Everything You Need to Know About Creating Custom Retail Packaging

Packaging Director

February 27th, 2023

6 Minutes

Custom retail packaging is an essential part of consumer engagement. With the right design and production partner, packaging can be a powerful tool for making an unforgettable impression that elevate perceived value. Learn how to create visually attractive and memorable custom retail packaging with these simple considerations.


Learn the Benefits of Different Custom Retail Packaging Types

But first, when designing custom retail packaging, it’s important to know the different types of packaging available to fit your needs. Taking the time learn more about the benefits of these different packaging styles can help you make the best decision for your product. Some of the most common types of retail packaging include retail paper bags, rigid gift boxes, garment bags, pouches, and receipt folders. Each type offers a range of benefits that can impact customer perception and response.

Retail Paper Bags

Luxury packaging manufacturer Alexander Mcqueen retail paper bag

Paper bags are the clearest way to comunicate your brand to consumers through touch, sight, and even sound. The key considerations of paper bags when designing custom retail packaging are, size, materials, and SKU count (how many bag sizes do you need). Selecting mono-material construction of retail bags is a simple way to be more sustainable. Avoiding poly film laminates and foils will also help in reducing micro-plastics from the waste streams. Material color is a brand decision, but choosing a beater-dyed paper for your brand color is an easy way to elevate the look and feel of your packaging.

Beater-dyed paper is paper that is a specific color through and through, if you tear it the same color appears inside. Logo size and position is another decision based on brand, but note that the majority of brands choose to use a logo 1/3 the width of the face of the bag, or one that is 1/5 the width. It depends on many factors but legibility, color, and production process all play into that decision.

Retail Gift Boxes

Luxury cosmetic packaging-Eve-Lom-Packaging-Design-Gold Emboss All over pattern

Gift boxes come in many constructions but this is a clear way to communicate them to your supplier. In custom retail packaging, “Rigid” refers to the board used to make the box, not the construction. Rigid greyboard is then wrapped by a thinner paper that should match your shopping bags and the same logo scale used should apply here too. IDP Direct is known for developing a variety of collapsible rigid boxes which are, boxes made of rigid board in a construction that folds and ships flat. The benefits of collapsible or foldable rigid boxes is they save space in transit and storage and that translates to saving money.

Garment Bags & Pouches


In fashion, every brand with custom retail packaging has a garment bag. These bags are meant to be reused to protect the garment when not being worn. Due to it’s reusable nature, the bags are sewn from a variety of fabrics and tend to have a single zipper down the front. There are two placements for branding, 1) on the right side of the zipper near the chest of the garment inside, and 2) much larger on the back so it can be read when the garment bag is folded to be carried.

Typical garment bag materials include NWPP, rayon, cotton, or nylon. Linen is a great material with a sustainable story, but linen wrinkles if you look at it sideways and doesn’t present very well. Pouches don’t have to use the same material as the garment bag, but they shold tie into the program with color, texture, and branding. Either a single draw or a double draw cord pouch is a great place to start when designing pouches.

The “draw” refers to how many ropes or ribbons are used to close a pouch. a single has one ribbon fed through the channel and the user pushes the fabric to one side as they pull the ribbon. Double draw has 2 ribbons and you pull each one away from each other and that closes the pouch. Double draw will be slightly more expensive than a single.

Receipt Folders

Premium packaging solutions Space NK Holiday Sustainable Packaging Gold Foil Logo

Custom retail packaging is all about the details. What is the ceremony behind the consumer’s memorable experience? Do they remember how the associate folded their ribbon and placed it into the small folder that matched the packaging?

Receipt folders can be as simple as an envelope or as complex as a tri-fold with a matching envelope. These folders are also a great way for your associates to include their business cards and give your consumers a contact within the brand should they have any questions.

Interested in learning more? Take a look at our complete process breakdown here.

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