Packaging Trends for 2023

2023 packaging trends

The beginning of the new year is a time to look ahead and plan for upcoming packaging trends. Most planning involves looking at what design elements are increasing in popularity and having the desired impact on consumer purchases. 

Packaging trend reports offer key insights for companies to understand what consumers want and what type of designs brands are experimenting with. Keep reading to discover upcoming trends in the packaging industry.

Packaging Trends to Watch Out For

Whether it be the material your packaging is made from, the colors used, or the typeface displayed, trends are always changing. The following list provides some insight into how 2023 packaging designs are influencing the industry.

Smart Packaging

— QR Codes

QR codes on packaging utilize intelligent technology for consumer interaction and brand engagement.

Sustainability Trends 

— Material Alternatives  

From mushrooms to seaweed, sustainable packaging materials have rocked the industry world. Companies are moving away from plastic and styrofoam and towards organic, recyclable, or biodegradable materials such as mycelium (mushroom packaging).

— Refillable Packaging  

Reusing packaging rather than repeatedly buying products is a great way to promote sustainability. From pet food to cleaning products, refillable packaging limits the amount of packaging actually used.

Illustrated Designs 

— Cartoon Charm Illustrations

Cartoons usually help bring out a more approachable side to a brand. Breaking away from more serious design imagery, cartoons play on customers’ nostalgia and lighten the mood. If you want to generate buzz and create familiarity with your brand, cartoons will do just that.

“Rubber Hose” Character Design

These character designs boost feelings of happy-go-lucky nostalgia in consumers; think Walt Disney’s earliest animations.

— Illustrated Ingredients

Prominently displayed main ingredients in a fun and illustrative way give products a youthful energy.

— Mascot Variations that Tie Products Together

Playful variations of a particular brand mascot offer a quirky touch to the overall look without veering off brand recognizability. 

— Sticker Book Aesthetic

The look of playful and positive-vibe stickers on packaging designs enhance a sense of carefree and whimsical nostalgia of childhood sticker books; Lisa Frank anyone?

Maximalist Design

— Maximalist Inside, Minimalist Outside

Outward clean lines and minimalist tones create a delightful surprise when inside designs are maximized with bold fonts and dramatic colors.

— Wrap-Around Patterns

Seamless pattern designs incite curiosity and discovery as consumers hold and follow the wrap-around imagery across the package or product.

— Symmetrical Complex Designs

In contrast to the simplicity trend, designs using complex depth invite consumers into its visual storytelling.

Nostalgic & Retro Designs

— 60’s, 70’s and 90’s

Vintage packaging designs are on the rise, especially from the 60’s, 70s, or 90’s. Using familiar blasts from the past may enhance your brand image as consumers are drawn towards the nostalgic appearances of yesteryear. 

Typography Focused

— Handwritten/Scrawled Fonts

The casual, personal DIY look of handwritten scrawled typography gives off a more authentic and “just for you” vibe, think handwritten cards.  

— Bold Fonts

Strong, bold messaging using bigger, attention grabbing fonts is an effective way to prominently display brand messaging on the shelves.


— Tactile Textures

Texturized materials provide products with a high-end appearance. Specialized printing processes elevate the packaging to appear fancy and more prestigious than competitors’ packaging. 

— Earthy, Imperfect Textures

Rustic, earthy textures like that of DIY paper have a tactile appeal and showcase eco-friendly values.


— Natural, Earthy Colors

Color pallets of natural, earthy tones help communicate sustainability and classy simplicity. 

— Ecstatic Colors

Bright, bold colors grab attention and ecstatic colors do just that. Using these vibrant color hues keeps consumers feeling attracted to engage with the product.

— Color Blocking

Using two or three strong colors displays confidence and makes an exciting statement on packages.

— “Cut and Paste” Layered Colors

This montaged layered look demands attention while communicating a funky cool vibe to consumers.

Although keeping tabs on trend reports is great for planning ahead, make sure it fits your brand for the long haul. A common mistake is taking trends as guidelines your company needs to follow. Instead, know what you want to communicate about your brand and what your target customers will resonate with the most.

Pioneer Packaging Custom Designs Product Packaging

For over 35 years, Pioneer Packaging has been the go-to source for digital packaging solutions. Our creative designers work closely with you to ensure your brand is recognized for quality packaging design and materials. 

So whether you’re looking to follow some of these 2023 trends or to attract new consumers with digitally printed packaging, we can create a design fit for you. In addition, we strive to keep costs down, which helps our customers keep their brands moving along production lines.  

Contact Pioneer Packaging today and learn why we’re a leader in packaging innovation.

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