Packaging trends: the colours and textures of 2023

At Linney, we love seeing innovations in packaging and design. And already, we’re spotting some emerging trends that we think will define 2023

At London Packaging Week 2022, CMF designers (that’s colour, material and finish) Colour of Saying presented their forecast for the coming year. We’ve added a few predictions of our own, too.

So let’s take a look at just a few of the key drivers and trends in packaging design for the coming year.

Megadrivers: turmoil and innovation

Naturally, packaging and design are influenced by the wider world – and there’s certainly a lot going on.

The pandemic, climate change, urbanisation, digital currencies – all these “megadrivers”, and many more, are shaping our aesthetics.

Above all, the metaverse, and blossoming web communities are blurring the distinctions between the online and material worlds. It’s a time of dizzying innovation in digital.

Packaging: the smart frontier

Packaging is evolving to become a smart extension of the product itself - providing valuable consumer insights to businesses,” says Accenture.

AI can power packaging design, while smart NFC labels communicate with customer devices to inform and engage, such as turning smartphones into debit cards.

In the luxury goods sector, we’re seeing Dior launch an augmented reality app to enhance the shopping experience. Gucci has opened an online concept store, Vault, envisaged as “a laboratory; a mine of ideas, oddities, and unlikely encounters”.

So how will all this affect the look and feel of packaging in 2023?

1. Fantasy and iridescence

In 2023, 3D printing will continue to transform the sector, speeding up production and allowing for greater customisation.

Aesthetically speaking, iridescent and reflective materials and coatings will be in, giving a futuristic glow to goods. Fantasy themes will resonate too, particularly with young adult audiences.

And the Y2K look is proving to be more than just a moment. Its vibrant metallic colours and geometric shapes are both retro and futuristic at the same time.

2. Colours: moody and bright

Almost 85% of people say colour is their primary reason for purchasing a particular product. So, what colours will be attracting customers in 2023?

Moody shades are in, but usually teamed with brights. Purples in particular will be given a pop by blue or orange accents, while for products targeted at Generation Zers, neon green is the way to go.

Colours may be blended or graded to give a cool, textured look and add interest to clean, minimalist designs (they’re also in).

And in the luxury goods sector, there is a slow shift away from gold as the optimum choice. After all, if you can have anything, why limit yourself to one colour?

3. Tactile textures and materials

Gold is losing its lustre a little, but what’s shining brightly in luxury goods packaging?

Materials and coatings which create a fluid look, or interplay with light, give a sumptuous impression. These include glass, or glass-look materials.

Glass is of course recyclable, demonstrating that sustainability remains as important as ever. It can easily be washed and refused too. Some 64% of UK consumers say they are more likely to buy from a retailer which uses sustainable packaging.

In 2022, we saw plant-based inks, lab-grown bio glitter, and packaging made from waste gain in popularity. Next year, expect to see organic design trends grow: e.g. using wonderfully tactile recycled textured materials to create a handcrafted look for luxury artisanal goods.

It seems to be about as far from AI-powered design and NFC labels as you could get. But that’s the beauty of packaging – it tells a story, appeals to different facets of human nature, and builds a connection between brands and customers

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At Linney, we love to explore how packaging can work for you. We offer marketing, design and print services that harness the latest technology to boost your brand. Get in touch today to discuss how we could work together.