This year’s developments in packaging design reflect a world in flux, still evolving from disruption caused by the Covid pandemic, and becoming increasingly aware of its own vulnerability - and responsibility - in the midst of climate change.
The packaging industry has no small part to play in the welfare of our planet as well as the welfare of our society, responding to and even helping to shape ongoing behavioural and cultural shifts.
So, what can we expect from packaging design in the coming year? How will it generate positive change as well as helping brands connect with consumers? The team at Pentawards explored this in their latest Trends Report but here are some key insights.
With the personal care and beauty industry alone producing more than 120 billion units of packaging every year globally, brands need to be part of the climate conversation. And what better way than through the packaging itself?
We’re going to see more brands engage consumers in the sustainability and recyclability story of their product as a feeling of shared responsibility for the planet develops.
Example: DOVE BODY WASH REUSABLE BOTTLES + CONCENTRATE REFILLS, JDO Brand Design & Innovation, UK (SUSTAINABLE DESIGN - Body, skin, health and beauty, Silver)
Hyper Bold Visuals
More and more, brands are going to have to stand out amongst increasing competition on social media and against strong, purpose-built DTC brands. Queue strong and extreme use of colour and pattern and simple, bold typography designed to stand out in a digital environment.
Pantone’s chosen colour of the year for 2023, Magenta, sets the tone here... However, this trend may well eventually reach a saturation point, which is when we might see braver brands opting for monochrome or more muted palettes. Watch this (digital) space.
Example: BYOMA, Pearlfisher, UK (BODY, HEALTHY & BEAUTY - Skin care, Silver)
Accessible and inclusive Design
Packaging that caters to a wider variety of consumers has transcended ‘trend’ status, cementing itself as a must-have. This will develop further as brands’ understanding of the diversity of their audiences, and their needs, evolves.
At the Pentawards Festival this year, Jeremy Lindley, Global Design Director at Diageo spoke about playfulness as one of the most important tools for creating truly inclusive design, and we expect to see many more playful solutions to packaging for diverse audiences in the next few years.
Example: Oops, Riko Koide, Japan (BODY, HEALTH & BEAUTY - Health care, Gold)
Sensorially diverse packaging will work in tandem with the ongoing rise of accessible and inclusive packaging design - and may well be the key to many brands getting cut-through with consumers.
Raül Cobos, Marketing Manager at Derprosa by Taghleef Industries explains: “Neuromarketing research reveals texture can affect sensory experience which implicitly activates not only a feeling of higher quality and value, but also of exclusivity.” Look out for further creative approaches to packaging as the value of tangibility, particularly within an increasingly digital world, continues to draw in consumers.
Example: Re:INCARNATED SPIRITS, Ruska Martín Associates, Germany (SUSTAINABLE DESIGN, Platinum) and DARE TO BE REAL, Shanghai Nianxiang Brand, Design & Consulting, China (BODY, HEALTH & BEAUTY - Beauty, Silver)
Next Level Smart Packaging
Smart packaging helps brands create more meaningful and connected experiences with their consumers. In a world that is still recovering from the pandemic, this connection is now more important than ever.
With technology and social media becoming increasingly sophisticated, we will see new and innovative ways of brands connecting with consumers beyond what’s displayed on the box, engaging their audience in topical issues.
Example: The Fetichist, Servaire & Co, France (Brand Identity & Connected Packaging - Smart and Connected packaging, Bronze)
Snapshot of a bright future
This is just a snapshot of the bright future we can predict for packaging design in 2023 and beyond, as well as its role in shaping consumer culture and in tackling the critical issues we’re facing across industries.
The Pentawards team and all of us at Creativepool alike can’t wait to see how brands and designers continue to build on the innovative design thinking we’ve seen this year, bushing boundaries, breaking moulds and defining the value of creativity and innovation in the everyday - and in the bigger picture.