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The Dieline just published its annual review of trends in package design – a very interesting review of design, but also a good barometer of the broader cultural trends that are influencing all of marketing.

Here are a few things that jump out for us.

A Longing for the Human Touch

“Despite the diversity of styles exhibited, the different messages and slogans, and the variety of products, they were all connected by a similar philosophy ….The theme uniting the diverse range of designs is idealism. But this is not simply optimism, not just a celebration—these designs possess a longing as if they are a vain attempt to preserve a portion of the world that is lost, and the designs themselves are merely an echo.”

A Push Away From Mass to Craft

“Interestingly, this trend appears repeatedly in food and beverage brands. Consumer desire drives this design trend—it is born out of the customer yearning to have a connection to their food. It is a fantasy that hands touched it, not just machines. We long for simpler times in our present day, hyper-processed food world, and we feel nostalgic for an age where a plethora of small producers knew and cared for their products.”

Less is More

“The designs of this group speak to an over-saturated, over-medicated, overwhelmed audience with large text, small words, simple sentences. They know you are on the edge and they do not want to be the thing that pushes you over, so they work to calm you. They stand out by standing back, they catch your attention by shrinking away and speaking more softly.”

Purpose Matters

“We’ve noticed an insatiable desire for the types of brands that have a deeper purpose. Consumers today think of the clothes they wear and the products they own as extensions of their values. Thus they want to know the beliefs and principles of the places they shop. Further, many consumers who don’t know what they value look to brands to inform them. To an extent, they are shopping for values and for a purpose. They want to know that their lives are meaningful—and they want other people to know it too. So it helps if the logo on their chest can say it for them.”

If you’d like to explore how these trends might be affecting your brand, contact us.  At DDW, we live by a simple recipe for your brand success, and we’ve refined it over 30+ years of practice and 900+ brand assignments to reflect today’s complex culture:  DEEP BRAND STORY + FRESH BRAND DESIGN = Restoring the Human Touch for 21st Century Success.  We’d love to help you get your brand back on a winning path.

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