Package Design Pricing: How Much Should Packaging Cost?

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Establishing your package design is an essential first step in starting your business.

However, the reality is, the cost of package design can add up very quickly, so it’s important that you explore all your options before making any decisions.

Before we dive into the cost of package design, we must first understand exactly what package design is, and why it plays a vital role in starting your business.

What Is Package Design?

Packaging refers to wrapping and protecting products during distribution, shipping, and sales.

Your package design is your customer's first impression of your brand, so it's important you spend some time and energy to get this right from the start.

Many businesses design their own packages using design software and tools. There is always the option to outsource this to a design expert, but that route tends to be much more expensive.

How Much Does Package Design Cost?

  • Minimum cost of package design: $50
  • Maximum cost of package design: $3,000
  • Average cost of package design: $1,525

This estimate depends on a number of factors, including which service or tools you choose, the scope of your business and your overall needs as it relates to package design.

Below, we will dive into the best tools and services to jumpstart your package design.

Best Tools And Services For Package Design

There are plenty of different tools and resources available to help with package design.

It’s important that you do your due diligence to determine your exact goals as it relates to your package design.

First and foremost, you should ask yourself a few questions prior to starting your research:

  • How much can/should I spend on package design?
  • What value and return will package design bring to my business?
  • Do I need a professional package design service or tool, or is this something I can do without?
  • What will the ongoing costs for package design look like?

Once you have an idea as to what you are looking for, it’s time to begin the research process!

We’ve identified the top tools and services for package design.

Best Free Packaging Design Tools:

  1. Upwork - A freelancer/hiring platform to find affordable package design specialists.
  2. Fiverr - Another platform to find and hire someone to do package design for you.
  3. iC3D - Create 3D digital prototypes fast and easy
  4. Canva - Design your own packaging with easy to use editor and reusable templates.
  5. Box It Now - Package design solution that makes it easy to create paperboard design, visualize it in 3D, share and export box designs.
  6. ManageArtworks - Packaging artwork management software for Pharma and CPG companies
  7. CHILI publisher - Convert packaging artwork to smart templates
  8. Filestage - Easy-to-use online proofing software that helps teams to get packaging designs reviewed and approved faster

Best Agencies And Packaging Design Firms

Don't feel you're set up for the task of designing your own packaging? You can outsource this entire thing to another firm.

Here are the 8 top package design firms:

  1. Ruckus Marketing (New York)
  2. Legnd (Houston)
  3. Pulp+Wire (Portland)
  4. Arhue (San Francisco)
  5. Murmur Creative (Portland)
  6. Mucca (New York City)
  7. La Visual (Los Angeles)
  8. DEI Creative (Seattle)

How To Keep Package Design Costs Low

It’s easy to get ahead of your budget as it relates to your package design.

After doing research on the different tools and services available, you should consider a few things:

  • Is package design something I can do on my own?
  • Is there a low cost or free way to get my package design (ie. freemium versions, partnerships or trade).
  • Are there some parts of package design I can do on my own, and others I can buy or outsource?

It’s important you spend the time asking yourself these questions so that you are the most prepared when it comes to your package design.

To help you put your money where it matters, we put together a list of 20 free small business budget templates, including a startup cost template to help you get your business started.

What Other Inventory Expenses Should I Know About?

Package Design will be one of many inventory expenses you will need to consider when starting your business.

To learn more about other ’s and best practices, we put together a list for you here:

  • Distribution costs
  • Shrinkage
  • Inventory Storage
  • Package Design
  • Upfront Costs For Inventory


Contributors to this article:

  • Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story