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Package Designer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Package designers require some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and necessary skills to see if this is the right career for you.

Essential Information

Package designers work with clients and creative teams to develop eye-catching, cost-effective and safe packaging for products. They usually brainstorm, sketch and re-design their concepts based on client needs. These professionals are typically required to hold a bachelor's degree in a field like industrial design, and they generally need experience working with computer design software.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Skills with industry-standard software programs
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*4% for all industrial designers
Median Salary (2013)*$62,370 for all commercial and industrial designers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Package Designer Job Description

Package designers help clients meet marketing needs by creating attractive packaging for products using creative software and sketches. Strong interpersonal skills are often necessary, because package designers work with accountants and business professionals to create cost-effective packaging that meets consumer demands. They may also work with copywriters, marketing experts and other designers to ensure that packaging meets branding requirements and suits target audiences. Package designers may work as in-house designers for design firms or perform work on a freelance basis.

Job Duties for a Package Designer

Package designers begin the design process by meeting with clients to develop an understanding of their packaging needs. They then assess consumer tastes, market trends and product details to conceptualize package designs. Together, clients and designers determine how to meet goals pertaining to cost, safety and branding. Package designers may spend time conducting additional research and meeting with suppliers or consumer groups to develop ideas.

Next, package designers illustrate their ideas. They may use hand-drawn sketches or design software to create digital drafts. After they've developed and edited a design, package designers again meet with clients to gather additional feedback. The process of re-designing continues until the designer and client are satisfied with the design.

Package designers must then create a prototype that can be analyzed by clients and management. They work with engineers, consumer safety groups and accountants to ensure that their prototype is safe and cost effective. If standards are not met, re-designs may be required. When a product design gets final approval, it goes into production.

Package Designer Job Requirements

Most entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree in industrial design or a related field. Coursework may include art history, graphic design, typography and color theory, as well as product design history, theory and creation. Classes focused on marketing, sustainability and commerce can provide additional benefits to prospective package designers. Many programs also require an internship.

Prospective package designers need a diverse and well-organized portfolio to showcase their work. They must have experience working with creative design software, such as Adobe Creative Suite, to combine typography, graphics and other design elements. Package designers must also have the ability to generate effective hand-drawn sketches and be proficient in photography. Additionally, these professionals are generally creative, aware of market trends and able to work under tight pressure to meet deadlines.

Career and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for industrial designers are predicted to increase 4% from 2012-2022. The agency also reports that commercial and industrial designers earned a median salary of $62,370 in 2013 (www.bls.gov).

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