5 Modern Package Design Trends for 2018 and Beyond

Thanks to technological advances and more sophisticated and discerning consumers, packaging design has entered a new realm of creativity. Visual appeal is crucial when it comes to packaging. But, brands also need to consider the growing consumer demand for sustainability and convenience. And, in an overcrowded market, outdated packaging that doesn't keep up with these demands can harm your brand image.

Give your packaging a modern refresh now, before new regulations or slow sales force your hand. To help inspire you, here are the top five modern package design trends for 2018 and beyond:

1. Sustainability

Consumers are becoming more aware, and frustrated, by excess packaging and how much waste they discard daily. As a result, brands that are willing to experiment with creative packaging designs as a way to cut waste are always a step ahead of their competition.

The 360 Paper Water Bottle is a clear example. Made from biodegradable materials, this packaging shows the possibilities for responsible manufacturers. Innovative design and the use of responsible materials was also shown by Coca-Cola. Rectangular-shaped bottles allow for increased shipping capacity, cutting down the carbon footprint. While the bottles themselves are renewable sugar cane rather than plastic. And the Boxed Water Co. shows that sustainable packaging trends work in practice as well as in theory.

Not only does the packaging make this product more desirable, paper is also more sustainable than glass or plastic. Recycling paper takes three times less carbon dioxide than recycling plastic. Seventy-six percent of the box is made of paper from well-managed forests. And, paper can decompose, unlike glass and plastic. Sustainability is something to bear in mind if you want to refresh the look of your brand. Minimizing waste packaging helps the environment and saves money. It also makes your brand appear more forward-thinking to potential consumers.

2. Stripped-Back Design

Stripped-back packaging is no longer associated with supermarket economy ranges.

Now, companies are embracing simplicity with text-based packaging designs. In our busy, crowded world, both new and established brands are realizing the allure of minimal packaging. Clear text-based labels are a way to express honesty and clarity of purpose. They also appear modern and innovative to today's consumers. Byredo perfume bottles evoke luxury through understated simplicity. Living Proof hair products use text-based packaging to show consistency and responsibility. And BluePrint organic juices list the ingredients of each juice on the front of each bottle in clear, bold text. This helps to highlight their transparency and honesty as a brand.

For these companies, the decision to use this kind of bold packaging also shows an understanding of their audience's needs and thought processes. Stripping back packaging shows that your brand has identified what the customer is searching for, which comes off as powerful and trustworthy.

3. Flexible Packaging

It's crucial for brands to consider how consumers live and use their products so they can adapt their packaging accordingly. With less time to cook and more on-the-go snacking, food packaging trends are reflecting these changes.

Snack packs and food in pouch packaging is becoming more popular. Pouches are microwaveable, more portable, and take up less storage space than bottles and boxes. And, pouches are often resealable as a way to keep products fresh. A factor which is important for the 35 million one-person households in the US.

There is also a growing trend for refills made from flexible packaging as a way to limit the use of plastic bottles. This can be seen with products such as Timotei and Pantene shampoo refills. Pouches use around 60 percent less plastic than other traditional packages and take about half the energy to produce. As a result, they are seen as more environmentally friendly. But, they are not recyclable, so this is one downside of flexible packaging.

4. Color Blocking

Color communicates at the speed of light, making it a powerful tool when it comes to product design and packaging. Over-use of color on packaging is often associated with less sophisticated products or brands aimed at children. But now, color is being used in a bolder, more simplified way as the main identifier across a diverse range of products and brands. Using color blocking gives your brand a fresh and modern update. It also helps to unite your brand while differentiating between products within the range. And, if the product you're highlighting through color blocking isn't usually presented in this way, it's even more likely that consumers will notice your brand.

Italian beer company Zago broke the packaging mold with their TerraCotta craft beer range. The simple matte design highlights professionalism and precision. And the use of color blocking makes both the range and each individual beer stand out.

The UK-based ila spa and beauty range also uses packaging in a range of bold colors to differentiate between their products. This use of color blocking highlights their brand's simple yet revolutionary message.

5. Clear Information Labels

While innovative or fun packaging may sway them, today's consumers also want to feel informed about what goes into the products they buy. And, with a rise in veganism and food allergies, brands can also benefit from stating what their products do not contain, by way of 'free from' labels.

Nakd bars have capitalized on this 'clean label trend' trend by highlighting the few ingredients they contain. This helps capture the attention of health-conscious consumers looking for more natural products. Beauty products are now under similar scrutiny after a rise in awareness about the environmental effect of plastic microbeads in exfoliating products and chemicals in sunscreen.

Stating exactly what your products do and do not contain on your packaging is a direct way to show the honesty and clarity that modern consumers appreciate.

Modern Package Design Trends to Inspire You

It's clear from these emerging packaging trends that, while visual appeal is key, there is much more to modern package design.

Today's consumer also desires sustainability, clarity, and convenience. When it comes to packaging design, this presents extra creative opportunities for brands that are determined to stand out.

For more information on custom product design and packaging, contact us today.