What growing trends can we anticipate to see in 2023 for those fortunate enough to design and manufacture packaging for luxury brands? To find out what’s in store, we enlist the help of Ed Silk of global creative firm JDO.
When it comes to packaging design, luxury companies are frequently the most difficult but also the most rewarding for designers. That’s because so much is at stake in a fast-growing business worth roughly 6 billion pounds in the UK alone, from research and development to design and display.
Not only must agencies consider the sustainability of materials and production costs, but they must also produce something that looks beautiful, feels opulent, and stands out in a crowded sector. As if that weren’t enough, designers must also take into account fashion trends, the present economic climate, and a variety of other external elements that might make or break a product on the store.
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As we continue to emerge post-pandemic, one surprising movement that is making headlines is maximalism in all its magnificent lunacy. A happy response to the recent lockdowns and darkness, this is a blast of color, pattern, and objects that don’t quite go together but somehow work. It is an eruption of energy that has made its way into the luxury category more than ever before.
“Embrace your inner magpie to find comfort within the clutter, creating a cocoon of aesthetic disorder,” Ed adds, adding that juxtaposing unique styles and eras will be huge news in 2023. “Things no longer have to match and be found in nicely ordered sets – products with a heart that have had previous lives have more individuality. It’s about combining topics with a sense of levity.”
However, not every luxury brand goes large and brash; some prefer a more minimalist approach. Essentialism is undoubtedly on the rise in packaging design, whether it’s a sensitive response to terrible economic times or an acknowledgment of our frazzled souls.
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be helpful or believe to be attractive,” William Morris reportedly stated. In this case, Ed believes that many luxury brands are adopting a “less is more” approach as the “ordinary every day is uplifted with meaning,” providing a “sense of delicious tactility, with considered timeless materials that are perfectly finished, where every element feels precious and thoughtfully made – these are investment items to treasure and care for.”
Given recent events, it’s no surprise that many of us are looking for a way out. It’s for this reason that Ed feels surrealism is making a major impact in luxury packaging with inventive, awe-inspiring designs that stir the mind.
“As Covid, the climate crisis, and myriad other divisive subjects dominate our newsfeeds, design appetites are shifting to something more fantasy,” Ed says. “A joyful out-of-this-world escapist that offers a piece of astonishment and unexpected enjoyment.”
To aid in that escapism, luxury businesses are incorporating sensory elements into touchpoints that further immerse every sense, whether smell, touch, or taste. “It’s all taken into account equally, and the design blurs and combines them all in an eclectic and artistic way,” Ed explains.
We’re yearning for homey comforts and a return to nature once more, possibly in pursuit of simpler and calmer times. This yearning for serenity is driving our next major trend in luxury packaging, naturalism. “To anchor ourselves creatively, we are seeking the grounded aspect of nature, embracing its earthy honesty that is full of warmth, fullness, and richness,” Ed explains.
Ed describes a “holistic, balanced approach to design, with an authenticity of material that exhibits care and attention with deliberate meaning” in anything from luxury beauty items and perfumes to pricey candles and high-end alcoholic beverages.
Francesca Gotti’s perfume, for example, is encased in a recycled fiberglass material called Glebanite. Or how about the Nike Space Hippie, developed with a circular thinking and knitted from “space waste yarn,” a 100% recycled material?
With an impending economic crisis, shoppers are definitely scrutinizing their pennies. Ed feels that this sensation of power over our purchasing decisions is fueling the next luxury packaging trend. Informatism is about the design disclosing all of the lab details and presenting all of the data, numbers, and graphs. These designs, which are frequently text-heavy and detailed, outline the experiments and clearly out the hypothesis.
“The packaging takes us on a creative trip that makes us appreciate the product we have in front of us now,” Ed explains. “It’s creativity combined with a desire to spread the essence of the invention. Although conservative, these designs are never boring; they keep our attention on the realized goal.”
Let’s face it: if we’re going to spend our hard-earned money on luxury items right now, that added layer of legitimacy, transparency, and reassurance will help convince us that we’ve made a sensible investment.
JDO’s latest makeover of Jing Healthcare No.1, China’s premier premium healthcare spirit, is an illustration of this trend. JDO produced a bespoke bottle and immersive packaging inspired by traditional Chinese medicine masters’ medicine cabinets in order to appeal to health-conscious consumers. This bold statement highlights not just the product’s great health advantages, but also the precise manner in which its valuable ingredients are selected and mixed.