5 Emerging Packaging Design Trends for 2015

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Derrick Lin


Written by Mark Chapman, the Sales Manager for UK based custom and bespoke packaging specialists, Project Packaging.

Packaging design continues to evolve and push boundaries either through new materials or styles.

In an attempt to keep up with changing trends, many businesses decide to re-brand or re-design their packaging. Some brands update their packaging just to refresh their look and attract new audiences.
Either way, packaging continues to be a key element of your product’s marketing, so it’s important that you get the design right and consider the latest ethical packaging policies.

So, in case you’re about to re-brand or launch a new product, I’ve decided to investigate a number of emerging packaging design trends that you’re sure to see more of in 2015.

1. Hand drawn logos and labelling
With the rise of social media, brands are now more approachable and accessible to consumers. As a response, brands are developing an online personality which is helping them to take on a more relaxed and public approach to consumer relations.

Many brands are now transferring their online identifies onto offline marketing, especially through the use of personalised, handwritten or hand drawn elements on their product packaging. It doesn’t work for all brands, but whimsical, hand-drawn or hand-written typography adds a personal, human touch to packaging and suggests to a consumer that there is a face behind the brand.

Here’s an example from a large brand. UK based supermarket Morrisons’ has applied a personal touch to their tea bags packaging:

The typography used looks hand-written and to some extent, imperfect – but that gives the product charm and character.
Some other excellent examples from this year include, Nutty Bunny’s labelling for their frozen yoghurt:

And Manikay’s wine labels:

2. Hyperfunctional forms
All packaging is required to fulfil three purposes: to house, protect and transport your product from the store to your home.

I’ve noticed recently that packaging designers are starting to think about your consumer experience once you’ve left the store and what added value their packaging can bring to your home. This has led to the creation of “hyperfunctional” packaging – packaging that goes beyond its initial requirements.

Here’s an example of Aquilequa’s wine packaging:

At first, the wooden packaging looks like a simple, but good quality presentation box. But once the consumer opens up the packaging, the wooden exterior transforms into a stylish and reusable wine rack.

It’s this sort of innovation and added value that packaging designers are looking to provide to score legions of loyal consumers.

Here’s another example of a hyperfunctional take-away packaging form Hungarian restaurant and bar, Trafiq:

The packaging not only allows the consumer to transport their food but it also turns into a recyclable plate– equating to less washing up and a less damaging impact upon the environment.

3. Flavour differentiation using design
If a brand was to change the colour of a product’s packaging it can change a consumer’s perception of the product. A change to the weight of the container can also change the impression of the quality or value of the product.

But what if a brand has a number of products, say different flavours of an item, all on sale at one time? What can the brand do to give equal representation and achieve differentiation for all of their flavour options?

Well, this year, I’ve seen brands achieve both by going bold with unique labelling and packaging design.

Take a look at newcomer, Flossy’s range of candy floss flavours:

Each design includes the same illustrated creature, but differentiation has been achieved through various colour combinations and fruit motifs. I expect to see many more brands using packaging design to promote the uniqueness of each product in their range in 2015.

4. Kraft Paper
Kraft paper has been used to package postage items for years, but recently I’ve seen more and more brands use kraft paper in varying thicknesses to package their products.

Kraft paper has high elasticity, a high tear resistance and it’s widely recyclable making it a perfect option for products that are instantly consumed, like food.

As it’s environmentally friendly, more brands are looking to acknowledge the public’s sense of environmental responsibility and so they’re using this material to package their consumables, particularly organic food companies who want every aspect of their business to promote ethical actions.

Take a look at this custom packaging project we recently created for the mail order organic food company, Are You Peckish:

This kraft paper box houses healthy snacks to be delivered to busy people. Kraft paper was the best option due to its durability and because the produce is fresh (and yummy!), it wouldn’t stick around for long, so it is readily recycled.

I expect to see many more brands using sustainable packaging in 2015, and due to its versatility, I expect to see some interesting creations.

5. Leveraging digital
Brands already use QR codes on their packaging to direct consumers to their online channels. We also regularly see campaign hashtags printed across various packaging in an attempt to encourage consumer interactions on social media.

However, some brands are now incorporating bespoke technology on their packaging that allows consumers to gain access to exclusive content.

In 2013, Nabisco teamed up with Aurasma to create special One Direction video content that could be accessed via packs of Oreo, Chips Ahoy, Ritz Bits and Cheese Nips. When fans download the Aurasma powered “1D VIP app”, fans could point their phones viewfinder at the snack packaging to see a special message from the band.

Sound exciting? Here’s a video about the project:

If anything QR codes seem like old hat in comparison. I expect to see more brands using their packaging to bridge the offline and online worlds in 2015.

Got any predictions for 2015? Write them in the comments below.

About the author
Mark Chapman is the Sales Manager for UK based custom and bespoke packaging specialists, Project Packaging. Mark has managed and helped to manufacture the design and creation of a variety of packaging solutions. You can connect with him on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

  1. My own prediction: Packaging will be more customized and lots of educating messages on it, seeing alot of packages of infographics on them these days.

  2. I predict the industry will lean towards a more sustainable approach

  3. it's really interesting to see these trends starting to come forward. The packaging trends seem to follow the needs and wants of society pretty closely. For example, people these days are very concerned with health and home-made things. The hand-drawn style packaging succeeds at conveying that sort of vibe to the consumer, even if the product isn't as organic as the consumer would like it to be. That just goes to show you the power of good packaging. http://www.packagingcenterinc.com/about

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Derrick Lin