Tactility in packaging design

Touch is one of the earliest senses we experience in life and brands should not underestimate the role it plays in the buying experience. Not only is it the second most important sense for consumers, but it has other intrinsic value as well: it can quickly convey information about an item's material, texture, scale, and heft.

Touch is one of the most important senses in product experience, especially when it comes to purchasing something new. When consumers think about product quality, nine out of ten times, they trust how it feels over looking at pictures or reading specifications. After seeing something new, people want to touch it, to get a feel for the materials and overall quality.

While visual and experiential marketing tactics are commonly used to evoke certain feelings in consumers, brands can also use tactile experiences. The tactility of packaging creates a stronger connection between the brand and the consumer because it's designed to be touched by the consumer. This makes it easier for your brand to stand out and create a memory that sticks.

In this blog post, we'll dig deeper into the ways brands can use tactility in their packaging design to provoke different emotions with consumers.


One of the most important and underrated emotions that touch can elicit is a feeling of convenience, which can make or break a consumer's buying experience.

With a superior focus on convenience, touch can go a long way in engaging customers. Packaging that is safe and easy to open — such as buttons, zippers, and ergonomic features — allows customers to safely interact with their products. Take for example the reusable water bottle that comes with a soft silicone cap, or the lipstick that comes with a built-in applicator — these additions make our lives much easier and happy little accidents much less likely.

The tactile experience of a product designed for children or the elderly is just as important as its visual appeal. There are visual cues that help customers understand if a product is easy to grasp for small hands, grip onto hard surfaces, or open with minimal muscle force. Raised textures, pull tabs for opening and grip features reinforces its convenience for target consumers. 


Many brands are using the tactile experience of their packaging to reinforce that they're committed to environmental sustainability. For instance, by giving their packaging a natural feel with recycled materials or by placing seeds in the box, companies can project their attitude toward the environment in a tangible way.

Packaging can actually help a brand tell its sustainability story. If it's simple, minimal, and straightforward — without any fancy coatings or treatments — customers can easily see that the brand is doing its part for the environment. When consumers touch and feel your packaging, it should be in its most basic form. That's because it tells a story about the brands environmental footprint. The latest trend for packaging is minimalism, which focuses on cutting down on a brands environmental impact — including its packaging and product design.


Designing packaging that gives customers an opportunity to learn about the product while holding and touching the product is one way to make sure shoppers get an immersive experience. In today's digital world we often forget the power of tangible interaction — but how we interact with our products can help build a stronger connection and understanding of what we're using. Products, in their raw form, are extremely confusing and ambiguous things — but when you start to open and interact with them, they become so much more than just a collection of buzzwords on a piece of paper.

Packaging isn’t just there to protect products. It’s also there to help inform customers about the product they’re buying. It is with this in mind that brands create packaging with open sections, exposing parts of the product itself so consumers can touch and feel it before they make their decision. This helps the consumer make an informed choice about their purchase, and often lets them know if they like the product before committing to buy it.

Bread packaging is thin and form fitting to allow customers to feel how soft and fresh the product is right there on the shelf. Produce bags are pinchable to allow customers to feel how firm or soft perishables are before they buy them. Toys are open in parts of the packaging, allowing parents to touch and feel the product before determining if it’s robust enough for their children.


When a product is packaged with quality materials, the consumer perceives that it matches the quality of the product inside. Tactile experiences can help reinforce this perception — from matte finishes to unique textures to increased rigidity or weight, consumers’ associate high-quality packaging with high-quality products.

The first touch of a luxury product is through its packaging, and that impression makes a lasting impact. Luxury brands often use matte and rigid materials that exude tactility and elegance — giving their packaging a physical experience that consumers will remember. The first touch of the product itself may be enough to justify the price tag.

A powerful tool

Packaging is a powerful tool for expressing your brand's core values, and it can elicit an emotional response from customers. Packaging can convey luxury, demonstrate convenience, show sustainability, induce engagement, or share information.

Packaging is often key to a purchase decision, but its emotional influence goes beyond the initial process of deciding which product to buy. Packaging can help businesses create positive experiences for their customers. By touch, consumers can bond with products and feel good about their purchase. Packaging should be more than just a vessel holding a product — it should celebrate the brand, evoke emotion, and set the tone for the experience that's about to ensue.