Packaging, of course is created to protect the products inside, it’s there to inform the customer of the product and act as a means of promotion of the brand, but design enthusiasts know that packaging has a secondary dimension: to create a thing of beauty that upholds a brand’s identity and engages the audience their target audience.
Today, we live in a world where we are saturated with information, images and messages. Everything we could ever want to know is right at our fingertips, but with this comes an overwhelming sense of overload. It’s harder than ever to break through the noise and find calm and this has led design to adopt new minimalism. Designers are saying enough is enough and channelling the need for simplicity through distilled packaging design.
Minimalist design does not have to be blunt and cold, but instead can be used to articulate the important aspects of the packaging design, communicating the brand’s message clearly and evoking emotion in the customer. When executed correctly, this emotional connection encourages audiences to buy.
The Unboxing Experience
Today, we live such busy lives it can often seem there is no chance for us to slow down and enjoy the world around us and often we’re purchasing goods in a hurry. Great packaging design connects an emotional part of our psyche and brings increased pleasure from the purchasing experience.
We demand to be entertained today; the packaging we choose does not only have to protect the product inside but must act a way to bring pleasure to the user. Brands are looking to engage with their audience across multiple platforms in order to enjoy success. This means guiding users to share their packaging experiences on social media and tap into the emotional needs of 21st century buyers. In a recent study, Dotcom found that nearly 4 in 10 consumers would share an image of a delivery via social media if it came in a unique package.
Mandarin Natural Chocolate
In order to communicate with customers the simplicity of Mandarin’s chocolate, a simple design was needed. The brand only product confectionary made with organic cacao and cane sugar. The lettering against the plain background echoes the ethos of the brand by eliminating all that is unnecessary and focusing purely on quality.
Simple design is not the lack of imagination; moreover it is the result of extremely considered choices. Designer Takashi explains this:
“We felt that we wanted a typeface with pointed serif to express the sharpness we feel when we hold high-quality chocolate in our mouths,”
Businesses Adopting Minimalism
The minimalist movement is not slowing down, and for businesses that are looking to adopt these methods and do less with there are some basic steps to follow:
Understand why your customers are choosing your products and make this the focal point for the design, whether this is value for money or a health benefit.
In minimal design, you can use colour to speak to your customers instead of words or graphics. This is a great way to signify flavours. Choose colours your customers can instantly recognise as representing a flavour to avoid any confusion.
Use Packaging Tape Effectively
If your e-commerce company is shipping items, the packaging can still enjoy minimal design. Ensure the unboxing experience is upheld using printed packing tape that represents your brand’s identity. The price is very similar to clear tape and you will enhance appeal whilst communicating your chosen message to your customer.
Stand out from the crowd
Minimalism is brave; it steps away from the flashiness of the early noughties and stands out for that reason. Consumers have come to expect certain things from their packaging and are refreshed when the rules are broken. Why not make a bold claim as Boxed Water did to draw customers to your product?
The key to successful packaging in 2016 is simplicity of the brand’s message. Trident has succeeded in this by communicating the purpose of their Xtra Care chewing gum product. Its purpose of the product is to protect teeth and gums from acid between meals. The design uses bright graphics as a mouth, the chewing gum visible through a window acting as teeth. This clever strategy removes the need for text and uses humour to connect with prospective customers.
New Minimalism in 2016
Once, minimalism was the art of taking away but new minimalism is the art of using just enough. By focusing on the essentials brands are able to cut through the 21st century noise and communicate with a new sense of clarity. Customers are looking for a different experience from their packaging today. The packaging must inspire, entertain and bring joy all whilst conforming to the fundamentals of packaging protection and availability of product information. Brands, both big and small can use new minimalism to add, rather than detract from the packaging experience.