That’s right, you heard correctly. According to Smithery, “Packaging is today’s brand ambassador. More than ever, it needs to make a product stand out and tell its story.” And what better way to do that than with high-impact packaging trends. The pandemic-ridden 2021 and the system-shocking 2020 left a sour taste with people worldwide. 2022 is the year to look forward with optimism. That optimism has already started showing up in packaging designs.Now, more than ever, people need something familiar. Hence, they are looking back to when the world was more straightforward. A place where colourful characters made us laugh, the various shades danced on packaging boxes, and where fonts were big, bold, and beautiful. In 2022, packaging design will play a pivotal role in returning the populace to a sense of ‘normality.’ Successful brands are already hard at work trying to return that comfort and security we all lost using packaging designs that are familiar, comforting, and innovative. This article is divided into three sections:
  • Top Five Trends That Are Making A Comeback In 2022
  • Top Five Packaging Design Innovations For 2022
  • Top Packaging Design Trends That Will Continue In 2022
Let’s begin.

Top Five Trends That Are Making a Comeback In 2022

Angels & Demons

This trend was popular in the mid-2020s, especially among wine brands. This particular trend consists of putting a picture of an angel and a demon on the box. These characterizations help capture the essence of what the brand stands for while giving it a sense of identity. Furthermore, it allows customers to choose between good and evil. Pro Tip: When going for contrasting ideas on the packaging boxes, make sure the font is at least a similar style for consistency to give your customers a sense of familiarity.


People want a sense of optimism to take their minds away from the harshness of the past years. Brands can utilize this want and create Packaging that gives off a sense of optimism. This should be done using bright colours, bold fonts, and fun characters. Bright colours like yellow, green, and blue are safe bets for optimism. However, brands can also go wild with colours like magenta or orange to add that sense of fun. Pro Tip: Too much optimism can feel fake and forced. Hence, brands should be sure that they can deliver on their promises and not simply resort to the ‘happier times of the past.

Familiar Characters

Your brand needs to be relatable if you want people to trust it. People will only trust brands that remind them of their childhood or things they can relate to. Nostalgia can be a powerful tool, and replicating your brand with characters like the ones you’d find in classic Disney movies and the like is a sure-fire way to tap into that market. Pro Tip: When selecting characters from pop culture, it is imperative only to use the copyright-free versions. 

Rainbow Vomit

We all remember this craze from the 2020s. Well, this brand is making a splash with its bold, psychedelic Packaging. It’s not the most pleasant design, but it certainly stands out from the crowd and reminds people of the good ole days. Pro Tip: When going for ‘rainbow vomit,’ it can be helpful to use bright colours instead of contrasting ones. “Rainbow Vomit” brings up connotations that clash with light, bright colours. Some brands might say, “forget that; let’s go for contrasting colours like red and yellow!” However, that will only bring up other connotations like “caution.”

Soft And Subtle Colours

2022 seems like the year of transition. Hence, it is helpful to make that process as serene as possible. Packaging with soft, subtle colours achieves this. Muted and complementary colours give the customers a sense of security and calmness. These colours also make the product stand out, giving it a sense of familiarity. In a world where everything is loud and new, it’s best to offer an alternative that speaks to the customer. “Post-COVID, everyone is craving peace and calm. This trend of gentleness is characterized by light, comforting colours, and minimal elements that create an airy feeling.” – Elly Brady, Creative Manager Vistaprint Pro Tip: When selecting soft colours, it is beneficial to look at the contrast in colour temperature. For example, orange and blue are complementary colours, but their temperature differs. It is essential to have a sense of continuity in your brand. There’s nothing wrong with using bold colours, bright fonts, and fun characters as long as they tie into your brand strategy. Also, it is essential to note that these trends are not set in stone and might change as 2022 nears its conclusion. Now that we have looked at the past and seen the top five packaging designs that will be making a comeback let’s look forward. The following section will look at some packaging innovations that are respected to decorate the Packaging in 2022.

Top Five Packaging Design Innovations For 2022

Minimalist Packaging

Although this idea is not new, I believe it will be taken to another level by 2022. Minimalist Packaging would involve taking the product out of its box and utilizing geometric shapes to decorate it. Packaging design is all about creating something that goes with the product. If that means taking the box away or using another form of decoration, it should be done. “The potential impact of minimalism on communication is significant, as communication performance aligns with sales performance nearly 90% of the time.”-an analysis of Designalytics’ redesign database Pro Tip: When creating minimalist Packaging, it can be helpful to include the brand name inside the geometric shape. That way, it does not feel like you are decorating a box with nothing in it.

3D Designs

A three-dimensional packaging design helps bring the product to life. This design style adds a pop of energy and fun. It can be achieved by using bright colours, bold fonts, and complementary geometric shapes to achieve the look and feel of a three-dimensional object. Furthermore, techniques like embossing, debossing, and spot UV can help add another dimension to an otherwise flat design. Pro Tip: When applying these techniques, it is vital to refer to your brand’s colour scheme and overall style. That ensures that the design feels cohesive.

Framework Elements

It has been said that there are five senses when it comes to design, and that is no different when it comes to Packaging. The five senses are sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound. You can use this design to stand out from the otherwise ‘loud’ competitors or add something special to your minimalist packaging design. Visual elements such as framework elements help consumers understand the product and learn about it. Framework elements can highlight certain words, draw attention to specific information, and give the product an identity. Pro Tip: Framework elements are an excellent way to emphasize important information. For example, it is best to use framework elements when highlighting the brand’s name, as it is crucial for the consumer to identify the product.

Extravagant Typography

Over time, the text has become more elaborate. The idea is to use a more elegant font and colour scheme to make the information pop off the package. Typography includes everything from the font used to the size of the letters. The colour scheme is also included because it plays a vital role in viewing your brand. For example, if you want to portray the product as mysterious, you would use a grey colour scheme with black text and a narrow and tall font. Conversely, if you want to use red to portray a sense of energy, you would use a bold font and bright colours. Pro Tip: One of the best ways to get started with elegant typography is to look at other brands. The internet makes it easy to find competitors and see what they do.

Elemental Symbols

An elemental symbol is something that represents the product itself. It may be an image, letter, number, or another shape. For example, if you are creating a design that represents your product as an eco-friendly option, then it would be best to use images of trees or the colour green. Furthermore, suppose you want to display a specific characteristic of your product or brand. In that case, you might use symbols like a smiley face or a happy and sad face. Pro Tip: When adding an elemental symbol, the symbol must match the product. That will help the consumer identify the product and understand its purpose. So that was a brief intro to some innovations that we might see coming to packaging designs in 2022. By now, we have looked at some trends of the past and some trends of the future. We can summarize that 2022 will be a year of transitioning from loud to peaceful. However, we haven’t touched on the packaging trends of the previous years that will continue to persist in 2022. The following section will tell you about five packaging trends that will continue to appear in 2022.

Top Packaging Design Trends That Will Continue In 2022

Eco-Friendly And Sustainable Packaging

Eco-friendly and sustainable Packaging is a growing trend that doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The reason behind this is simple: Consumers want to buy products that they feel good about using. If a product is eco-friendly and sustainable, then there is no doubt that they are making a responsible choice in the consumer’s mind. Likewise, customers who opt for eco-friendly products want the Packaging to be environmentally sustainable. Hence, brands choose to go big or go home for eco-friendly Packaging. A common type of sustainable Packaging is biodegradable Packaging. Forming natural elements into the Packaging is a great way to make it eco-friendly. With that, you can give customers the ability to use the Packaging for other things. Biodegradable and sustainable Packaging also has a higher perceived value than traditional Packaging. In other words, it is more expensive to produce, and companies/brands can use that as a selling point. Logically speaking, it costs more to create an eco-friendly and sustainable package. However, suppose they can tell the story correctly and make it sound like an intelligent decision to buy their product. In that case, the profit margins go up significantly. Pro Tip: If you want to stand out from your competitors with sustainable or eco-friendly Packaging, you must tell the consumer how it is an intelligent decision.    

Upscale And Luxurious Packaging

Upscale and luxurious Packaging is another trend that isn’t going anywhere. It is another way to make customers more willing to spend more money on the product. For example, taking a mundane product like olive oil and packaging it in extremely high-end bottles is an excellent way to boost the price and give the customer a feeling of luxury. On the other hand, you can take an already luxurious product and add more elements to make it upscale. One example is a brand of chocolate that has a gold leaf wrapper around the bar. Yes, this increases the price of each bar, but it also makes the product look luxurious and upscale. Pro Tip: Luxurious Packaging doesn’t have to drain your capital. It can have a high perceived value without impacting your product’s price in many cases.

Die-Cuts and Window Patching

In 2021, consumers will become conscious of the quality of their purchasing products. There was a need to see the product before purchasing it. Hence, die-cuts and window patching are another packaging trend in 2022. Die-cuts are one of the best ways to ensure that the customer sees the product before buying it. It helps build trust between the brand and consumers, increasing their willingness to buy your product. Window patching allows brands to cover the die-cuts with a thin plastic sheet. Thus, customers can see and feel the product without exposing it to the outside environment. Pro Tip: Sales are directly related to trust. Creating Packaging that helps build trust between the consumer and the brand will significantly increase the chances of sales.

Anti-Counterfeiting and Authenticity

Consumers like knowing that they are buying authentic products from legitimate brands. Thus, anti-counterfeiting and authenticity is another packaging trend that will persist this year. Seals and authenticity cards are two of the most common ways to ensure customers know they are buying an authentic product. Another way is creating tamper-proof Packaging. For example, blister packs are tough to reproduce. These are found in everything from medicine to children’s toys. Many consumers don’t even realize how many products have anti-counterfeiting and authenticity packaging. That is because it just makes sense to protect the brand and the product from copycats. Pro Tip: Creating Packaging that protects your products from copycats will help you keep customers coming back to you time and time again.

Custom Shapes

Finally, the last packaging trend that we think will keep going strong in 2022 is custom shapes. Custom shapes help companies create a unique and creative brand identity for consumers. They make products more memorable and thus, will increase the company’s sales. In 2020, one of the most popular custom shapes was for a line of iced coffee drinks in Japan called UCC. They created a unique hexagon shape that gave their brand a creative and memorable quality. In 2021, Coca-Cola also started releasing cans in unique shapes to appeal to younger generations. While custom shapes have been around for a while, we think this trend will only continue to grow in popularity. Pro Tip: More companies are starting to create custom shapes for their product. If you have enough capital, this is a trend that you should consider following to keep your product memorable.

Let’s Sum It All Up

This blog has discussed the top packaging trends that we think will be popular in 2022. We started by looking at some trends like a blast from the past. These include contrasting imagery, optimism, familiar characters, rainbow vomit, and soft colours. Then we moved to modern innovations expected in packaging designs for 2022. We highlighted some features that keep the Packaging minimal. However, we also looked at 3D Designs, framework elements, elegant typography, elemental symbols. These features will help companies stand out and attract customers. They will also help consumers quickly find the things they need and want to buy. Finally, we looked at some packaging design trends that will carry on from previous years. Design elements like die-cuts, authenticity, and anti-counterfeiting Packaging will continue to be popular in 2022. We also talked about some unique shapes that will keep growing in popularity. Overall, we expect more companies to embrace minimalistic designs to help grow their brand identity. Furthermore, more anti-counterfeiting and original Packaging will help protect the brand. Lastly, we also expect more custom shapes to continue to grow in popularity.

Final Word

Packaging is one of the most underrated marketing tools available. Yes, it doesn’t bring in direct sales like other tools. However, it can influence buying decisions and brand identity. As technology improves, we expect the above packaging trends to continue in 2022 and beyond. We hope you found this article helpful and wish you luck on your next packaging endeavor! Plus Printers follows the latest trends to ensure we create functional Packaging and represent your brand in the best way possible. Contact us and let us know how we can help you with your upcoming project!

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