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Packaging Trends to Connect with Consumers

For brands in the retail space, staying on top of packaging trends and consumer behavior is imperative. Thanks to social media and technology in general, consumers expectations are high when it comes to packaging design. We crave that “wow” factor.

The good news is that brands have more ways than ever to utilize packaging to make an emotional connection with consumers. From tactile substrates, to pressure based print techniques, vibrant colors and alluring design, the options are endless. While trends can be tricky, the following will help highlight ones to watch and give some tips on how to include packaging design trends to captivate, resonate and connect with consumers.


Great packaging design captures our attention, and metallic finishes offer some of the most effective means to do so. Metallics convey a sense of luxury. We’re seeing more brands adopt this trend across all segments. Metallic options for packaging design include foil stamping, inks and substrates/materials.

Metallic finishes beckon us to touch them. Studies have shown haptics play a huge part in terms of embodied cognition and consumer perception. And for brands looking to form a connection with the customer, touch is more powerful than sight. Metallics engage both senses when it comes to packaging design. Whether it’s the effective combination of embossed paper paired with a metallic foil or a metallic substrate paired with a tactile production technique like an emboss or die-cut, metallics make for memorable brand packaging.


Minimalism continues to gain popularity, and is just getting started in terms of packaging design. The packaging trend is fueled by design driven social media platforms like Instagram, Dribbble and Behance. It’s particularly notable among internet native startups, with the classic hallmarks of sans serif type, monochromatic color palettes and flat-lay photography. No doubt we’ll see this trend continue and morph as more brands adopt this aesthetic.


Both in the figurative and literal sense, transparency will continue to prove important in packaging design. Today’s market savvy consumers crave transparency in products, and that includes product packaging. Literally translated we’re seeing the trend emerge with die-cut windows in packaging. The direct access to the product communicates transparency and instills trust in consumers. People believe what they can feel and see, by eliminating that barrier brands demonstrate integrity in both packaging design and messaging.


Along with consumers’ rising expectation of transparency is the push for more eco-friendly packaging design. With the global impact of single-use packaging becoming increasingly evident, consumers are demanding brands take action.

Alternative fiber offerings will continue to increase as more and more brands look to demonstrate transparency in their product packaging. Renewable resources like hemp, seaweed, bagasse, cornstarch, mushroom and cotton are increasingly making their way into materials like paper, foam, bubble wrap and poly. Packaging design that incorporates alternative fibers is easier to source than ever, with a range of products to fit all budgetary considerations.

For more information on packaging design, request a consultation with one of our packaging specialists or visit one of our Design Centers for Open Hours.