It’s hard not to notice the yearning for simplicity that has pervaded nearly every aspect of our lives. It’s been happening for a while now, from magazines like Real Simple to minimalist architecture and decorating trends. The new simplicity feels light, casual, functional and natural.
Consumer packaging is no exception. There is a growing emphasis on simplicity in design, from the positive attributes of negative space to uncomplicated typography and clear messaging. In the wrong hands, however, these can make a package feel generic and down-market. One way to find success in simplicity is to focus on the intersection of three major trends: authenticity, well-being and high design.
Here are three products that got it right. Stonewall Kitchen Down East Crackers stands out for being honest and healthy – gourmet without losing sight of the farm. Palmolive Pure Clear cuts through with post-consumer recycled plastic, phosphate-free, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable ingredients. Finally, the concept behind Haagen-Dazs Five seems obvious – just five essential, all-natural ingredients. Who says less fat can’t be decadent? The packaging for each of these brands clearly reinforces each product’s promise.
Exploring the Trends
As people seek to scale back and simplify, there is a real desire for honesty and authenticity. Each of these brands communicates this through stripped-down information communicated in an everyday voice that seems to tell it like it is.
Each of these varied brands appeals to the same health-conscious consumer, whether she is looking for a safer cleaning product, healthy snack or indulgent treat. The lightness, simplicity and clarity of message communicate healthy, without being too overt.
The best design stays true to the audience and the product. Appealing to a deeper sense of what motivates shoppers. High design does not get in the way of the communication by calling attention to itself – it enhances the story and clears the way for understanding.
What it means to you
Identify a single core trend that resonates with your audience on a deeper level and couple it with one or more other trends to build layers of meaning and connection with your customers; helping your product become more relevant to consumers while breaking category expectations.