Take advantage of the biggest packaging design trends of 2022

Whether you’re looking to evolve your packaging to better meet the needs of your consumers or just want to give your brand and products a whole new look with the goal of leaving 2021 in its place (far behind us), here’s how you can take advantage of three of the biggest design styles that will shape packaging in the year to come.

1. Quirky text-centric design

Image credit: Packaging design by goopanic on 99designsIt can be easy to forget that character design is a complex art form in itself. While its primary role is communication, typography isn’t always meant to be read. From conveying emotions to showcasing a brand’s personality, smart typography serves multiple purposes, and in one of the biggest packaging trends for 2022, we’re seeing it used in more unconventional ways than never.

Forgoing photography and illustrations, the quirky, text-centric design instead balances white, negative space with playful fonts in even more playful colors. In some cases, readability even takes second place to aesthetics, as experiments with line thickness and text hierarchy focus on letters as an art form.

Image credit: 2DADSImage credit: 2DADSThis style of design builds on a global anti-design movement we’re seeing in graphic design in 2022, so it’s perfect for brands looking to break the mould. If you want to incorporate it yourself, start by looking at any artwork or images used on your packaging, then remove them! If you think they’re an integral part of communicating your product, think about how you could use type instead. What other words can you work with in your design? Don’t just let your brand name take center stage: review your product name, any additional copy, even your ingredient lists, and see where you can bypass traditional hierarchy rules to focus on another part of the text. From there, look at your brand colors and see if you can inject some contrasting hues to give your label a boost!

2.Y2K aesthetic reigns supreme

Image credit: Chubby SnacksImage credit: Chubby SnacksInterestingly, many of this year’s design trends are rooted in nostalgia. Not only that, but they also draw inspiration from some of the loudest, even polarizing, design styles of decades like the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. The Y2K aesthetic is one in particular that seeps into every facets of popular culture. Synonymous with the turn of the century, this ’90s take on cyberpunk fused the grunge style popular at the time with a world obsessed with technology and cyberculture, brimming with millennial-inspired optimism.

Although this style was ubiquitous in its day, its novelty soon became old and tired. So far he has stayed pretty firmly in the decade of his birth. However, such is the cyclical nature of trends and after another truly difficult year, consumers and brands continue to seek comfort in the design styles of the past. While the Y2K style is garish, a little tacky and experimental, there’s also something heartwarming and appealing about its appealing familiarity.

Image credit: BelliWelliImage credit: BelliWelliWhether your target market is a younger demographic or you’re just looking to inject some youthfulness and playfulness into your packaging, this could be the way to go. To incorporate some 2000s bling into your packaging, opt for metallic and frosty hues like icy blues and silvers, white and pale neons, sometimes accented with color gradients and mists. Take it a step further by experimenting with popular materials with this cyber-inspired style, such as holographic or glossy finishes and even transparent materials like plastics and PVC.

While this aesthetic has been gaining traction in the Gen Z market for some time now, 2022 will see it catapulted into the mainstream. This younger cohort that makes up a large portion of consumers and the year 2000 resurgence is a prime example of how their preferences can quickly become the driver of broader shifts in consumer tastes. However, while it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon, if you’re a more traditional brand or aren’t planning on making any major changes to your brand for a while, tackle this style. with a little caution. Its kitsch, millennial charm appeals to many, but it’s unclear how long it will stick around.

3. Reign of the Rubber Hose Characters

Image credit: Wally's Vegan, packaging design by Anastasia S. of 99 designsImage credit: Wally’s Vegan, packaging design by Anastasia S. of 99 designsThe restrictions, stress and lingering unease of the past two years have made us all dream of what a post-pandemic period might look like. This desire for frivolity, escapism and hedonism, coupled with prolific social change, brought talk of another era of the Roaring Twenties.

Known as the ” Années Folles ” in France, which means “Roaring Twenties”, it seems appropriate considering the revival of a certain type of cartoon: the rubber hose characters! If you’re unfamiliar with the term, you’re probably familiar with classic characters like Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, and Popeye, who were made famous by Walt Disney and Bill Nolan in 1920s animation.

Photo credit: Creature Coffee Co.Photo credit: Creature Coffee Co.Today, these charming and playful characters are coming back with a vengeance in packaging design. Full of whimsy, energy and humor, these vintage style mascots are sure to make your customers smile with their playful expressions.

Constructed from basic blocks and shapes, they can be simple in design, but their signature rubber temples create the illusion of wacky movement and animation in static 2D designs.



If one of your goals is to strengthen the emotional connections you make with your customers, making a mascot the face of your brand is a smart move. Full of humor and personality, a mascot can be the perfect way to convey your brand’s story and personality. Just because these characters look like cartoons doesn’t mean they’re reserved for kids’ brands. 2022’s contemporary take on these characters sees plenty of sports caps, sneakers, and tattoos giving them an edge and seeing them popping up everywhere from streetwear brands to pizzerias. So if you’re looking to create a friendly face your customers can connect and resonate with, why not consider one of these friendly companions to help your brand take on a life of its own.

After another dark year, it’s really no surprise that the company is looking to inject positivity and levity into the everyday in every way possible. By leveraging the most important and beautiful design trends in your packaging, your brand can play a small but vital role in bringing much-needed excitement directly to their doorsteps, ultimately building a strong relationship with them. that lasts long after the pandemic.

Shayne is Head of Marketing at 99designs, Vista’s global creative platform.