I was asked recently about trends in luxury packaging — just as a broad comment on what’s happening in the world. And it got me thinking.
Packaging is all about context — what is your competition doing? Your choices after that are: do something similar (not a great idea) or doing something disruptive. And that doesn’t necessarily mean you go crazy… it may be the opposite. Cut back everything unnecessary for a pure understated luxurious experience. The whisper, not the shout, off the shelf is much more intriguing and attractive.
In the west it’s all about craft. From breakfast cereal to single malt it’s about paring back, stripping away the bling to tell a more crafted story. And that’s not just the written words, but the story you get from the visuals, how it makes you want to touch it (or not). The overall feeling of the pack — the consumers gut reaction to it. I suppose I try to create an ‘I don’t know why I like it, but I do’ feeling in a consumer.
However behind that feeling there are layers of story that I’ve used as a designer to get there — why that colour? Why that shape? Why that finish? For me it should all be anchored to the core values, the simple truth about the brand. But packaging is just a single part of a brand experience. For it to be a great brand, everything — website, advertising, customer service — have to match. Otherwise the consumer will sniff it out in a heartbeat, and I’m afraid not believe a word you say.