As 2021, a year of continued uncertainty comes to a close, there is a universal craving for some much-needed clarity, bliss, and even excitement. Emotionally refreshing design is in demand now more than ever and packaging designers, in particular, have the power to shape how products are received and how they might convey these qualities that we are searching for. It is therefore unsurprising that many of today’s designers are producing packaging that is increasingly minimalistic, serene, organic, and creative. After what has been a period of commercial difficulty for many, it has never been more important for businesses to have the right packaging to appeal to their customers; one way to achieve this is by following current design trends.

1. Minimalism

It is clear why so many people are attracted to minimalism. Keeping packaging stripped back not only lends the product a reputation of attractive simplicity and honesty, but it also keeps the product’s appearance clean and classy. Particularly within the beauty and cosmetics industries, minimalist packaging design is becoming increasingly popular. Such designs have been adopted successfully by popular brands such as Summer Fridays and Honest Beauty, with more and more brands swiftly following suit, making it pretty clear that minimalism is one trend that is likely to be here to stay during 2022.

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Sensate Me – Packaging and Labelling System by Jo Chunyan_©Jo Chunyan
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Abrogatto – Box Design by Alejandro Gavancho _©Sumiko Miura, Print House Aizea Gráfica
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MOA – Branding and Packaging Design by Karolina Gacek_©Karolina Gacek

2. Curves and Color Blocking

The overlaying or combining of different colored blocks has been popular for a few years now but, more recently, designers are shifting away from the straight lines and harsh shapes that used to dominate packaging, instead opting to use more organic, soft shapes. These curve-based shapes tend to remind people of nature, meaning that companies can use them in their packaging to make their brand feel more organic and down to earth. When paired with brighter colors, this opens up a unique opportunity to craft a brand that feels both natural and fun.

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Sol – Packaging Design by Lilia Quinaud_©Lilia Quinaud
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Milko – Bottle Design by Giovani Flores_©Giovani Flores

3. Typography-Centered Design

Typography is a form of visual communication that has made an explosive comeback in the world of design over the past few years. With font designs becoming exponentially ambitious, brands are able to plaster unique letterforms over their packaging, showcasing a brand that really stands out from the crowd. Through repetition, unique composition, intriguing language, and more, typography can be an incredibly powerful tool that all businesses should consider when striving for effective packaging design.

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Youth and Tonic – Packaging Design by Camelia Cucolea_©Camelia Cucolea
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Santa Cielo – Visual Identity and Packaging Design by Practica_© Practica

4. Intricacy and Symmetry

As a contrast to minimalism, intricacy is also emerging as a feature adopted by many packaging designers. When managed tastefully, showcasing hugely detailed designs on packaging can be very successful. Particularly when these designs are symmetrical, a sense of real visual order and cohesiveness can be achieved. Intricate packaging can really draw in customers, encouraging them to look at a product for longer to process every little element of its design. Whilst most big companies seem to currently be obeying principles of minimalism, it is probable that in 2022 more businesses will take a different, intricate approach to packaging design in order to stand out from the crowd. 

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Rabea Tea – Packaging Design by Gamal Assy_© Gamal Assy
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Craftonica – Packaging Design by Space of Ad_© Space of Ad

5. Fine Art and Abstraction

Plenty of designers have taken a distinctly artistic approach when it comes to crafting packaging, adding visuals that are akin to pieces of fine art. Abstract art, especially, is becoming a popular feature of packaging. When packaging design is seen as a form of fine art, restrictions around the craft seem to be immediately lifted, allowing for the production of some uniquely stunning, creative pieces of packaging. 

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Thamra Dates – Packaging Design by Sarah El-Naggar_© Sarah El-Naggar
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Kaoka – Branding by Solène Buchheit_© Solène Buchheit

6. The Illusion of Three Dimensions

Packaging designs that adhere to principles of illusion and trickery are always exciting. One way in which lots of businesses are starting to create illusive effects is through creating three-dimensional images on two-dimensional planes. By simply adding a shadow or more detailed lighting effects to the elements on their packaging, companies can add a new level of visual intrigue to their branding.

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NU. – Makeup Packaging by Meh. Design Studio_©Meh
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Dox Donuts – Packaging Design by Aya Magdy_©Aya Magdy

7. Product-Indicative Illustrations

Usually displayed on a small scale, illustrations of symbols related to the product inside can be highly effective in packaging design. From a practical point of view, icons and illustrations that hint at a product are undeniably helpful as they give potential customers an idea of what they’re buying. In terms of building up a visual identity, such illustrations are incredibly valuable: relevant imagery makes it easier for consumers to make links between the packaging and the product, making a brand more memorable.

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MACHICHUP! – Packaging Design by Guillermo Sanchidrian_©Guillermo Sanchidrian
Vegan Chocolate – Packaging Design by Gosia Kepka_©Gosia Kepka

So, whether you choose to go down the route of minimalism or intricacy, excitement or serenity, or clarity or abstraction, incorporating some trending design features into your packaging might just be the way to launch your business to a whole new level in 2022! 


Katie is an architecture student, writer, and lover of words. She envisions a future in which the positive impacts that buildings can have on humans and our planet are prioritised, and hopes to harness the power of language to amplify the stories being whispered through the world of design.