Creation Reprographics, a packaging and labeling company that offers color and brand management and workflow digitalization software, as well as flexographic plates and rotary screens, has lifted the lid on reprographic trends that are likely to shape how packaging and labels are designed and produced through 2022.

As a result of its position supporting printers in the FMCG, food and drink sectors, Creation says it gets a strong overall picture of design trends influencing the market, using this insight to shape its own offering. 

According to Matt Francklow, managing director of Creation Reprographics, here are 3 packaging and label design trends to look for in 2022:

1. Reconnecting with Consumers

We’re heading into one of the most exciting periods of change that the packaging and label industries have ever seen and there’s a lot to talk about in terms of driving trends. There’s a real buzz for brand owners and their printers right now after the challenges of COVID, and we’re seeing a lot of innovation as they look to reconnect with consumers.

One particularly interesting shift is in haptic marketing and tactile finishes; after we’ve become used to ‘hands-off’ retailing, consumers are getting back in touch with the feel of labels and packaging. Pre-pandemic, this tended to be used on premium labels such as craft beverages or spirits, but we’re seeing massive expansion in this regard. Like every great design trend, it is filtering out into other markets and categories. 

2. Visual Impact

In terms of visual design, 2022 is shaping up to be a year of minimalism, clean lines and color blocking. While vibrancy and contrast has been used to invoke energy and enthusiasm in consumers, we see a rise in packaging designed to do the opposite, creating a more calming psychological effect. This means clean lines, pastels and gradients are back on the design agenda. The approach is closely connected to neuromarketing, which aims to use areas of marketing, including packaging, to create a specific emotional or cognitive response.

Metallics with hot and cold foil stamping are certainly proving to be on the up and we’re seeing a lot of interest in this finish. For designers, it’s a way to make even the most everyday of products feel more luxurious and special without adding too much cost. Increasingly, we are seeing metallics paired with matte finish inks — the contrast adds even more visual impact both on-shelf, and critically, on-screen. We’re likely to see a lot more of this mode of thinking as omnichannel retail continues to become the norm.

3. Sustainability Without Compromise 

For printers and their brand customers, it’s clear that ‘sustainability’ is staying front and center. On some fronts in packaging and labelling there’s a sense of ‘green fatigue’, but we cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal when it comes to creating a more sustainable and more robust print industry. From our own perspective, we’re seeing this come to the fore in the increasing use of solvent-free flexo plates, which remove the need for harmful solvent washout in prepress, while also being faster and higher quality — the technology definitely points to the future of packaging and label production. It proves that ‘sustainable’ doesn’t have to mean compromises.

“All in, there’s a great deal of change happening in packaging and label design and along with it, a lot of opportunity. We’re proud to support our print customers in creating more consumer-led and engaging packaging and we cannot wait to see how these changing demands continue to shift and evolve through the year,” concludes Francklow.