Packaging Design Trends 2021

As the year draws to a close, we’re looking forward to the new packaging design trends that 2021 has in store for us. At first glance, they look pretty different from each other—you’ve got simple geometry right
alongside super-detailed ink drawings and fleshed-out characters. But there’s actually a cohesive theme here, and that’s a pivot away from packaging design that immediately reads as “commercial” and toward
packaging that feels like art.
This year, we saw just how critical ecommerce is to our everyday lives. That’s not changing anytime soon. With ecommerce, you lose the experience of walking through a store and experiencing a curated brand
ambience, something even the most immersive website can’t compensate for. So packaging designers and business owners are upping the ante to deliver a piece of branding right to your door.
The goal isn’t to replace the in-store experience, but to meet consumers where they are now and where they’ll be in the future. It’s all about creating a new, more immersive brand experience through the unique
packaging trends of 2021.
Here are the biggest packaging design trends for 2021:
1 Authentically vintage unboxing experience
2 Packaging dressed in fine art
3 Product names front and center
4 Story-driven packaging featuring quirky characters

1 Authentically vintage unboxing experience

Vintage-inspired packaging has been a trend for a while now, so what’s different about it this year? The fact that the whole unboxing experience looks so authentic, you’ll think you travelled through time.
In 2021, you’re not going to see a bunch of generically vintage-inspired packaging. You’re going to see packaging that has an authentically old-school look and feel that is taking things further by creating a
complete immersive experience. You’ll come across packaging designs that look almost indistinguishable from something your great-grandmother would have used, transporting you to a different moment in time.
That means going beyond logos and labels and encompassing the whole brand experience, making use of vintage-inspired textures, bottle shapes, materials, outer packaging and imagery choices. It’s no longer
enough to give a package a few fun retro details. Now the package itself feels like it was plucked from a shelf that was frozen in time.

2 Packaging dressed in fine art

In 2021, expect to see lots of packaging designs where the packaging itself is a piece of art. This trend is mostly gaining momentum with high-end products, but you could see it on mid-range products too.
Designers are drawing inspiration from paintings and paint textures, either playfully integrating them into their designs or making them the focal point. The goal here is to blur the line between packaging design
and fine art, demonstrating that anything, even a bottle of wine that will eventually end up in the recycling, is beautiful and unique.

3 Product names front and center

Instead of making an illustration or logo the packaging’s focal point, some designers are instead choosing to make the product’s name the star of their designs. These are designs that get extremely creative
with lettering to allow the product’s name to take center stage. Each name on these packaging designs feels like an artwork in itself, giving the whole design a distinctive personality.

4 Story-driven packaging featuring quirky characters

Storytelling is a key part of any effective branding, and in 2021, you’re going to see lots of brands extending their storytelling to their packaging.
2021 will bring us characters that go beyond being mascots to seemingly living their own fleshed-out stories. And instead of just being static mascots, you’ll see these characters in scenes, like you’re looking
at an individual panel of a graphic novel. So instead of having to head to the brand’s website to read their story or inferring their brand story through the ads they run, you’ll have the main character delivered
right to your door, telling you a story right from your buy’s package.

Ready for the biggest 2021 packaging design trends?
If you’re planning on unleashing a new product on the market in 2021—or redesigning a current product’s look—pack it up in one (or more!) of today’s
hottest trends. Great packaging design gets buyers pumped about your product before they even open it, so don’t miss the opportunity to wow them
from the second they see it.