The Top 10 Packaging Design Trends For 2021

The packaging is a big part of the product. In this article, you'll see the top eight packaging design trends for this year.

By Claudio Pires
Updated on July 25, 2022
The Top 10 Packaging Design Trends For 2021

For 2021 you can try recyclable packaging, simple yet bold designs, repeating patterns, pastel-colored designs, vintage packaging to attract consumers. The packaging is a big part of the product. It holds the brand identity and attracts customers. Each year new designs and trends come forward that steal the attention of everyone. In many ways, the packaging is what sells the product. In this article, you’ll see the top eight packaging design trends for this year.

The Top 8 Packaging Design Trends For 2021

This becomes even more true for E-commerce businesses. Because they do not have a physical store, they need to focus heavily on their packaging to maintain their customer base. In addition, you may also try custom QR codes to make it easier.

Sometimes, a product can be amazing, but if it is packaged with poor paper or plastic wrapping, you will not be excited about opening the product.

Every year we see something different and unique, and like any other year, 2021 has come with an array of different packaging styles.

Why Is Packaging Design Important?

Packaging has many benefits. First, a well-thought-out packaging can give a rough idea of what is inside the box.

It can also increase the aesthetics and value of the products. It may not directly enhance the product, but it can certainly help to create a good impression.

Notice how small companies have more unique packaging than large commercial ones.

Apart from the aesthetics, uniquely designed packages can help the company grow and increase its customer base.

You have to remember that different products need different packaging. You can not use simply patterned packaging for all types of products. Neither should you have illustrations in everything?

You have to be creative and thoughtful in deciding the quality of packaging for your product.

You have to think about the design of the packaging, the material used, and the purpose. The package should be able to give an idea about what’s inside the box.

If it is perfume, then you have to use something classy and elegant. If it is food, then it’s best to have it in a bright package with illustrations or pictures. A medicine, then you should keep the package simple, light and use readable fonts.

Make sure to stick a nutrition facts label on all your clinical products to ensure customer trust and enhance your brand name.

Now you know the importance of having uniquely designed packaging. With that being said, let us look at some wonderful packaging design trends of 2021

1. Recyclable Packages

Saving the environment is a big deal, and several measures have to be taken for that.

However, environmentally friendly and recyclable packages can help you in your quest to save the environment.

Recyclable packages are made of materials that can be reused if properly processed.

Our Gen Z and millennials are super concerned with recycling. That is why these types of packaging have been a major hit lately.

With the world facing its worst times, it is now clear that recycling is not a luxury anymore; it is a necessity.

So, create a unique design with recyclable materials.

Sustainability is always crucial to customers. So if they are getting sustainable packages, it will tempt them to buy more products from your company.

For example, let us take a look at Frugal Bottles. These bottles are made with 94% recycled paperboard.

Not only is the bottle made with recycled material, but the bottle can be recycled as well.

Recyclable packages can be a great theme for food products. You can promote your food and its packaging to attract consumers.

2. Classy Vintage Packaging

Vintage packaging has always been on the trend, and this year is no different.

From 2018 we have seen some amazing vintage design ideas, and the retro revival is still ongoing. We have even seen retro fashion restored.

As for classic and vintage packaging, you have to make sure the design, the writings in the package, the color, everything will make you feel like you went back in time.

When opening the packet or box, the customer should feel like they are opening a portal to nostalgia.

You can use vintage packaging in various products like candies, clothes, books, and cosmetics.

3. Smart Packaging

We went back in time but let’s come back to the present and look at the future. You can impress your customers with handy smart packaging designs.

QR codes, Augmented Reality, and RFID technologies can be used to make your packaging seem futuristic.

These codes can even be used to track your products if you lose sight of them.

We can see a lot of smart packaging on smartphones. They come in cool boxes and have unique features which make unboxing them more exciting.

If your company sells techs and gadgets, then make sure to use smart packaging ideas to get the upper hand.

You can also use them for kids’ toys. Mix your smart packaging with eye-soothing colors.

Gadgets and toys in the future will have enhanced packaging that may even add gamification and digital gaming experiences.

4. Simple But Bold Designs

Some people might look for packaging that is more on the simple side.

Well, fear not because you can mesmerize customers even with simple designs and a slight touch of boldness in them.

Having simple and elegant designs will allow the customers to understand their product immediately, and this can also send a strong message to the customer about the brand.

A clean and bold design will put more emphasis on the product. You can have simple geometric shapes in your package, but add bold colors to contrast and complement it.

5. Designs With Prints And Illustrations

Designs with prints and illustrations have been an age-old tradition. But rather than using random prints and illustrations, stores have chosen some new ideas for 2021.

They are now using prints that are related to the product inside the packaging.

This allows for much creativity and increases its appeal to the customers. The printings do not necessarily need to be exactly what is inside, rather some abstract print related to the item.

This will leave the receiver wondering till the last moment. Chocolate bars are great for print and adorned packages.

6. Repeating Patterns Packaging Design Trends

Now in a normal design, the prints are spread across the packaging and consist of multiple patterns in different shapes.

But in a repeated pattern, the same design will be repeated multiple times and represent the object inside.

Seamless repeating patterns in a smooth background will give the person an idea of the content. Another simple yet elegant packaging design.

Packages illustrated with repeating designs are easy to remember and are the go-to options for small businesses.

They represent simplicity, and these can sometimes go a long way.

7. Pastel Colored Or Solid Colored Designs

These colors had gone out of style a few years ago, but by the current market’s looks, they are making a comeback in 2021.

Pastel colors have an eye-soothing effect. Any design that has this warm, calming color will immediately attract the eyes of customers or receivers.

Giving a pale effect to the product packaging creates a certain charm.

The warm colors appeal to the customers as if they are about to get something warm and calming.

Sometimes even one solid color can represent your whole brand idea. If your product is an air freshener, body spray, or deodorant, solid and vivid colors can tell you exactly what to expect.

The color green will represent something rejuvenating. Red will mean a strong scent. Then there are flavors like lime, lavender, orange that are represented through colors everywhere.

Strong solid-colored designs can be a great choice if you have different types of the same product.

8. Creating Designed Packages With Geometric Shapes

This is not a new form of packaging but has been in circulation a lot in 2021. The packaging design trends will have various geometric designs instead of some random shapes and illustrations printed.

These geometric shapes will give the packaging a bold and confident appearance.

Lines, shapes, triangles, circles, mixing the different geometric shapes and colors will be eye-catching.

Just make sure not to overdo the colors and shapes, as they will appear somewhat intimidating rather than exciting and may not deliver the right impression about your brand.

Now, these lines, shapes, and designs can be both symmetrical and asymmetrical. Aside from lines and shapes, your design may also consist of patterns.

Symmetric patterns are great to look at. Asymmetrical designs may be cool and funky, but symmetric ones speak volumes when you want to portray something elegant, and these designs can be very soothing.

But if you want to have a bit more fun with the packaging, instead of tight and intricate designs, you can use more distorted and loose patterns.

9. Mix Art And Packaging Design Trends

Everyone enjoys art. So why not have unique arts painted across your packaging. Have replicas of famous paintings such as starry night or the last supper.

If that is not possible, then have some other beautiful scenery painted in your package.

The scenery can be related to the product or any specific art that you just thought of. Art can be anything so long as you know what you are doing.

Art packaging is fun to implement, and you can be creative. You can create custom arts and use them or use existing art designs like the starry night illustration.

Fun art designs can be used for board game packaging. Some tacky art combined with bold colors will make the product pop.

10. A Package That Tells A Story: Packaging Design Trends

We already mentioned how your package should tell a story. These storytelling designs are a big part of your entire brand.

Like the iconic logos of Pepsi, coca-cola, there are plenty of characters that can tell your brand’s story.

Take the old guy with the monocle of monopoly. Almost everyone recognizes that guy, their brand, and knows what they will be getting when they see it on their packages.

Energy drinks or juices sometimes have tacky illustrations on the entire can or packet, and this conveys some message to the customer about the brand.

You can try telling your brand story by making a mascot or character with a relatable background. It is a fun, cartoonish way to appeal to your customers.

Final Thoughts

Packaging with unique designs is a great way to attract customers and increase your store’s appeal. With clever packaging designs, it is possible to rise in the competitive market. If you are willing to look for some clever packaging design trends, hopefully, this article was useful to you.

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.