The health sector is more often than not a leading industry as far as visual trends are concerned, blazing the trail for other sectors to follow in terms of designing do’s and don’ts. But have you ever wondered why is it that we focalize our attention so much towards healthcare and/or pharmaceutical groups to get a glimpse at what the future global trends of design could be made of? Well, the main reason why we look up to pharmaceuticals, medical or healthcare corporations’ visuals so much is simple: they are without the shadow of a doubt the best at correlating their products with their target’s expectations. Being on top of the perception game is indeed absolutely vital for healthcare companies and it is deeply rooted in their industry’s DNA. If you ever worked with healthcare marketers, you know one thing: they are solid, calculated and meticulous professionals, only worrying about one thing: to see their beloved product lines somehow disconnect with their consumer base, a fear stemming from the industry’s strict obligations towards health and safety compliance, a must-have which progressively boiled over to pure marketing considerations.
But pressure makes gems out from coal and yes, looking at the pharmaceutical sector’s latest visual trends often equals looking at the future for other industries, as far as packaging is concerned at least. Without further ado, here are some of the latest visual characteristics currently in place within the industry:
Pared-down aesthetics, to bolster customer familiarity
Whether it is medical “hardware” (lab tools & machinery) or “software” (medications & treatments), consumer familiarity is an increasingly important component within the healthcare sector. Trust is the keyword here. Personal health is one of the most precious individual possession and one simply don´t trigger a health purchase without running a few sanity checks beforehand, either conscious or subconscious. Lately, the best way to convey trust and familiarity is adopting the timeless trend: less is more. Here are a few guidelines to achieve that:
- Just focus on the essentials aspects of your product. “Everything you need, nothing you don’t” reads the packaging on Ritual, a new multivitamin brand that emphasizes clean, transparent ingredients.
- Soothing, millennial-proof colour schemes. Classic black&white contrasts or trendy colour splashes are your safest bets. Pastel and watercolour tones have been part of the pharma sector´s visual designs for decades but have been more prevalent than ever last year.
- Go circular. Angled logos, fonts and brand imagery should be skipped in favour of smooth circular patterns. Once again, the idea here is to incentivize the consumers to take down their natural guards
We are living in a world of exponential technological progress and that is truer than ever in the medical world. 3D printing, eHealth, connectivity and Internet-Of-Things solutions are now routinely being applied to the healthcare sector and have their influence on medical design is obvious. You will thus sometimes need to add a touch of “tech” feel to your healthcare visuals and designs in order to signify your target that yes, your product is loaded with the latest and brightest advancements made available by the medical scientific community.
Potential patents need to be clearly mentioned, that´s a no-brainer. But also aim at clearly highlighting a few facts and features on the packaging. Just be wary of not only using obscure terminology, which is still a turn-off.
Focus on the new fitness and wellness standards
As with all sectors, there are some go-to images and symbols that businesses are traditionally using in their brand identity designs to evoke feelings of well-being: lotus flowers for yoga studios, organic imagery (apples, trees…) for nutritionists, mountains for fitness brands… But all of this should just be the tip of the iceberg for your company. Indeed, while using these images can help someone easily identify what is it that you offer, they just aren’t enough. In a society where physical appearance and first impressions matter, health and wellbeing permeates all layers of society as utmost important values and the way ALL brands carry themselves must match the consumers’ high expectations in that aspect. Regardless of your industry, we are inviting you here to take a truly holistic approach to wellness and embark on a true physical revolution as a company, the same way some of your clients are aiming at getting fitter and healthier every day. A good place to start could be to consider regenerating the interiors of your building or offices, incorporating natural, organic decors, bringing to your employees and visitors an emphatic, deep sense of wellness. Or integrate health treatments on the workplace for your employees to relieve any potential overstress, like so many corporations seem to do lately. Don’t just see well-being as a mere commercial fad to take advantage of but, instead, as a complete and fulfilling lifestyle that will usher meaningful appeal to your brand name.