Its always hard to sum up the mood and feeling of a new year, especially when it comes to design.

Pantone has set the tone (quite literally) with the Pantone Colour of The Year, Ultraviolet. And we’ve offered a snapshot of the key design trends set to feature in packaging this year. But truth be told, trends come and go.

If you want to cement your brand packaging as a key sales driver, then stay true to the 3 A’s of packaging and we doubt you’ll go wrong this year.


Today’s savvy consumers want to know that the brands they buy into are acting in a socially responsible way. Complete transparency and authentic messaging will become a must for consumers, making high quality, natural and organic brands more accessible and affordable to the mass market as opposed to premium positioned or high-end brands.

It’s now more important than ever to offer full disclosure informing consumers about exactly what is in the product clearly on the packaging. We expect this to create a less is more approach to design in line with the desire for simplified recipes and ingredients.

If your packaging design can communicate an authentic, genuine product and celebrate your company’s social responsibility, be it sustainability initiatives, ethical sourcing or positive brand story, it will be celebrated by today’s consumer. It also presents the opportunity for great brand advocates, with loyal, tribal consumer bases that sing praises and drive brand equity better than any advertising budget could.


The definition of ‘artisan’ is a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand. This concept fits perfectly with shifting consumer shopping habits and mirrors the growth of artisan farmers markets, localised shopping and specialist niche stores.

Artisanal packaging has been utilised by upmarket brands for many years, with beautifully crafted packaging a statement of the luxury contents within. However fine tuning artisanal design cues can also see the smaller brand and market disrupters reap the rewards. Typical artisanal trends in packaging include kraft paper, natural muted colours, whimsical illustrations all encompassed in the ‘back to nature’ trend highlighted in our packaging design report.

Packaging’s ability to evoke powerful emotions is still an underutilised resource for so many brands. Using artisan design prompts in packaging can immediately communicate real skill and craft, and ultimately quality.


Have you ever seen a new product and immediately thought you’d seen it before? There’s a chance the designer intentionally called on established design cues to purposely lead you to that very conclusion.

Design by association can involve using subtle elements such as specific colours synonymous with a type of product, adopting similar fonts, imagery and general design principles. During a typical shopping trip, you can see hundreds of examples across sectors and there’s a very simple reason for this. Value through association. There is no harm is building on the guiding principles created by predecessors. In fact, there can be untold value in utilising the key design cues for your sector, especially when entering new sectors and markets.

From tapping into consumer subconscious to value-added functionality, packaging can be a powerful marketing tool for your brand in 2018. To stand out on the shelf and appeal to shifting consumer demand, its crucial for brands today to consider the 3 A’s of packaging.

For more information on how Digital Creative Packaging can help with your packaging design, contact our team today. You’ll be happy you did.

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