What Einstein knew about branding and packaging design

by | Sep 17, 2018 | Branding with impact


What did Albert Einstein really know about branding and packaging design?

You may well ask…”What did Albert Einstein know about branding and packaging design?

Einstein is quoted as saying “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” This in essence is the secret to effective packaging and branding design.

Einstein’s wisdom went beyond simply science and Quantum Physics. Einstein understood that designers faced two primary worldly issues.

  1. Issues where there is a right answer and
  2. Issues where there isn’t a right answer.

Where science and design combine

In the realms of science, physics, maths, or biology, things work the way that they work. There is a right answer and a wrong answer. We as humans have to figure out which is which.

This is essentially why the laws of physics are discovered rather than created or developed.

The laws of physics and nature exist whether we unearth them or not.

However in the realm of the creative arts, literature, music and design there is no specific correct answer.  Rather there are numerous possibilities. So many ways for us to apply our imagination and create.

The challenge of branding and packaging design is embracing and combining both the science/data and the creative arts.

There’s no true science to effective packaging and branding design.

The fact is if design was really only a science and could be paired down to a simple formula, any computer generated AI program could reproduce and turn out winning designs time after time. That said, with experience and knowledge expert designers come close to a “scientific/formulative” answer.

There is also an art to truly impactful design.

Designing effective graphical explanations of a compelling story, and creating engaging graphical “messagery” transforms the mundane into the captivating.

Just like a Master Chef or experienced pastry makers, effective branding and packaging design combines part science and part art.

Never underestimate the task of captivating a target customer.

Over the last 20 years of developing packaging designs and brands that deliver results for clients and ultimately sell on-shelf and online, we’ve come to understand that the vast majority of Brand Marketers totally underestimate what it really takes to develop an brand and a packaging design that attracts and engages consumers at the shelf.

As a branding and packaging design agency we, at Jam&Co, are immersed a core philosophy which as has helped us create amazing product packs and brands.

One should never underestimate the task of captivating a target customer. We must move them emotionally and intellectually, so they see and pick our product off a shelf of competitors.”

Our designs here at Jam are a combination of both art and science. to a large degree( with our own unique secret sauce) we follow the design standard created by IDEO.

The IDEO design formula


The world renown design company IDEO is made up of a community of worldwide designers, entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, researchers. Did you know that IDEO designed the first mouse for Apple? They have long been seen as the poster child for innovating and creating change through design.

IDEO has developed a design formula which is in essence used by most experienced designers in one form or another.

It’s called the LAUNCH formula.

L= Look, listen, learn. Any truly great designer will tell you that prior to solving any problem graphically or developing an idea or answering the call to solve need or want, they have to deeply understand it and the people impacted by the issue at hand.

This is done by honing their understanding, applying both empathy and a large dose of curiosity about the target audience and their wants and worries.

A = Ask lots of questions. All great designers invest the time to explore the issue and problem in detail.

The focus here is only on the issue at hand … not the solution, only the problem!

U= Understand the problem or process. Here’s where the design team deep dives into research regarding industry knowledge and category reviews, international designs, the market place, competing designs and best practice etc.

The design team compares notes and only now with true clarity on the issue to be addressed will they come together to deduce from the best possible solutions.

N = Navigate ideas. Here’s where the design team begins to brainstorming solutions. They’ll leverage all of their learnings and come up with multiple possibilities.

Then as a team, they’ll evaluate their ideas on their merits, and further brainstorm to see what other possibilities emerge worth exploration into solutions.

C = Create. Only now…Finally, are they truly ready to convert their ideas into into something real. This is where the crafting of the design happens. This is where they will take their first run at their ultimate design.

The’ll submit anywhere between four to half a dozen of their best design concepts to be reviewed by the design team.

Typically these designs are a little “rough around the edges” but certainly good enough to be put in front of the team for evaluation and critique.

The design is created by building on learnings and feedback applying a large dose of inspiration, ideation, and ultimately implementation.

H = Highlight what’s working and failing. From the design review, each designer will take on board the feedback and friction points revising their original design concepts and narrowing their designs down to the key few the team feel could be presented to the client for initial review.

Then after adapting and refining the concepts from the client feedback, finally the client will be presented with their agreed upon designs to take into research.

The IDEO design process is both robust as it is effective which is why, in varying degrees most experienced designers will use it.

Did Albert Einstein really know about branding and packaging design?


When Einstein was just five years old, apparently he threw a chair at his tutor because he couldn’t stand his style of teaching. This incident would ultimately lead to his teacher to proclaiming that Einstein “would never amount to much.”

If Einstein was in the branding and packaging design business today he would emphatically tell Brand Marketers to that “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Einstein would stress  that “Knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Then Einstein would tell us that in todays current highly competitive, private label dominated market place, you can no longer afford to play safe.

You have to take some calculated risks.

You have to combine both science and art and push your designers to really create something special.

BTW if you CLICK HERE it will take you to a link of an INFOGRAPHIC of a Mash UP of all the various Design Tends of last year and 2018 too.