Packaging needs to evolve with the times and for the most part it has, with brilliant new ideas suggested and often implemented. Both the functionality and aesthetics of package design needs to be impressive for products to stand out and be consumed. Functionality has always been at the forefront of package design – after all, the primary purpose of the packaging is to hold and protect the product on the shelves.
It has to also make it easy to consume and, in some cases, offer a novel way to consume, in order to increase its appeal. The production and distribution also influence the packages transportation and production costs.
Aesthetics are important in our digital age, purely for the fact that very few of us make trips to supermarkets at all nowadays. With online shopping customers increasing every day, the few people who lay eyes on a physical package should be drawn to it immediately. In that sense, it has to reflect the tastes of our times and for the most the part, packaging has evolved in order to achieve this.
These five package designs reflect the current trends in design.
1. DRY Things
DRY things is designed by a Swedish studio. There are several trends in design that are visible within their packaging. Firstly, there is an aspect of updating old design, the fonts used are a modern twist on an old favourite. The layout is decidedly old fashioned as well, similar to old bulletins and newspaper reports.
They also make a point of using processes and designs that promote sustainability, sourcing materials locally. This trend of creating designs that can be produced in a socially and environmentally sustainable way is visible in many new designs. Many companies have made a public declaration to remain environmentally and socially responsible. One of the ways they can achieve this is by producing their packaging in this manner. You can also see a lot of exposed space, another trend in the simplification of the graphics used.
2. Seeds of Happiness
New Foods Inc – a Russian snack maker – asked Babich Design and Branding, from Israel, to design their packaging and this was the result. There seems to be a trend in graphic content of anthropomorphising products in a humorous way and with a positive ‘vibe’ – as the company puts it. This can be seen in everything from cans of corn to pizza boxes. It is interesting to note that this package also follows the trend of environmentally responsible packaging. The packaging here is made from a portion of plant based material and is 100% compostable, making its environmental footprint very small.
3.Rituals Sun Care
Designed by Matte in the Netherlands, this design highlights the current typographical trend in leaning towards bold, plain and modern type. It draws on the colour of the sky and the sea – which are, of course, connected to the project’s purpose. The designer wanted to draw on his impressions of a Balinese vacation and create something “clear, attractive and communicative”. The most important information for the consumer is placed in the largest font and put in bold type. It is also centred, making it easy to pick it up from a distance when browsing.
The winner of the reddot design award 2013, 7even’s packaging was created by the in-house design department at Yakult, South Korea. The product’s target was kept in mind when designing the pop illustrations on the package. Images of seven generations of a family are presented, colourfully and excitingly. We have observed the trend towards simplicity and minimalism so far in package design, but it is important to note the diversity that is prevalent in designs nowadays, too. Here is a design that is new and refreshing and makes excellent use of illustrations and space, while straying from the minimalist designs that are abundant nowadays.
5. Brooklyn Gin
Here is another design that combines the old with the new. The layout and the style of the badge are made to look archaic, but by using a modern font they effectively fuse two elements together to create an impressive aesthetic. The copper texture is also a sign of the old and the aging patina tries to convey the feeling of picking up a new classic. The layout of the label is also modern in its minimalism, as well as its use of different font sizes, but the font used is very much a classic and one that gives it an ‘old world’ sense.
It may be unwise to distill the current trends into just a few examples. We can see that designers are interested in fusing the old with the new, creating designs that look classic, while streamlining layout and using more exposed negative space. The drive towards sustainability is also important to note and is one that is beneficial to the industry and consumers, alike.
Although we see minimalism, we also see crowded designs. In short, the current design trends are incredibly varied and diverse.
Written by Jonny Rowntree, a freelance writer working with digital printing company Elanders UK. Jonny has a background working in technological media, writing articles for The Next Web, Creative Bloq and Buffer.
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