If you're designing modern, fresh and attractive packaging for your new or existing product, it's a good idea to look at the emerging packaging design trends, to ensure your design isn't completely out of date or considered 'so last year' by the time your product hits the shelves in 2016!
Of course this applies really to brands that are ever-changing and wanting to keep up with the latest trends.
Sometimes changing your packaging can be detrimental to your brand and can alienate your target market or current customers. But sometimes a change in packaging can make your product more appealing to your current customers, and can appeal to new customers too!
So make sure whatever you do, you think it through thoroughly before you take the plunge!
Research is really important. If you don't have a big marketing research budget, research can be as simple as just asking people in your target market (even current customers or retailers if you have a good relationship, friends, family members, acquaintances) what they think of your current packaging and if they think a change would be a good idea, can garner some feedback.
If you mention changing your packaging and you get a passionate 'no! your packaging is amazing, it stands out on the shelf and I love it!', then maybe you could think about keeping your packaging design to cater to these steadfast supporters, but if you want to gain more clients and feel that its the packaging that's holding you back from grabbing your target market's attention, then you could do a trial of a new packaging design alongside your current packaging. That way you can test to see if there's an increase in sales of your new package design.
Of course you can never please everyone, so don't base decisions on one or two peoples strong opinion. Some people are scared of change, or have ulterior motives - so make sure your decisions are based on what is best for your brand overall and of course the bottom line sales.
If your brand is a modern brand that keeps with the times, you should be looking into packaging design trends constantly and keeping up with what's going on, to ensure you're keeping your target market engaged and to show your brand really is keeping in with your brand image and giving your loyal customers what they expect from you! Think about colours, textures, fonts, patterns, paper stock etc. These all go through phases of popularity.
If you ask around and find that people aren't fussed or passionate about if you change your packaging, the likely thing is that its overdue for a package design revamp! Get in touch with a professional Graphic Designer who you can educate to understand your brand image and your target market, and let them loose on design!
Look around and see if any of these trends would suit your brand image, and discuss with your designer to see if this would suit the current market. A good idea is to look at your Graphic Designers previous work to see the quality and check they keep up with the trends or understand and 'feel' the change. Don't dismiss your intuition. Because you know your brand and target market and customers better than anyone, don't be swayed by someone's strong option that you don't feel is right. It's really a balancing act!
Even if a trend is popular in the US, it doesn't necessarily mean it will be a popular trend here in Australia, so perhaps some of the trends below are redundant to our local market, but here are the predicted design trends for next year:
(Click on the picture for references)
1. Geometric patterns
2. Eco-friendly / Authentic design
3. Clean, fresh design
4. Abstract art
5. Typography design
Check out the free ebook Web Design Book of Trends 2015-2016. You’ll find 166 hand-picked examples from companies like Adidas, Intercom, Apple, Google, Versace, and others. To help speed up the design process, there’s also a curated list of 100 free, online resources. Read more here
6. Vintage / retro look
7. Colour trends
Wicker advises 'Shape is beginning to come to life in the form of icons, logos, backgrounds and repeated patterns in both web and print. From subtle elements such as bullet points and sliced corners to the more impactful die-cut brochures and background patterns, it looks as though things really are shaping up.'
Vanonver explains 'The trend for cosmetics is moving away from glossy finishes in favor of satin and matte varnishes. Contrasting sheens are also becoming very popular. Implementing multiple coatings and finishes will engage the senses, and create a unique experience for shoppers, and Soft touch coating will create a velvety smooth feel. A recent study conducted by the California Polytechnic University revealed that cosmetic shoppers were willing to pay 5 percent more for cartons that have a soft touch coating.'
9. Geometric structures
Vanover advises 'package designers are turning to bold, unconventional structures that stimulate imaginations and kindle desires. One popular design strategy seen at this year’s competition was the use of geometric structures with unique angles and sculptural effects. Generally reserved for specialty products, these design elements lend themselves well to paperboard and are entering the mainstream markets.'
Lets look back in 2017 and see if these predicted trends did take place in 2016!
Ideas compiled from:
Dianne Vanover http://www.thoropackaging.com/blog/2016-packaging-trends/
Simon Wicker http://oxygenagency.co.uk/graphic-design-trend-predictions-2016/
Michelle Polizzi https://brandfolder.com/blog/shared-story/4-packaging-design-trends-to-watch-in-2016/
Trend Research 2016 https://www.pinterest.com/giedregerai/trend-research-2016/
Jerry Cao http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/web-trends-2015-2016-dramatic-typography-81516282
Clara Cassidy, Founder and Marketing Manager of Custom Printed Bags & Boxes, is a marketing professional with years of experience in branding, promotions and events.