Packaging design : Minimalism or Big & Bold?

It’s fair to say that we test a lot of packaging here at Marketing Sciences – more than 2,800 packs to date and still rising. That puts us in a really good position to take a step back from time to time and look at the bigger picture. Are we seeing any trends in what design agencies are developing?

In the last year or so we’ve seen two very different trends – one uses big, bold and bright colours, the other the exact opposite using minimalism, simplicity and natural/eco-friendly.

There are strengths and weaknesses to both trends and our qual team have been working on understanding what is best for a number of client brands.

The use of bold colours on packs is a balancing act, especially when it comes to selling healthy products.  Bright colours can suggest a brand is confident and brave and can convey the message that healthy is fun, emphasising positivity and optimism rather than dwelling on the negatives behind a healthy diet.

However, colours which are too bright imply unnatural, artificial products. Conversely, dialling down the colours can make consumers think the product is more natural, but may also suggest that it will be bland tasting.

Minimalism and simplicity can be very appealing – consumers don’t like busy, cluttered packs since it takes them too long to pick out the important information about the product. However, brands adopting a minimalist approach need to tread carefully – too little activity on pack and you risk consumers thinking that you lack substance or have anything to say.

To succeed brands need to know the key message that differentiates them from their competitors and which consumers find compelling, and then make sure it is prominent on-pack.

For more discussion on the how your packaging can win at the fixture, read my further contributions in Packaging News here.

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Chris Peach
01962 842211
Article date - 09/10/2013
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