First off – I’m not a designer. Didn’t go to art school, didn’t study architecture, heck – I don’t even draw that well. I’m what you’d call an observer, the girl who gasps at big monumental buildings as she walks down the street. Takes gazillion of pictures, layers as many filters as she can, then starts trippin’ she’s the new Imogen Cunningham. 🤣
With all of this being said, and as a beauty blogger in my spare time, I’m the person on the other side of the counter – the buyer. I was the type that gets stuck to the computer screen or window still, staring at a fancy perfume bottle or a new makeup collection. 😳 Yep, nothing weird there, just a 5’2” harmless creature staring at the glass – contemplating. Repeating in her head why she doesn’t actually need another shimmery neutral eye shadow palette. All that new, shiny stuff… What can I say? – I suffer from the magpie syndrome. 😁
Now, humans are visual beings, so this comes natural to us. We start learning about different textures and shapes as toddlers by exploring our surroundings. With years, life experience and self-growth, we develop our personal taste and sense for aesthetics.
So, what am I again? – I’m a consumer. I’m the fish you want hooked on your marketing fishing pole. Now, if you ask yourself, who’s the main culprit most of the time, when we buy something? – The answer would be pretty simple. Nice, sleek, visually appealing – packaging design.
This brings me to the main topic of this post – Design in the beauty industry. I’m talking about all those potions and lotions, we keep in our bathroom cupboards and on our beauty vanity. Packaging was often purposely designed to symbolize and reflect a certain era. Political and social circumstances were often depicted through a powder compact or a lipstick bullet. A synonym for strength, equality, independence, peace – a silent yet, very powerful partner in crime. For that matter, colors, shapes and materials, will always give us that insight to the past, present but also the future. These three combined – are what design is based upon.
So, where do I see the future of packaging design? – As even more subjective, reflecting our personalities and roots.
In a sense, I see it as a three lane highway:
First lane, would be in a design way – an introvert ; indistinct lines, minimal and simple choice of colors, packaging that’s not meant to stand out. Focused on being subtle and practical. Materials for production, mostly glass, cardboard or wood. Color palette – mostly pastels, or a combo between white and black, gray or brown. Standard shapes, square, rectangle, oval based etc. Simple clean fonts, without excessive writing on the label.
Second lane, an extrovert design ; sharper lines, with a bold choice of color, meant to grab your attention. Color blocking, or using iridescent colors. Materials for production mostly glass or cardboard. Standard shapes, square, rectangle, etc. Big bold fonts.
Third lane would be going back to our roots ; using folk art, traditional symbols, depicting our heritage, origin. Focused on using mostly earthy tones, colors that have certain symbolic meaning. Materials for production would be glass, wood or metal. Using less common packaging shapes, like hexagon or octagon. I would also give a comeback to engraving and filigree with this design concept.
If you would ask me to design my own e.g. powder compact, I would probably stick to the third category. It would be a metal casing, hexagon shape, in the color of antique bronze. The upper lid would have a traditional Serbian pattern combination, engraved in black. The compact would come in a small pouch that would recall a traditional Pirot kilim with the “Sovra” pattern, in the colors of green, black and brown, on a red base. In a sense, combining vintage with the traditional.
The same way that packaging has depicted different periods in our history, it is also showing us where we’re at, and where we’re going. We’re all living life at a much faster pace than our parents or grandparents… Life has become more hectic and stressful. People are more and more longing for the old days, when things were simpler.
If we look at makeup and skin care packaging, we could say that design in the beauty industry has come to a full circle and hit the “reset” button. With Art Deco and Minimalism inspired patterns, different shades of gold packaging – We’re looking at redesigned blasts from the past.
In my opinion, this trend and its variations will still linger in the near future. The only area where I think will shall see a bigger change, will be the use of more eco-friendly, recycled and bio-degradable materials. Plastic should especially become a matter of the past, due to its bad environmental impact.
Well, I think we’ve come to an end! This is how a beauty blogger (also a mere mortal) sees the future of packaging design. – Hope I didn’t go off topic!. 🤣😅
Nevertheless, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little post ! 😊