Moving parts and shadow play: Take a look at Pentawards’ packaging design trends for 2024
This year’s report sees innovative approaches to environmentally conscious design and greater consumer transparency.
- Olivia Hingley
- 23 January 2024
Pentawards are back with their annual report exploring the biggest packaging trends today. The platform has a pretty steadfast way of compiling their data: by surveying the 2000 packaging entries to its awards from 64 countries they received this year. It features the trends they’ve seen develop over the past 12 months as well as the ones they predict will “carve the way forward” for future developments and innovative designs. This time round, there’s a particular focus on environmentally conscious design, as well as greater transparency about products writ large.
One of the most interesting trends Pentawards has outlined is ‘Moving Parts’. This seems to be a development of one of their 2023 trends, 'Tactility', which highlighted the renewed importance of physical experiences. The moving parts trend takes this one step further, showing how tactility and innovative use of paper can create packaging that has less environmental impact, and allows for more seamless inclusion of information.
For example, Olssøn Barbieri has designed a pyramid shaped boxing strategy for Stereoscope. The shape of the boxes means that they can be easily interlocked for shipping, which aids the company’s two-pack subscription service; it also features a pull-out, glue-free card system which features information about the product on both sides. “It’s great to see the imaginative use of paper and card as alternatives to single-use plastic,” says Pentagram partner Jon Marshall. “Some brands playfully combine paper and print processes with structure and die-cuts to create movement, enhancing the unboxing experience and engagement with product information.”
In some cases, being able to see the physical product itself can be a key selling point – especially when it comes to food. In ‘A Closer Look’, the Pentawards team highlights the rise of clear packaging to spotlight colourful and vibrant products. Landor & Fitch Japan’s identity for Iwatale pickles uses traditional Japanese paper cut outs – kirigami – as a recurring motif, their simplicity on the glass jar complementing the bright pink pickles within, rather than taking centre stage. In a lovely touch, once used, the jar can be used to hold tea lights. On the trend, Miriam Ferscura, associate creative director at Auge Design says that, “glass jar transparency transforms food into vibrant canvases for bold, impactful graphic elements. This distinctive solution adds an artistic voice, giving the jar a second life as a stylish, decorative design object that preserves elegance.”
Continuing the move toward greater transparency is the final trend in the report – 'All About the Numbers’. As the name suggests, this trend sees designers include numbers as a core element of label design. Shenzhen Chushan Design Culture Group Co’s packaging for Natural Coordinates dried fruit sees a 0 per cent symbol used, to signal the products inclusion of no agricultural residue – like added corn, rice husk etc. On the other hand, for Furry Tails cat food, Hangzhou’s Furrytail Technology Co. has included the 35g mark front and centre as a way of drawing attention to the issue of overfeeding, signalling the recommended portion for your feline friend.
Rock textures, layering up and shadow play are some of the other trends that feature in the extensive report, which you can download here.
Copyright © Olssøn Barbieri
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.