Minimalist VS Maximalist Packaging

About 72% of consumers make buying decisions based on their impression of a product’s packaging design. In an e-commerce world, it’s not just the product packaging that has to please a customer. The unboxing needs to spark joy and is part and parcel of the consumer experience.

Having a product arrive in good condition is a solid start. Companies do well to aim for structurally sound and user-friendly packaging elements. However, creativity in packaging design is a tangible way to set yourself apart from your competition. Think out the box, as it were.

With online shopping, the packaging is often a customer’s first encounter with your brand, and first impressions count for a lot.

How do you infuse personality into this touchpoint?

There are two broad options at your disposal: minimalist design or maximalist design. Let’s explore these stylistic techniques and their relative benefits for your brand.

What Is Minimalist Packaging?

Minimalism and the ‘less is more’ ethos have been the dominant style trend over the last decade or so. Chic Scandinavian home interiors that are far from boring epitomize minimalism. When it comes to packaging, think clean, uncluttered layouts, symmetry, and a short supply of iconography. Diptyque exemplifies these characteristics.

A minimalist packaging design’s negative space and calm appearance convey ease of use and allow your eyes to take a break. Little details such as embossed logos create interest.

Brands that perceive of themselves as modern adopt modern aesthetics. Consider Apple’s famous look and design through-line. Without multiple bold colors and elements, streamlined design directs the eye to a few key details and gives an overall impression of efficiency and sophisticated simplicity.

When Is Minimalist Packaging Most Effective?

Minimalist design choices are optimal when you don’t want to risk having a brand that quickly becomes outdated. They’re versatile and ideal when you’re confident in your product.

Take, for example, Glossier. The brand’s products give users a more natural, minimalist makeup look, and the packaging is appropriately light and airy. The muted palette includes a lot of white and pastels, and you won’t find loads of copy. The typography itself is sans-serif and unfussy. This youthful but elegant aesthetic appeals to the brand’s target market of mostly millennial and Gen Z women.

Glossier Cloud Paint’s paint tube packaging also encourages the purchase of more than one color because the products look like a paint swatch when put together. Finally, products come in reusable pink bubble wrap zipped pouches.

This type of packaging and design approach is customized for the end-user.

What Is Maximalist Packaging?

Maximalist designs are proudly loud and elaborately detailed. For this reason, they stand out in a minimalist era. Why go understated and subtle when you can dazzle your way into consumer consciousness?

Maximalist design often works with vibrant color, texture, rich motifs, flashy typography, and visual or packaging novelties like optical illusions or unusual shapes. For the uninitiated, this might seem gaudy, but graphics like those on Pukka Tea boxes can project tasteful luxury, not just quirkiness or fun.

Some maximalist packaging is text-heavy to regale the customer with a brand’s character and appeal to their identity, lifestyle, and values. This connection lays the foundation for a continued consumer relationship. Other examples of maximalism create mystery with stunning design elements but sparse copy.

Maximalism takes you on a journey with your attention moving from one point of interest to the next.

When Is Maximalist Packaging Most Effective?

Maximalist packaging can work if you need to make your brand stand out in a crowded product category. This design style is suitable for special collections, limited edition products, and virtual or physical events such as pop-up stores and influencer unboxings. The ‘more is more’ approach can go viral on social media, which is excellent for ramping up brand awareness.

Maximalist packaging doesn’t have to mean nesting boxes and excessive waste. It can be impactful without inducing guilt over copious amounts of unrecyclable packaging material. However, you should expect some degree of compromise between aesthetics, cost, and sustainability, whichever route you take.

How to Choose Between Minimalist and Maximalist Design

You’ve got your product, but you’re still fine-tuning your branding or packaging design. The first thing to refine is your knowledge of your customer and what appeals to them, and consumer profiles are one of the main ingredients in your brand recipe.

Remember that everyone loves the middle ground, so you can strike a happy medium between minimalism and maximalism if you want to. The following aspects will help you hone your brand identity and inform your design selections.

What Are Your Brand’s Ideals?

If your brand had a personality, how would it sound? What vibe are you inclined towards for hypothetical adverts? Are you trying to make a splash with your brand personality by going against category norms?

Once you’ve determined your brand voice, stylistic choices will become easier to make.

What Sets Your Product Apart from Rivals?

What is your company’s unique selling proposition?

As soon as you’ve established and filled a gap in the market, you need to figure out how to portray this edge and build a brand before potential copycats enter the picture.

Your company’s branding and image are what will set you apart from competitors. Packaging exemplifies quality and what your business stands for.

Custom Printed Packaging Supplies For Your Business

The Packaging Company offers a wide range of custom packaging supplies to suit your shipping needs and provide a satisfying unboxing experience. All you have to do is upload your print-ready artwork for custom packaging materials or use our free and user-friendly design tool to develop beautiful solutions.

Branded stickers and tape make standard boxes look lively and reinforce your unique brand identity. Branded tissue and food paper can wrap your goods while building anticipation and custom boxes will wow your customers with fantastic colors.

We offer fast delivery within North America and a pick-up option near Toronto for your convenience. Get in touch for more information, and you’ll be one step closer to fulfilling your packaging dreams.