Packaging Trends for 2018

Happy new year! 2018 has finally arrived and we want to wish you a very intense and prolific year.

Let’s start the year by establishing what’s at stake in the next 365 days, as far as packaging design is concerned. It is always of the utmost importance to enter the battlefield prepared and knowing what’s looming ahead.
If you follow us, you probably had a glimpse of what’s coming up in 2018 in our latest article:

Here’s the jist of our message back then:

“Product lifecycles as shorter than ever. Consumers’ attention spans are extremely divided. It thus becomes the marketing industry’s biggest challenge these days: how to drive people towards an idea, a concept, a product? That is our job in 2018 to find more answers than ever to this question. Our simple answer is: Get inspired, continuously. Be aware of what’s going on around you and seek new ideas always. Remember that your job as a designer is more one of an artist than one of a project manager. Communicate your enthusiasm to your clients. Build and create furiously. Convey excitement to the consumer. Think outside the box, literally!”

This is it for the motivational speech for 2018. Now, let’s focus on the packaging specifics you’ll need to make yours throughout this year:

Trend #1: New Age Execution 

There’s a clear push from the marketplace to create a new style of attire around products: more fun, more dynamic, anything but something fresh and new! Lush is the perfect brand to illustrate that, their packaging options have indeed become the epitome of the new “Anti-packaging” era in 2017, which will explode in 2018. New material combinations (cork, recycled cardboard…), norm-breaking concepts and executions, eco-friendly designs matching the public’s newfound interest in helping save the world WHILE consuming…

Get on board! This is the truly where are things headed: bold initiatives that renovate packaging and excite the consumer.

Trend #2: Know your key targets

Product and packaging designers are entering an era where two consumer groups are to be catered to, namely: the survivors and the selectionists. The survivalists represent the fringes of the population struggling to make ends meet (students, millennials, retirees…) and for whom the perceived added value of a product is key within the purchasing process. For them, special attention needs to be put on costs, simplicity and functionality.

On the other side of the spectrum, the selectionists are the more wealthy among us. They aren’t so bothered about spending their money and trigger their buys solely based on quality, exclusivity and premiumness.

Make sure you know your public and understand which group you are targetting within the early stage of each and single one of your design projects.

Trend #3: Personalisation and e-Commerce

Online business penetration is at an all-time high and won’t stop growing in 2018. Related to this, the digital consumers’ expectations regarding their online orders also have stepped up and packaging is becoming a key player in the online shopping experience. Indeed, online consumers receive their online orders with such high expectations these days that the act of boxing out a fresh new product has almost become cult-like. We thus cannot fail in facilitating the best possible consumer experience as package makers in 2018. Customizable digital prints for each order needs to be made possible. Indeed adding a personalized message or logo to the packaging helps to build stronger customer relationships, enhancing the overall experience with the brand.

Trend #4: Refreshed visual palette

It is an incredibly difficult task to predict what tomorrow is made of but through observing the industry’s latest movements and the latest customer’s reactions, we feel really strong about a few visual trends heading into the new year. Below you’ll find a few keywords, each tied to a visual inspiration, which will dictate the market in 2018:

Simplicity / Minimalistic

Mastering the minimalistic mood is one of your main to-do this year. Classic simplicity has a double advantage: it is visual extremely appealing but is also a way to merge the two consuming groups seen in trend#2 around a single product!

– Doodles

Doodles are the hip way of creating excitement these days and all age groups seem to have adopted them as an accepted visual style. Get these funky graphics and typography skills ready!


– Emphasis on Headlines

Make a concept jump at your audience’s face by using bold packaging typology and/or using the trending « Movie poster » visual codes.

– Pastel

Pastel tones never truly leave the packaging design landscape but there are seasons when you truly feel the soothing colour range becoming a dominant force. 2018 will be one of them.

Follow us through 2018 for regular trend updates!

January 15th, 2018 | Packaging

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