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2024 Packaging trends

2024 Packaging Design Trends: A Visual Feast

If any of your clients are in the business of selling products, there is the question of how these should be packaged. In truth, the answer depends on a multitude of factors — including what the products are, who they are intended for and how consumers will purchase the products.

A business owner who already has a long list of packaging ideas they are considering, could weigh up the above-mentioned factors to help narrow it down. However, those points can be usefully distilled into two broad aspects of packaging: its appearance and its practicality.

The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once commented: “Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”

Indeed, many packaging designs work because they have not only the visual appeal to draw attention but also the strength, durability, and versatility to sustain it. Here are just some packaging design trends we can realistically expect to be prominent in 2024…

 

Vibrancy and Boldness

Many products can initially get noticed simply due to their packaging designs. After all, when many, perhaps very similar products are competing with each other for customer attention, the packaging’s appearance can be the most immediately obvious differentiator. 

Since a customer might look only fleetingly at a product before deciding whether or not to buy it, the packaging could probably do with some punchy colours and shapes.

Of course, companies considering going down this route should assess whether it would really be a faithful reflection of the product itself. Giving a misleading impression of a product’s qualities can risk damaging trust in the product manufacturer and, as a result, their brand image.

It could help to heed key principles of colour psychology. For example, as many people associate orange and yellow with joy, these colours can make sense on the packaging of leisure items. On the other hand, a business-to-business (B2B) seller might want to leave quirkiness out of their product packaging ideas.

 

Imposing Typography

Packaging designs can’t simply look good; they also need to clearly convey information about the product. Otherwise, someone reading text on the packaging of that product in an attempt to discern whether it meets their needs could too easily lose patience and consider a competing offering instead.

Mercifully, strategic use of typography on a product’s packaging can enable consumers to quickly see which of the text printed on it they ought to focus on first.

For a start, bold typography could be reserved for summing up the product in a few short words, while smaller text can be saved for intricate descriptions, like lists of ingredients.

Failing to establish a typographical hierarchy like this can confuse people so much that they ultimately disregard the product. In any case, though, the fonts chosen should remain relevant to the specific brand.

 

Textural Effects

As a print service provider (PSP), what kind of clientele do you currently serve? Reaching out to a high-end market you have not previously explored can be a great way to generate new revenue with packaging. This begs the question: how can you make your PSP appealing to that market?

Some companies, such as fashion houses, offer prestige products intended for an affluent customer base. These companies therefore have an interest in giving their packaging a luxury touch reflecting the nature of the product itself.

The point we are working towards here is that by investing in a digital print embellishment tool like the Duplo DuSense Sensory Coater, you can bring packaging to a whole new level (literally). Yes, you can add physical texture to what could otherwise have been left as flat surfaces of paper or cardboard.

It’s worth noting here that most consumers judge products from their packaging. It naturally follows that consumers who run their fingers over intricate raised effects on packaging could perceive that the company responsible for the packaged item is committed to going the extra mile.

 

Throwback Designs

Weren’t things so much better in the old days? Many people seem to think so, given that retro styling has been tipped to make it onto many forms of product packaging in 2024.

The recent longing for nostalgia can’t simply be attributed to the tumult of the COVID era and its aftermath, either; even in February 2020, we highlighted the appeal of vintage packaging.

Many brands that have been around for a while can beneficially revert to design motifs from their history, reminding customers of happier times. However, even little-established companies stocking “modern” products can have fun weaving retro flourishes into packaging designs.

 

Minimalism

It’s easy to try too hard when coming up with packaging ideas. While many might be made extravagant in understandable attempts to catch customer attention, it’s also worth remembering that when multiple boxes and other pieces of packaging are styled in this way, it can all just start to look like random noise.

Hence the rationale for going in the opposite direction by stripping out arguably superfluous elements. Though minimalism has already long been growing in popularity, the concept remains not only attractive but also easy to implement on packaging.

On a box, for example, some simple branding and barebones textual details can suffice for the design — as long as it still contains all of the important information about the product.

Another plus point of minimalism is how easy it would be to use across a wide range of other print publicity materials, such as booklets — helping a company to achieve a unified brand identity. We would be happy to show you examples of how booklet design ideas can make clever use of white space.

 

Sustainability

This has been a growing priority for consumers in recent years. In 2023, research found that even despite the cost-of-living crisis, 82% of respondents were willing to pay extra for sustainable packaging. This compares to 78% in 2022 and 74% in 2021.

You could have already noticed many of your clients switching from plastic to paper packaging. However, there are still many other eco-friendly measures you could encourage businesses to incorporate into their product packaging ideas.

Another big win for the planet is when packaging can be reused rather than just thrown away. In this spirit, some companies might provide their customers with containers they would be able to refill.