What Will 2018 and Beyond Bring In Terms of Sustainable Packaging Design Trends?

Ahead of his presentation at Sustainability in Packaging US 2018, Fred Hart, Creative Director & Partner of Interact Boulder talks sustainable trends, challenges with packaging design and more. 


What are some of the challenges when designing packaging with a sustainable intent? 

The leaders of sustainable packaging are doing a phenomenal job at creating substrates and materials that are compostable, recyclable or bio-degradable while keeping commercial viability and application in mind. Likewise, water and plant-based inks continue to improve in depth. All of this to say that little will be felt on the design side of things. What will change is a brands story-tell around their considerate and conscious choices of sustainable packaging. More and more brands will begin to weave those narratives into back, an even front of packaging communications, to take credit for their efforts and capture consumer sentiments around the environment.


What are some of the trends you’re seeing in packaging design? And how does that help or hinder sustainable packaging?

Over the past few years we've seen a continued shift towards minimalistic and “transparent” design, reflecting the entire food industry's ingredient panel cleanup. RX Bar's ingredient-forward design (and $600M sale to Kellogg's) highlights this perfectly. In 2018 and beyond, we’ll see the design pendulum swing towards self-expression, as consumers look to connect emotionally with their brands. PepsiCo’s LIFEWTR, vintage-turned-cool LaCroix and ice-cream darling Halo Top all use expressionistic design to inspire people, drive engaging personalities and tell unique stories beyond just the “what” of the product. Color, pattern and evocative typography will come to prominence more than ever – especially as the world of ecommerce re-shifts the brand landscape.


What are you most looking forward to hearing at Sustainability in Packaging, this March?

Who doesn’t love a little disruption to an industry? Advancements like edible packaging barriers or seaweed-based raw materials as plastic alternatives, all spark the imagination and push boundaries. I’m looking forward to hearing about these bleeding-edge innovations and great talks from people like Tom Szaky of TerraCycle!

Register for Sustainability in Packaging US 2018 Today!