How to Survive Ever-Changing Design Trends

By: phase1
April 24, 2019

If you’re in branding and marketing, it sometimes seems like as soon as you get your finger on the pulse of current design trends, they change. What can you do to stay on top of these ever-changing trends? One thing that may help is to be aware of which trends are on the way out and which ones are coming on strong.

Past Trends We’ve Seen

To keep up with existing packaging trends, we need to know which trends have already worn out their welcome. A few of the past trends we’ve seen that seem to be on the way out include aggressive, masculine packaging with lots of black and chrome and hard edges.

As a new wave of feminism seems to be sweeping the country, packaging design trends seem to be following suit — and we are seeing more soothing, welcoming packaging in both shape and color.

Another fading trend is small typefaces. For a while, the conventional wisdom was that a smaller typeface would grab attention, as people move in closer to see what’s going on, similar to the way people tend to lean in to hear someone whispering. The new trend seems to be to announce yourself in big, bold lettering, to distract the consumer from their phone or whatever is trying to grab their attention away.

One more old trend to consider leaving behind is familiar design. For a long time, the thought was that familiar, comfortable images were the way to go — and, in general, they probably were. But today’s consumers have so much choice and are a little more adventurous, so you might be more willing to take a chance on something a bit “out there” with your design.

What to Expect in the Future

So, what are the current and developing trends to keep in mind when planning your product packaging design? What trends will be relevant to you will depend on what you are trying to sell, but here are a few to think about.

One is that the meaning of “vintage” has changed. While “vintage packaging” is still designed to bring to mind an earlier, simpler time, that no longer necessarily means calligraphic script or faded colors. Today, analog represents simpler, nostalgic days. In our fast-moving, digital world, packaging that reminds us what things were like before hashtags, cell phones and perfectly laser-printed graphics is what gives us that vintage feel.

Sustainability is another trend that has been going on for a while, but is gaining some serious momentum. Consumers are more concerned than ever about the effects of wasteful packaging on the environment, so packaging that is minimal and clearly recyclable or reusable will often give your product’s image a real boost.

If you’re looking for the on-trend color, consider “Gen-Z Yellow.” While “Millennial Pink” was all the rage a minute ago, the current trend seems to be moving down the spectrum. Can “Alpha Indigo” be next?

What You Can Do to Adapt to Design Trends

The best thing you can do to adapt to changing design trends is to do your research. Always be on top of what’s happening with product packaging, not just in your sector, but also in adjacent sectors. It’s also a great idea to work with packaging design companies like Phase 1 Prototypes to create a physical mockup of your design that you can test to see if it seems to be fitting in with current popular design ideas.

To request details on creating an affordable prototype of your design, get in touch with us at Phase 1 Prototypes today.


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