Not long ago, it seemed like the idea of augmented reality was something reserved for dystopian sci-fi movies from the 80s or Iron Man

While we are still far from the technology of Stark Industries, augmented reality is starting to become fairly commonplace in our world today. 

Augmented reality can be seen everywhere from video games to marketing, and as the technology continues to progress, it’s no doubt we will continue to see it more and more in our everyday lives.

One area where augmented reality is taking off is in the packaging design process. 

Today, we’re going to dive into how incorporating augmented reality into your packaging design operations can help you increase your ROI and save you valuable time. 

But first, when we say “augmented reality,” what do we mean in terms of packaging? Let’s break it down. 

How Augmented Reality Relates to Your Packaging Designs

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see what your package would like in front of you? No, not just on your computer screen, but actually in front of you, on the desk you use at work? 

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With augmented reality, you can do just that — visualize your 3D mock-ups immediately within the context of the environment that you’re in using your phone’s or tablet’s camera. This is different from virtual reality, where you are immersed in a digital environment through a VR headset. 

Think of augmented reality like Princess Leia’s hologram message to Ben Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope. Except, instead of Leia asking Ben Kenobi for help, it’s the package you just designed!

So, why is augmented reality such a game-changer? Let’s dive into the benefits that this type of technology can have for you and your team. 

Visualize Your Package on the Shelf

Augmented reality solutions will give insight into how a package will stack up against the competition on an actual shelf.  

With tools like Esko’s Studio Viewer for iOS and Android, designers can see how their packaging compares to other products on the shelf. 

And therein lies the benefit. In physical situations that affect sales, you can see your product in these environments. This ultimately gives them the ability to better understand if their product stands out enough or effectively separates itself from the competition. 

It’s a valuable feature that will ultimately help you improve your designs. 

The Augmented Reality Tracker in action.

Reduce Your Costs Significantly

When people shop for furniture online, they run the risk of it not looking exactly how it does online. Then, once it arrives, they don’t like the way it fits into their homes. As a result, they have to return it and then go hunting for another piece of furniture — potentially going through the process all over again. 

The same thing can happen in the packaging process. Sure, the packaging design may look great on the computer screen, but until you actually see the physical package up close, it’s hard to be 100% certain that everything from its color, size, and label is going to look exactly like what you see on the screen. 

And it can be costly to have your packaging created and then have to change it later. With augmented reality, you can create packaging that is right the first time, saving your company both time and money by avoiding the need to make any changes.  

Get Approvals Faster From Management 

Because augmented reality solutions allow you to better understand what your package design will look like in the real world, you can get quicker buy-in and approvals. 

As we mentioned earlier, augmented reality packaging solutions not only reduce costs, but it also speeds up the internal review process. 

Instead of needing to see a physical prototype of the package in front of them, executives can confidently assess a package through augmented reality before saying that the design is ready to hit the shelves. 

How Augmented Reality Works With Other Tools


Studio is a tool that all packaging designers will appreciate, as it allows you to create your packages directly in Adobe Illustrator. 


Esko’s WebCenter is one of the premier SaaS cloud packaging management solutions on the market today. With WebCenter at the helm of your packaging design solutions, you’ll reduce your errors, increase your speed-to-market, and make it easier for you and your team to review and approve designs. All of Esko’s software integrates into WebCenter, including those with augmented reality capabilities. 

For a complete list and more details on Esko’s solutions for brands, visit their product page!

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