9 best packaging design trends for 2024 | VistaPrint CA

9 best packaging design trends for 2024

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

As we step into 2024, fresh packaging design trends are emerging, offering new ways for businesses of all sizes to showcase their products. It’s a time of exciting transformation, where visual appeal meets functionality in the packaging aisles and online spaces.

This year’s packaging design trends range from the understated charm of minimalist designs to the bold statement of vivid colors, each with the potential to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. They’re a reflection of shifting consumer tastes and a chance for brands to tell their story in new, visually compelling ways.

For small business owners, these trends are more than just a chance to refresh your look—they’re an opportunity to connect with customers, differentiate your products, and stand out in a crowded market. Whether you’re planning to revamp your existing packaging or launching something brand new, the trends of 2024 are ripe with inspiration.

Let’s dive into these trends and see how they can inspire your next packaging venture, helping you to make a lasting impression. 

9 best packaging design trends for 2024

  1. Interactive packaging
  2. Augmented packaging
  3. Hyper contrast
  4. Saturated pastels
  5. Brutalist type
  6. Discreet but deluxe
  7. Flat graphics
  8. 50s comeback
  9. Translucent play

Take a look at last year’s packaging design trends for 2023 here.

Or view our collection of trends predictions over the years, picked by the global community of creatives that work with small businesses every year through VistaPrint.

1. Interactive packaging

Brands are no longer solely concerned with pushing products; they’re concentrating their efforts on crafting experiences. This is evident in every aspect of product marketing, including the packaging. 

Gone are the days when a product’s casing merely served to protect or inform. Today, it actively engages, delights, and serves a dual purpose. 

Interactive packaging, also dubbed as ‘smart packaging,’ comes in a variety of shapes and forms. The big idea is to make your packaging multifunctional, allowing consumers to further interact with your brand. Hopping on this 2024 packaging design trend is easy for a business of virtually any nature — just pick a format that works best for your brand and your product.

An example of the interactive packaging design trend 2024

ÖLOBOX interactive packaging design by Olkas Voron; Source: Packaging of the World

Some interactive packaging formats include…

  • Physical interactivity. This is where design shines. Think of packages that transform or can be repurposed, either for prolonged brand interactions, or functional interaction with the product. For instance, a cereal box that can be folded into a board game, or a wine bottle label that’s a puzzle, revealing a message as pieces are rearranged.

Here’s an example of a virgin olive oil bottle that has a very simple and cheap anti-drip system integrated into its packaging.

Olio D’olive interactive packaging design concept by DESIGN STUDIO BOB; Source: Packaging of the World

  • Sensory engagement. Some interactive packages appeal to our senses in innovative ways. Scratch-and-sniff labels, materials that change texture with heat, or even audio elements that play upon opening.
  • Sustainability meets interaction. In a nod to environmental concerns, some brands have introduced packaging that can be planted to grow flowers or herbs, or materials that change color to indicate when contents are past their prime.

Here’s an example of a sustainable eco packaging box embedded with seeds. Instead of simply throwing the packaging away, consumers get to plant the paper to grow plants! 

An example of the interactive packaging design trend 2024

Custom Plantable Cosmetics Packaging by Botanical Paperworks; Source

  • Technological integration. This could mean QR codes or NFC (Near Field Communication) chips embedded into packaging. When scanned or touched by a smartphone, they can launch an augmented reality experience, provide detailed product information, or even offer a virtual tour of the manufacturing process.

In fact, the last one is so prominent, it’s a 2024 packaging design trend of its own. 

2. Augmented packaging

While interactive designs focus on blending form and function to delight at first touch, augmented packaging delves deeper, intertwining the tactile with the digital for a multisensory experience.

QR codes, once a simple tool for information retrieval, have been reinvented and stylishly integrated into packaging designs. 

But it’s more than aesthetics and communicating basic information; it’s about deepening the brand-consumer connection. As soon as that code is scanned, consumers are whisked away into an extended brand universe. It could be a heartfelt personalized message, an exclusive discount, or a unique coupon that pops up, creating moments of genuine surprise.

For instance, Enosophia, a Croatian wine brand, designed wine bottles with interactive labels that play music once scanned.

An example of augmented packaging

Augmented packaging design trend 2024: Enosophia wines with an interactive label that plays music; Source: World Brand Design

Alternatively, an energy drink brand Ace Squad gamified their packaging design by placing a QR code that unlocks a funky AR game.

Tip

As a small business owner, you don’t have to hire a developer to help you create a QR code. All you need for a fashion-forward label is a great idea and the VistaPrint QR code generator.

3. Hyper contrast

From the evolution of interactive design to the world of augmented experiences, it’s clear that packaging in 2024 isn’t playing it safe. Enter the next 2024 packaging design trend, ‘Hyper contrast’. 

This is where the drama of design unfolds. 

Picture Mondrian reborn in the year 3000: angular shapes juxtaposed with a palette that screams audacity. It’s not just about colors; it’s about clashing them with purpose.

An example of the hyper contrast packaging design trend 2024

An example of the Hyper contrast packaging design trend 2024; Source: 牤 坨坨, JIAXIN Hou, Hua Qianhua, and 西 瓜精 via Behance

An example of the hyper contrast packaging design trend 2024

Times China Hyper contrast packaging design; Source: Packaging of the World

An example of the hyper contrast packaging design trend 2024

Havaianas Hyper contrast packaging design; Source: AdForum

In a way, hyper-contrast is a shelf equivalent of Dopamine Dressing (the practice of finding joy in the things you choose to wear). It’s designed to uplift and draw attention. Because in today’s world, first impressions aren’t just lasting; they’re echoing.

4. Saturated pastels

From the audacious domain of Hyper contrast, we’re ushered into another equally striking, yet distinctly fresh arena: the Saturated pastels.

An example of the saturated pastels packaging design trend 2024

Loving Earth saturated pastels packaging design by Soul Studio; Source: Packaging of the World

While Hyper contrast played with stark juxtapositions to seize our attention, Saturated pastels masterfully tweak the conventions we’ve come to expect from pastel shades. Traditionally soft and subdued, pastels have been dialed up a notch, now embodying a vibrancy that’s both playful and potent.

An example of the saturated pastels packaging design trend 2024

FIZI Saturated pastels packaging design; Source: FIZI

These colors aren’t just a nod to the bright neon and acid hues popular in recent years. They capture a nuanced blend—softer, more youthful, but no less impactful. The very essence of this trend lies in its paradox: the colors are gentle, yet they shout.

An example of the saturated pastels packaging design trend 2024

Chamberlain Coffee saturated pastels packaging design; Source: Chamberlain Coffee

“This look and feel aligns with a trend that is influencing our branding, called “Dopamine Colors.” It represents a surge of vibrant colors that can be observed in fashion, beauty, home interiors, and more. Bright shades complement bold maximalist styles. Even motifs not typically associated with color exude renewed energy and life through unexpected, vivid tones.”

Megan Morahan, Global Creative Director – Product Creation & Experience, VistaPrint

5. Brutalist type

Just after the “Hyper contrast” and “Saturated pastels” 2024 packaging design trends have made their mark with vibrant collisions of colors, “Brutalist type” enters the scene as a stark contrast. In this trend, the words themselves become the focus.

An example of the brutalist type packaging design trend 2024

Nice Cream brutalist type packaging design by Han Gao via Packaging of the World

It’s reminiscent of monumental architecture where simplicity and grandeur meet. Imagine standing at a distance in a store, and among all the decorated packages, a singular, bold typeface calls out to you. That’s the essence of Brutalist type. It screams less is more.

An example of the brutalist type packaging design trend 2024

House of Amel brutalist type packaging design by STRATEDGY via Packaging of the World

By minimizing the frills and focusing solely on the typeface, brands are making a statement, challenging conventions and standing out. The limited color palette — often muted or subdued — ensures the product name or message isn’t lost amid busy graphics.

“Simple, block-like and structured. Brutalist type takes learnings from the architecture world to create a simple but striking packaging design and adds a sense of stark elegance.”

Justin Hamra, Art Director at VistaPrint
An example of the brutalist type packaging design trend 2024

Clutch Bodyshop brutalist type packaging design by Socio Design; Source: Design Rush

Tip

If you don’t feel confident working on designs from scratch on your own, you can always get a professional designer to help. VistaPrint’s community of trusted designers can create standout designs for every stage of your business journey, trendy packaging included! Just choose the design services you need and get going! 

6. Discreet but deluxe

Continuing from our exploration of the beauty of simplicity in brutalist type, the design world has been flirting with another understated trend: Discreet but deluxe.

An example of the discreet but deluxe packaging design trend 2024

Discreet but deluxe packaging design for Trilogy products by Think Packaging; Source: Packaging of the World

In an era where everything seems designed to shout for attention, this trend whispers—and it’s the allure of that whisper that draws you in. 

An example of the discreet but deluxe packaging design trend 2024

The Discreet but deluxe packaging design of the Radius’ Exclusive Membership Kit; Source: DieLine

In the age of oversharing, there’s a renewed appetite for the mystique, a certain attraction to what remains unseen. Social media has been awash with unboxing videos, and while these displays often involve grand gestures and elaborate presentations, the discreet but deluxe trend is almost a counter-movement. It’s for those who relish the anticipation, the drawn-out moment of discovery. It’s the art of storytelling through packaging—each layer peeled back reveals a chapter, urging the consumer to continue.

“In the world of packaging, there’s power in subtlety. Enter Discreet but deluxe, the art of concealing treasures within and crafting a memorable product experience between you and your customer.”

Justin Hamra, Art Director at VistaPrint
An example of the discreet but deluxe packaging design trend 2024

The New Social discreet but deluxe packaging design by EWMDesigns via 99designs by Vista

Brands are leaning towards heavier stocks and unique finishes, which almost serve as a promise—a guarantee of the luxury inside. When everything is overt, a splash of secrecy feels almost revolutionary. And the seamless unboxing experience? It’s a testament to the fact that real luxury is thoughtful, ensuring that everything, down to the very first moment of contact, feels special.

An example of the discreet but deluxe packaging design trend 2024

Discreet but deluxe packaging design for Brave Media by Think Packaging; Source: Design Rush

It seems, as we said before, “quiet luxury” is still in vogue. It might be discreet, but its impact? Undeniably deluxe.

7. Flat graphics

This trend is all about clarity and simplicity. Think clean lines and unadulterated colors.

An example of the flat graphics packaging design trend 2024

Little Owl flat graphics packaging design by Jacob Boyles via Dribbble

What began as a dominant force in the digital design space has gracefully transitioned into the world of packaging. We’re talking about the resurgence of Flat graphics. It’s the epitome of ‘simpler is better’—boasting clear illustrations paired with understated typography and color palettes.

An example of the flat graphics packaging design trend 2024

Buddyrich Coffee Flat graphics packaging design by Linshaobin Design Shenzhen via DanDad

And why is this trend a winner? Its minimalist charm doesn’t just look stellar digitally; it shines brightly in print, fitting seamlessly across various packaging forms from boxes and mailers to swing tags and bags. It’s the silent charisma in a market often clouded by noise and extravagance.

“I’ve always been drawn to flat graphics and influenced by Swiss minimalism. I love the concept of simplifying something complex and expressing it in its simplest form. The beautiful and clever, simple illustrations combined with expressive colors and seemingly straightforward yet expressive fonts. This style is regaining popularity in branding as well as packaging.”

Megan Morahan, Global Creative Director – Product Creation & Experience, VistaPrint
An example of the flat graphics packaging design trend 2024

Puff Pastry flat graphics packaging design by Step Design; Source: Dieline

Tip

If you want your packaging illustration to have a particularly polished look, it’s best to collaborate with professional designers. Just make sure you brief them well, outlining the essential details of the packaging design you are seeking. 

8. 50s comeback

Flat graphics have marked their territory, but they aren’t the sole blast from the past making waves in 2024. Dialing the clock back even further, the ’50s era with its quaint charm and unique design language is making a compelling return in the packaging world.

An example of the 50s comeback packaging design trend 2024

Candies’s ’50s comeback packaging design by Lucia Calfapietra

Dive into the ‘50s comeback’ trend, where illustrations sporting simple line drawings from that golden decade take center stage. These designs sweep away the sternness and wrap you in a cozy embrace of familiarity. There’s something inherently comforting about the retro vibe, and when seasoned with today’s aesthetics? 

An example of the 50s comeback packaging design trend 2024

Departed Spirits ’50s comeback packaging design by Marx Design; Source: BP&O

The result is packaging that’s a visual treat, echoing both trust from days gone by and the allure of modern flair. Retro, revisited and reimagined!

An example of the 50s comeback packaging design trend 2024

When in Rome ’50s comeback packaging design by Rhythm Studio; Source: Packaging of the World

9. Translucent play

Brands are setting aside traditional die-cut windows and embracing transparent and semi-opaque packaging. 

An example of the translucent play packaging design trend 2024

Niu Beer Translucent play packaging design by NiceLab Studio; Source: Packaging of the World

This isn’t just a move to showcase the product; it’s an effort to craft a narrative from the inside out.

An example of the translucent play packaging design trend 2024

Refillable toothpaste packaging design concept from mimo; Source: Dieline

“With a perfect blend of textures, colors, and the product’s own dance within its casing, this design approach ensures the exterior resonates harmoniously with its contents. It’s not merely about catching an eye—it’s about providing a 360-degree view that invites potential buyers into a full product experience, even before they make a purchase.”

Justin Hamra, Art Director at VistaPrint
An example of the translucent play packaging design trend 2024

fnf Translucent packaging design by inDare; Source: Can10

For those seeking a dynamic shift in shelf appeal, this is the trend reshaping the design conversation.

“Certain products are too aesthetically pleasing to keep hidden. Translucent play employs minimalist graphics and deliberate typography to provide a stylish frame, allowing the spotlight to shine on what’s inside. Because, in the end, it’s what’s inside that counts.”

Justin Hamra, Art Director at VistaPrint

Ready for the biggest 2024 packaging design trends?

As we wrap up our exploration of the 2024 packaging design trends, it’s clear that these creative directions offer more than just aesthetic appeal—they’re a gateway to building deeper connections with your customers. Each trend we’ve uncovered is an opportunity for brands, especially small businesses, to tell their unique stories, evoke emotions and stand out in a busy market.

So, as you think about your packaging strategy for the coming year, consider these trends as a source of inspiration and a tool for growth. By aligning your packaging with these fresh and vibrant designs, you can make every customer interaction count, leaving a lasting impression that goes beyond the shelf.

Ready to bring these trends to life with some fresh new packaging?