Retrieved from: https://99designs.com/blog/trends/packaging-trends-2017/, January 6, 2017, by Martis Lupus

Trends are mysterious things. Some stay for years and others are just a swift shimmer that leave as fast as they enter the scene. Still others shift and evolve with the times. Design is both the driving force and the result of this cycle of trends—with packaging design creating personal experiences (like the unboxing experience) that connect consumers to brands on a deeper level.

With that in mind, here are the 9 packaging trends that we are predicting for 2017.

1. Be simple, bold and clear

Going back to the basics is a trend that resurfaces regularly. This year’s version will appear better articulated and more compelling to the customer.

Minimizing the elements used in a package design can elevate a product… as long as it gets the point across. In our fast-paced world, shoppers don’t always have the time to study each and every product detail. Stick to the essentials and make sure they help the buyer make a more informed decision; a clean-cut design can convey information and make a product shine using simplicity.

tapped packaging
via TAPPED

 

Packaging design by Brad Neathery

2. Embrace custom lettering

Almost every designer loves to get crafty and create some of their artwork by hand. We do this to get the organic effect: fluid imperfections—like irregular lines or natural texture fills—can make a product stand out through warmth and set it apart from digital designs. This warmth can create an emotional tie to the product, making it feel handmade and wholesome, or communicating a feeling of nostalgia. Either way, for 2017, we are seeing a massive comeback of hand-lettering.

via moodley brand identity
vegan packaging
via chiapa design

3. Go wild with color

It’s no secret that colors evoke emotions and affect purchasing decisions. Because of this, color has always been one of the most important choices in packaging design. Lately we’ve seen designers put colors to work in new and exciting ways. Bright colors and vibrant associations are beginning to make a scene on store shelves.

In particular, we’ve seen color used to differentiate different different variations within one product family. A buyer might not remember the name or number of their favorite flavor, but they will surely be able to recall if the packaging was was a bright turquoise or vivid purple. This takes the psychology of color into new design territory: where words might not be needed if colors are used effectively.

3-coco-package-design
via Keiko Akatsuka

Packaging design by RašaRaša

Packaging design by Carlosrng

2-jaf-tea-packaging
via openmint
4-wild-leaf-package-design
via Sweety & Co.

4. Repeat a pattern

Using well-chosen and beautiful patterns can elevate a package design from ordinary to ethereal. Although the idea of repetitive shapes might seem simple, the technique can be dynamic and compelling when used correctly.

Repeating a visual motif that captures the essence of the brand sends a strong message. Whether your pattern is bold or playful, patterning your package can create a strong identity that customers will remember.

1-fereiko-packaging
via Pentawards

Product Label design by themetamy

Packaging design by JohnMcMurdo

2-japanese-food-pkg-design
via Oliver Sjöqvist
3-austin-beer-pkg-design
via Helms Workshop

5. Use illustration as narrative

Behind every design there is a story. We seek out and cherish the stories that feel closest to our hearts. Packaging design has begun to incorporate narrative illustrations.

This style can transport you to a fantasy world, like Owen Davey’s design for SmashMallow. Elderbrook labels—part of a full brand identity—create a mood and sense of place in the same immersive manner.

Illustration is reclaiming its rightful place in the arsenal of package designers, and the new year will bring carefully crafted, content-rich illustrations that will remind us of stories long forgotten or give us a taste of the stories to be discovered.

1-smashmallow-illustration
via SmashMallow

 

2-elderbrook-packaging
via & Smith and We All Need Words
3-biscuits-design
via together design

6. Put it in the mail

Remember the joy of getting something in the mail? With faster, more efficient ways to communicate, that experience has become more rare. Packaging design is here to save the day with an emerging postal trend.

Kokomo uses customized stamps for each of their coffee blends, making the product feel authentic. The unusual package for ice-cream, cookies and cakes used by Luxembourg pastry shop, draws attention from passersby, giving the gift of nostalgia with one glance.

4-taiwan-good-fruit-7
via lee chieh-ting

via yehteh

via AKU

postal packaging design
via Molto Bureau
6-puree-packaging
via Studioahamed

7. Imagine ingenious die cuts

Traditional packaging tends to hide its contents, but modern designers are experimenting with die cutting to show products to their advantage. Whether it’s encouraging tactile interaction, mimicking a brand’s logo, or forming identifiable or humorous shapes, creating a window in your packaging can show the product in a meaningful or clever way, making a buyer stop and take notice.

1-beehive-packaging

Packaging design by tomdesign.org for yoannfekkai E

via Bunker

4-light-bulb-bugs
via Angelina Pischikova

8. Find vintage inspiration

Vintage package design is evolving each year (ironically) through the use of new technologies and materials. There’s something about vintage design that resonates through time. It brings back memories for people who lived through the original era and satisfies the curiosity of younger generations eager to explore the past.

The key to going vintage is to find a balance. Makers & Merchants, for example, evokes nostalgia, while maintaining a sharp and modern look at the same time.

1-makers-merchants-1
via Makers & Merchants

Packaging design by RašaRaša for crestviewam

Packaging by pro_

3-cocktail-kit
via Cody Petts

9. Explore eco-friendly packaging

Eco-friendly, biodegradable, natural, sustainable… Call it what you will, going green with packaging is a trend that’s here to stay. Beyond its positive impact on the environment, it can also save companies money and attract customers.

1-1-tomorrow-machine
via Tomorrow Machine

The expanding bowl by Swedish design studio Tomorrow Machine shows the great potential in sustainable design in a number of ways: saves space, uses 100% bio-based and biodegradable material and has multiple uses.

One of the leaders in sustainable design, method sells bottles made with recycled ocean plastic.

From using more renewable resources to keeping materials recyclable, more consumer brands are integrating eco-friendly design into their business. This is a trend that we hope to see grow with each year because it benefits everyone.

Conclusion

We hope that you’re inspired by our predictions for the top packaging design trends of 2017. Bear in mind that design should always look to add simplicity, authenticity and meaning. Trends may come and go (and come back yet again), but they’re most impactful when communicating the values of a brand and helping to create a human connection. Here’s to an exciting new year!

 

h/t: https://99designs.com/blog/trends/packaging-trends-2017/