2020 was not a year for many things, least of all the arts. With all galleries, museums, movies and theatres shuttered, the majority of us spent our days binge-viewing and ordering junk online. Coming into 2021 feels like turning a new leaf in the biggest way yet, and these trends are some of the boldest and most creative packaging I have seen. Design trends are often contradictory but these have been following a consistent theme— it’s all about creating an immersive experience that is more artistic than ever before. Follow me, resident artist blogger, and get inspired by my personal favorite artsy packaging trends of 2021. (You’re going to want to have this link open on a different window while you read along)
- Blast From the Past
Three words- vintage, vintage, VINTAGE! I love a good period piece, and the things I buy are no exception. Expect to encounter authentically old-school looks that are so accurate, the products are almost indistinguishable from ones your ancestors could buy. This goes beyond retro logos; we’re talking bottle shapes, materials and imagery choices that make the entire product feel like it traveled in time. I am obsessed with the antique-y brown bottle and Victorian-esque label from Withered Skin Remedies.
- It’s Story Time
Storytelling is an essential part of any effective branding, and in 2021, you’ll see that extend into their packaging. Check out a few of these quirky characters— camping pigs, a rogue peach on the loose, formally dressed bears and cats… These characters bring their brands to life in a whimsical, animated way. It’s more like a scene from a graphic novel, and these unusual mascots make the products more fun to buy for yourself or that weird friend you have.
- Starring Your Brand
Usually, the illustration or logo is the focal point, but with distinctive topography, it doesn’t have to be! Wildly creative lettering and a strong sense of brand awareness dominate these products. In these examples, the product’s name takes center stage, leaving no mistake of what kind of product it is, and any colors or design elements simply highlight the brand name further. My favorite below is (you guessed it) the delightfully 1950s Northern Soda Company products.
After a year of chaos, this design trend really appeals to our sense of order. They are as grounding as they are beautiful. I’m tipping my hat to the gorgeously intricate details of Hidden Grounds, which fit my personal cutesy aesthetic, but the loosely spaced patterns of Yerba Mates are equally attractive.
- Illustrated Hints
These illustrations and patterns are as visually appealing as they are functional. They all have one specific purpose in mind- to give hints as to what it inside! They can be intricately detailed like Gstar’s design for Nourish, simple-yet-effective like the minimalist popcorn pattern by Cime. These allow the buyer to know what they’re getting without overwhelming their senses.
Whether you’re launching something new or re-branding an old favorite, these trends are sure to win over your new customer base. If you need a hand- we’ve got your back. (And your box, or your bag, or your bottle…)