These packaging design trends are shaping up to be playful, bright, and fun despite a variety of tastes.
Colorful illustrations of ingredients
As a result of a growing cultural appreciation for transparency, especially when it comes to the foods we eat, one of our favorite packaging design trends for 2023 is the use of colorful illustrations of ingredients. As well as drawing people’s attention to the ingredients in a particular product, it can also help differentiate which flavor or variation it is.
As a way to bring back childhood memories and give a wholesome energy, the visuals in this trend tend to be cartoonish and youthful. As a way to make the product on the packaging more appealing and fun, the illustrated ingredients feature fresh, juicy pops of color and less refined art styles, like doodles.
Texture with a tactile feel
Brands are discovering the advantages of tactile textures as they search for ways to differentiate their packaging from the rest. Packaging is becoming more textured thanks to techniques like embossing and debossing (raising or depressing the packaging), die-cuts (creating artistic holes in the packaging), and foil printing (using reflective metal).
The use of these printing techniques always adds to the perceived value of the product, as they look pretty darn fancy and are often associated with high-end products.
This packaging design trend grounds us with our sense of touch as much of our lives move towards the digital space. There is something special about how a package feels with special textures, appealing to more senses than just sight.
Patterns that wrap around
These visual elements go beyond design that’s for the front of the packaging, favoring a desire for freedom and going against the norm by using eye-catching and seamless wide lines.
All sides of the packaging are covered with wrap-around patterns, which encourage us to pick up and explore the product. The appeal of this packaging trend lies in its consistency with patterns and the fluidity of design. It catches our attention, especially when the patterns line up on the shelves.
Throughout history, packaging typography has gone through its own trends, and the trend of handwritten or “scrawled” text is unmistakable these days. With this trend, you’ll look like someone simply wrote the product’s name on the can or box with streaks and uneven coloring, as if they were using a permanent marker.
It is a contrast to the more polished and not-a-hair-out-of-place brands, with a casual and personal DIY vibe. Instead, these designs are more authentic and appeal to our light-hearted side. For many, this softer response to the current times can help us stay grounded during chaos.
All that’s changing, as brands add variety to their mascot’s appearance between product types and flavors, with different clothes, movements, or attitudes depending on the product type.
It’s an ideal way to tie together an entire product line while simultaneously endearing shoppers. The subtle mascot variations usually include new outfits or activities.
Colors of joy
In 2023, ecstatic colors will be trending in packaging design. Ecstatic colors set aside formality and are a smart choice if you want your packaging to stand out.
As ecstatic colors are bold, saturated, and bright, they create a confident, fearless impression. But these colors can also give us a glimmer of hope and playfulness.
A cartoon’s charm is something special. Something about the cute aesthetics and wacky situations they can be drawn in gives cartoons a fun, fantasy feeling, reminiscent of childhood. In addition to bringing that charm to the front and center, cartoons can strengthen a brand’s personality as well.
In 2023, cartoons on packaging lean toward a classic, minimalist style, similar to the comics from newspapers. They appear to have been hand-drawn quickly and effortlessly. In contrast to more polished cartoons in film and TV, these cartoons are made with hand-drawn strokes with a bit of wobble and embrace imperfections. It all adds to the cartoons’ overall charm and silliness.
Creative product visuals
A product visual usually gives an idea of what’s inside the package, but in 2023, abstract, geometric, and simple shapes will be used to present product visuals.
Rather than simply placing the product on the packaging, the packaging’s visuals allude to what’s inside. Using loose or abstract interpretations of the product plays with our expectations and leans into our freedom to express. As a result, some new standout product designs emerged.
Aesthetics of sticker books
The packaging trend of using sticker book aesthetics appeals to our inner child, especially to those nostalgic for the 90s.
In these designs, the images (especially cute icons or illustrated doodles) are often spaced apart from others or even overlapped, giving them a sense of carefree, irreverent energy. These floating compositions are reminiscent of sticker books, where stickers are usually placed randomly and haphazardly.
The nostalgia-infused stickers appeal to happier and simpler times, adding both fun and a little escapism from today’s world.
’70s vintage style never really goes out of fashion—it just hibernates for a while. As a result of the pandemic, warm color schemes and comforting, wavy imagery of the ’70s are making a comeback in home decor, fashion, and packaging design.
Its aesthetics feature earthy color schemes, especially browns and oranges, bubbly serif fonts, and thick, squiggly patterns.
As we can see from the latest packaging design trends, they are a reflection of the times as much as they are a response to them. People are responding to positive and familiar packaging styles, whether for escapism, reminiscing of the past, or for finding hope in the future, in the midst of all the uncertainty and unrest this past year.
What packaging trends are you looking forward to this year?