The Dieline posted their top 100 packaging designs of 2011 this week. Go on, check it out. It’s a great list, full of iconic and not-so-well-known brands. And, it’s a good lesson in marketing.

If your business is one that sells a product, encased in some kind of packaging, I strongly suggest taking notes on what makes these particular package designs made the top 100 list. Here are a few similarities I found. Let me know in the comments what you find similar about these designs.

  • Simplicity. The designs are simple, not crowded. Clean lines, and big blocks of color. Nothing intricate. Consumers are scanning shelves; too much text is a turn-off.
  • Vintage. Vintage images, logos and the packaging itself. Using something vintage seems to evoke "simpler times." It’s appealing to customers. In other words, it’s trendy.
  • Boldness. Bright colors and bold font choices. Easy to spot, and they stand out on a shelf.
  • Transparency. Literally and figuratively. Some of the products have clear packaging so the consumer can see the products. Others have bold font choices that make it clear what is contained in the package (setting expectations). This establishes trust with the consumer, in a way.
  • Whimsicality. These packages can’t be taken too seriously. They’re playful. Some are funny, others are…well, whimsical. While some might think this would deter consumers, it instead humanizes the product.

What qualities stand out to you?