Design Trends in Packaging
Packaging is following several trends. Here are some thoughts on today's hot trends that are influencing packaged goods.
Swirls and baroque twists and flourishes are all the rage. The restraint of the Modernist movement has given way to a need for expression with detail - little touches that make things personal and add the warmth we crave. Sometimes patterns cover simple forms, sometimes it's just a flourish trailing off the edge.
Type as design
Pictures are pictures and words are words, right? Wrong. Words are increasingly used as design elements. This trend is not new, but is cropping up more lately.
Saks Fifth Avenue used their logo as a design element that was mixed and matched to create a pattern. (Pentagram)
Craft and recycle
Crafting has gained momentum alongside sustainability. You can call it 'craftcycling'. Handmade is the new luxury - rough edges, pasted together and repurposed materials rule. Non-handmade goods are now mimicking the crafted/recycled look.
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The newest hobby, scrapbooking, has
(gasp!) influenced design at large. Traditional, sweetly colored,
patterned paper and trimmings come together quilt-work style for a look
all its own. The nostalgic patterns are sometimes country-like,
feminine or age-worn all in one. A contradiction of elements are
familiar and likable as the scent of your grandmother's perfume.
An offshoot of grunge, faded beauty is the
distressed feminine elements meshed with subtle touches of the '70's.
Lilies, butterflies, botanical shapes join hands with criss-crossing
quilted lines, grungy finishes and distressed borders. Hints of
Venetian lace aligns with Asian forms - the sky is the limit in this
Taking our cue from nature, elements like
birds, deers, bugs, mushrooms and leaves are appearing everywhere. The
juxtaposition of these earthy visuals mesh with hip styling. Although
this trend has been derided as a fad, it still holds strong with more
Retro is back, but think a little!
Recycling the old as new just won't work anymore. A fun, hip vibe takes
front seat with the future-is-now iPod scene. Cross an X-Box with a VW
Beetle and add some flower power to boost! Have fun making something
old into new again by mixing the past and the imagined future.
Sustainability is the biggest world-changing
concept since the Internet. Turning life-draining wastefulness into
green gold is the new holy grail. Don't ignore its siren call. It will
matter to every package designer on this planet very soon. Even now.
Hand drawn and illustrated
Long ago, illustrations once
ruled in packaging. With the advent of advanced color photography and
computer manipulation, photos rapidly replaced drawings on packaged
goods. But, once again, the beauty of hand-drawn illustrations grace
packaging in every category - giving warmth and character to packaged