New year; new you? If you’re considering a new look for your product’s packaging to kick off 2016, take a minute to look back at how 2015 unfolded. The labelling trends from this past year will have a direct impact on how you can improve your look for the year ahead.

Digital Re-evolution

Digital equipment continues to present an ideal option, especially if you have multiple products and frequent design changes. If you’re a small business, you might also be printing in small batches. Ordering fewer products more often allows for flexibility in design changes and refreshes, so that you can keep up with sales trends. Further, as the technology continues to evolve, so does this list of available substrates to print on.


Companies of all shapes and sizes continue to use variable content in their marketing. This refers to a digital printing process that, in a single print run, inserts combinations of names, images, sports teams or other information to make a deeper consumer connection. The main benefit is creating something that has more meaning to a buyer by engaging them in a new, fresh way. In 2015, this trend became increasingly popular among millennials, who often strive for individuality and uniqueness.


With the rising popularity of condo living (and condo developments) comes a surge in urban dwellers. These consumers are often younger, and living in smaller spaces with less storage. They walk or take transit to the store, meaning they shop for convenience: more frequent trips to purchase fewer products in smaller sizes. Features such as grab-and-go, resealable packaging, easy opening, portability and lighter weight continue to cater to this busy generation.


Packaging that allows for greater visibility of the product itself is also on the rise. This premium, no-label look showcases the actual contents of the packaging, and taps into the desire for transparency and trust between producer and consumer.


The way a package feels enables a whole new sensory experience. With the digital re-evolution, the possibilities are endless when it comes to cost-effective options for substrates, coatings, varnishes, embossing and more. Embellishments are also being added with metallic materials and effects, as well as holographics. Investing in these special effects can instantly get you that first glance on the shelf versus your top competitors, and any trend that boosts competitive rates is bound to continue.


Consider packaging ideas that are art pieces versus commercial products. This trend is especially popular among smaller, craft producers looking for that homemade or handmade look on the shelf. This look also resonates well with millennials, who are drawn towards fresh, organic products, with packaging to match.

It can be challenging to keep up with the pace of printing. While some fads fall fast, the rise in popularity of 2015’s trends is a good indication that they’re here to stay (for now, at least). As you design or redesign your products’ packaging and labels for 2016, keep the above trends in mind to ensure your look is present, and catering to current consumer demands.

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