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13 Places to Look for Packaging Design Inspiration

Packaging blogs. If you’re trying to come up with a CD packaging design, you’d likely want to view Packaging blogs…ya know, just to get some inspiration. Some say there’s a problem with this approach, though, especially if you’re looking for designs with the same medium (i.e. CD packaging designs to get inspiration for your CD packaging design) because you just might rip it off. But if you’re confident you’re not that kind of a stealer, then go ahead. There are plenty of them but the ones I highly recommend are: TheDieline, Packaging of the World, Creative Review.

Movies. Well, who would have thought? But many graphic designers and art directors get creative ideas from the movies they watch. This won’t be the best option if you only have a week before the deadline but do watch more movies so you’ll have plenty of concepts stored in your head for future use.

Photographs. Whenever you encounter lovely photos online, save them in a folder and label them according to category (street art, illusions, romantic, etc) so that when the time comes for you to brainstorm for a design, you can visit the folders you think are relevant. Some of the places I frequent for creative photos are:

Look outside. Turn off your computer, stand up, stretch, and go outside for a walk. You just don’t know how confined you are to your workspace until you step out. Bike around your neighborhood, head to the beach or park, go for a swim, go to the crafts store or to the market. Touch things, talk to people. Aside from the possibility of finding inspiration, this will also refresh your mind and your senses.

Travel. Creative people need to travel every now and then. You need it to get a new perspective, to “switch off”, to clear the mind from clutter, to simply experience things. Don’t worry about your budget and your schedule. Anywhere is okay as long as it’s somewhere new to you. Make sure you bring a journal and a camera.

Paintings. Creativity is often sparked by other art forms. If you want to come up with a really impressive CD packaging, go to the nearest museum and devour each artwork. Examine each and determine which ones you find inspiring and which ones you think are trash. Seeing other artworks would make you want to become more creative. I’m sure you’ll come up with something interesting when you get home. If you can’t go to a museum, flip through art books.

Dreams. Have a dream journal where you write down your dreams the moment you wake up. Everything seems more poetic and colorful in our dreams. You can record your dreams online through or blogs.

Deviant Art. Although there are plenty of “art” sites like flickr (photos) and pinterest (craft), etc. this is more artsy and creative. This is where artists post their paintings, conceptual photos, etc. Never gets old. Site is still popular to this day.

Stores: This is the most obvious place to go for examples of packaging design. Every store you go into will have some kind of packaging, from boxes and bags to hang tags and labels. So if you plan to have a special box for your CDs (not just a jewel case), then a trip to the mall would be helpful.

Packaged Group on Flickr: The Packaged  group on Flickr and their pool has more than 4,000 product packaging images for you to get inspiration from.

Music. Well, of course. If you’re designing CD artwork for an album, it might be necessary to at least listen to the album. Then, if you find a particular song interesting, listen to it over and over again and let images flow in your head. You just might translate this into a CD packaging concept.

Etsy: Etsy  is focused on handicrafts and other creative DIY stuff. You will also find plenty of products with really interesting packaging. Visit the site and save the pictures that spark your interest.

Pinterest. This is a content-sharing service that allows members to share and re-share images and videos. Check out our pinboards for CD packaging, DVD packaging, Merch, and more.

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