It can be a sticky proposition. There’s all that honey waiting to be bottled and sold. Besides the need for safe and sanitary conditions and a process similar to canning, there is the issue of how fast honey can be packaged and distributed. Then, there’s a whole world of honey package design options awaiting the honey producer’s focused attention.
I found this out awhile back as I set about to create my own honey package design for the honey I cultivated from my beekeeping efforts.
Here’s my story and a few helpful how-to’s for present or prospective makers and/or sellers of honey-based products. Key takeaways are: Be original, Make it look good, make it stand out, make it high-quality and professional, make it the first (or certainly among the first) product(s) that consumers are attracted to on shelves or online sites. As a former graphic designer and teacher of graphic design, I figured this would be a short and simple journey—one that I could handle solo. That was a year ago.
Even though I had done package design before, I quickly decided I was under-qualified to do my honey package design. This occurred to me when my nephew’s girlfriend gave me a candle gift so uniquely packaged that I had to call the candle company and ask for the designer’s name.
Enter Eric Kass of Funnel. What a dream. A true artist-designer. Detail-oriented, thorough and comfortable enough with himself and the design process to lead the way. We talked design-speak. I wrote a lot about everything Eastern Shore. I put together a photo album of the Eastern Shore; and told fishing stories. I cobbled together a creative brief. We kicked off the design process together. I would tell the story and it was up to Eric to do the heavy package design lifting.
During my process I did product research and came up with a few more ideas besides the honey jar and soap I originally intended to create; Beeswax Candles; Honey Lollipops; BeeBling Jewelry. Each product required a call to Eric: “Hi, I just added another product. It’s not a big deal…yada, yada, yada.” On the other end of the phone it was quiet. He listened, took what he needed and always delivered above my expectations. He never did what I told him to do, or what the vendor “required” for labeling. He found ways to satisfy the assignment to be more inline with the brand we were creating. Each addition increased the time needed to complete the process and in the end, impacted my schedule.
Obviously, with regard to honey package design, I am in favor of hiring a professional graphic designer with years of experience doing package design for a variety of clientele.
If you’re hesitating about or pooh-poohing the need for well-thought-out design and packaging and the investment in professional help, let me leave you with this: Think about the quality of the honey you produce. Have you shed blood, sweat and tears to make it happen? Is it, in essence, your baby? If so, consider pre-natal and post-natal care. You wouldn’t spend nine months doing everything possible to have a healthy baby, then leave its continuing health to chance, would you?
For the honey producer serious about selling product, the analogy is similar. If you’re going to make the emotional, physical and financial investment required to produce honey, be prepared to carry through that same level of commitment to marketing—a key element of which is stellar design and packaging. Anything less likely will produce poor results.
Of course, all of this took time. A lot of time. In total, the process took four-and-a-half months to press. Press took 10 days. Just like having that healthy baby, good things are worth waiting for—including design and packaging excellence. For a look at the complete line of “Bee Inspired” goods, visit Waxing Kara.
Next I’ll cover more of the detail around the creative brief and creating honey package design.