OUR FAST PACED, HYPER-CHOICE LIFESTYLES ARE CONTINUALLY FORCING BRANDS TO RECONSIDER HOW THEY COMMUNICATE AND ENGAGE WITH CONSUMERS. THE PRESSURE TO DESIGN SUPER GOOD LOOKING, INNOVATIVE PACKAGING TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN CUSTOMERS HAS NEVER BEEN MORE SO.
Here’s how some brands and creatives have turned the great packaging challenge into opportunity…
1. VARIETY LABELLING
Dutch Brewery To Øl can boast some of the highest craft beer sales of recent years but you may have to look twice to relate one of their products to another.
To Øl throw the brand rule book out of the window by using only a subtle logo to tie their conceptual label designs together. It's a refreshing approach which allows the brand to create a range of products that have the potential to reach broader audiences through a variety of aesthetics.
To Øl's Copenhagen-based designer Kasper Ledet explains his unique approach to the brand's labels…
“The idea is to have a logo as the anchor of the identity and then approach the rest very openly and fluently. There are no specific rules, no manual and no style guide. I think of my work for To Øl as a continuous exploration. A journey.”
We think they're ace.
2. BASIC STUFF
Today's consumer is no fool, smoke and mirrors advertising which once persuaded buyers to purchase products no longer appeals. There's a growing desire for packaging which is simple and to the point, demonstrating the quality and reality of its contents.
‘Bigger and better’ slogan claims are being replaced by messages of sustainability, quality and clarity which are designed to appeal to consumers on a much more truthful level.
New York designer Catherine Adreani's visual identity and packaging for a family-grown grooming products line Basic Stuff does just that. “Un-choose choice, go with straightforward” is not only their tagline but a notion which could change the face of packaging forever.
3. SMART DESIGN
Developments in technology and apps has allowed packaging design to evolve from simply functional to interactive. Brands are using visual recognition and augmented reality software such as Blippar to bring packaging to life.
Omaid Hiwaizi, president of global marketing at Blippar says “embracing augmented reality (AR) technologies allows FMCG companies to maximise the return on what is probably their highest-reach owned media: their product packaging.”
John Lewis used AR packaging as part of their 2015 'Man on the Moon' Christmas campaign by allowing their shopping bag and delivery box images to display a 3D interactive moon and animations in the countdown to Christmas Day.
Heinz also developed a range of labels whose designs can be scanned to reveal recipes and brand messages, whilst Coca-Cola turned its 250ml cans into portable jukeboxes which allowed drinkers to listen to the top 50 UK songs at that moment on Spotify.
Smart packaging is the future.
4. BEAUTIFUL THINGS
Possibly one of our favourite developments in packaging is from brands who are realising that consumers want to display their favourite products and are designing beautiful packaging to suit. Bottles, boxes and jars which were once banished behind cupboard doors are now displayed with pride.
This trend is also forcing brands and consumers to consider the longevity of ornamental and practical packaging that has a purpose long after its contents are used up.
Leeds based Restaurant Pintura recently commissioned a bespoke painting to feature on the first fifty bottles of their Cien Gin. The limited edition bottles each displayed one fiftieth of the painting designed by artist Victoria Topping, making every single bottle unique.