Your product packaging or labeling design does more than making a great first impression. It informs customers, establishes a brand's personality, and fulfills varied business goals.
Therefore, to achieve the final design that works for everyone, teams should align their thinking and understanding of all aspects.
Understand the core product and categorize it into food, beverage, cosmetics, and others. If possible, add sub-categories as well. E.g, for food, sub-categories will include snacks, ready-to-eat, frozen, and condiments.
Determine the demographics such as age, location, gender, and psychographic information on their interests, spending habits, and values.
Talk to the brand team, creative team, and the printer to understand production requirements including, material, color schemes, printing guidelines, and restrictions.
Once you’ve answered these questions with as many details as possible, it will act as a guiding force to choose the right graphic design style for your product.
While these design styles can stand on their own, we recommend combining them to achieve unique graphics.
Flat design style is currently the leader of the pack. Sometimes, it's considered as a sub-category of minimalistic design style. Flat graphics involve the use of minimal colors and eye-catching visuals.
Brands and designers tend to lean towards flat graphics because they are versatile, emotive, and recognizable.
After a year of uncertainties, 2021 will be all about increasing brand recall with customers. Before you follow this design trend, remember that using this style has certain drawbacks. With more and more brands choosing this design style, you might get lost in the crowd.
Take a look at your brand colors to create illustrations that are aesthetically-pleasing and resonate with your brand personality. You can also use these illustrations for social media posts to improve brand recall.
Abstract graphic design style employs free-form shapes, texture elements, and colors across the palette.
The visual language depicts a simplified representation of real-life imagery or shapes. E.g, in the above collage, the product packaging of Pari Satiss features a bold pattern to emphasize plant-like shapes. The dot and drop element in the logo represents oil and floral waters, which are part of the product ingredients.
Abstract combined with geometric and minimalist design style is seeing a resurgence. As abstract design style depends on individual interpretation, brands can use organic, free-form elements that either represent a message or to support other design elements.
As the name states, this graphic design style utilizes modified fonts. Engaging packaging copy can establish brand personality, attract attention, and relate to a customer.
Typographic style is an emerging graphic design trend. In 2021, it’s time to communicate with your customers more than usual. The graphic design style allows the product to be visually-appealing and adds to the unboxing and/or user experience.
Design styles that are informal and humorous, lending a fun and whimsical quality to products.
Think kid-friendly products like the unique Kinder-Joy packaging, cereal boxes with cartoon characters/mascots, or McDonald’s franchise-based Happy Meals box. Fun packaging also appeals to adults as it entertains and offers visually appealing graphics.
In 2021, this graphic design trend will continue to increase in product packaging. Combined with flat, 3D, and typographic styles, they can have mass appeal. It also helps products stand out on retail and e-shelves. When executed properly, it can make the product range go viral.
Photorealism is a form of graphic design style where the illustration closely resembles an original image.
Given recent circumstances, customers are purchasing everything from electronics to fresh produce from e-commerce platforms.
Therefore, in 2021, think about showing photorealistic graphics of actual products (consumer goods) or the elements (e.g, ingredients for food and beverages) on the packaging artwork to give customers a glimpse of what they will be getting.
The exact opposite of flat designs, 3D graphic style is characterized by the illusion that resembles a real-life object.
Rolling out a limited edition of a new product line? 3D graphic design style offers a differentiating attribute to the packaging and acts as a collectible for interested customers.
Organic and natural design style employs shapes, colors, and textures inspired by nature.
In 2021, customer’s will continue opting for healthier habits over harsher products. Lean towards nature-inspired design styles to visually translate your brand’s core identity.
This design style involves eye-catching and creative patterns inspired by geometric shapes. Shapes including triangles, circles, squares can stand as symbols or form aesthetically attractive graphics.
In recent years, geometric shapes have become popular design styles. With a mix of geometric and abstract styles, designers and brands can think differently.
Minimalist design style needs no introduction. The more simple the design, the more impactful.
If you think the minimalistic design trend gets too much attention, then we understand your hesitation. However, you can opt for a graphic design that stays true to your brand and doesn’t seem like you are following just another trend. E.g, the iconic Golden Arches of McDonalds on their takeaway bags.
Old is gold, and that’s the whole point of the vintage or retro (short for "retrospective") design style. The glamour of old-world (in this case, 19th-century styles) is not just in movies, it’s now on packaging graphics too.
2021 will be about moving ahead to new designs while keeping in touch with our roots and the past. Vintage-inspired graphic elements will evoke nostalgia and create special memories in a customer’s mind.
With global market changes this year, 2021 might be the year to jump back on the wagon. Brands will be looking to reach out and make meaningful connections. Customers will be looking for products that suit their new routines and lifestyles.
Graphic design styles evolve and morph with changes in preferences, markets, and industries. However, in 2021, one prevailing thought is that graphic design trends will go in a more human direction.
So share this guide with your teams and brainstorm ideas to create dynamic designs.