Three Advanced Design and Packaging Trends to Follow in 2018

Graphic design trends change with the times. Every few years, there are new design trends that are in, ones that you see in all the tv, billboard, and online advertisements. But an even more important space where graphic trends change is in advanced design and packaging.

If you look at your favorite products on the shelves of any store, there is a good chance that the product packaging has changed significantly over time (unless you’re as timeless as Campbell’s Soup). Every product goes through this process at least once, because trends change and companies want to keep their brands feeling fresh.

Coca-Cola, for example, had those tiny glass bottles. You can still pick up glass-bottled coke in many countries around the world if you want, but it is much more popular to see coke in plastic bottles and thin aluminum cans. Even with plastic bottles, you will notice that the styles and coloring of the plastic wrapped around the bottle has changed over time as well.

Why Does This Happen?

Product creators like to keep their products looking “fresh” for customers. They believe that customers like seeing new designs. Fresh designs make products “pop” and appeal to customers. It is easy to rationalize that a product must have been upgraded or improved, simply because it has new packaging.

New packaging can lead to increased sales as well, so many companies like to spruce up their product packaging designs to sell more merchandise.

But that’s enough about the reasons why…

Here are three advanced design and packaging trends that are going to make a big splash in 2018.

1) Go Minimalist

Less is more. There is nothing wrong in scaling back a product’s packaging. While you should keep the durability and stability of the packaging, you can benefit by adding clear plastic window, reducing clutter, and making your packaging to the point. A customer that can see the product, or even press a button on the product, will be more invested in purchasing because it makes their product more tangible.

It is like when a car dealer hands you the keys to the car. In your mind, you are rationalizing owning the car even though the contract has not been signed. It is a paradoxical sales technique, but it works.

Barbie dolls and action figures follow this method too. You can see the dolls, you can interact with them, and you feel like you own them even before you pay for them. Do this with your product packaging too.

2) Be Nostalgic

Nostalgia is something that warms the hearts of most people. And it is a useful tool when it comes to your packaging and design. A lot of us long for the past. Things seem better the farther back we remember them. Our first boyfriend/girlfriend, products from our youth, or a simpler time. A lot of people, including your customers, want to return to those days, even if for just a moment.

Your customers can return to their nostalgia over and over again if you change up your product’s packaging. “Old” styles can be “new” again in 2018 – just look at how Coca Cola brought back the glass bottles in North America.

The process for doing this is easy. First, pick a time period. Second, look at the popular graphic design styles of that time. Third, incorporate those styles into your packaging design. It’s really that easy.

Look how easy it is…

Will Smith knows how to dress well now, but back when he was filming Fresh Prince, he was wearing baggy shirts with loud colors on them. If you wanted to remind your customers of the 1990s when they purchase your products, you could use a similar design to those shirts and add it to your product packaging. Loud stripes with contrasting colors, denim, and color splotches can all work.

Nostalgia is all about tapping into the emotions of shoppers from a specific time period that is special to them.

3) Use Photos Instead of Drawings

Photography is a niche area of packaging design. You will not see a lot of packaging with photos on it. Usually product packaging features some calligraphy, some contrasting colors, and maybe even a drawing of the product featured in a cartoony way.

Photos on product packaging are more used in the health and supplement industry, where customers like to see photos of fit and attractive models. These models supposedly got their bodies in shape by taking the supplements they endorse. Photos work.

Even if you do not sell health supplements, you could still feature photos on your product packaging to successfully drive up sales. You can sell anything with a photograph. Cars, laptops, keychains, and hotdogs, can all be sold with a photograph of a happy person using the product.

All it takes is a talented graphic designer to help you take your photos and turn them into high-quality advanced design and packaging that converts.

The downside to this method is that you want your customers to relate to your products. If you use models, you will need to use as many models as you have specific customer demographics. This will result in increased work on your end, but your customers will be able to relate to your product.

Look at all the different models the typical shampoo company will use for the same product. Shampoo companies need to do this in order to have their shampoo appeal to all demographics. The same will be true for your company if you use photos of models.

Don’t Forget the General Requirements of Advanced Design and Packaging

Even if you find a modern trend that you like, and you implement that trend on your packaging, do not forget to include the necessary information your customers need. While things like materials used and sizing can change, information is forever.

If you have a logo, add it. If you have important product information, add it. If you are legally required to add certain information (like nutrition facts on a food item’s packaging), add it.

It is possible to have both a great-looking packaging, as well as an informative one. It may take you some time to find the perfect combination.

Here’s an easy way to do this…

First, focus on how the packaging looks. Then, once you love the way it looks, figure out how to add the information you need to add. If you cannot add everything, tweak the packaging’s appearance until you can. There is no shame in going back to the drawing board if you have to and starting again.

Great packaging is not created overnight, especially if you have a big company. While small companies may have one or two people creating packaging designs (if they do not outsource the job), larger companies can have whole teams creating packaging.

Finding the right design is a process. It is essential that this process is not rushed. The three trends covered in this article can spruce up your packaging, and make your products look better than ever. Whether you choose to go minimalist, be nostalgic, or use photos instead of drawings (or a combination of these trends), you can make your products more appealing to old customers, and new ones.

There’s an even easier way.

If you are looking for advanced design and packaging services, look no further than Montreal Graphic Design. We specialize in all forms of company branding, including logo design, general graphic design, and of course, advanced design and packaging services.

We’ve helped companies all over North America reinvent their packaging and design, just ask us how we can help you.

Are you ready to say no to crappy graphic design and show your brand the love it deserves? Let’s get started today!



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