 3D Packaging Design


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As a brand owner, how can you get customers to choose your product? How can you stop them from purchasing other alternatives in the store? Yes, the answer is by having a unique packaging design. Today, we can see many brands invest in modern and trendy packaging designs to make their products look more convincing. 2D and 3D packaging designs have come up as the recent buzz in this context. What are they, and why should you apply these designs to your product packaging? Read this post to get a complete definition of 2D and 3D packaging design!

What Is a Unique Packaging Design?


A unique packaging design is about harmonizing essential elements into your design.

These elements include:

  • Lively and relevant images
  • Specific colors
  • Branded designs
  • High-quality materials
  • And multiple elements

All the elements above are important to create visuals that help brands appeal to their customers. Thus, we can confidently say that a unique packaging design is the most important element in your marketing campaign.

What Is a 2D Packaging Design?


A 2D packaging design is the process of choosing visual elements. Additionally, it focuses more on understanding the basic principles of art and design. The designer creates this 2D design with only two dimensions’ length and width.

What’s more, a 2D packaging design is at the core of graphic design and visual communication. Yes, it is all about composing key elements and principles to form a visually appealing design.

Artists use these principles to express themselves. Meanwhile, graphic designers use these principles to provide visual communication.

These design concepts are used in many areas of art, including:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Figure
  • Photoshoot
  • Video
  • Graphic design

What Are the Visual Elements of a 2D Packaging Design?


Visual communication serves as a means of conveying ideas, information, and emotions to an audience. 2D design is famous mostly in digital art.

A graphic designer’s goal is to communicate as clearly as possible. In some cases, it also means not using too many visuals.

So, what are the visual elements of 2D packaging design?

All designs consist of the following main elements:

  • Line
  • Color
  • Design
  • Texture
  • Space

The Main Principles of a 2D Design


Excellent 2D design principles guide designers through the design process. These principles relate to the use of elements mentioned above. The aim is to achieve an effective and aesthetically pleasing result.

Have a look at its main principles below!

  • Unity – The design conveys a sense of unity
  • Balance – The balance is symmetrical; two halves of the composition look identical or asymmetrical.
  • Rhythm or Repetition – Repetition of visual elements
  • Harmony – A combination of similar or related elements
  • Emphasis – Determining the most important visual center
  • Contrast – Compare extremes to excesses
  • Ratio – A shape relative to the size of another shape

What Is 3D Packaging Design?


3D packaging is a design trend that has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Modern customers today are no longer content with simple 2D designs. Instead, they always want to see images that stand out from the label. Thus, this is where 3D packaging design comes into play.

So, what can you do with this modern packaging design?

Camouflage the Interior

3D packaging design is perfect if you are working with transparent packaging. In fact, it is a great opportunity to create a 3D look that will be ideal for beverage label designs. This way, you can place your products in a package like living in a display case. This type of appearance is sure to stand out on any store shelves.

Create a Remarkable 3D Printing

3D printers work very well to print label graphics that peel off directly from the product. You can also integrate multiple colors to draw striking images and make text stand out. Accordingly, using light colors against a dark background will let you make an incredible 3D effect.

Use of Holograms

Holographic packaging is another trend gaining momentum. Some packaging boxes have an overall holographic effect. Meanwhile, we also can see others have images that appear to float off the page. Going with a 3D packaging design is a great way to make your packaging recognizable. Eventually, this design can help you increase sales and awareness.

In simple words, 3D is a great design feature in packaging design. In fact, this design is growing in popularity, and it is not going anywhere.

What Are the Benefits of Switching from 2D to 3D Packaging Design?

Many brands cover their unpleasant packaging with splashy colors to get the customers’ attention. However, a beautiful packaging design needs to be aesthetic. In addition, it needs to be based on the characteristics of the product. Speaking of the benefits of switching from 2D to 3D packaging design, we can find many. Below are some of the promising ones you can get!

Faster Product Design Allows You to Beat Your Competition in the Market

  • More effective communication with suppliers/customers
  • Visualize more ‘what-if’ scenarios during the design process
  • Automatic flattening of sheet metal parts (with bend allowance)

The Ability to Create Renderings and Animations for Design Proposals or Reviews

  • More effective internal design reviews
  • Create effective sales and marketing content
  • Simulation, test, and validate your designs to reduce costs from quality problems and errors

Virtual Prototypes Reduce the Need and Cost of Physical Prototypes

  • Helps you ask and answer complex and important engineering questions earlier
  • 3D print prototypes allow everyone to participate in the process

Easily Incorporate the Latest Design Changes

  • Test your design in the real world before moving to production
  • Data management to organize and manage your design data

Automatic Bills of Materials

  • Helps to standardize detailing and drafting practices

Automate your design process and increase the speed and accuracy of output and response to customers

Allow non-technical personnel such as the sales department (and even customers) to quote, specify and configure products. At the same time, you can maintain your design and engineering integrity

Easy Tips for Creating Stunning 3D Packaging Designs

Indeed, 3D packaging design is undoubtedly the most innovative and influential technique currently reigning in the packaging industry. Thanks to 3D design software and printers, the limits of esthetics have been pushed back tremendously. This is why packaging designs today look more attractive and brilliant at the same time. If you need help tackling your first 3D design or want to improve your 3D design skills, the following tips are worth reading.

Include Tactile Senses


The best thing about 3D packaging design is that it is not only visually interesting. Far better, it also appeals to customers’ tactile senses. You can create a raised 3D effect by inserting letters into the packaging.

Think Inside the Box


By using clear glass and incorporating a three-dimensional backbone into the box, you can create an attractive 3D design. This type of design will surely let you grab the attention of every customer.

Let Your Products Speak!


Sometimes all you need to create a cool 3D packaging design is a simple 2D design that lets the product do the talking. Instead of printing notes on paper, you can use the real image of your products. This way, you can turn plain cardboard into clever 3D designs.

Invest in 3D Packaging Software


To create better graphics and transform your ideas into beautiful 3D images with just a few clicks, you can invest in 3D packaging software. Don’t worry; there are many options you can find with a single click!

Wrapping Up

Without any doubt, both 2D and 3D packaging designs have come up as the recent buzz in the modern packaging industry. As a brand that wishes to appeal to customers, it will be a great idea to switch your 2D design to a modern 3D packaging design. Hopefully, the complete definition we revealed here will help you to decide. To get more details about designing your packaging, feel free to contact Instant Custom Boxes!



Q. What is a unique packaging design?

A unique packaging design is about harmonizing essential elements into your design.

Q. What is 2D packaging design?

2D packaging design is the process of choosing visual elements.

Q. What is 3D packaging design?

3D packaging is a design trend that makes images stand out from the label.

Q. What are the benefits of switching from 2D to 3D packaging design?

Faster product design allows you to beat your competition in market

The ability to create renderings and animations for design proposals or reviews

Virtual prototypes reduce the need and cost of physical prototypes

Easily incorporate late design changes

Automatic Bills of Materials


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