The Most Recognisable Packaging Designs in the World

Ted Baker box
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Written by
Robert Lockyer
Luxury packaging
Thursday, 7 November 2019

Packaging design is an art in itself and every brand’s ambition is for its products to be instantly recognised by their containers. The most famous brands can be instantly recognised by just looking at their packaging and would still be identifiable if the name and logo were removed.

Some carrier bags and boxes have become staples of certain lifestyles and even part of pop culture. So what makes them so iconic? Let’s dive in and have a look at some of the most famous packaging designs in the world and what makes them so memorable.  

The Tiffany & Co blue box

The Tiffany blue box is undoubtedly the single most recognisable packaging in the world. Probably as famous as the brand’s diamonds, the iconic box has represented the ideal retail container since it was introduced in the mid-1800s. 

The box is instantly recognisable due to its unique colour, typography and decoration. The robin egg blue shade was carefully chosen based on the fashion and lifestyle trends of the era. Turquoise jewellery was popular in the 19th century and brooches bearing the gem were given to wedding guests as a memento. The hue is now called Tiffany Blue and is a trademarked colour with its own Pantone code 1837 - the year the company was founded. 

Tiffany's ring box
Image source Shutterstock

The individual design elements are not the only ones that made the box famous. The company also introduced the engagement ring in the 1886s and the packaging soon came to symbolise love and happiness. As a result, the little container soon became the most desirable present that every woman in the world could want. 

Pop culture has also contributed to its reputation through the book, the film and song - “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Starring the talented and famous Audrey Hepburn, the film has become a classic and is known for its iconic scenes filmed at the shop in New York.  

Following the brand’s success, the blue box has come to be associated with the ultimate luxury lifestyle. Used to be known as the only thing you couldn’t buy but you were given from Tiffany’s, the box now comes as a $250 charm.  

The Harrods shopper bag

You can’t walk down the street in central London without seeing someone proudly adorning their arm with a signature Harrods carrier bag. Being one of the most famous department stores in the world and a prime tourist attraction, Harrods is visited by thousands every day and everyone wants to be seen coming out with one of the famous green carrier bags.

Harrods carrier bag
Image source Shutterstock

The shopper bag lives up to the brand’s corporate identity by being the quintessence of the department store’s characteristics – simple, effective, British and luxurious. Whenever you see someone carrying a Harrods bag, they are instantly associated with confidence and glamour. Moreover, you know that whatever is inside the bag is rare and precious.

The green and gold bag makes a strong visual impact through what it stands for, hence it can be worn as an accessory that expresses one’s style. The bag is available to buy as a souvenir and it comes in various models and collections without losing its traditional British heritage and value.

The Chanel box

Chanel is a brand that takes packaging very seriously and is a leader in the field. This is obvious from the page on their website dedicated entirely to wrapping their customers’ orders.

The white and black box reminds us of the simple elegance that Coco Chanel revolutionised the fashion world with. The packaging design impersonates the brand promise of timeless and effortlessly chic products.

Chanel box
Image source Shutterstock

The minimally branded box comes in different sizes to fit different items, maintaining consistency in the customer experience. Special attention is also given to the consistency between the packaging and the items inside. For example, the perfume Chanel No 5 and the box it comes in present the same simple, straight lines and pure colours.

The Chanel box is so desired that there is even a second-hand market for it!

Amazon delivery box

Unlike like the rest of the packaging mentioned here, the Amazon box hasn’t been around for many years, yet it’s probably one of the packaging we see the most in our daily lives. It’s also probably one of the most talked-about boxes on social media with its own hashtag and constant influx of user-generated content.

Amazon box
Image source Shutterstock

We all recognise it when we see it on our neighbour’s porch or our colleague’s desk. It doesn’t scream elegance or luxury, but every time we open one is like opening a Christmas present (especially when you forgot what you ordered).

It was designed for functionality more than anything else, but it does summarise the Amazon brand. And it has become quite the pop culture item with people making birthday cakes that look like an Amazon box, animated videos and comics where the box is the hero. On top of that, its reuse options are almost endless if you have imagination – locomotives, fortresses, etc.

Laduree macaron boxes

The world-famous pastry shop and tea room boasts one of the most distinctive branded packaging. The macaron boxes encapsulate the “delicious” pastel colours of the Parisian shop.

The brand often collaborates with artists and other celebrities or famous brands to develop limited-edition boxes. Even though they don’t have the traditional Laduree look, they are still recognisable due to their consistency with the brand look and feel. Regardless of the design, the specific hue of green and pink are always used.

Laduree box
Image source Shutterstock

The box brings a bit of French sophistication into any room when it’s brought out and makes the recipient feel like royalty. The logo surrounded by laurels and garlands are a throwback to the origin of the delicacy maker in the second French republic.

McDonald’s happy meal

The Happy Meal box takes us back to our childhood and the unforgettable experience of enjoying the signature/iconic fast food meal. The golden arches of the handle and the bright red colour of the box inspire happiness and excitement at the thought of discovering a new toy inside. It can also make adults feel nostalgic and remember the times when they went to McDonald's as children. 

McDonald's happy meal
Image source Shutterstock

No matter where in the world you are, you’ll recognise the design of the box immediately and know what’s inside it. Even if its look has changed since it was first introduced, it’s been one of the brand’s staples for 40 years.  

If you are looking to make your packaging well-known around the world, there are a few principles you need to focus on - relatable brand values, unique design, excellent customer experience and emotion. Get in touch with us via the form below if you’re ready to take your packaging to the next level and conquer the world through branding.  

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