It’s hard to believe that we are already 3 months into 2021. With the exponential growth of ecommerce and the need for strong and compelling packaging, we thought we would break down the packaging design trends that have dominating 2021 so far.
Initially explored by Piet Mondrian, colour blocking involves pairing opposing colours on the colour wheel and pairing them to make a complementary colour combination. Packaging designers have appeared to take the practice of using predominantly primary colours, and adopted this technique to include a more diverse use of secondary and tertiary colours. The results vary from the predictable bold, to the surprisingly soothing. Overall, we think it is an aesthetic win, with the staying power worthy of a gallery.
The use of geometric shapes in packaging design has been trending consistently for years. However, 2021 has a different feel. While in its early iterations, shapes were primarily minimal outlines contrasted on a stark white background, we are seeing a much bolder use of colour and shape. Think primary school style drawings, and coloured in swathes of contrasting shapes. The end result looks extremely loud, attention-grabbing and oddly comforting all at the same time.
Last year, indie fashion saw an all-out takeover of everything gingham and checkers. Both conjure up nostalgic 50’s picnic scenes of suburban bliss. As we always say, fashion and design inform all aspects of our physical world and packaging is no exception. Take this collab by cult-status indie beaded bag designer, Susan Alexandra and Handsome Brook Farms, renowned for their organic eggs as an example. Who would ever think that the two would ever go hand-in-hand. However, it works. The lush photoscape of an edible/inedible picnic, whimsical beaded egg brooches, and healthy eggie dishes. Fashion and food become married in art over a gingham picnic cloth. The aesthetic is hitting it out of the park, and we’re not mad about it.
2020 saw a huge surge in the renaissance of serif fonts. While the use of sans serif fonts and minimalism in packaging design is not going anywhere, we are seeing more and more designers embrace the extraordinary. More custom typefaces, curvy or jagged lines, and even (dare I say), bubble print! Using an interesting typeface can set your product apart from other packaging on the shelves, and breathes new life into a brand. If you’re still married to the idea of minimalism, rest assured that a “maximal” font can still be used with a neutral tone or pastel against a light background to create a more soothing feel.
Kirsten Crisostomo is a freelance copy and content writer based in Vancouver, BC.