Print Design

Create a Chewing Gum Packaging Design in Photoshop


In this tutorial, we will explain how to create chewing gum packaging in Photoshop and Illustrator. We will begin by showing you how to create print-ready artwork and then how to render that artwork as a mockup that can be presented to clients. Let's get started!

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.

Before We Begin

In this tutorial we will explain how to create print-ready artwork as well as a render that can be presented to a client. Take a look at both examples below.

Step 1

Okay, let's get started. I have already created a die for the gum pack. So, open up As you can see, there is a die outline, as well as a bleed area. It is very important to design your package so that the background images are larger that the actual final size to allow for some variation in the die cutting process when your package goes to print.

Step 2

Typically, when you are working at an agency, you design on a die, and sent up a file to present to clients that will help them understand what the package will look like. So now we are going to create a render of the pack we will drop the artwork onto later.

Select the front panel of the package and copy and paste into a new Photoshop document. The Photoshop document dimensions will be the exact size of the front panel that we just copied, so add one inch to both the height and the width of the new document.

Step 3

Label that layer Packaging Die.

Step 4

Using the packaging die as a reference, use the pen tool to draw in the shape as seen below. This is going to be the foil base that the gum pieces "pop out" of. Command/Ctrl-click the path you just made to create a selection, create a new layer called Base and fill with any color. In this case, I used black.

Step 5

Now select that layer, apply both Drop Shadow and Gradient Overlay Layer Style. See below for the settings for the Drop Shadow.

Step 6

Here are the settings for the Gradient Overlay.

Step 7

This is what our render should look like so far...

Step 8

Switch over to illustrator and draw out a rectangle. Use the image below for size.

Step 9

While holding shift, rotate 45 degrees so you have a diamond shape.

Step 10

Using the Direct Select tool (A), select the side points and nudge them in towards the middle using the arrow keys.

Step 11

Open up the INFO palette and take note of the width of your diamond shape. In this case it is .068.

Step 12

Opt-Click drag that shape over to the right to make a duplicate. Now select both diamond shapes and create a blend (Object > Blend > Make). Then go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set the spacing to a specified distance of .07 (you can enter in .067 but Photoshop will round up) and you should end up with what we have below.

Step 13

Again, Opt-Click drag down below to make a duplicate. As seen below.

Step 14

Create a blend using the specified height as seen in step 11. You have just created a diamond pattern that we are now going to copy and paste into Photoshop.

Step 15

Scale that diamond pattern to the appropriate size. *Note I am keeping the pattern larger for visibility but in reality it should be a little smaller than pictured.

Step 16

Duplicate your base layer and name this layer Texture.

Step 17

Now Command/Ctrl + click the texture layer that you copied in and with your texture layer highlighted, hit delete.

Step 18

Delete the Drop Shadow and Color Overlay Layer Styles and apply a Bevel and Emboss Layer Style using the information as seen in the image below.

Step 19

The image below is really the scale that the texture layer should be sized to.

Step 20

Set the fill of this layer to 0%. Here you can see the effects of the new Layer Style we just created.

Step 21

Now save your Photoshop document as Pack_Design_Render and place that psd file in illustrator as seen below.

Step 22

Now we are going to create the plastic bubbles that hold the gum pieces. Create a grid of rectangles as seen below. A quick way to do this is create one rectangle, then drag it over to the side. Then repeat that command, Command/Ctrl + D. Group that row of rectangles, and repeat this process to make the additional rows.

Step 23

Select the rectangles and go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners... Set the radius to .15 inches.

Step 24

With all of the rectangles selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path and offset the path by -.055 inches.

Step 25

With your new rectangle still selected, under the Appearance Palette double click the Round Corners effect and change it to .01 inches. Don't forget the group them by hitting Command/Ctrl + G.

Step 26

Still in illustrator, fill those rectangles with white and make sure there is no stroke on them and copy and paste those into your Photoshop document. To keep things organized, I created a new folder called Gum.

Step 27

At this point, instead of a pure white, I decided to give them an off-white appearance. To do this, Command/Ctrl + click on your layer and fill with the color as seen below.

Step 28

Apply a Drop Shadow Layer Style as seen below.

Step 29

Apply a Bevel and Emboss Layer Style as seen below.

Step 30

Apply a Satin Layer Style as seen below.

Step 31

We now have gum pieces! Not too shabby!

Step 32

Switch back over to illustrator and your gum pieces should still be selected, hide them using Command/Ctrl + 3. Now select your larger rectangles and again fill them with any color and copy and paste into your Photoshop document.

Step 33

Apply a Drop Shadow Layer Style as seen below.

Step 34

Apply a Bevel and Emboss Layer Style as seen below.

Step 35

Apply a Satin Layer Style as seen below.

Step 36

Make sure you sent the Layer Fill to 0% and this is what your gum package should look like now. Some may question why we went through this whole process of creating the gum packet if it will be covered by art. The design we are executing does not have any transparency to it, but by creating these, we have the option to have a "window" on the package if we so desired. We can also change the color of the gum if we so desired, or even throw on a design on the foil part. IF this project required presenting multiple options, you are covered.

Step 37

Now, I will show you a quick way of added depth and dimension to the logo on the front. If you look at any consumer packaging at a store, you will see a similar effect on just about everything. Open the file.

Step 38

Select the logo and copy it and then give the logo a black stroke of 7 points.

Step 39

Paste in place, Command/Ctrl + F, and give a 3 point stroke of green as seen in the image below.

Step 40

Paste in place again and fill with white. Select all three layers and group them. At this time, I also placed a version of this in Photoshop just for FPO. It helps to have reference points when we create the background file. I constantly turn this layer on and off.

Step 41

*Please note the following few steps I made a mistake, and messed up by starting to create the background file in the base render we created before. In reality, it should be on a die artwork background file. I fixed it at a later step. What SHOULD have been done at this point. Select all of the die artwork in the illustrator file and copy and paste into a new Photoshop document.

Step 42

Fill the background with a green as seen below.

Step 43

I quickly painted a reference for how I wanted the swirls to look. This is just for my reference as I am warping the background texture so I didn't spend much time making a detailed illustration.

Step 44

To create the warped background swirl effect, create a selection larger than the front panel and fill with rendered clouds on a new layer.

Step 45

Now add fibers, by going to Filter > Render > Fibers and apply the settings as seen below.

Step 46

Now apply a Motion Blur with a distance of 60 pixels at an angle of 90 degrees.

Step 47

Now we are going to transform that layer as seen below. Hitting Command/Ctrl + T will allow you to transform the layer and Command/Ctrl + click on the corner points will allow you to free transform the corners.

Step 48

Switch to Warp Mode by selecting the icon at the top of the screen next to the checkmark and cancel buttons, and adjust the corners and handles as seen below. Use the quickly created reference swirls as a reference point for how you want to warp this layer.

Step 49

Now we are going to liquify that layer. Using the reference layer as an overlay, try to match as seen below. There's really no way to explain this, it is using various tools within the liquify window to achieve the desired look. Just smear and twirl. Have some fun with this!

Step 50

I cleaned up some of the edges on the sides so that they more matched our reference illustration.

Step 51

*At this point I realized I was designing on the wrong file and corrected as we have already done in step 42. It happens... no biggie. All I did was slide the files over to the new background file.

Step 52

Turn off all layers except the background swirl that you just liquified and under the Channels Palette, create a duplicate of the Blue channel and adjust the levels as seen below.

Step 53

Command/Ctrl-Click on your Blue copy channel to create a selection. Invert that selection, Command/Ctrl + Shift + I, and create a new layer and fill with black. Create a Color Overlay Layer Style and fill with the green as seen below. By building this in layers and color overlays, we can go back and tweak some of the colors later if necessary to make the design look more cohesive.

Step 54

Turn off the layer you just created and again make a duplicate of the Blue channel. This time adjust the levels as seen below.

Step 55

Repeat the process of inverting the selection, filling with black, and applying a Color Overlay, this time using the green seen below.

Step 56

Turn back on the other layers in the file and this is what you should have so far.

Step 57

Now warp your original liquified file using the same techniques that we used before as seen below.

Step 58

Repeat the process of duplicating the channels to make multiple green layers. Place these new layers in a new folder called Green Swirl BG and apply a Layer Mask as seen below. The goal of this is to remove some of the overlap of the swirls.

Step 59

At this point, I organized all of the layers we just created as you can see in the screen shot below.

Step 60

Duplicate the Green Swirl folder and rename to Red Swirl and rotate 180 degrees and place it as seen below.

Step 61

Change all of the darker green color overlays to the red as seen below.

Step 62

Change all of the lighter greens to the lighter red as seen below.

Step 63

Warp the outer Red Swirl lighter red color layer as seen below. This serves two purposes: 1. To make it a little different from the Green swirl. 2. To make sure that the edges extend outside the die.

Step 64

Warp the outer Red Swirl darker red color layer as seen below.

Step 65

Create a new layer underneath your swirl folders and paint in black under the red swirls. We will adjust this color to a red. This will give our swirls a more "full" look to them. More like a "rush" of flavor.

Step 66

Apply a Color Overlay of a dark red as seen below.

Step 67

Apply a Layer Mask on that layer and paint away some of the edges of the dark red so you have a nice blend from the edges to the middle.

Step 68

Repeat that process under the Green Swirl using the green color as seen below.

Step 69

Your image should look like the image below.

Step 70

Now it is time to create the gum piece and fruit imagery. First, copy in a gum piece from the pack render. Transform the piece as seen below.

Step 71

At this time, I went ahead and opened up the AI file called Select All (Command/Ctrl + A) and Copy and Paste in place in you AI file.

Step 72

Paste again into your Photoshop file.

Step 73

Now open up the Green Apple Stock photo. This one is great because it is already pre-clipped! Command/Ctrl + click the path to make a selection and Copy and Paste into a new folder called Apple in your working Photoshop BG.

Step 74

First thing we have to do is remove the leaf. Erase as much as you can, and then use the Eyedropper tool to select colors around the apple and paint the rest away.

Step 75

Next, go ahead and path out the stem. Copy and paste onto a new layer.

Step 76

Go back to your apple layer, and again paint away the stem. Once you are done painting away the stem, make a duplicate of that layer. Name the bottom layer Base, and the duplicate you just made ColorPop. Create a new folder called ColorFix, and place both those layers in that folder. I also Command/Ctrl + Select the base layer, and created a layer mask on the ColorFix folder.

Step 77

Now, as you can tell from the image above, the colors just are not right. It is a bit too yellow. Lets adjust the levels as seen below.

Step 78

Go ahead ad adjust the levels of the Stem layer as well.

Step 79

Keep that layer mode on normal, and change the opacity to about 65%. Here you can see the effects of the color change. The Apple is now more appropriate in hue and saturation for something fun like gum packaging.

Step 80

The apple looks a bit flat, so we need to add some depth to it. Create a new layer called Shadow and eyedropper a darker green on the apple. And paint in some shadows with a softer brush. Set the layer mode to multiply.

Step 81

I really didn't like the highlight on this apple, so I created a new layer called Highlight and painted on some highlights with a chalk brush.

Step 82

Here is a quick overview of the layer/folder structure.

Step 83

Now it is time to work on the Berries. Go ahead and open the berries stock image. I used the Magic Wand to select the white, inverted the selection and contracted the selection by 1 px. Copy and Paste this into your BG file in a folder called Berries.

Step 84

Here they are pasted in. I scaled the berries a bit to be more appropriate in size.

Step 85

Next, I separated the berries into individual layers and created a little berry "lock up" as seen below.

Step 86

At this stage, I also added very subtle shading to the Cranberries. It is hard to see in these screen grabs, but in the final Photoshop file you can see it under the Berries folder. Here is the result so far. Not bad, but we need better separation from the background.

Step 87

So create a new layer under each folder of fruit, and paint in a dark green shadow under the apple, and a dark red shadow under the berries. Set the layer to multiply and adjust till you get the look as seen below.

Step 88

The apple was blending in a bit with the background, so I created 1 more layer in the Apple folder and added a darker rim shadow to the apple.

Step 89

Now we need to work on the gum piece, as it looks a bit flat. First, I painted in a shadow layer on the front right edge of the piece.

Step 90

Next, I painted in a shadow under the piece so that it creates some separation.

Step 91

Now I duplicated the gum layer, and changed the name of this duplicated layer to Hot. Then I set the fill to 0% and applied a Bevel and Emboss layer style with the settings below.

Step 92

Here you can see the nice little hot spot we just created on the gum. This gives it a nice clean look.

Step 93

Since we have some black in our brand name, TWIST, I thought it would be nice to bring some darker areas into the background. So I created a new layer under the swirls and painted in some black areas. Again, set the mode to multiple, and tweak the opacity until you get the look seen below.

Step 94

Next, we are going to fill in some of the "empty space" on the pack with a swirling texture. Create a new later, and select the Round Fan Stiff Thin Bristles brush and set the size to 90px.

Step 95

I have a tablet, so it makes this kind of work really easy. Basically, you have to play with the opacity settings and keep making swirls. Use a dark red and paint like the darker blue arrows below. Select a dark green and paint like the cyan blue arrows below. This will give it a good blending/cross-hatching look.

Step 96

Here you can see the empty spaces filled, as well as some other areas I added the brush strokes.

Step 97

Here you can see the completed Background file.

Step 98

Unlock the die layer, and select the front panel outline. Make a copy of this and then paste in place. With it still selected hide it (Command/Ctrl + 3) and relock the die layer. Now select all and copy and then paste in place again. This is making a duplicate of the BG render, and all the vector artwork. Group this (Command/Ctrl + G) and then hide. Unhide all (Command/Ctrl + Opt + 3) and then create a clipping mask by hitting Command/Ctrl + 7. Slide that down to cover the render from earlier. You can leave it as is, or you can quickly take that into Photoshop and add some highlights and shadows. The next steps are for that process.

Step 99

Next, copy the front panel artwork that you just created, and paste into Photoshop on the very top. Select the original base layer we copied in earlier steps, and make 2 duplicate. Move the first duplicate to the top, above the art we just copied in, and set the fill to 0%. Apply the following layer style to the top artwork.

Step 100

Here you can see the edges of the pack we just created.

Step 101

Give the second on a Gaussian blur of 40px and a Color Overlay of black, and move to the bottom of the layer stack, just above the white background.

Step 102

Transform the shadow as seen below.

Step 103

Apply a 4px Gaussian Blur.

Step 104

Save that file, switch back over to AI, and move the clipped front panel artwork off to the side of the art board. It as always good to keep stuff like this off to the side of the art board, If for some reason you have to update the background image, it will auto update as well and save you a step.


And with that, we are done with this execution of this design concept. Overall, this is a great start to a design concept, and has some really good qualities about it. Ideally, if you are presenting to a client, you will have a range of concepts that are all different enough to provide a starting point for a good conversation about the designs. Clients being clients, will of course pick aspects from all the concepts and have you do the next round with a combination of all of your concepts. I hope you enjoyed following along the creation process of this gum packing concept!

Bonus Material

I decided to throw in a little extra. I have rendered out the gum packaging in a 3/4 top down view. If you are interested, please open up the bonus.psd file. Most of the steps are really repetitive as the first render we created, with some tweaking to the settings. Hope you enojoy!

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