PSI | Minimalist Package Design Trends

How to Pull Off Minimalist Packaging

Less is more. This adage has never been truer than it is today—especially when it comes to packaging.

Earlier this year, we wrote about the popularity of minimalist packaging designs. Across nearly all industries, consumers are demanding less—less clutter, less distractions, less waste—from both products and their packaging.



According to The Dieline’s 2017 trend report, this trend is “born out of our always-on, notification driven lives which are spent in ever-smaller living spaces” and demonstrates “a serious need to curate and cut through the noise.”

But the flavor of minimalism that’s trending today isn’t necessarily the “same old minimalism approaching zero” of days past, says The Dieline. Today’s minimalism is an idealized version. Consumers not only want less; they want less, but better. “It is a premium, glamorized approach to minimalism,” The Dieline reports.

To get through to overwhelmed audiences, today’s minimalist designs are clean and unobtrusive, yet bold. “They speak in large text, small words, simple sentences,” writes Elizabeth Freeman in a blog post for The Dieline. “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.”

Minimalism is, by definition, characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity—but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to pull off when it comes to designing visually appealing product packaging. Here are some tips:

• Pare down. Only include essential elements—product name, logo, nutrition label, etc. —in your design. Eliminate everything else.

• Focus on fonts. Use clean, easy-to-read fonts—and put them front and center in your design. Use large text, as The Dieline suggests. Don’t go overboard with mixing typography styles, though; aim to limit your design to 1-3 different fonts.

• Add pops of color. Pick a subdued hue that represents your brand’s aesthetic, and weave it into your design. Or go with a monochromatic or high-contrast color palette, like black and white.

• Use white space strategically. Give your packaging design a bit of breathing room—a few places for the eyes to rest.

• Don’t shy away from shapes and patterns. Use basic shapes like circles, triangles, and squares, or nature-inspired shapes like leaves, as well as simple patterns to make your minimalist design stand out without shouting.

• Let the product speak for itself. When you have a beautiful product, show it off! Consider using a simple design structure with a window die-cut to give consumers a sneak peek of the product inside.

Do you need help designing minimalist packaging? Contact PSI today.