Finding Pain Points in Graphic Design: Part 2

Monday, May 13th, 2024

Finding Pain Points in Graphic Design: Part 2

Welcome to part two of our series on graphic design pain points for non-digital materials. This one will be fun – we’re talking about designing book covers, album covers, stickers, and packaging!

(Did you miss part one of our series? Check it out here!)

Pain Points for Book and Album Covers

Book and album covers have different requirements (album covers being the “cooler” of the two), but there are some similar concepts for both.

Unique Challenges

Album covers require more information/messaging than book covers, especially if you use the cover as a booklet (adding lyrics, recording info for each song, etc.). Because of this, some album pain points include messaging issues and inaccurate info (including copyright infringement – not a great time for designers).

Book covers and album covers can both suffer from low-quality images, looking too DIY, too many fonts, and boring design. These are all “rookie” mistakes that established graphic designers can avoid.

A less-known mistake, though, is to communicate the wrong genre. (Think a dark, mysterious-looking cover for a book about a quaint town where the biggest threat is the town gossip.) When you do this, you mislead the audience and fail to attract the readers you want.

Solutions to Pain Points

Book and album covers are going to lean toward the artistic side more than a logo design or web build will, but there are some aspects of graphic design that you should stick to regardless.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I leaning artistic while staying true to the message I want to convey?
  • Have I made sure all the written info is accurate and consistent?
  • Did I avoid using stock images?
  • Am I speaking to their target audience?
  • Did I use high-quality images for my work?
  • Am I steering clear of copyright or trademark infringement?

Pain Points for Stickers

Stickers are a fun and easy way to promote your business. If it’s an aesthetically pleasing sticker, chances are people will unwittingly advertise for you simply because they like the design. For example, just look at Dutch Bros Sticker of the Month to see how effective it can be!

That said, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a sticker.

Unique Challenges

You’re gonna get tired of hearing this: stop using blurry or pixelated images for your projects, and don’t make too busy a design or people won’t know where to look. Busy designs are ugly designs, at least here in the US.

Another unique challenge of sticker design is the font size. When you’re designing a sticker, you’re probably not designing it in its intended size… so it can be tough to imagine how it’ll look post-production. Using too-small fonts (or fonts that are hard to read) will ruin your messaging.

Speaking of ruined messaging, you need to triple-check your spelling. No one wants to hand out stickers with misspelled words unless it’s for the sake of irony (“No ragrets”)!

You also need to consider the intended purpose for the sticker. Will it go on water bottles? Then make it small. Is it for a laptop? Then it can be bigger. Bumper stickers? Make it big enough that cars can read the font without rear-ending the person with the bumper sticker!

Adhesives are another important consideration. If you use the wrong adhesive for your goals, your recipients could have a poor experience with them.

For example, if your stickers are going on a water bottle, but the adhesive doesn’t hold up against condensation or the sticker peels because it’s paper, that’s a poor user experience. Everyone has fallen victim to the “dirty shadow of adhesive where a sticker used to be.”

Solutions to Pain Points

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Does this sticker match/work with the brand?
  • Is it the right size and shape for its intended purpose?
  • Am I using the right resolution and file type for this image?
  • Is the art the right size, and am I using an appropriate color palette?
  • Are my fonts easy to read, and are they large enough?
  • Have I proofread everything several times?
  • Am I using the right adhesive?
  • Is it too busy?

Pain Points for Packaging

Unboxing has become a huge deal in recent years, so if you sell a product, it’s important to get this right. Here are some considerations for packaging design.

Unique Challenges

Sustainability has become an important consideration for consumers. In fact, 71% of people consider how sustainable packaging is before they purchase a product. This includes whether you’re doing too much when it comes to packaging. Consumers don’t want unnecessary waste, and besides, it costs more money to ship a larger box!

That said, it’s also important to ensure that packaging is durable enough to safely ship the products you offer. Using low-quality materials is a turn-off for consumers, and for people who love to unbox, there’s nothing worse than having boring, unbranded, or unpersonalized packaging.

Solutions to Pain Points

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you design packaging for products:

  • Is it sustainable (and do I have clear messaging around that)?
  • Is every piece of the packaging necessary and important?
  • Is the branding of the package clear?
  • Am I using high-quality materials?
  • Is this fun to unbox?
  • Does the packaging ensure freshness (food goods)?
  • Am I shipping in a small box that can protect the product?
  • Have I included personalized (even better – handwritten) notes?

Get More Graphic Design Tips from Matcha Design

Here at Matcha Design, graphic design is our jam. It’s something that we have been doing for decades, and we love sharing our tips with other aspiring designers who want to learn from our wins (and mistakes)! 

That said, if you’re a business owner and you want to knock out a project quickly, contact us! We’re happy to help.

About Matcha Design

Matcha Design is a full-service creative B2B agency with decades of experience executing its client’s visions. The award-winning company specializes in web design, logo design, branding, marketing campaign, print, UX/UI, video production, commercial photography, advertising, and more. Matcha Design upholds the highest personal standards for excellence and can see things from a unique perspective due to its multicultural background.  The company consistently delivers custom, high-quality, innovative solutions to its clients using technical savvy and endless creativity. For more information, visit MatchaDesign.com.

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