Be Inspired with New Packaging Trends for 2019

We’re seeing the word ‘new’ in all the right places: in front of resolutions, goals, hobbies, and lifestyle changes. The packaging industry is no different and ‘new’ is the word of the year. Designers seek to show fresh, fully functional, influential and trendy packaging for companies of all types. Here are some new and noteworthy packaging trends we expect to see more of in 2019.


1. Packaging Transparency

Have you ever picked a product up from the shelf and had absolutely no idea what was inside? Does it look anything like the outside picture? How much of the product is in there? Is the quality any good? The solution is in the question: let consumers see what they’re buying. People like to see what they’re getting for their buck and transparency is a perfect way to let the outsiders look in.

2. Bright Colors

In simple terms: colors sell. It can be shoes, clothing, tech— really whatever it is that you’re selling, a bright palette can make all the difference between being sold and being left on the shelf to collect dust. A bright gradient presents a new, revitalizing look that presents an interesting and fresh design buyers love. Designers will be using this technique in 2019 to make their products and packaging stand out in all the right ways.

3. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Go green or go home! You’d be surprised how many outlets are available when comes to using recyclable materials for your business. Whether you’re substituting food packaging, parcels, boxes, or gift wrapping bags for something more ecofriendly, every little change helps. Ecofriendly means less use of landfills and a win-win for the environment. Paper and cardboard—both are re-usable, biodegradable, easy to come by, and financially beneficial. We’ll be seeing more use of paper and cardboard this 2019 season in a way that’s attractive in design and great for the environment. Corn starch and bubble wrap—corn starch packaging is ideal for food and is commonly used for packaging peanuts to protect or support shipped items. Bubble wrap is completely degradable and another great source for packaging material. Biodegradable plastic—a better alternative to most traditional plastics as biodegradable plastic decomposes when exposed to daylight, this special material will be seen in plastic bags, parcels, and disposable tableware.

4. Vintage

I know, I know. We’re talking about ‘new’ 2019 trends, not old ones. But old is the new ‘New’ these days. We’re in a time where 80s music is cool and afros are making a comeback. Retro reminds us of past times and creates a nostalgia that brings people of diverse ages and backgrounds back to the ‘good ole days’. Vintage style packaging additionally reinstates confidence in the quality, tradition and passion of the product as if it’s something with which most consumers are already familiar. We expect to see more vintage style packaging in 2019 as designers feel confident in a style that has become loved for years.

5. Atypical packaging

Place a typical product next to an atypical product and guess which one people will choose over the other? Atypical! This new emerging trend has a way of surprising the customer by presenting a fun and interactive approach to packaging. Take the goodie kit pictured below. Once you’re done with the container, kids can cut out the mask and wear it around their head! We’ll be seeing this style more and more in 2019 as the ‘ out-of-the-box experience’ has always been popular with the crowds!

6. Flat illustration

This trend has deep roots, starting as early as the 1920s when flat illustration first set the foundation for graphic design. Recently, we’ve seen flat illustration on movie posters, the cover of classic novels and now on the packages of food items. The look of flat illustration is simple and minimalist which in turn narrows the focus on the text. We’re expecting to see more of this unique design in 2019 online and in-store.

7. Simplicity

Who says something has to look gaudy to sell? Cut out the bling, the obnoxious colors, the layers of shapes and materials and see how well simplicity holds its own—and then some. This new trend minimalizes the overplayed, overseen packaging styles and presents an old style in a new way. Use one color, one pattern, one material— slap your logo on it— and watch how well the product sells itself.

8. 3D

We’ve talked about flat illustration, but what about 3D style? What’s not to love about a design that literally stands out? Designing material that can pop out, move left/right, up/down, or hold things like a coffee cup, makes a product exciting and appreciated from the viewpoint of kids and adults alike. The 3D style is artistic, fun, and uniquely crafted for different purposes. If you have the option to create a 3D package, you can’t go wrong!

9. Photography

There is no limit to what can be done with photography these days and 2019 will be no exception. Putting actual pictures on a package create long lasting impressions and bring something basic, like a rice food bowl, to life. The extensive creativity and imagination behind photography on product packaging will be a handy trick for designers to use for years to come.

10. Flexible packaging

Consumers want something that is going to last. Something that will not break, bend, or crackwhen handled because heaven knows how many times we’ve all had that ‘oopsie’ moment. This is where flexible packaging comes in. Designers are presented with opportunities to explore and experiment with this style in several ways. For example; they can make modifications to ensure the freshness of a product or they can transform bulk portions to single serve. Flexible packaging saves room and money for both sides, so we can see why this 2019 packaging trend will be a popular one. Whether you’re a buyer, a seller or a passionate shopper, keep your eyes open for these and countless other emerging trends that will hit the market this 2019 season.

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From all of us at Impak, hope your New Year is off to a great start and wish you the best of luck in embracing all the ‘new’ out there. Bring it on, 2019!

Caleb Lummer