The Next Big Thing in Packaging Design

Image by Evgeny Tutov via Dribbble

If you look at packaging from 20-30 years ago, you’ll see just how different it was. The fact is that packaging is constantly evolving and there are many different trends that you should be aware of if you are in the industry. What is “in” one year might not be the next. In this guide, we’re looking at the newer trends and what could be the next big thing in the world of packaging design.

You should always remember that even if you have the best product in the world, your packaging needs to be great, too, or you will not sell products, especially in person when you rely on your product to look good on the shelves.Your packaging choices can make or break your brand.

After all, your product’s packaging design influences consumer behavior and brand perception. Before you start any project, consider seeking expert advice from professionals like Zenpack in order to launch a successful brand-aligned packaging strategy.

What are the New Trends in Packaging?

Minimalism has been a big trend in packaging design in recent years. As people want to create a clean and modern look, especially in certain industries. For example, if you are interested in creating a tech product, many people associate clear and clean lines in the packaging design with a high-tech and modern product. Think of huge tech brands like Apple and Samsung, and their packaging. It usually fits this minimalistic brief.

Minimal iPhone Packaging Design
Image Source!

Other new trends head towards reusable and recyclable packaging. This makes perfect sense, when you think about the industry and the fact that people are conscious of their carbon footprint, creating packaging that is reusable or at least easy to recycle is vital.

Another recent theme is environmentally friendly packaging. In recent years, sustainability has emerged as a critical topic. People are getting more environmentally conscious. Millennials are among the most environmentally conscious generations. Green packaging is becoming more popular as millennials gain buying power.

There are also several documentaries and posts on how humans are affecting the climate. Sustainable and green packaging entails the use of products that, in general, reduce our negative environmental effects. It also has a smaller carbon footprint, which tests human impact on the atmosphere.

Transparent packaging is expected to be one of the strongest trends. In particular, transparent packaging actively affects the food sector. Transparent bottles, glass jars, and even transparent plastic containers are widely being used to package beverages and other food items. Many beauty and health brands are embracing this pattern as well, because delivering items in a simple and open case helps the company seem more trustworthy and truthful.

This packaging trend often encourages the color of the product to be integrated into the final design, usually as a background color. Since the original product color can be used as a design attribute, adding another design factor as a layer of strong color contrast improves the overall appearance. Labels that are minimal and clean and transparent are often used.

eCommerce is now a massive trend that is growing year after year. The exchanging of goods through online platforms is referred to as e-commerce. It should be noted that e-commerce transactions will include both physical and electronic goods. Buying lipstick from a store, for example, is an example of e-commerce. Accessing your digital wallet is also an example of e-commerce.

Another recent packaging trend that continues to soar, is designed with bold colors and effects. Strong colors and dramatic effects effectively attract consumers’ attention, thereby resulting in an enlarged sales volume. It not only catches the consumer’s eye, but it also has a better chance of being remembered.

Humans are drawn to unusual effects such as translucent walls and shiny sheens, as well as vivid colors such as yellow and neon orange. According to one report, customers make a purchasing decision within a minute of seeing the commodity, and color plays a significant role.

Individual packaging is also common in the packaging industry. Many businesses want to bundle their merchandise separately in order to make them more appealing for retail. They understand the needs and skills of a wide range of customers, resulting in increased revenue.

Packaging Design Inspiration

Where should you get product packaging design inspiration? The first step is to realize that packaging is all around us. In the modern age, there are probably very few days where you don’t see some form of packaging design, whether it’s working in a store, walking around a mall, or just opening the food and drink that is in your cupboards. Packaging design is all around us.

If you are looking to do a comparison of other products in the same niche, why not buy some for research purposes? You can even go to stores that sell competing products and take a look at the way they are packaged. Are there certain colors that crop up, or imagery that is used a lot for that product?

You’ll probably notice some patterns, as well as good packaging and bad packaging, that sends off a message about the brand in question. Consider what you want to emulate. Packaging designers love to have examples to work with, and this can ensure that you end up with something you’re happy with.

What is the Next Big Thing in Packaging Design?

Though nobody can say exactly what the next big thing in packaging design is, it definitely seems that the move towards eco-friendly, and a conscientious design that thinks about the environment, is a crucial next step for packaging.

Eco-Friendly Packaging
Image by Studio Wulf via Dribbble

Over the last few years, there has been a massive rise in demand for eco-friendly packaging and products, and now companies more than ever are looking for alternatives to their standard packaging strategies.More people are looking for products that are responsible in this regard, rather than just being happy to buy whatever is available.

On top of that, consider the way technology is evolving. Is there a way that you can include AR or VR in your packaging? AR and VR can help you tell your story in a visually straightforward way, thus creating a stronger connection between your brand and your consumers.There have been some creative examples of this already, as forward-thinking brands try to stand out.

MAP packaging, short for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), can extend the life of fresh products. It can control the products inside with a protective mix of gases that you can control.

A transformed atmosphere is one that has been specially developed by modifying the normal distribution and composition of atmospheric gases. As applied to packaging, this entails altering or regulating the composition of gases found within each container in order to provide optimum conditions for increasing shelf life and reducing deterioration and spoilage of perishable food and beverage goods.

You can create the ideal environment for products so they don’t go stale, bacteria don’t grow and the food inside doesn’t spoil.

There also seems to be a real trend towards retro in some areas, but this is not the case in every type of packaging design, it depends on the product niche you are in.

What makes a Successful Packaging Design?

If you’re in store or eCommerce, delivery boxes or influencer mailers, one of the most critical elements of your identity is the packaging. Your packaging not only serves to boost your brand’s recognition, but it also helps to pique your consumers’ interest in what’s inside.

In other words, having a fantastic product is vital, but having great packaging is just as important if you expect the product to resonate with consumers.Efficient packaging design understands customers and helps them to be assured that they are making a sound choice while still catering to sentiment, history, and desires.

It’s a lot to expect from simplistic packaging design, but brands understand that design can be the difference between a good product and one that sits on the shelves.

Successful packaging design needs to convey the right image of your brand. It’s about so much more than just looking good. Let’s use our tech brand comparison again. If a tech brand produces a new product and the packaging has a cartoon animal mascot and a busy, colorful design, it might look good, but it doesn’t send the right image or give people the right idea about your product.

Similarly, consider a brand that is designed to be eco-friendly and kind to the planet. If this then has plastic in the packaging, and the imagery isn’t right, you might not trust that it is the right product to stay green and eco-friendly.

There are a number of ways that packaging designers use the space on a product’s packaging to provide the right imagery and a professional vibe. It’s not just about creating something that looks good. The use of colors can be vital.

Did you know there is a huge amount of psychology around the use of colors, and things we associate with colors? Did you ever notice that virtually every fast-food chain uses some form of red in its logo?

On top of this, your packaging design should look professional. People make the link between packaging and the product within. This means that if the packaging looks flimsy and poorly-designed, people might assume the same is true of the product in question.

About the Author!

James Smith is a writer with 4 years of experience within the packaging industry with product knowledge and understanding in the everyday changing market. Currently, he is a member of the marketing team at

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  1. Caterina Keeling says

    Good packaging is very important for branding & scale-up any business.

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