Oct 25, 2021

Beverage label design trend projections for 2022

Creation Reprographics shares insights on what successful beverage label design could look like in 2022 - from category-specific trends converging, to maximalist design and no-label looks.
Elisabeth Skoda

Creation Reprographics believes that the new year will see a natural evolution of consumer demands, which will shape how beverage labels are designed and created from the outset.

Matt Francklow, Managing Director at Creation, explains: “In terms of how beverage labels are designed, produced and applied, there’s a lot for printers and brands to think about. One of the most interesting aspects is that we’re seeing a lot of category-specific trends converge. For example, a lot of the design trends seen in craft beer labelling trends are now filtering down to more mainstream grocery products. It’s harder to put label design into set boxes.

“In terms of graphics, we’re expecting to see the full return of maximalist design when it comes to creating labels. Chic minimalism has been dominating much of the market for almost a decade now, but consumers are looking for more excitement and bold is definitely back. Catching the eye will prove to be the key sales driver in a less loyal retail market. We’re seeing a heavy focus on colour blocking, impactful borders and vibrancy. It will be more important than ever that printers are investing in their colour management to not only deliver this visual punch, but to maintain it on the long print runs required in today’s high-volume market.

“We are also projecting more widespread use of transparency for a ‘no-label’ appearance on glass and clear plastics, as well as die-cut hybrid packaging. The reason is similar to that of the projected re-growth of maximalism – the need to capture attention and the imagination on crowded store shelves. Where transparent labels shine is in letting the product do the talking, the colours of the beverages forming the overall look of the packaging. As reprographics specialists, at Creation we advise customers to account for white ink layers behind colour when printing ‘no-label’ designs, to ensure the label inks appear as intended without being optically altered by the product. For example, a vibrant yellow liquid in the container could make a red label look orange, or a blue label appear green or teal.”

Creation partners with printers and converters aiming to turn great on-screen packaging designs into real-world finished articles that wow on store shelves. As well as expertise in prepress, design setting and colour management, the business also offers sustainability-focused solutions that include water-washable flexographic print plates that eliminate the need for VOC solvent washout, as well as digital workflow solutions that reduce the risk of errors while increasing speed and efficiency.

Matt continues: “One of the biggest trends we’re expecting to see in 2022 is beverage label designers getting back in touch with tactile finishes. Through the last two years, we’ve become a more hands-off population, but consumers are re-engaging with sensory label design.

From our position as a key packaging prepress partner, we’ve seen a surge in demand for tactile coatings and finishes on beverage labels, with soft-touch, rough texture and paper-feel having a fresh lease of life. In addition, matte and gloss coating combinations, integration of hot and cold foiling – alongside clever use of spot varnishes – are all proving a hit. It’s all about re-engaging consumers and offering a sensory experience for 2022, right when consumers seek it the most.”

Elisabeth Skoda

Editor of Touchpoints magazine, writer for Packaging Europe magazine and design enthusiast!
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