Design Trends 2020

Achieving cut-through with shoppers in 2020 in what will continue to be an increasingly crowded marketplace, and during a global financial downturn, is going to be more challenging than ever. Shoppers are going to be counting every penny (cent or Euro), and therefore looking to optimise the value of any purchase decisions while still seeking brand experience. They appreciate that the concept of value extends far beyond the purely monetary, and extends perhaps more importantly into the emotional experience that a brand can deliver. Here are just a few of the current design trends we think may help get brands noticed and enable them to most effectively tell their story in the year ahead. After all, a brand’s story (whether it be heritage, innovation, sustainability or whichever equity is most relevant to them) will be more important then ever in enriching, and adding value to, the overall shopper experience in the year ahead.


Adding a touch of fairy tale magic to dairy products for Doddington

There’s nothing more engaging to a shopper or consumer than a story. It engages on a deeper level than graphics alone. The online environment provides the perfect opportunity to communicate a brand’s story using every digital tool to its best advantage to bring it to life; from animation, video and music to the luxury of additional space if required to do full justice to the message. With intelligent design a story can still achieve cut through in the physical world, even on the smallest of pack formats.


Transforming a humble beehive into a bee-mobile for The Travelling Bee Co.

The very nature of one object transforming into another (whether as an illustration on pack, in print or as an animation online) creates visual disruption which can really help a brand stand out from the crowd. It can add a perception of artistic craft and wit to the shopper perception of a brand – a valuable attribute in an environment where the ‘dumbing down’ of communications due to shorter attention spans becomes ever more common. Whilst optical illusions are inherently complex in their concept and construction, this complexity can be transformed into a positive benefit by creating layers of depth which engage the shopper and imprint the brand proposition more deeply in their brain.


Bringing the trusted cleaning heritage of Flash into the contemporary home

Heritage is an equity of immeasurable value. In a time of ‘fake news’ it’s something that can’t be faked, and at a time of change and unsettlement, it’s something that many shoppers and consumers seek comfort in. ‘Heritage’ of course, should not be confused with the concept of being ‘traditional’ (which can run the risk of being perceived as old fashioned and lacking relevance to today’s consumer needs) and should be balanced with innovation if it is to maximise its appeal in the here and now.

Out of focus imagery

Depth of field provides added dimension for Nuby

This can disrupt at fixture or online by presenting a simplified image which stands out amongst the visual complexity of the competition and by creating a sense of intrigue by encouraging increased dwell time in which the shopper interacts with the product as they try to make out what the blurred image or pattern represents. The sense of depth also enhances the emotional appeal of the proposition, an important benefit as emotional resonance is proven to increase effectiveness of products in market over time.

Lovingly crafted artisan

Indulgent decorative detailing provides historical provenance for Fortnum & Mason Tea

Although it may appear counter-intuitive in the face of the trend for visual simplicity, there is still an important role for skilfully crafted graphics. The attention to detail and indulgence in the decorative styling speaks volumes about the care and attention applied to the product itself.

Ecologically aware packaging

Fairy goes green (literally) with its new eco-packaging

Eco-credentials have never played a more important role in how shoppers and consumers perceive brands than in today’s climate crisis. From recyclability, compostability and second life usage, to material reduction and even the total removal of packaging, consumers purchase decisions will be heavily influenced by the actions that brands are taking to minimise their environmental footprint. Of course, within the near future, the fact that brands are doing everything they can to be eco-friendly will be taken for granted as a hygiene factor and it will be other factors, i.e. those that make the service or product truly unique, that will help brands to be chosen.

Natural and earthy pastels

Natural colour coding communicates natural flavours for Doddington Ice Cream

The application of subtle, more earthy tones, particularly in the foodstuffs category, communicates organic, natural, sustainability cues and will attract shoppers who are increasingly rejecting ‘mass produced’ products in favour of products which they perceive to be produced on a smaller scale, which may be hand made and artisan.

Structured design architecture

Contemporary simplicity with a graphic twist for Limitless Coffee 

A sense of structure and formality can provide reassurance in these times of constant change and instability. The simplification of layout can help project brand confidence, enhance communication hierarchy and ease shopper navigation in a visually confusing marketplace.

Awards presented to Decide include: DBA Design Effecttiveness Award Winner; IPM Awards Silver Winner 2019; The Luxury Packaging Awards Finalist 2014; MDA Marketing Design Awards Finalist 2014 Awards presented to Decide include: DBA Design Effecttiveness Award Winner; IPM Awards Silver Winner 2019; The Luxury Packaging Awards Finalist 2014; MDA Marketing Design Awards Finalist 2014