Design in 2018 – what will packaging design look like?

As part of our series on the future of design in 2018, Pearlfisher founding creative partner and chief creative officer Karen Welman looks at what will happen in packaging over the next 12 months.

What do you think 2018 will hold for packaging design?

I think the importance and awareness of sustainability in packaging design will become paramount in 2018. Brands and designers will need to recognise the impact their actions have on the world in order to stay relevant with the increasingly environmentally-conscious consumer. Packaging designers will need to radically rethink the way they work, becoming experts in environmentally-friendly materials and production practices to ensure they can advise the brands and businesses they work with on the most sustainable solutions for their needs. Crucially, designers have an obligation to evolve traditional “sustainable design” from worthy and expected to desirable and exciting in order to change perceptions, and most importantly, brand behaviour and consumer purchasing.

What was your favourite packaging project in 2017?

My favourite packaging design from 2017 had no packaging at all. The laser-printed barcodes etched onto Marks & Spencer’s avocados were a genius way of removing wasteful, non-recyclable packaging material. As consumers become ever more conscious of their environmental footprint, they now expect brands to help them lead a more sustainable life. By doing away with the unnecessary label and utilising the existing natural packaging of the product, Marks & Spencer has introduced an innovative and effective design solution to display relevant information for shoppers. I’m really excited to see if other supermarkets and retailers embrace the same approach this year.

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