packaging design trends 2016
January 16, 2016

Top Packaging Design Trends for 2016

The importance of packaging design should never be underestimated. The way your products look on a shelf says everything about who you are, and who your customers are, and can be the key to your product being chosen over competitors.

According to a presentation by Hannu Alaluri on the future of packaging in 2016 and beyond, brand owners will have to focus even more on differentiating themselves, and shelf ready packaging will grow in importance this year.

The presentation states that “Studies show that 65% of purchasing decisions in a grocery retail store are made at point of sale, stating the importance of shelf standout”.

This isn’t just true in grocery stores – retailer shoppers of all kinds face expanding shelves with an increasing volume of choice, and packaging design is what will set your product apart.

Every year, it gets even trickier to stand out from the packaging crowd, which is why understanding the latest trends and styles in the design world is crucial for making your packaging catch a customer’s eye, and convincing them to buy.

Though it’s hard to narrow down the designs we’re loving for 2016, here’s a couple to get you thinking…


Packaging Design Trend 1. Geometric Patterns and Structures

It’s obvious that using an outlandish and colourful pattern on your product packaging will turn heads, but there’s one variant on this that is really starting to catch on – geometry.

Yes, we know, you hated it in school and haven’t used it since, but geometric style patterns and shapes are rising in popularity, and spreading throughout a range of industries – including craft beer.

With a focus on tessellating triangles and pixellated effects with bold colour combos, embracing the power of geometric influences could be a stylish and modern way to update your packaging design.

Geometry can also be applied to so much more than just what is on a piece of packaging design; it can even impact the shape of the packaging itself. Bold and unconventional structures with unique angles and sculptural effects, like pyramids, cylinders and more, could be used in 2016 as a way to really make a 3D impact whilst sitting on a shelf. Gone are the days when a simple box will do – packaging is turning into a piece of art.


Packaging Design Trend 2: Personalised Labels

Ever since Coke launched their named bottles, inviting you to share a bottle with an individual you know (or in many cases, picked at random because it was at the front of the fridge), the awareness of the sales potential that personalised packaging can bring is really catching on.

One of the most noted brands to follow in Coke’s footsteps was Nutella, which launched pop up stands in retail stores across the country over the festive period, giving shoppers the change to purchase their own personalised jar of hazelnutty goodness for themselves or as a gift. Generating a buzz thanks to a clever blogger outreach programme and visible queues littered across shops like Selfridges, this element of live personalisation was a winner.

packaging design

Technology is making this kind of bespoke packaging design more affordable and accessible, through the use of variable and short-run digital printing.

Providing this level of personalised service and packaging really helps you make more of a connection with your customers, as well as giving your product a feeling of increased value because it feels more like a memento than just a jar.

Anyone else craving Nutella on toast now? Just us? Okay.


Packaging Design Trend 3: Authenticity

In a world where everything is ‘mass’; mass produced, mass bought and mass sold, customers are starting to crave something a little more natural, authentic, ‘artisan’ and handmade. We love buying things that don’t look as though they’ve been mass produced, even if they have, and that’s where incorporating authentic design influences into you packaging can help.

According to Andrew Gibbs, founder of the Dieline (which was set up as a source of inspiration for the packaging design industry), “Consumers’ appetites are shifting towards more authentic, real, quality, honest products. Product that are uncomplicated, yet crafted, even vintage inspired.”

This trend could include elements like; the use of eco-friendly materials, to give a natural feel; hand-drawn style typography and imagery to convey brand personality; and even throwbacks to vintage and nostalgic branding to provide a sense of history.


So, have these design trends gotten your creative juices flowing? Is there any other packaging design trends you’re taking notice of? Are you thinking of a brand overhaul for the New Year?

If you are – you’ll need printed bags to match! And we are just the people to speak to about that. We have a range of services to help you design your own bespoke branded bags, and can provide quality bags in a range of materials to suit you.

To find out more about our printed bags or to request your free sample, get in touch! You can call 0191 268 7555, or email


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