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5 packaging design trends on the way out in 2018

5 packaging design trends on the way out in 2018

Say ba-bye to overly masculine packaging graphics, tiny type and boring colors. As 2017 winds down, new emerging trends are showing these dated designs the door.

It’s a great time to be in the packaging industry. Small consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have easier access to retail, making it possible for them to compete toe-to-toe with industry giants. This is great news for anyone thinking of starting a brand, and it’s great news for packaging designers.

If you ask us, packaging design is one of the most interesting and dynamic categories in our industry. It’s everywhere you look, and it’s always changing to meet the wants and needs of consumers. As the bar is raised within the industry, though, certain packaging design trends start to fade.

To help us gain better insight into these trends, we spoke with one of our top packaging designers here at 99designs, Martis Lupus, to see the top five packaging design trends on their way out in 2018—and learn more about what’s emerging in their place

Here’s what we found…

1. Over-cluttered designs (in favor of simplicity):

Over-cluttered design is becoming a thing of the past, especially as we start to see a broader adoption of minimalism across design categories. In the coming years, we expect to see even the most classic “old school” CPG brands update their packaging to adopt a more modern, minimalistic style. As more consumers have come expect product packaging to convey the necessary information instantly, brands have started to adapt. As a result, only the most relevant information about the product plays a dominant role in the packaging composition, with a more careful use of white space and colors.

Minimalist packaging by 99designs designer O I O O I I O I for Zenji Matcha.

Stripped down to the essentials via Soylent.

NEXT: Nix small type

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Did you know? Our parent company UBM owns these popular packaging events: WestPack, EastPack, PackEx Toronto and PackEx Montreal. Click the links to learn how you can connect in person with leading packaging technology partners, expand your professional network, hear experts analyze key packaging trends and gain a better understanding of today's critical issues.

2. Small typography (in favor of bigger and bolder):

For similar reasons, we’re also seeing a more limited use of small typography.  As consumer attention spans shrink, it’s becoming more important than ever for designers and brands to relay their messaging as clearly and as quickly as possible, especially in packaging.

In the coming years, we expect to see more brands take this to the extreme by using bold fonts and fewer words to get their message across loud and clear—and stand out on shelves.

A bold branding approach via Eboost.

NEXT: Don’t get too familiar

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Did you know? Our parent company UBM owns these popular packaging events: WestPack, EastPack, PackEx Toronto and PackEx Montreal. Click the links to learn how you can connect in person with leading packaging technology partners, expand your professional network, hear experts analyze key packaging trends and gain a better understanding of today's critical issues.

3. Familiar packaging (in favor of experimental):

Recreating the familiar has been a strong trend in packaging design for some time now, but as more experimental styles flood the scene, it seems to be taking a back seat. In it’s place, we’re seeing designers take bigger creative risks with innovative and whimsical packaging solutions, testing the limits like never before and pushing packing design into new territories. 

Who knows what “familiar design” will stand for in the years to come.

Re-imagined packaging via Team Wunderbar!

NEXT: Stop wasting packaging

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Did you know? Our parent company UBM owns these popular packaging events: WestPack, EastPack, PackEx Toronto and PackEx Montreal. Click the links to learn how you can connect in person with leading packaging technology partners, expand your professional network, hear experts analyze key packaging trends and gain a better understanding of today's critical issues.

4. Wasteful packaging material (in favor of sustainability):

As consumers become more conscientious about the environmental impact of their purchases, more and more brands are opting for packaging and packing material with a much smaller ecological footprint. The cheapest and most accessible materials, like plastics, are being replaced by biodegradable materials, like paper, hemp, starch and cellulose, and more easily upcycled materials like bamboo and glass.

We salute the progress being made in the research of sustainable packaging material that brings to life products like algae-based gel for packaging water or milk protein-based biodegradable film (yes, you can eat it).

Eco-friendly packaging design by 99designs designer Martis Lupus.

NEXT: Soften manly designs

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Did you know? Our parent company UBM owns these popular packaging events: WestPack, EastPack, PackEx Toronto and PackEx Montreal. Click the links to learn how you can connect in person with leading packaging technology partners, expand your professional network, hear experts analyze key packaging trends and gain a better understanding of today's critical issues.

5. Hyper-masculine packaging (in favor of feminine styles):

As more soothing pastels and soft edges move into the spotlight in 2018, packaging design is trending toward a more feminine overall aesthetic. As a result, we’re likely to see fewer hyper-stimulating, explosive design styles more closely associated with masculinity in the coming years.

Feminine packaging design by 99designs designer katerina k. for BitterFit.

We’re looking forward to seeing more innovation in packaging design and branding in 2018. Who knew packaging could be so exciting?

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Did you know? Our parent company UBM owns these popular packaging events: WestPack, EastPack, PackEx Toronto and PackEx Montreal. Click the links to learn how you can connect in person with leading packaging technology partners, expand your professional network, hear experts analyze key packaging trends and gain a better understanding of today's critical issues.

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