A Look At Packaging Design Trends For 2018

It’s a competitive world we live in, and brands and packaging designers are always on the lookout for ways to differentiate their products. This includes color but also goes beyond to include embellishment options such as foils, special varnishes, soft touch finishes and more.

Essentially, vibrant colors and finishes help packages stand out on the shelf and draw potential customers’ attention, and even influence buying decisions. Just recently, Ultra Violet was named the Pantone Color of the Year 2018, suggesting that bold colors will lead the trend this upcoming year.

Ray Cheydleur from X-Rite Pantone wrote a few interesting tips package printers and designers can follow to meet the trend of bold colors and finishes in the upcoming year:

  • Process control is significantly important when dealing with special colors and finishes. Implementing process control software is an important step that can speed job setup, provide near-real-time assessment of color performance, and generate reporting that will help production managers address issues.
  • Special finishes and embellishments will require different measurement techniques than the typical 45:0 spectrophotometers. This is especially true of reflective, mirrored, metallic, pearlescent and textured surfaces — which are all gaining popularity in packaging. Choosing the right spectrophotometer for the job is a critical element of a color managed workflow in a packaging operation.
  • While physical references remain a critical component of a color workflow, digital references offer a more sophisticated level of connectivity. They are traceable, precise, and repeatable, and the values will not change over time like their physical counterparts. An additional benefit of a managed digital workflow is that the colors can always be verified and updated, if needed.
  • We will also see more brands and printers embrace standards such as CxF/X-based communication of data for exchange of color information. These are trends that should be carefully watched and adopted as appropriate into packaging workflows.