Sometimes less is more. If bold, bright colors and flashy fonts haven’t done the job of getting your food product off the shelves, it’s time to readjust your design strategy. Instead of pulling out all the stops, consider going with an instantly understandable minimalist design.
Keep reading to learn more about this trend and how cutting excessive graphic elements can give your food or beverage product the best chance to market itself.
Minimalist design is a recent marketing trend that encourages swapping out excessive and striking design elements for a simpler, practical look that focuses on the product itself. Commonly used along with fewer packaging materials, this design trend makes the most out of using a muted color scheme, simple, uniform fonts, and plenty of white space.
It’s no secret how graphic design’s evolution has paved the way for incredible and creative packaging. Thanks to so many marketing and branding experts who’ve continued pushing the envelope, countless food products have benefitted from innovation that’s created a lasting brand identity. However, this approach hasn’t worked for everyone.
Despite the success many food and beverage brands have found with maximalism, these design trends have created a culture of excessive advertising. Customers can quickly feel overwhelmed when the shelves are oversaturated with hundreds of fonts, vibrant colors, and bold slogans. In this case, the product that may stand out the most is the bottle of jam with simple black lettering and a white background.
We’ve already mentioned a few, but there are multiple ways to tap into the product package design look. Brands can hold to a simple set of best practices like the following:
- Pick one focal element, and stick to it – The last thing your package needs is too many competing design elements, like a large image and a colorful background. Pick one aspect as inspiration and design your package around using it to catch the customer’s attention.
- Use as much restraint as possible – Limit yourself to just a few elements you can choose from—fewer fonts, colors, shapes, whatever works. Keep things simple and remember the lesser, the better.
- Go for a balanced approach – The perfect use of symmetry and negative space is key to a completed look. This makes your design more engaging, neat, and eye-catching.
- Be concise and make bold statements – Whimsical and lengthy slogans and claims may be standard for the average package, but you don’t have the time or space to write a novel. With a minimalist design, direct and bold statements are the best path. Or let other elements like pictures say it all.
- Don’t overthink your design – Unlike most creative scenarios, you don’t have to think outside the box. Truthfully, the more abstract your ideas are, the more you probably should consider dialing them back. Pinpointing what you want to say and executing that is one of the best strategies for this approach.
Overthinking a design can cause problems in many other ways. Read our blog on common food packaging design mistakes that may jeopardize your chances for growth and success.
As a newer trend, many people can only see the environmental impact of minimalism and fail to recognize its branding potential. This attitude has resulted in many myths about this tactic’s value. Food and beverage brands should have every opportunity to capitalize off of their products, so we’ve created a list of the most common falsehoods:
Contrary to popular belief, a box designed with minimalism in mind can be just as creative as any other. And it’s certainly not anti-design, either. Minimalist product packaging often involves fewer resources to work with, which actually requires designers to work harder toward using elements like font, color, and hierarchy more efficiently.
As we mentioned, in an aisle full of products doing everything they can to get the consumer’s attention, many people opt for the more straightforward choice. These designs immediately let a consumer know what the product is, and often, their “unconventional” design exudes an air of high quality and elegance. For example, take the design for Evolvia By Evolve organic extra virgin olive oil, which looks as refined as ever.
While white space is a common technique in minimalist design, it doesn’t specifically mean empty space with a white background. Many food and beverage product designs still use hierarchy and balance well—but with color. And even with an often neutral color palette, minimalist designers still understand the science of color theory well enough to pick fun and inviting combinations.
Consider Canadian brand The Juice Truck’s organic orange juice product packaging, which opts for a transparent container and two complimentary font colors that highlight the juice’s flavor.
So, is the minimalist design route a wise investment? Your brand is important, and package design is something you shouldn’t take lightly. And before jumping into anything, you should ask yourself what your product needs most. Consider the following questions:
- Am I selling a popular food or beverage that’s trying to stand out in an oversaturated market?
- Have I gotten complaints about mixed messaging or a hard-to-read or unappealing design?
- Do I want to communicate that my product is of higher quality than the average brand?
- Am I concerned about my carbon footprint or being eco-friendly?
- Is my current package design aligned with the product?
- Do I have limited resources to splurge on the most intricate and striking designs?
If you’ve answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, a minimalist package design may be perfect for you.
Is it time for a change in your current branding strategy? Whether you’re thinking of a minimalist or full-on maximalist direction, our team can redesign your food or beverage product packaging to be completely aligned with your vision. We’re a family-owned design studio with decades of experience in the industry, and we’ve helped countless brands with underperforming products find ways to increase their appeal.