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It’s a bold move to reduce packaging to its bare essentials.
Minimalist packaging Shine Maude

The complexities of modern life has driven a rising interest in paring back – from cutting down on tech usage to decluttering the home – and this more mindful approach is effecting packaging design too, with minimalist styling being increasingly popular.

Yet with more brands than ever before competing for consumer attention, it’s a bold move to reduce packaging to its bare essentials. However, when done well, minimalist packaging is not only beautiful to look at, but offers a point of differentiation for consumers who are overwhelmed by choice, allowing the product inside to do the talking.

Minimalist packaging designs may look effortlessly simple, however choosing how to convey the essence of a brand with just a few words and motifs is potentially the most challenging task for any packaging designer. There’s no single approach that fits all brands, so here are a few of our favourite takes on the trend.

The digital age has put the world at our fingertips, yet consumers are increasingly feeling overwhelmed by this constant flow of information and communication. In packaging terms, this means paring back designs to focus on what really matters to the people choosing your products. In line with this we’re seeing brands shun overly-wordy explanations and introduce intuitive design cues that explain their products instead.

Mandarin natural chocolate minimalist packaging design

Take for example the design by Yuta Takahashi for ‘Mandarin natural Chocolate’. The ultra-simple monochrome packaging features just the name of the brand and ten dots, which appear in different ratios of black and grey to denote the strength of the bar. The distinct design suggests the simplicity of the product inside, giving it a modern and standout look in comparison to the colourful patterns that are often found within chocolate packaging design.

Particularly within beauty and skincare packaging, stripped back designs are found in line with the move towards brands taking a scientific approach to their products. Savvy shoppers are growing more aware of ingredients and claims, leading brands to embrace pharmaceutical styling that emphasises their authority within a crowded market.

Packaging design goodsciencebeauty

The aptly named Good Science Beauty features patented skincare technology, which uses engineered silicon particles to carry active ingredients to the skin. Its packaging reflects the research behind its products, featuring a numbering system reminiscent of the periodic table and brown glass bottles, which add to the laboratory styling while also helping shield the product from damage caused by sunlight. However modern pastel shades and illustrative animations on its website prevent the look from verging from science-inspired to cold or clinical.

It’s no longer enough for a product to have shelf appeal in-store, it must look beautiful once it’s in our homes too. A trend driven in part by Instagram and the growth of sharing behind-the scenes-moments, everyday items are being given an aesthetic upgrade. In particular, minimalist styling is offering a clutter-free look on products that can come out of the cupboard and be displayed with pride. This trend has been seen for some time within beauty packaging, yet its beginning to appear in other product categories too, even among products that are normally hidden away.

Minimalist packaging Shine Maude

Shine by Maude is an intimate lubricant that would be more at home within a high-end concept store than the sexual health aisle of your local pharmacy. The brown pump bottle resembles a luxury handwash, while simple line motifs are deliberately ambiguous, yet suggestive of the products usage to those in the know. The modern packaging also makes the product feel more inclusive, with its brown and neutral colour scheme ensuring the product appeals to people of any gender.

The rising popularity of minimalism is often found in-tandem with a desire to live a more ethical or sustainable lifestyle – choosing to buy fewer and simpler products, particularly those that focus on just a few ingredients. Minimalist packaging is therefore often a visual byword for the denoting the purity of the product inside, helping communicate to consumers that this product is both easy on the eye and light on its environmental impact.

Minimalist packaging design tangent tgc denimwash

Tangent TGC’s range of eco-friendly laundry products are an excellent example. The brand focuses on ultra-simple styling that reflects the integrity of its all-natural products. The black and white labels feature a numbered code and list the key ingredients, rather than superfluous claims and description commonly found on cleaning products. The focus is on typography over colour and form, enabling the focus to remain on what’s inside.

The trend towards minimalist packaging is likely here to stay, and as you can see from these examples, is now found within a wide range of sectors – from cutting-edge beauty products to even everyday purchases, like household care.

Think this style is suited to your brand? We can work closely with you every step of the way to help you bring the principles of minimalism to your products. Whether you’re wanting to upgrade an everyday item into a design to be admired or reflect the environmental credentials of your ingredients through packaging design.

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