Types of packaging

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Types of packaging
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Packaging - a product with a specific shape, integrated with a product that has several important functions e.g., security, marketing. Is complementing the four marketing-mix elements Often the packaging is called a "silent seller".

Factors affecting the quantitative growth of packaging:

  • Continuous population growth
  • Increased consumption
  • Improving the standard of living in underdeveloped countries, including knowledge of hygiene
  • Development of transport of raw materials and products in packages intended for large ones distances

Types of packaging

The most known divisions:

1. The contact of packaging with the goods:

  • immediate packaging - direct contact with goods, used to protect against

undesirable outside influences. They are more economical .. For example: jars, cartons

  • intermediate packaging - protection of goods in direct contact with

product and packaging itself against weather conditions, injuries mechanical, theft. They play an important role during storage and transport. For example: cartons, frames.

2. Due to the purpose of packaging:

  • Unit packets constitute the immediate packaging of the product; they usually contain a dose

of the product that is sold in the retail trade. They protect products from quantitative and partial losses, and qualitative changes, but do not provide sufficient protection of the contents against exposure during transport and storage.

  • Transport packaging guarantees protection of contents against mechanical, climatic and

biological exposures during storage and transport (completely or partially reviews on the packaging design). In transport packaging, products may be transported in unit, bulk or loose packaging.

  • Bulk packaging is an intermediate packaging and transport.

They are mainly protective, and therefore they are not for consumers. The customers only get in the case of a large number of unit packages, e.g. flour, drinks.

3. Packing durability:

  • Durable packaging,
  • Non-durable packaging.

4. The raw material from which the packaging is made

Elements of the packaging

The most basic elements of the packaging include:

Shape - first of all, the shape is giving the form of packaging but also the pattern, composition, inscriptions.

Color - thanks to it, the customer reacts to the first reaction with the product. Color is an element that transmits emotional properties to the senses of a human being. A suitably selected range of colors connects the entire packaging with each other, which means that the brand and the quality of the product become more important.

Style - the main theme depends on it, most often it is connected with the rest of the product collection. It can be, for example, modern, traditional, Scandinavian, etc.

Ergonomics - an element that makes it easier for the consumer to grab and use the item.

Label - is part of the marketing grip. The label together with the packaging form the center of the advertisement, which aims to inform the customer but also to influence it in an aesthetic way.

Graphic - usually refers to the product contained in the packaging. The graphics include, among others brand sign, logo, text, illustrations.

Size and size parameters - the size of the packaging affects the imagination of the man with the capacity, how much the product is in the package. It is important to properly choose the size of the package to the size of the customer's needs. The size of the package should be proportional to the unit price of the product.

Marking - the packaging should contain the required symbols related to the contents of the packaging. There should also be a bar code that can be used within a country or a commercial network.

Packaging material - a well-chosen product affects weight, safety, convenience of use and, later, recycling.

Packaging functions

Basic functions in commodity science:

  • Economy function - refers to the dependence of all packaging costs between any production costs.
  • Technical function - this function refers to activities enabling consumption, distribution and protection of the product against various types of external and internal factors.
  • Aesthetic and marketing function - focuses on visualization of design and aesthetics of the whole package. Its task is to encourage the consumer to buy from other goods.
  • Promotional function - a special role in the functioning of the free market. An attractively packaged product is more often chosen by the consumer and gradually sold, which leads to increased profits and thus a reduction in costs. A well-created packaging is the most effective part of the sales process, because it focuses the customer's attention, for example, through TV advertising or tasting, product demonstration.

Functions in transport and logistics:

  • Transport function - refers to an organized logistic process and full use of the load capacity of transport equipment.
  • Protective function - their task is to protect the product against mechanical, biotic (microbial) factors, climatic factors and other physical injuries. The packaging is also intended to protect the product against deterioration, color change, evaporation, change of consistency, dirt, and in the case of dangerous goods, it prevents the release of harmful substances. Remember the rules for placing packaging on the market. The packaging material must meet the criteria and sanitary requirements introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the requirements of European Union directives.
  • Information function - its task is to inform the consumer about the product through information on the packaging, among others ingredients, expiry date, method of use - they are to bring the product closer to the customer.
  • Warehouse function - involves activities that are to facilitate the process of storing, moving and picking up goods.
  • Assembly function - The role of this function is related to simplifying the picking of product sets in different parts of delivery. The maximum load capacity of means of transport is taken into account. largely refers to logistics processes, from storage to delivery of the right product to the customer.
  • Managing function - one of the features of the packaging is the bar code usually placed at the back. Their goal is to improve the flow of information and automate the distribution process. All countries that belong to the international trademark association - European Article Numbering Intemational (EANI) have a uniform EAN bar code.
  • Recycling function - includes the sorting of used packaging, so that it can be reused or completely disposed of.

Packaging symbols

If the packages are to be subject to commodity transactions, please remember about the appropriate symbol on the packaging. Individual packages that are directly delivered to the consumer should be marked with symbols that will allow him to learn the specificity of the content. These symbols specify the properties of the product, methods of handling this product during storage and use. The symbol sign on individual packages may take the form of an alphabetic character, a sign, a contour, a digit, a description, a coloration or a combination of these varieties.

When marking individual packages, we use the following symbols:

  • Basic symbols - enable identification of information about the product and the producer
  • IT symbols - simplify in a simplified way the product's features and packaging.
  • Symbols of danger - they warn against caution of the person during loading, storage, use to avoid danger to the buyer and the environment.
  • Handling symbols - they suggest how to handle a product or packaging during any activities related to storage, transport and use.
  • Advertising symbols - their aim is to encourage the customer to purchase a product.

The basic symbols include:

  • Product name - product description (commercial, utility or chemical) e.g. notebook, soap.
  • Company symbol - contains the name of the factory producing or packaging the product (short or full name).
  • Product use - if the name of the product is not included in the name, the appropriate symbol characterizing the product must be marked.

Information symbols containing:

  • Product specificity - the symbol should specify the grade or class of product quality. It should be close to the product name.
  • Symbol informing about the brand and product safety - They must be properly depicted in a drawing.
  • The composition of the product - overall or in-house
  • Product composition - the sign identifies the product components or the most important of them. In the first place are the components that are the most in the product. Drugs should be in Latin terminology.
  • Production series mark - the packaging has a series number indicating the date and place of manufacture.
  • Quantity of the product - the symbol must indicate the net weight, volume or number of individual items in the package.
  • The country the product comes from - full name or abbreviation.
  • Usage method - the way in which the product should be handled or the dosage.
  • Date of manufacture or packaging - the symbol shows the date of manufacture of a conventional or contractual product.
  • Best before date - a symbol representing the day to which all product features are retained. After this day, you can also use the products, but remember that they may lose some properties, such as lower vitamin content.
  • Expiration date - a symbol representing the day which, according to the manufacturer, guarantees the product's quality to be maintained. After that day, the item should not be used.

Packaging design

Packaging design rules:

  1. Choosing the type of packaging - depending on what is to be found in the packaging (type and properties of the product), choose the appropriate material and its thickness. You also need to consider whether the product will be sold in a single package or maybe several units in the packaging. Choosing the right packaging can deprive the producer of unnecessary production costs.
  2. Size of packaging - the producer must predict how much space the product will take. It must hold the product, but it may not be too big to damage the product.
  3. The manufacturer - must decide on the shape, material, colors, text to be placed on the packaging, trademark, logo. One can not forget that the packaging must be practical, but at the same time should attract the customer with its attractiveness.
  4. The factor - that draws the client's attention the most and the fastest is the aesthetic value, that is, graphics, illustrations, lettering and colors. The designer has to choose the design elements and colors appropriately (the ones that best reflect the sun's rays, e.g. yellow, green), make the whole package work together.


  • Woźniak D., Kukiełka L, Woźniak J. (2011). Packaging logistics in road transport, Autobusy : technika, eksploatacja, systemy transportowe, no.5, s. 278-280.

Author: Natalia Wróblewska