10 of the Most Unique Packaging Designs

Product packaging and design are both two essential elements that help establish a company’s brand. Identifying your competition and finding out how your company can stand out when compared to others is crucial to success. While recent designs are continually evolving into new styles and trends, there are a select few that have gained traction and become quite popular in the marketing world to both designers and consumers.


Minimalism

The world today is quickly transitioning to the idea that less is more. This theory is influenced mainly by the act of living as a minimalist or an interest in keeping things simple. Along with simplicity, individuals have also found a connection with transparency and honesty. With this way of living becoming more and more popular, it encourages companies to implement these practices into compelling packaging designs that promote openness and morality for the consumer market.


As mastering a minimalist appearance has proven to be a challenging process for companies, stripping the product of all non-essential details is the key to success. In doing so, this allows for both the company and consumer to focus solely on the product itself and what it encompasses, with less distraction coming from the attractive, brightly-colored, busy packaging resembling the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s. Adapting this “speaks for itself” design methodology allows for consumers to give recognition to a clean, uncluttered design with welcoming color and uncomplicated typography.


Vintage-Inspired

Like minimalism, many consumers are more attracted to vintage-inspired packaging designs as these products convey authenticity, meaning they are aware of the product’s projected originality and pure state. Not only are designers finding more interest in referencing past product designs, but they have also decided that adding more bells and whistles to products of today is unnecessary and often overwhelming for the consumer market.


Honing in on the handmade, artisan feel allows for a modern twist to current popular packaging allowing for a feeling of age and pedigree to be conveyed. Many consumers have also found that vintage-inspired packaging breathes exclusivity, thus offering a sophisticated, unusual yet appealing appearance. Because of these details, the consumer often feels as though they’ve started a collection rather than just purchasing another item, in turn, creating an exquisite experience for all involved.


Black + White

The practice of stripping the color palette from a product to just two elements of color not only initially seems restrictive, but also bland and powerless until the intricate beauty is recognized. Many companies feel they need to portray their brand with an array of colors, graphics, and patterns to stand out above the rest. At the same time, realistically, the consumer often gets overwhelmed and distracted with the appearance rather than focusing on the product value.


Creating a black-and-white packaging design, removes the distraction of color and helps the consumer focus on the sophisticated and simplistic shape and form of the product. This also helps spotlight the copy, which has the potential of getting lost in more complicated packaging. Companies are provided with a powerful and incredibly versatile philosophy when utilizing black-and-white packaging that can drive lasting results and improvements, creating a product that is impossible for the observer to ignore.


Artisan-Made

Shopping local has been rising in popularity throughout the past few years as consumers enjoy supporting businesses and products that come from their “roots.” Local independent sellers promote their products with handcrafted and personal packaging, which resembles the level of thought and care that goes into every item. Consumers in the current market are drawn to products that are created in a natural, fresh, handmade manner due to various dietary and medical restrictions as well as a rising conscious effort to be aware of the products that are applied to and entering your body.


Ultimately, consumers that purchase from independent sellers thrive off an exclusive, memorable experience that is created by the connection made between a company’s product and packaging, creating a treasure that will seemingly last forever. Feature the authentic talent and identity of products along with the company and accentuate the idea each product was created by you, for others like you.


Be Transparent

With the rising conscious effort of being aware of the contents of the products we use regularly, consumers have the extreme desire to know what’s exactly inside their products. Implementing transparent packaging into your design allows for transparency and trust in the relationship created with consumers interested in your product.


This practice not only allows companies the opportunity to show off their product before purchasing but also shows that they have nothing to hide. Additionally, it also encourages a heightened level of required creativity as designers must identify how transparency will be incorporated into their product.


Tell a Story

An easy way to catch the average consumer’s attention is by implementing a story into your packaging as well as the customer experience of unpacking. This not only shows that designers are connected with the product branding, but that a company is excited to share. The story acts as the backbone of your entire product and will likely inspire the consumer to move forward with their purchase. Incorporating the story of your product into packaging is a highly effective way to connect with your desired market fully. If you’re uncertain of how to begin identifying your brand story, many brainstorming questions can get the wheels turning.


• What is the purpose of your brand?

• What emotions do you want your customers to feel when using your product?

• How does your product coincide with your customers’ desires, fears, ambitions,
values, etc.?


Use Gradients

Implementing the use of gradients into a packaging design allows designers to create a final product that’s fresh and new due to their ability to blend colors and showcase the overall effect they have on one another. Gradients have the power to introduce a new level of depth and complexity to packaging without distracting from the product itself, which, in turn, creates a unique and revitalizing design.


Neutral + Pastel

While the use of bright colors and patterns is a very modern approach, a shift to lighter, less imposing colors has become a common approach to give consumers a break from the norm. These tones are known to draw the consumer audience longing to feel a sense of compassion or consideration in their product. Lighter color trends speak to our softer side and incorporate calm, welcoming emotions.


Bold + Bright

On the flip side, designers have also been known to utilize bright and bold color combinations to grab the consumer’s attention and not let the product be forgotten. Colors may be displayed in gradients or a combination of gradients and patterns to create a fun, exciting appearance. Consumers are drawn to these products because the colors can make them feel a vast array of emotions like delight or empowerment.


Be Unique

Identifying a way that you can stand out when compared to your market competition is crucial as more products and companies continue to be released. Consumers are known to choose the product with the more appealing packaging because more times than not, the message and branding speak to them. While there are many unconventional, norm-breaking design methods, a few that have been popular in recent years are Atypical and 8-bit. Atypical focuses on how to create an interaction with the consumer in a fun, memorable way, and 8-bit utilizes the nostalgia of the retro era reverting to pixelated branding.


Sustainable Design

Packaging waste places a tremendous impact on the environment as products are continually purchased at increasingly high volumes. Designers and companies need to be aware of the “think green” movement as their sales will likely increase if the transition is made to more sustainable packaging materials. A Nielsen study found that 66 percent of global consumers said that they would pay more for sustainable brands. Companies that utilize green materials for their packaging, like recycled aluminum, save energy, and reduce landfill waste. Establishing a design concept using these steps helps minimally impact the environment, community, and economy.


1. Make your product packaging eco-friendly

2. Choose green materials

3. Make it biodegradable or recyclable

4. Repurpose your packaging


Waste Reduction

Making the transition to alternative packaging has many benefits for both your product and the consumer. Paper and cardboard materials are the major contributors to packaging waste, and advances are made each year to help improve the materials that are being utilized at high volume. A majority of the consumer market is interested in how they can help reduce waste, and an empowering, encouraging connection will be made if the packaging on their favorite products is geared toward material reduction. While many alternative materials have yet to be tested, a few advances have been made like algae-based plastics, mushroom Styrofoam, and compostable paper pumps.


How is the Environment Affected?

Believe it or not, sustainable and plastic-free designs have an incredible impact on the world’s environment, and transitioning your company to one of these methods will help make a change as well as potentially increase your product sales. Choosing to make your product packaging eco-friendly helps save energy and reduce landfill waste, and reducing the use of plastic helps reduce the levels of plastic waste that is affecting the world exponentially. Both solutions are cost-effective, earth-conscious decisions that will translate a message to the consumer market that your company is aware of and in tune with common worldly issues of today.


Start Brainstorming

New packaging and design ideas are always breaking the surface in the design world; it’s crucial to incorporate your company’s brand and brand story. While many different practices are rising in popularity, knowing your competition and identifying how you can stand out above the rest helps your business succeed. Being aware of new trends, living styles, and global movements are helpful as many of these points get translated into packaging designs. Research best practices, popular trending design methods, how-to-guides, and contact a design company to discuss the next steps when you’re ready to move forward with your branding.


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