Before you start designing your packaging, you need to carefully consider which program is best for tackling the job. Most packaging designers will send their 2D artwork to the manufacturer in a vector format. Vector files are scalable, and it’s easy to create dieline templates using the line and shape tools in vector programs like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.
It becomes a little trickier when you want to visualise your design as a 3D product, because most vector software is designed for producing 2D images, but you can find plugins or different programs to help out at this stage. Esko is a software plugin for Illustrator that allows you to fold dielines and render the design in a 3D format. You can also rotate the packaging, allowing you to view the design from different angles. Some packaging designers also like Cinema 4D, which renders your flat designs into a 3D format.
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