Blister Pack Design - Where to start?

I’m an in-house graphic designer and my boss now wants me to design a blister pack holding a few objects, but I’ve never done this. Unfortunately, we get everything printed in China and I do not have direct contact with printers. I have a basic design started for the cardboard backing. But when designing a hanging blister pack, what are some things to think about? How will we know if it hangs balanced or uneven?

On the balance issue, you will have to make mock ups. Get the objects that are to be in the blister pack. Tape them to a piece of card stock in the desired arrangement, and let it hang. Adjust as needed.

Designing the drape formed plastic blister is fairly straightforward. Get a bunch of examples from a store. Determine if you are doing a double sided blister (plastic on both sides) or a single (exposed card stock on back). Draw it out in multiple views and you vendor should be able to help you from there.

…but don’t stop there! If the objects to be in the pack are in data you can arrange and evaluate the balance in software and also get an accurate hanging point target defined for you, although the vendor will figure that out on their own as well. But also take whatever time opportunity you can to innovate - sometimes its free (reusable designs, minimal waste, ease of unpackaging, etc).

You’ll probably find poorly designed and well designed blisterpacks - think about packs that can hang AND free stand, consider transport and movement of objects within the blister before it gets to POP. Take into account masterpack sizes and pallet sizes. Make sure there’s ample space for prominent branding and support communications, etc.

All of the above. Like Yo mentioned, blisters themselves are pretty easy. The challenge is the shipping considerations. Without knowing exactly what you are designing it is a bit hard for me to give you too much guidance on that. Also what exactly are you being asked to do. If it is just thinking through what the size and shape should be, your product shape should give you a starting point there. Think of it as any other design element on you pack. How does it interact with your branding, how is the product displayed, etc…? Do so AI renderings and work the rest through your china supplier.

If you are being asked to do CAD files…I don’t know that is a reasonable request for a graphic designer.


Please make us all proud here on Core77 and include some provision for easily opening the package without lacerating the palm or fingers.

As a rule of thumb, a tool is required for opening. This increases the theft-protection retailers demand.

Some designs have addressed the ease of opening and POP security…

What is the security?

I was under the impression that 1, the larger package was harder to shove in your pants (pun intended) than the smaller product and 2, the package was the obvious place for the rf security tag.

As a rule of thumb, a tool is required for opening. This increases the theft-protection retailers demand.

… and once I chop open the package, and discover that it isn’t exactly what I wanted and desire to return it, what is the likelihood that someone else will want to buy a previously opened product.

Personally, when I see a previously opened product that has been taped back together and re-hung for sale, I steer clear of it.

That’s an excellent example Scott, in fact I just purchased this very level and found the reusable package to be really well executed. Finally.

Glad you like it Lew - it took months of negotiation with B&D’s packaging and marketing groups for them to buy into the concept, we designed it from sketch to packaging engineering - and because I had designed that line of laser level products it was easiest to get it into two of those SKUs - they’ve since used it once more, on one of their household products. I noticed Stanley also copied the concept on their competing laser level (pre merger/takeover of B&D), so it must have fared well with consumers during post purchase research.

oh, the level works pretty well too