I wanted to start by saying that it has been a long time. A really long time! Things have been great and super busy for Mio Creative Design and blogging has fallen to the back burner. But I am back and hoping to focus more on the design industry in general. So even though we are already in April, (I can't believe it!) I want to start with packaging design trends for this year.
2018 has started with a bang in the packaging design world. Designs keep getting better, more innovative, more effective, more eye catching and in general are just amazing. I find myself buying some products not because of the actual product but because of the packaging. Obviously I am a design nerd and I'm very passionate about it!
In order for a packaged product to be successful there are a few key features to keep in mind:
- Color - consumers are always in a hurry and color is a great way to catch your eye.
- Material - helps with the construction and overall quality of the product which gives a positive indication to the consumer.
- Content - obviously it is key to selling and communicating with the consumer. It should always be clear and direct.
- Typography - needs to be easy to read as well as eye catching.
- Innovation - consumers are always looking for something new or different and innovation of the package design and construction is a effective way of achieving this.
With that said, here are the top 10 design trends for packaging that we are seeing this year:
1. ECO FRIENDLY & RE-USABLE PACKAGING
More of a lifestyle then a trend, eco-friendly and re-usable packaging continues to evolve and develop new and better ways to consume less and better materials for recycling. Less is definitely more here. Less plastic more innovative solutions.
More and more, companies and consumers are recognizing the important role packaging has in waste and sustainability. Lightweighting and the use of recyclable materials will continue to be embraced with an added emphasis on clearly communicating the packaging disposal options on the label.
2. PLAYFUL DIE CUTS
Consumers want to connect with the product that they are buying and these custom die cuts allows us to "preview" the product and connect in a fun and playful way . Designers use this as a way to add depth and complexity to the product design and it is a great method for many creative outcomes.
With the increase in bringing the outdoors in, and a continued yearning for the real world and offline experiences, the images and icons from the natural and painterly world have become synonymous with organic products. We are seeing a shift of style that is less realistic and more illustrative that takes nature and art to the next level.
Minimalist design is still at the forefront of the industry Successful minimalist designs showcase the most important details the consumer looks for in a product front and center—the product name, a clear explanation of the product, or a symbol that customers can quickly recognize. Symbolism is an important aspect of minimal design because it allows companies to convey so much with so few words. By using symbolism in this way, brands can establish quality assurance within their customer base over time.
If you’re looking to send a clear and loud message about what your product is all about, then big words might be what you’re looking for. Words are a great way to get creative with the message you’re bringing forth. Be it funny or serious a clear message will work as long as it’s in a bold and easy-to-read sans serif font. Combined with a wise choice of colors your product will surely make a splash. Hand-written and custom lettering is another trend seen across media, from websites to book cover design. The growth of packages using custom lettering reflects company’s desires to project a feeling of warmth to their products. Hand-written text can have a natural look that projects wholeness and authenticity. It can make products seem handmade or artisanal, which stands out from packaging that adopts a more modern or sparse look and feel.
This is a trend in package design that appeals to everyone, though, because we all doodle, and we were all kids once. These kinds of spirited, cheery designs send us back to those days. They also suggest a pure, honest product. Adults relate to this kind of free form drawing because it reminds us of the energetic, happy-go-lucky kids that we all were once. And let’s be honest: a good doodle can turn a frown upside down any given day. When seen on packaging, doodles can turn a product into a fun universe that was born from someone’s imagination and shared with the world.
7. BOLD COLORS
With increasing competition, both national brands and private brands and packaging designers are looking for ways to differentiate their products on the shelf. Vibrant colors and intense solids help packages stand out. Companies used this approach to cut through the visual noise of competing packages.
Vintage is the new new! As technology changes at an ever-increasing rate, many people feel an urge to ground themselves in the familiar and the nostalgic. This kind of vintage look tells onlookers that your brand offers artisanal quality that stands in opposition to the modern-era factory age. The past is ingrained in our current collective reality, which is why vintage design thrives on us remembering. Throwback design give us a little something that was left behind: an essential part of our memories.
We are seeing more and more colorful gradients, adding depth and form to package design. Striking gradients from one shade to the next are coming back in 2018, adding an element of depth and shadow back into design. Colorful gradients add form and dimensionality and a layer of complexity. Making it also color and another way to stand out in stores.
As we all spend more time shopping online, retailers see a new and different opportunity to reach their consumers. With no face time, companies need to get more creative to find ways to communicate and provide a pleasant experience for their consumer being from personalized messages, colorful or playful boxes. Brands know that shoppers want to forge personal connections with the products they use every day. In order to do that, they need to curate an experience for every shopper.
As you can see, all these trends have something in common, which is the appeal to people's emotions. The end goal is to connect with the consumer in a personal level. Packaging design is constantly changing and adapting to the consumer needs. I cannot wait to see what exciting new designs are coming our way!