What will packaging design look like in 2024?

As part of our series on design in 2024, SMAKK senior creative Ollie Ennis offers their view on what packaging design might look like next year.

What do you think packaging design will look like in 2024?

In the next year, packaging design will continue to evolve and surpass the limitations imposed by traditional shelf-space categories. With the expansion of the DTC marketplace, consumers now expect packaging that is not only inventive and well-designed but also free from outdated and discriminatory stereotypes.

Designers will have the opportunity to create packaging that celebrates diversity and individuality. This gives a fighting chance to the process of moving away from the racist, classist, and gendered categories that have historically restrained our work. Instead, packaging design will embrace a more inclusive and representative approach, showcasing a wide range of identities, cultures, and perspectives.

Inventive and well-designed packaging will be tailored to resonate with diverse consumer segments, catering to their unique preferences and needs. It will go beyond simply catching the eye and telling a story; it will strive to connect with individuals on a deeper level, fostering a sense of belonging, empowerment, and validation.

With the DTC marketplace driving innovation, packaging design will push boundaries and defy conventional norms. It will incorporate sustainable materials and practices, aligning with the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly solutions. Additionally, technology will play a significant role, enabling interactive and immersive packaging experiences that engage and captivate consumers.

As designers, we have the responsibility to challenge the status quo and create packaging that reflects the values of a more inclusive society. By embracing diversity, dismantling stereotypes, and prioritizing individuality, we can shape the future of packaging design to be more meaningful, impactful, and culturally relevant.

In summary, the next year will see packaging design breaking free from the constraints of outdated shelf-space categories. With the influence of the expanding DTC marketplace, designers will have the opportunity to create inventive, well-designed packaging that celebrates diversity and rejects discriminatory norms. By embracing inclusivity, sustainability, and individuality, packaging design will continue to evolve and resonate with consumers on a deeper level.

What was your favourite packaging design project of 2023, and why?

I came across the remarkable packaging program for TWYG, recently designed by Seachange Studio. I was surprised and excited to find such an energetic, category-defying contribution to the luxury skincare space. This project executes the spirit of inspired decision-making, utilizing daring choices in structural form to convey the unique qualities of the product. It defies the limitations of traditional shelf-space, and takes risks that a pre-DTC market would scarcely have accommodated. The result is a bold, attractive line-up that elevates the entire product experience, and hopefully informs competition in a positive direction.

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