With 2021 less than two weeks away, we’re excited to unveil the new packaging trends with you!
Now you must be wondering what could have possibly changed in the past 12 months?
In case you missed the 2020 design trends – click here.
While the general theme of eco-consumerism, retro designs, and geometric shapes are still prevalent, we can see that there are a lot more artistic elements to account for this year!
So without a further ado, here are the 10 top packaging trends we’re looking forward to!
Tiny Illustrative Patterns
Building on from last year where we saw how line art dominated the industry, this year you can expect a lot of tiny, illustrative patterns!
These patterns willl be conveyed beyond embellishment, and actually reveal what the products inside have to offer.
The patterns may be simplified or abstract in order to give you a more artistic rendering of what the product is versus a literal look of it.
For example, instead of a photo of an actual coffee mug, a coffee brand might design its packaging with coffee beans,
This packaging trend makes use of extremely simplistic, yet bold geometric shapes.
You can expect to see bold geometry with neat lines, sharp angles, and expressive colours which will give the packaging an edge to it!
Similar to illustrative patterns, hyper-simplistic geometry will give a sneak peek of what’s inside. Nevertheless, these designs will be extremely abstract.
At first, you might find the designs to be very simple, but this an incredibly useful way for brands to make an impact and leave a lasting impression!
Packaging Dressed in Fine Art
As the name suggests, you can expect a lot of designs where the packaging itself is a piece of art!
This is mostly true for high-end products such as wine and chocolates, but it may appear amongst mid-range products too.
Drawing inspiration from paintings and paint textures, designers are integrating these elements into the packaging either playfully or by making them the focal point.
The purpose of this style is to blur the line between packaging and art, and illustrate the beauty and uniqueness of each product.
In order to successfully incorporate this trend in your packaging, the key is to emulate textures and effects that you’d see on a long-dried oil painting or a freshly-poured resin painting, in addition to fluid painting techniques.
Colour blocking isn’t a new concept, so what’s so special about it in 2021?
Well for one thing, the textures, colour palettes and variance in shape and weight will distinctively separate this trend from previous years.
Expect uneven, unbalanced collages, spirals and squiggles where perfection is the not the main objective.
Consider opting for a combination of neutral colours such as whites, beiges, and earthy tones. You may also consider choosing calm pastel tones such as pinks, and blues.
Overall, both can provide companies such as skin-care brands a more organic feel.
Product Names Front and Center
Unlike the other packaging trends, the main focal point of this style is the product name.
With this trend, you can get very creative with typography, giving the packaging its own personality.
This style is highly recommended if you’re striving to increase brand awareness. In turn, consider opting for different styles, colourful letters, or even 3D typography!
Unlike colour blocking, this trend appeals to those who crave order and desire complete symmetry.
Regardless of how intricate and detailed the designs may be, it’s important to remember the purpose is to create a balance so that a consumer isn’t overwhelmed.
This requires paying attention to the space being used on each packaging as well.
This is one of our favourite trends as story-telling is essential to effective branding!
In 2021, story-telling will go beyond static mascots. Instead, you can expect to be presented with characters that resemble individual panels from graphic novels.
Through this style, the illustrations can encourage your customers to interact with your brand more as it’ll feel like they’re reading an excerpt from a comic book!
When done correctly, it can persuade buyers to purchase on the spot without having to refer to the company website.
In turn, it’s really helpful if you want to decrease your dependence on ads and foster an immersive banding experience without necessarily being present!
Hidden packaging exists for many reasons.
Firstly, it’s playful and can enhance the unboxing experience for your customers! By designing a package that comes with a plain exterior and colourful interior, it’s successful in achieving the element of surprise.
Similarly, by using discreet packaging, you can actually improve the buying experiences of your customers in situations where they may not feel comfortable displaying their purchase to the whole world.
For example, consider the packaging of pregnancy tests. The value of being able to discreetly purchase items like a pregnancy test became clear to Stix cofounder Cynthia Plotch as it spares women of the potential awkwardness in the drug store.
In turn, when the company switched to online ordering, they noted that their decision to use hidden packaging vastly improved their consumer’s experience with the brand.
Their outer packaging is non-obvious and makes no mention of the brand or its contents. Inside, it utilizes round organic shapes in neutral tones which broadcast a sense of calm and reassurance to the customer.
So how can we continue to use this trend in 2021?
With this style you can get very creative! You can incorporate other 2021 trends such as story-telling, colour blocking or illustrative patterns through interior print.
Overall, this can benefit a lot of e-commerce brands because you can build on customer loyalty by incorporating personalized messages as well!
Two Continuing Trends – Retro Design and Sustainability
- RETRO DESIGN STYLES
Using retro styles in packaging evokes anticipation and nostalgia within consumers and helps them identify with an at-home feeling. In fact, we’ve written an entire blog post on vintage packaging and the power of nostalgia!
Retro designs are identified by the use of muted colour palettes, round shapes, and retro-inspired typography. Retro designs work because they convey authenticity – even if the product and brand are new on the market!
Nonetheless, in 2021, more emphasis will be put on cultivating the whole brand experience. This will be seen by making use of vintage-inspired textures, bottle shapes, materials, outer packaging, and imagery choices.
It’s no longer enough to give a package a few fun retro details. Now you can create an unboxing experience so surreal, you’ll think you’ve travelled back in time!
I think it’s actually safe to say that sustainability is no longer a trend, but rather a staple in packaging nowadays. Sustainable packaging reduces our ecological footprint and is definitely needed in today’s climate.
Sustainable doesn’t have to mean boring and bare. Although the Kraft paper look gives a natural and authentic feel to packaging, it’s quite common to create eye-catching packaging that is still aiding the environment.
How Can I Incorporate These Packaging Trends?
Easy! Contact LeKAC Sourcing Limited for help designing your new packaging products.
Our company will help you from conception to completion and you will have access to the full knowledge of our product specialists, logistics experts, and graphic designers.
Take a look at our official Instagram page to stay up to date on the latest trends and see what’s on the horizon for packaging!
Not sure which trend is right for you? It all depends on your brand persona. Is your company bold and creative? Relaxed and subdued? Playful and young? Let our guides help you determine which design would attract your target market most. With LeKAC’s help, you’re sure to invent trendy packaging that will make an impact!