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Being constantly in conversation with our clients has brought us many insights and learnings in packaging design. Some of these are clear indicators of the market pulse – what people are looking for and how we can better align our solutions. The listed industry trends have been derived and based on these discussions.

Packaging Design Trends 2022

Today, brands and designers need to find sustainable solutions as consumers are increasingly becoming conscious and making better choices for themselves and the planet. For packaging design, this translates into choosing more eco-friendly materials and production methods.

 

Plastic, in general, will be looked at as the last option, and the choice will be ‘better’ plastic (HDPE, LDPE, PP, PCR). Preference will be given to reusable and recyclable materials like metal, glass, and paper. Water-based inks and starch-based plastics can be considered. The packaging industry and printing vendors are not yet in a position to provide many such options to businesses looking for eco-friendly alternatives, but we’re hoping this will change soon.

Packaging Design Trends 2022

Until recently, ‘packaging design’ was primarily found on the shelf, while consumers took their time to walk the aisles. But that has changed in a big way today with online shopping becoming the new normal. Products now have to reach consumers through multiple logistics channels, and yet delight on arrival! This means packaging designers are now going to find themselves designing more for exterior/ outer packaging, requiring good structural insight along with delightful and communicative graphic design, while still being sustainable. Materials like corrugated cardboard and paper (e.g. kraft paper, composite paper, recycled paper) will be common solutions in this category.

Packaging Design Trends 2022

With the closing of international borders and restricted movement and availability of goods, the focus on ‘local’ has reached a new understanding. There is a sense of pride when our neighborhoods produce high-quality goods. Apart from a lower carbon footprint, we are learning to appreciate local processes, methods, flora, fauna, and resources. ‘Local’ is good for us, good for the community, and good for the environment. Generic has become boring. Packaging design is going to feature this positioning and sentiment increasingly through visuals, narratives, and nomenclature.

Packaging Design Trends 2022

‘What is it? Where is it from? What is it good for? How is it made? Now products have to answer for themselves, and what better way than on the pack itself? Using limited space to communicate can often be challenging, but that too is easily managed with online linkage tools like QR codes. Tomorrow’s consumers will be even more inquisitive. Being transparent and truthful has become paramount for brands to serve their well-informed customers.

Packaging Design Trends 2022

As brands will choose to project the benefits of their product while aligning to various consumer segments, direct imagery will no longer be the selling point. We will see typography and different illustration methods showcasing the brand and the product as one. This will also help differentiate in a time when there are so many nascent brands that have unique stories to tell. These narratives will be what drives the design and choice of visuals on the packaging.

Our aim is to make professional design accessible and affordable. Working closely with the founders and makers, we are committed to bringing out the best design solutions. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach and we constantly work to create a positive impact while being functional, aesthetic, progressive, and ethical.

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After the launch of Coca Coca Coffee in January 2021, which comes in three varieties: dark blend, vanilla and caramel, Coca Cola will unveil a new flavour of the drink along with a redesign for some of its products.

Coca Cola Redesigned Packaging

Coca-Cola Flavors cans and bottles will be flaunting a new design that features vibrant colours and a bold logo positioned at the top of the packaging. The logo is enlarged and shaded in either white or black lettering to make it easier for consumers to tell the difference between regular and sugar-free.



“We wanted to modernize and simplify the look of our packaging to help consumers find the flavor they’re looking for on the shelf through a colourful but clean packaging design,” said Natalia Suarez, senior brand manager of Coke Choice Portfolio, Coca‑Cola’s North America Operating Unit.

Cherry Coke will be offered in magenta cans and bottles while the vanilla flavoured option will come in cream-coloured cans and bottles. Solid coloured cans designate single flavours (like cherry), while stacked colours communicate dual flavours (like cherry-vanilla). The black logo reinforces the zero sugar and zero-calorie varieties, on the other hand, the white top signals the regular instalments.

The Atlanta-based soft drink giant will also roll in its new Coca-Cola with Coffee Mocha next month, which infuses the beloved Coca-Cola taste with a rich, luxurious mocha coffee flavour.

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In such complicated times, it’s all about being simple. Simple is effective when it comes to design, believes Lundgren+Lindqvist, a Swedish design studio. It’s all about saying a lot more with a lot less. Engaging in a conversation, they tell us more on how they create effective and memorable design.

Design
Varvet - Visual Identity, Stationary and Sinages

Varvet - Visual Identity, Stationary and Sinages

Design
Varvet - Visual Identity, Stationary and Sinages

CG: Describe your journey as Lundgren+Lindqvist. What have been your accomplishments?

LL: When we started Lundgren+Lindqvist in 2007, our primary goal was to do what we love and stay afloat doing so. Now our ambition has grown along with our team, but we still want to do the best possible work. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work with a great number of amazing clients, creating work that we can all be very proud of.





O/O-Brewing Baltic Porter-Packaging Design

CG: Your designs appear simple, effortless and smooth; however that is probably not the case behind the scenes. What all do you have to go through to arrive at the final design outcome?

LL: Simple is hard. Every project starts with a coconut. We use fine grain sandpaper to peel off layer by layer until we expose the core. That’s because we believe in honesty. Achieving that means removing the make-up to expose the bare, naked truth.

Design
Akademi valand photography next to the ocean exhibition catalogue covers

CG: What inspirations are included in your design? How does your background reflected in your designs?

LL: Like most in our line of business, we take an active interest in neighbouring creative fields; such as the arts and architecture. It is hard to judge as to what extent our Scandinavian background has influenced us. Of course, the legacy of great designers and thinkers such as Paul Kjaerholm, Olle Eksell and Alvar Aalto continue to inspire.

O/O - Brewing - Carismatico - Packaging and Visual Identity





O/O-Brewing Bangatan

CG: You work across various mediums. How working on paper differ from working for the digital space?

LL: Paper is definite, in that a printed piece is final. On the other hand, the digital space is an indefinite, organic medium. Both mediums offer unique possibilities. While conscious of this, we try to build each project around a concept and an idea rather than on the media of choice.

Maria Sole - Ferragamo, Visual identity and packaging

Design
Maria Sole - Ferragamo, Visual identity and packaging

CG: Designs have to look amazing and at the same time solve a problem and fulfil a greater purpose. How do you balance your and your client’s views?

LL: A good designer-client relationship is, like any relationship, based on trust. When there is a lack of trust from either side, the outcome will suffer.

Design
Critical Mass Studio Document Holder

Design
Critical Mass Studio Document Holder





Critical Mass Studio Pencils

Critical Mass Studio Poster

Critical Mass Studio The Totebags

CG: The world of design is constantly evolving. How do you keep up with the change?

LL: Although times are indeed changing, certain truths will remain. Our inherent curiosity and thirst for knowledge allows us to stay updated in a very natural, organic way. We visit exhibitions, read and travel a lot. Staying updated is nurturing our interests, which is the fuel we use for our daily (and sometimes nightly) design and development work.

A Sense of Place, Refugees welcome poster book

Design
Recto Verso Mirror





Design
Recto Verso Spread

CG: What other countries would you say are very prominent when it comes to design? What are your views on Indian design? Anything Indian that has caught your eye?

LL: In terms of graphic design, our neighbours Norway and Finland are definitely countries to watch out for as they are challenging those with a traditionally strong graphic design output such as Switzerland, England and the Netherlands. In terms of India, we are shamefully aware of the fact that we know very little about the country’s design scene. Perhaps Creative Gaga Magazine can put an end to our ignorance.

O/O - Brewing - Packaging and Visual Identity

O/O-Brewing-AW-2016-Packaging and Art Direction

Published in Issue 21

Branding With Packaging! They say not to judge a book by its cover. But they also say that exceptions are always there. There’s no doubt, branding and packaging are the faces of any business and product. They decide the way people will receive the brand; whether they will accept it or reject it. To understand and gain more perspective on this much-unsolved mystery, we invited many branding and packaging experts who throw light on the topic.

 


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The brand identity of ‘The Earth Collective‘ created by Manav Sachdev Design Studio (MSDS). The Earth Collective brings premium haircare range inspired by the goodness of nature. Believing in the process of finding beauty in everything around us, this brand has conducted extensive research and study to develop products with organic and natural ingredients, since it is their firm belief that hair care is an integral part of human existence.

Brand Identity of The Earth Collective

Brief

 

‘The Earth Collective’ required a visual identity that had to be designed from scratch. The visual identity of the brand includes brand logo, illustrations, packaging and website. The essence of the brand and their morals had to be brought out through fresh, unique and creative visuals which connected with the consumers instantly. The brand’s integration of nature and science must be showcased through its visual identity.

Brand Identity of The Earth Collective


Brand Identity of The Earth Collective

Challenges

The brand’s visual identity needs to stand apart from the others in the market, which is already cluttered with several similar products. The identity must also speak for brand and all that they stand for, which include the glorious union of nature and science. The rare and natural ingredients used in the product must be present in the brand’s visual identity. It is also crucial that the brand’s essence, which is nature coming together, must be represented strongly.

Solution

The brand strategy was focused on hair care inspired by nature. To signify this, the studio incorporated the five elements of nature in the logo, which resemble hair strands that make a solution for healthy hair. The logotype also signifies the earth’s hemisphere, which contains the rare and natural ingredients for the products. The team also represented the unique union of nature and science, which resulted in these products. Elements of the logo have been illustrated on the packaging. The brand’s identity has been kept elegantly minimal with a carefully handpicked pastel colour palette.

Published in Issue 51

Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase.

 


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Packaging has gradually evolved from cardboard boxes or covers to keepsakes. As people realise the creative hard work behind beautiful packs, this hidden space is burgeoning to become a field full of innovation and potential. Isabela Rodrigues, a designer from Brazil, takes us inside the box with her out of the box philosophy.

packaging design by Swt.Co
Branding & Packaging for Sunset Gin

packaging design by Swt.Co
packaging design by Swt.Co
Branding & Packaging for Sunset Gin

Branding & Packaging for Sunset Gin

CG: Gone are the days where a label was slapped on plain and ordinary packaging. Your packaging designs make the product look exciting and inviting. What do you try and achieve through your designs?

Isabela. The goal of packaging design is to turn projects into collectable and saleable items. These ideas translate everything we do and our way to achieve the final result. The objective is to prevent the user from throwing away the packaging and decorate his/ her house with it instead.

packaging design
KRÄFTIG. Packaging
resembling real
exquisite fruit
shapes is employed
to showcase this
premium Brazilian juice brand.

packaging design
packaging design
JJ ROYAL PITCH. A clean, clear and modern
container design for Indonesia’s purest coffee
grains reinforces the enriching experience

packaging design

CG: What is it that excites you most about packaging design? What are the challenges that you face? Do you decide the fate of packaging design, or is someone else in control?

Isabela. The most exciting aspect of packaging is tactile designing and how it follows a simple function of conserving the product, selling it as well as enchanting the audience. The biggest challenges are the suppliers and the limitations to achieving the result we look for. Frequently, clients that are in the product-testing phase need packaging on a small scale. In that case, one has to migrate to simpler solutions that are available in the label/bottle segment. In this way, working to conciliate innovative and beautiful designs within those limitations enhances a designer’s abilities and experience.

packaging design
packaging design
These fun collectable packaging was developed especially for children using a tetra pack design in a sustainable manner that can be reused & recycled



packaging design by Swt.Co
Packaging for Liz

CG: Your designs are clean, minimal and follow a discipline, quite contrary to the Brazilian spirit which is known to be loud and colourful! How has Brazil influenced your designs?

Isabela. Brazil is renowned for its colours and aesthetics no doubt. However, the objective here is to try to be a studio with a personal and also global aesthetic. The goal is to fit into each customer’s reality and identity.

packaging design
This natural fruit juice line that contains vital vitamins uses an interesting health
based concept to break through traditional juice
packaging designs

packaging design
GOT MILK? Unique colour
combinations are
used to make milk a
fashionable drink

packaging design by Swt.Co
Branding for Marc Malou

packaging design by Swt.Co
Branding for Marc Malou

CG: Packaging design is still an unexplored territory. According to you, what are some of the traits of good packaging? What do you do differently to make your designs stand out?

Isabela. There certainly is a long way yet to go before packaging design becomes a celebrated design field. There is so much more potential for innovation and creation in this field. A good package must conserve the product, have a structure, sell and enchanting too. It’s vital to understand that one can’t do without the others; there’s no use in a beautiful but fragile package or even a rigid one that doesn’t show the concept of the product.

packaging design
This packaging
design for a French
brewery showcases
how designers can exercise complete freedom by breaking
paradigms simply
to delight the eyes

packaging design
Minimalism with a touch of the classic vintage glass bottle makes for an ideal way to showcase chocolate milk

packaging design
The design
exemplifies the
essence of Colombian
chocolate making by
using traditional
Cacao tree visuals to
take user through
that very journey

CG: And now something we’ve been dying to ask- why bottles?

Isabela. Why not bottles? Nowadays, many people are creating new products by quitting their conventional jobs, and the beverage industry is the one experiencing this the most. Alcoholic or not, this form of packaging is in constant demand.

packaging design
This branding and packaging design refreshes the identity of
a popular local restaurant known for its natural and healthy appeal.

packaging design
FROO.IT. The design presents the fruit drink in
a fun manner by using ludic and fashion illustrations

packaging design
This fashionable and luxurious bottle design captures the essence of spiced beverages by Manjoor Estate in conjunction with New York Fashion Week

Published in Issue 26

Packaging is the first vital step towards enchanting the audience. Who doesn’t like a cute box or a trendy bottle? With this issue, Creative Gaga lets the cat out of the box to reveal the world of packaging design. Featuring various local and international designers like Petar Pavlov from Macedonia and Brandziac from Russia, Elephant Design and Impprintz from Pune, the issue promises to be a keepsake for many.

 


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While the fundamentals for packaging design remain the same, there are new patterns for the new normal. Apart from visibility and engagement, companies should adapt their strategies and processes to cater to these unprecedented times.


T
he year 2020 emphasised the requirement to change and adapt due to the Covid-19 pandemic rapidly. Naturally, in the scramble to adjust to this new, interior-focused experience, many found it hard to cope. Yet others discovered parts of themselves they never knew existed, and thrived – and this held exceptionally true for brands and businesses as well.

The world of packaging design was no exception when it comes to witnessing the disruption. The question is, what learnings can we take forward as we move into 2021? Based on Elephant Design‘s numerous experiences this year and weighing other parameters, a few trends shall be extremely crucial in the new normal.

1. Lend Me Your Eyes & Ears

This is the age of information, excess, and choice – and due to high levels of engagement on various platforms and advancements in technology, it is vital to stay away from all the digital noise. The challenge for packaging is to arrest the present generation’s attention: in a world where they have too many distractions! Catchphrases, innovations in design structure, semiotic elements – all these will aim to grab and more importantly, retain attention at several touchpoints in the packaging experience.

A popular Japanese beauty product takes an unconventional approach to their packaging where they printed all their text backwards. While most would pass this off as a lack of a quality check, the Japanese brand doubled down on their selfie-taking core demographic for this limited run by design—a bold yet creative way to secure their promotion.


2. Truly Yours

There is also another easily visible trend: Hyper-personalisation. Ironically, Andy Warhol indicated that the age of originality had all but faded with mass production. But what he didn’t anticipate was that even personalisation on a mass scale would eventually be feasible. This trend was popular with iconic brands like Coca Cola and their ability to roll out bottles with personalised tags that are also culturally relevant in a local context. Nutella merged personalisation with an algorithm to create 7 million unique designs on their popular chocolate spread jars.

Standardisation is fast losing appeal, and we shall see more brands integrating personalised elements to make the product feel like it’s uniquely yours.


3. Made Fast; Not Necessarily to Last

For adaptation to be successful, we need to leverage two essential packaging design characteristics: scale and speed. In tandem with market saturation and short attention spans, an idea sticks only if its execution can be instantaneous. These conditions require a keen knowledge of materials, tools and processes for the development of speedy packaging; and making the production cycle as lean and efficient as possible, reducing the number of steps/technical processes to its core essentials.




4. Connecting Essentialism with Localisation

In 2020, our world realised the importance of localised goods, products and services during the pandemic due to restricted movement and logistics. As a result, the emphasis on extremely resilient packaging (for transport) was not a significant concern over such small distances. Thus, packaging that did not combine hi-tech materials and development became more feasible, boosting the use of perishable local materials like brown paper which is poised to increase in the coming year.


5. Embracing the Circular Economy

The pandemic drew focus to the issue of corporate/business-oriented responsibility and the environment, especially when examples of flora and fauna returning to previously affected areas due to economic activity started to circulate.

 

The packaging industry has always been questioned for its environmental impact, and in 2021, this scrutiny will only increase. Brands will have to think about pain points like their packaging’s shelf life and how its disposal and reuse can be taken care of responsibly. For example, Tata’s sustainability division is recycling 38% of its fly ash (a waste byproduct from their thermal stations) and applying it to the construction industry (pages 18-20). Expect many brands to adopt these alternatives and solutions to meet this need!


6. Virtual Integration

With conventional environments and public spaces becoming harder to access, our forays into the virtual world have gained a lot of traction and depth. This shift affects packaging in the same way, where brands leverage technology to provide digital experiences like never before. Brand collateral, informational tidbits and even creative ad campaigns can develop, which reduces the use of physical materials – something that will increase in the coming year.


7. Trust Through Communication

In 2020, we saw a dramatic spike with consumers prioritising safety and hygiene, but how do we ensure brands communicate their commitment to providing high standards? Here is where packaging design steps in and curiously, we see a reversal in perception. Once, messaging like ‘untouched by hands’ on product packages would invoke a sense of industrially mass production, but today, it is a hallmark of safety! Brands shall find new ways to build this trust via packaging, so this is an area to watch.

We hope that these shared insights shed some light on packaging trends in a year that perhaps will go down as the year of recovery as the world gets back on its feet!

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The brand name, list of ingredients and description as well. How do you fit all this into a limited space and still make it all look organised and appealing? Well, that’s why we have packaging designers. Akim Melnik, a Packaging Designer from Belarus believes it’s important to keep certain key things in mind to help fulfil the purpose. In a conversation with Creative Gaga, he tells us about his design dogma.

CG: Your designs are mostly focused on branding and packaging. What is your design philosophy that makes you as a brand, stand out?

Akim. To describe the philosophy in words is difficult. It’s like a dream that you’ve had, you remember it, but just cannot describe it. However, there are some things that are always important to be aware of when designing for a product or brand. First is to meet the expectations and preferences of the target audience. Secondly, ergonomics and making sure information on a pack is correctly presented is crucial too. And lastly, you cannot create without knowing what’s already out there. Hence, competent analysis and research of competitive product packaging is a necessary step. Remember, that a good design can sell a bad product, just like a bad design can worsen the selling a good product.

Packaging
NOORBEST HIBISCUS DRINKS

Packaging
NOORBEST HIBISCUS DRINKS

CG: You have designed across a range of products, providing packaging in a variety of shapes. How do put yourself in the brand’s shoes? How do you know a juice bottle should look like a juice bottle and not like an oil bottle?

Akim. Sometimes you have to comply with existing stereotypes, and sometimes deliberately go against them. Much depends on the marketing objectives of our client. The client, brand and brief determine where you must draw the line.

Tea Package Design