Trends in Packaging - Today and Tomorrow -- drupa - May 28 to June 7, 2024 - Messe Düsseldorf

Trends in Packaging - Today and Tomorrow

Knowing today what will be trendy tomorrow. If we look in the direction of packaging design, packaging production and design, this is not an impossibility. More and more, the trends for the coming years are already becoming apparent. Various market research companies are already publishing their trend studies up to the year 2030.

Influence of society

Various sociological focal themes influence the production and design of packaging.

The Corona crisis and the shaking up of society now awaken in us the desire for security and the familiar. In design, therefore, the past wins for the moment, such as the look of the 90s or 70s.

These familiar designs stand in contrast to the new influences of the environment. McKinsey reports in a study on five gamechangers in the packaging industry:

E-commerce continues to grow. This circumstance has an impact on the demand for packaging.

Personalisation is a growing consumer desire that can certainly be implemented well on packaging. However, this implies ever faster turning numbers and smaller production volumes. Consumers are also leaning more and more towards convenience and health. Affordability is a growing desire that is being passed down the value chain to the manufacturing sector.

No new themes, but certainly two overarching themes that will be with us in the next 5 to 10 years are sustainability and digitalisation along the value chain.

So the trends are clearly marked out for brand owners at the moment and are influencing design, materials and business models.

Design trends for packaging

If you want to stand out in retail, you have to think of something special. Packaging is an interplay of feel, look and material. But size also plays a decisive role today.

  1. illustrations - what's inside quickly becomes visible

Because the eye eats along with the food, the ingredients of food are already included in the design of the packaging. This not only satisfies the need for convenience, but also for safety. When consumers reach for the product, they know at a glance what to expect.

The illustrations rely on a simple, childlike style. This again underlines the purpose and generates positive feelings. When choosing colours, 99-Designs advises to choose rich and fresh colours, the lines are bold. The product thus appears appealing to amusing.

  1. Tactile textures on labels

Exciting cuttings, haptic typography or raised foil embossing make products look exciting and unusual to end consumers. While they are looking for a product that underlines their individuality, they like to reach for these products. It is suggested to them that they are choosing quality. Until now, these techniques were more familiar from the luxury segment. Now we know that digitalisation has opened up these printing and finishing processes to the broad market as well. This makes it easier for smaller, unknown brands to stand out in the crowd and position themselves in the quality segment.

  1. Seamless patterns in 360°

Front and back cover design is a time-honoured classic that communicates brand messages and mandatory information in a limited space. The trend is to break down the boundaries. Digital printing allows us to seamlessly design products without a recognisable beginning or visible end to the design. Especially on the shelf, the exciting character of this design technique unfolds.

  1. Striking and bright colours

The colour selection follows the neon colours of the 2000s. Those who want to apply the colour selection in a contemporary way combine the striking colours with each other and clearly interrupt them with rich black. The strong colours communicate self-confidence and cheerfulness.

  1. Nostalgia - retro designs from the 50s to the 70s

As already mentioned, "tried and tested" designs provide security. Cute comics with simple line drawings that we know from the 50s or earlier take away the seriousness and suggest ease with the product. Retro design awakens a feeling of security in us. These nostalgic values are equally appealed to by the yellow-beige-brown tones and flowing elements of 70s designs.

But design is not everything when it comes to standing out as a brand. When we talk about packaging trends, we also include materials, material application and manufacturing processes.

In the context of sustainability, packaging design - in terms of appearance without graphic elements - has changed enormously.

Minimalism has become a big buzzword. We want to reduce packaging waste - without reducing the unboxing experience. We want to stand out with foil stamping - without jeopardising the recyclability of the packaging.

These and other challenges await us in the coming years. Stay tuned to our blog. In our Trends and Packaging series, we'll tell you how to incorporate design, materials and processes into your packaging design.

Packaging, trends and innovation is exactly your topic? Then get inspired at touchpoint packaging at drupa 2024, where you will find all the innovations and trends from specialists for specialists.

Read more about Packaging Printing