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Simpler design feeding the consumer need for 'give it to me on my terms'

‘Less is better’ may be on the verge of assuming a larger role in package design, especially in beauty aisles. Will other categories, which are lagging behind, follow suit?

Simplicity is in, and the thinking in the “new economy” is that it will take on a holistic approach involving both product and packaging.

We’ve seen the simplicity push in package design. This trend has taken shape very well in some categories, but in other sections of the store, brand managers still seem to question the value of design that’s easier on the eyes and therefore stimulates the imagination.

Now comes word from Mintel, by way of a report on the Beyond Beauty Blog, that simpler products, with lighter formulations and simpler package designs, may be what’s hot next, especially in beauty brands. Mintel says this trend reverses the thinking of recent years when brand marketers opted to focus on making their products sound more scientific and, by association “better.”

As Humphrey Bogart said in Casablanca, “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Designers for years have lamented the need for brand owners to stop talking to themselves through their packaging by resisting the urge to cover every inch of the package graphically while also talking at their consumers instead of with them, in the language they use.

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