Just as we saw at the close of 2020, the collective challenges faced by society have had an interesting impact on various design trends, as customers' needs have evolved alongside the changing pandemic landscape.
So, after another emotional year, it’s important that these strategies continue to adapt to what consumers are seeking and will connect with (while staying true to brand identities, of course). With that in mind, here are some of the biggest trends that will be shaping color and packaging design choices in 2022.
Cultivating calm and peace. 2022 looks set to be the year of calm in color, with light and airy hues making their way to the foreground. Expect to see plenty of watercolor washes and muted pastel shades like eggshell and mint as designers tap into the psychological comfort that comes from light, simple design.
Brands and customers alike are also finding serenity in packaging design that pairs these comforting colors with minimalist typefaces and dainty illustrations, giving products a gentler feel. There’s also a noticeable absence of bold, busy or copy heavy labels as brands refrain from shouting their message too loud.
Image credit: Smpl
Retro continues to reign supreme. The ‘60s to the ‘80s were iconic for many reasons, and it’s hard to imagine them ever going out of style. Each year brings a fun new twist on these classic favorites and we’re seeing a new era of ’60s psychedelia taking hold in 2022. Rather than packaging that looks like it’s been lifted from your parents’ shelf, designers are using groovy typefaces and bright clashing colors set against contemporary products to bring this decade into the current century.
We’re also seeing a resurgence of the retro color schemes of the ‘70s and ‘80s in color palettes dominated by simple, muted shades, often from opposite sides of the color wheel. By drawing on the more simple times of the past, these nostalgic color schemes can help brands instill a sense of calm and familiarity with their customers.
*Image credit: Blck Yeti Beverage Grisly’s Cosmic Black RTD
Experimental colors and layering take center stage. After a long reign, minimalism is hitting the bench and bold, vibrant and quirky Memphis color palettes are back. This iconic look of the 80s has certainly been having a moment and this looks set to continue into 2022 bringing vibrant and quirky color palettes back into the mainstream. So expect to see lots of experimentation with all and any bold and contrasting color schemes. From pastels to neon hues and everything in between, these palettes definitely don’t take themselves too seriously --which is exactly why we’re going to be seeing them everywhere next year.
While forever popular in independent circles, expect to see the humble collage make its way into mainstream branding as cut ‘n’ paste color layering takes packaging design by storm in 2022. Featuring layered colors and geometry set against raw edged labels and softer materials, this trend also boasts great appeal to the increasingly eco-conscious market.
If there’s one thing we can gather from this handful of styles that will be leading design trends in 2022, it’s that both brands and customers are seeking some chilled-out, positive vibes after the chaos of the last two years.