Packaging Design: The Trick Is Getting Your Dielines Right
by Christine G. Adamo
Were you hired to design product packaging? Are you scared to death of dielines?
Well, you’re not alone! The trick to achieving great packaging design just may rest in getting your dielines right. If even one little line is askew, it throws the entire thing off. But, what do I mean by dielines? I’m talking about the lines of a box, let’s say, which fold and turn or are cut at a certain angle.
Take any old box apart and what you’re looking at are dielines in the making.
Exhibit A: Dielines which outline the packaging of a fictitious line of artisan teas. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator’s infamous pen tool)
There are two sets of lines you need to concern yourself with: Dashed lines and solid lines. Dashed lines indicate folds in the packaging. Solid lines denote where the packaging will be cut to achieve its overall shape. The dielines pictured here (see “Exhibit A”), were created using Adobe Illustrator’s infamous pen tool.
That little creature gets a bad wrap! Use rulers and guides to get the best results.
Once your dielines are in place, you can start designing that package. And that’s where the fun begins. I used mine to mock up three designs in what I’ve come to affectionately refer to as free leaf artisan tea company’s “Flavors of the World” series. They include: Orange Pekoe, Moroccan Spice and English Breakfast.
Once your dielines are in place, have fun! My fictitious “Flavors of the World” series relies on repitition of primary logos, accent elements and fonts to unify the designs. (Created by WRE’s Christine G. Adamo using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop)
Why go to all that trouble, you’re thinking? Why not, I say!
There may be nothing more satisfying than stepping back and knowing that you did your best to give a client a set of designs which work well together, are distinct and convey the kind of message they’re hoping to send to consumers. TIP: Isolate differing elements in their own Illustrator layers and name them well.
Still think dielines (and the pen tool) are evil? Or is it a matter of mastering them?
Inquiring minds wanna know!
Christine G. Adamo | Owner, Lead Writer & Designer | http://www.WriteReviseEdit.com