Designing Packaging for a Medical Device

This article entitled, Packaging a Medical Device: Packaging Design, was published on the Shore Group website in January 2023. It was written by Caroline Mackie, Design Consultant and Zoe Hill, Marketing Lead at Shore Group. Shore Group is an Edinburgh (Scotland) based company that “design and engineer patient-centred products medical products” and also “design and supply of training products for autoinjectors, nasal delivery and needle safety devices.” (Shore Group website). Part of their design of medical products includes designing the packaging of the medical device.

This post is a summary of the key points from the above article and we had added some relevant Dollard Packaging advice where relevant. You can read the full article here.

  1. Structural Design

The authors’ first point is that the “structural integrity” of the packaging is vital because the primary role of the packaging is to protect the product inside. Therefore, the first element to consider is the functionality of the packaging. The carton structure, the proposed material/board and the users experience in using the product and the packaging need to be thought through. For example, they recommend that the device’s packaging should help to reduce patient anxiety and user error; therefore, quick start guides should be integrated into the design, including Instructions for Use (IFU). They give an example and images of a relevant project that they have created.

Here at Dollard Packaging, we always advise that carton structure must be designed and tested along all stages of the packaging life cycle before any graphic design is commenced. You can read more about this in our Carton Structure article.

  1. Brand Design

The authors recommend that just because a product is a medical device doesn’t mean that the brand design can be forgotten about. Having recognisable and consistent branding will create trust with the users. Most of the branding will be carried on the packaging so once the structure of the carton has been decided, a brand design that communicates reliability, consistency and high quality must be created.

  1. Unboxing Process

The “unboxing process” is not just for influencers on social media. Opening the packaging and finding out how to use the medical device and any accessories is part of the unboxing process and also the first point of contact that the user has with the medical device. Therefore, the packaging design must consider if the packaging is easy to open/reclose for all types of users and if it is simple to find out how to use the device and any accessories. Therefore the “unboxing” process must be examined at the Structural Design stage.

  1. Sustainable Design

No article on packaging is complete without discussing how the packaging can be optimised for sustainability. The article lists 5 ways that the packaging of a medical device can be made sustainable as follows:

-Use recyclable materials, such as plant-based packaging.

-Using a carton manufacturer that has sustainable manufacturing processes

-Avoiding single-use packaging

-Designing the product box to be as compact as possible

-Avoid over-packing in the supply chain

You can read the original article here.

At Dollard Packaging, we have a library of articles on ways to make your packaging more sustainable and we can advise carton designers and buyers on all aspects of sustainable carton packaging. You can view these related articles here.

How to Change from Plastic to Sustainable Carton Packaging | Dollard Packaging

7 Ways to Make your Cartons More Sustainable – Blog | Dollard Packaging

Contact Dollard Packaging for help with making your packaging (carton or sleeves) more sustainable 01 847 0044 or

We can discuss the carton structure, boards etc that will reduce the carbon footprint of your packaging.