Experience comes with an experience.
It can be said that packaging design is more about the journey than the final creation from a designer's point of view. It's not just interacting with a product, but also with the people ad culture behind it.These when combined enhance one as a packaging designer, giving you more insights and in depth knowledge of the skill.
It's not about doing different things, it's about doing things differently.
Every designer explores their own niche; their own style. And even though at first look, some designs by various designers might look similar, where it may look like a identical tools or techniques have been used, a closer look reveals the small differences that make a difference. For instance, it's easy for many to simply use the align tool in design software to arrange and organize objects. However, a difference can be made by using a grid system and zooming into each object to manually arrange them. Such detailed working style goes on to make a huge impact on the final outcome.
What you keep in mind should be kept in your design.
The look and feel of packaging is predominantly dominated by the product. However, simple and minimal designs stand out in a cultured shelf. Before creating innovative solutions, it is important to keep in mind some simple points to make the journey smooth and obstacle -free. Staying simple and honest is key and so is researching consumers, markets and competition before getting onto designing. Also packaging designs significantly depends on the type of material being used and hence a good understanding in such areas is crucial as well. Apart from that, product extension and legible typography are some more aspects that must be included in every design.
It's not about who's in the driver's seat, but what car you're driving.
In the design world, everyone would agree that the clients have the ultimate say. But that does not stop any designer or design from coming through. It's not easy of course, and is a skill that comes with experience and confidence. As a packaging designer, it's just not enough to simply create packaging that looks good; one needs to always have concrete reasons as to why that is so. Tell the client's why, using well researched reasons and they will agree with your concept. For example, coming up with in packaging that could be used as keepsakes by consumers instead of using plastic bottles that the client initially demanded works a lot better to not only add to the designer's portfolio but to work for the brand as well. Effectiveness is key and this way, designers can have the last word. But this by no means is disregarding opinions of clients. Designers must also be aware that companies spend two to three years researching a product before launching it in the market. Hence, it doesn't hurt sometimes to try and understand where they're coming from.