What’s Next in CPG Packaging?

With subtle details, simplified designs and sturdier materials, it’s clear that brands are prioritizing the quality of their products. Image courtesy of ADD778 on 99designs by Vista.

By Julie Halloran, Global Executive Creative Director, VistaPrint 

In today’s evolving marketing and branding landscape, impressions tend to linger a little longer in a customer’s mind. That’s a great thing for small businesses hoping to carve out an unmistakable presence, and packaging plays an important role by offering a gateway to more meaningful customer engagement.

Regardless of your industry, packaging is more than merely a functional necessity. It’s a powerful visual tool that represents a brand’s essence and communicates its values. As we look to 2024, new packaging design trends have emerged, offering businesses an opportunity to refresh their look, connect with consumers and showcase their products.

From a callback to the charm of the 1950s and the gentle allure of simplicity, to the vibrant crescendo of saturated pastels, a shift is underway. Let’s also not forget the appeal of the interactive and multisensory, both themes that are emerging with today’s customer.

Check out these 2024 packaging design trends and see how they can be the solution you need for your business to capture attention in a crowded market:

1) Interactive Packaging

As brands identify new ways to engage their customers, interactive packaging is the shapeshifter of our 2024 packaging design trends. Also known as “smart packaging,” interactive packaging adds an extra layer of engagement between a customer and the brand.

From physical interaction to the sensory, this multifunctional packaging trend blends aesthetics, form and function to create playful, interactive and often experimental elements in packaging.

2) Augmented Packaging

While Interactive packaging draws customers in through in-person engagement, augmented packaging bridges the physical and digital, taking customers on a multisensory experience.

By integrating QR codes into product packaging, for example, the brand-consumer connection deepens with just a simple scan. As a business owner, the information, stories and universe you create is worth recognition. Why not use this technique to bring customers into the brand experience you’ve spent time curating?

Hyper contrast is an attention-grabbing design tool for products on store shelves. Image courtesy of HMcAlister on 99designs by Vista.

3) Hyper Contrast

First impressions are worth their weight in gold, and the hyper contrast trend is a powerful way to capture a customer’s attention and keep them visually engaged with a product. Hyper contrast maximizes the visual contrast between different design elements – think color, patterns or shapes.

When clashing so many components together, they strike a visual balance and serve as a surefire attention-grabbing tool for products on the shelves. As you refresh your brand’s packaging in 2024, think about the various ways to incorporate color intensity, bold typography, and contrasting graphic elements to deliver an impression that customers will remember.

4) Saturated Pastels

Despite a soft and subdued association with pastel colors, we expect they’ll take on a whole new meaning in 2024. With a vibrancy that’s playful yet soft and potent yet youthful, saturated pastels might feel gentle, but they pop.

Saturated pastels take on a whole new meaning in 2024. Image courtesy of Fizi.

5) Brutalist Type

Driven by the idea that less is more, the brutalist type trend prioritizes the use of large text on product packaging. Where most brands seek to grab consumer attention through colors, patterns and logos, this packaging trend is where bold words take center stage.

Inspired by the merging of simplicity and grandeur of monumental architecture, brutalist type utilizes clear, block fonts and a reduced color palette to ensure the brand name captures customer attention when walking by the shelves.

6) Discreet But Deluxe

Discreet but deluxe means no unboxing videos. No grand reveals. This trend is understated, and that’s the point. It’s for those who relish the anticipation and the drawn-out moment of discovery. It’s the art of storytelling through packaging.

Going against conventional packaging wisdom, discreet but deluxe adds an element of intrigue and secrecy to the excitement of a new product. With subtle details, simplified designs and sturdier materials, it’s clear that brands are prioritizing the quality of their products – and customers are picking up on the message as well.

7) Flat Graphics

This trend, a force in the digital design space, is all about clarity and simplicity, and it’s making its way into the world of packaging. Why? Because it shines in print, fitting seamlessly across various packaging forms from boxes and mailers to hang tags and bags.

The clean and minimalist look is often a draw for customers as they browse for practical yet elevated products.

Image courtesy of Loving Earth.

8) 50s Comeback

We’ve heard the news that the 90s and early 2000s are back in style with both consumers and brands flocking to replicate the iconic Y2K looks – but the other decade that is slowly making a return to branding is the 1950s.

The loud and vibrant trends had their moment in the market and now the fainter colors and quaint charm of the retro era are slowly returning to consumer product packaging. The unique design language of simple line drawings welcomes familiarity and creates a sense of lasting trust with consumers.

9) Translucent Play

This trend is all about ditching the die-cut windows for new translucent and opaque packaging, allowing brands the transparency to reflect their products from the inside out.

Customers want to know what they’re getting with no surprises before purchasing and now, with the opportunity to have a 360-degree look, this latest packaging trend provides them insight into all the product has to offer.

As we welcome 2024, these trends offer an opportunity for business owners to leverage design to tell their unique stories, evoke emotions, and stand out in a busy market. It’s important to not only think about packaging as part of a holistic marketing strategy, but also how to be creative with packaging so it aligns with your brand and also leaves a lasting impression that goes beyond the shelf.

About the Author

Julie Halloran is the Global Executive Creative Director at VistaPrint, the design and marketing partner to small businesses. For more information, please visit www.vistaprint.com.

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