Packaging Trends of 2016
July 4, 2016 WKP Admin

As time goes on, packaging becomes more about the experience of unboxing and less about the object inside.  While an increasing number of products are hitting the sheves, consumers are becoming desensitised to the world of marketing, and the message that is being portrayed with the use of design methods becomes lost. We are overwhelmed by packaging design from the moment we step foot in a supermarket, with each design almost shouting their message across the aisles.

Because of this, designers are now coming up with bigger and better ways to showcase the product they are briefed on. Because of the sheer overwhelming nature, this year brings the reign of essentialism.

“Where minimalism says ‘less is more’, essentialism says ‘enough is enough’…” – Grant Wenzlau (contributor to The Dieline)

In 2015, we saw the rise of handwritten, freeform typography, giving the product a more personable feel. Sketched illustrations and vintage references reminded us of a simpler time and natural colours reflected upon an eco-friendly approach that appealed to the health-conscious and those concerned about the environment.

The task this year (and arguably year on year as more products are released) is to communicate directly with the consumer. To be the light at the end of a tunnel of a torrent of messages, and to focus on what is essential in packaging design – and eliminate the rest.

Trend One: Geometry


Simple yet effective, Jānis Andersons has used a geometric approach to display a new range of vitamins and food supplements. Each food supplement brings a different graphical approach from polka dots to chevrons and zig-zags. By communicating with patterns and shapes, it helps to distinguish one packet from another, making each one visually unique. By keeping the design clean and minimal, it has eliminated all the unnecessary information – leaving the basics to breathe.

Trend Two: Longevity


Have you ever bought a product and found that the packaging is far too nice to throw away? Bombay Electric have discovered this with their line of packaging for a clothing line for a top fashion retailer in Mumbai. Using solid, durable material, not only does it benefit the environment but the product has a much longer shelf life, whether it’s in the shop or the comfort of your own home. By retaining the packaging, it is still advertising the product regardless, and a reminder of the brand itself. Designed by Michael Thorsby, he has used soft watercolour-like gradients with bright colours which not only stand out on the shelf, but the minimal typography enforces the trend of essentialism.

Trend Three: Simplicity


In a world full of every brand trying to be the loudest voice in the room, sometimes we need to take a step back and think about what is necessary in design, and what is not. Shouting over the top of everyone is not the solution, with over-glamourised images, excessive images and an attitude that yells “look at me!” Therefore, a new approach must be taken by valuing the simple message in today’s overcrowded world. Adrienn Nagy has designed the range of EasyFood’s packaging with an eye-catching yet minimal look, giving the feel that less is definitely more. With all the information laid out in a simple, straightforward manner, it feels honest and open, and therefore a trustworthy brand. By combining simplicity with geometry (as mentioned above) it helps to sell the product by keeping a demure, understated presence on the shelf.

Trend Four: Modernised Vintage


As featured on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this month, Chad Michael Studio have gone above and beyond with their packaging for Lightfoot & Wolfville, a Nova Scotian family vineyard. Referring the design back to a simpler time with intricate filigree patterns, back when there were less competitiors in the market, less designers and more time and care put into the production, the ornate illustrations portray an air of quality. By using old-fashioned methods such as calligraphy and foil blocking, it exudes luxury and ties in mid-Century techniques with a cutting edge design practice that relates back to the family heritage of the vineyard.


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