5 packaging design trends for 2025

Today, new developments in packaging materials and technology are providing packaging designers with the right tools to make products stand out on crowded retail shelves. Designers are increasingly being asked to rethink the consumer experience with packaging and speed up the creative process to bring new packages to market sooner. How will this fast pace of design innovation impact the packaging industry in the next 10 years? IN talked to Natalie Chung, Creative Director of the London and New York-based strategic creative brand design agency Pearlfisher, to identify the top 5 trends for packaging design in 2025:

  • Increased personalization – Rather than just products, consumers will want to buy providers of services that improve their lives. This will present new and complex challenges for brand packaging and design.
  • Home production – Consumers will look for home production experiences, expecting brands to provide prescriptive but original viewpoints that fit around their lifestyles.
  • Shape-shifting – New ideas, concepts and innovations in materials and technologies are influencing the way consumers think about the physical form as we increasingly move toward emulating nature's patterns and strategies in packaging design (biomimicry).
  • Scaling innovation – Consumers are increasingly expecting brands to address a moral, social, political and ethical agenda. It will be interesting to see how brand owners communicate this through packaging.
  • Sharing stories – Brand owners will need to reconsider how they use storytelling to help us experience their brand by developing a fresh visual and written narrative across all touchpoints from location to packaging.

What do you see as the key drivers for these trends in the industry?

A new ethically and socially aware conscience is dictating our lifestyle and purchasing choices and is a driver for today’s consumers as we look for beautiful but sustainable products with an added, enriched or ethical value.

In parallel, increasing tech innovation–from social media to 3D printing–is something we need to be mindful of. We need to ensure seamless digital and physical experiences that optimize new, intuitive and desirable design.

Finally, craft and hand rendering are still very popular and the use of traditional printing processes is being used to disguise mass production. Big brands are beginning to think with a small brand mind-set–a behavioral shift that has become a key driver in the past few years largely due to consumer overload and skepticism.

Which countries or regions are leading in terms of packaging design trends?

Now that the world is much more integrated globally, it’s harder to pinpoint a particular territory and we no longer see the coveting of design difference between the East and the West as obviously. That said, if we look at the packaging designs that have particularly caught our eye in the past year and those that are scooping the design awards, the UK and US stand strong but we are seeing amazing design direction from both Greece and Russia and consistent innovation from Sweden and the Nordic countries. We are also seeing key creative hubs driving design direction for particular brand sectors such as South Korea with beauty products.

In your view, what will be the greatest opportunity for packaging in the next 10 years?

The introduction of biomimicry and the smart material revolution will mean that packaging will perform functions that have barely been imagined yet. New and high-performance materials, like graphene, that are super-strong, conductive and lightweight, will become the smart choice as we move into the future and will signal the dissolution of existing material choices. Nanotech will mean that we will find more innovative ways to protect products. An example is sensory packaging that will help reduce food loss and provide innovative ways for us to transport, store and reuse materials.


CONTRIBUTORS

Natalie Chung
Creative Director, Pearlfisher

Pearlfisher is a strategic creative brand design agency based in New York and London. In “5 Packaging Design Trends for 2025” Chung shares her insights on the components that will likely shape the future evolution of the packaging industry.