One of our favourite websites is Andrew Gibbs’ The Dieline. It’s a homage to all things packaging design and a source of inspiration and alternative thinking for designers, clients and students alike.
In 2015 Andrew gave us his predictions for emerging packaging design trends. We think Andrew is ahead of his time and waited to see whether his predictions were a temporary impulse or a deeper direction for the packaging design movement. 12 months on we think the latter.
Here’s an abstract from his article, outlining 4 major trends.
Trend 1: Visual Authenticity
Visual Authenticity is a trend that marks a significant departure from the mainstream, yet is quickly becoming mainstream in itself. This trend visually marks a complete rejection of established corporate brand design. Visual Authenticity is a response to shifting consumer values, with many consumers no longer wanting to rely on, or trusting, established brands. Appetites are skewing towards more real, quality and honest products. Products that appear uncomplicated, yet are crafted, maybe even vintage inspired. It’s about products that illustrate trust and create inadvertent human connection.
– Handwritten, raw, freeform, or sketchy typography
– May include vintage inspired references or typography
– Hand rendered, simple illustrations
– Natural color palettes
Trend 2: Luxury of Less
Luxury of Less is a trend that represents a new generation of luxury goods that are less reliant on established luxury brands names and ostentatious, flashy, over-design. In this post-recession era, a new wave of luxury branding is emerging, especially in Western cultures. I call this the Luxury of Less. In this new era, packaging design and luxury branding are being designed to whisper, rather than shout. The era where the overall brand experience is valued almost as much as the actual product itself. Often times, more. Although the economic climate has changed for luxury brands, there is still a strong need for their brands to express quality, heritage, provenance, and luxury values. Gone are the days of excess, over done, and unapproachable branding. This new wave is all about brands that are exude class, rather than flash. Subtle cues in the packaging are the most important aspect of the brand. It is a return to a well-crafted and well-considered notion of luxury.
– Subtle, understated design cues
– Tactile textures
– Soft, understated color palettes
– Hand drawn icons, emblems, or graphic elements
Trend 3: Ultra-Pure
Ultra-Pure is a trend where brands are looking to create pure, stark, highly minimal stripped back brands, packaging systems, and brand environments. This trend is a reaction to growing consumer appreciation and desire for minimally designed brands and products. Ultra-Pure takes brand minimalism a step farther: It is the process or reducing a brand’s essence into the purest, simplest abstract form. It is the opposite of excess, it is the ultimate expression of brand purity.
The brand is typically expressed through simple abstract shapes, usually representing some aspect of the product itself. It relies on an absence of branding: there are usually no traditional logos. Rather, brands following this trend typically use simple sans-serif style typography for both the brand’s logo and the packaging typography. Ultra-Pure is a bold brand statement, usually with monochromatic or dichromatic color schemes.
– Monochromatic or dichromatic, generally no more than 2-3 colors
– Straight forward and stark design
– No traditional logos, generally a minimal word mark
– Abstract, geometric shapes, patterns, or graphic elements
Trend 4: Biobased
Biobased packaging is not necessarily a new trend in package design, rather, it is a next-
generation technological evolution of sustainable packaging materials. Consumers are demanding pure, honest, and environmentally responsible products and packaging. There has been a recent surge of new Bio-Tech substrate innovations inspired by nature, with the goal of reducing our carbon footprint. Packaging designers themselves have become much more aware, and hyper-vigilant about the problem of packaging waste and its impact on our planet, and how it will affect the next generation of humanity. We are beginning to feel a real obligation to push the boundaries of packaging substrates in order to protect the future of our the planet. That’s no easy task.Luckily, these new sustainable packaging innovations are on the horizon, and designers, companies, and consumers are beginning to experiment with these new innovative substrates.
– New innovative substrates made from natural materials
– Inspired by the biology of nature
– Edible packaging substrates
– Carbon Neutral