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Insights: Articles & Resources by Oliver Inc.


Minimalist Packaging for Beauty Brands

When implemented thoughtfully, minimalist packaging can clarify marketing messaging, reflect the high quality of products, and reinforce your position as a sustainable brand in the eyes of consumers.

    18 minute read

Minimalist packaging is no stranger to beauty brands, and for good reason.

When implemented thoughtfully, minimalist packaging can clarify marketing messaging, reflect the high quality of products, and reinforce your position as a sustainable brand in the eyes of consumers.

So why is it so appealing to consumers?

Why Consumers Find Minimalist Packaging Appealing

Overly busy packaging design can feel rather garish to consumers, especially when they’re already bombarded with so much information in retail aisles.

Alternatively, minimalist packaging appeals to consumers because it enables them to quickly scan important information about your beauty products. It avoids some of the noisier visuals other beauty brands use, which may discourage consumers from further considering a product.

Detailed designs have their place, when employed tastefully. However, minimalist packaging helps consumers focus on the information that matters most. They’ll reward your thoughtfulness with brand loyalty.

Furthermore, minimalist packaging design becomes even more powerful when other brands or products similar to yours use complex embellishments. Your streamlined design will jump off the shelf at consumers.

Provides Clearer Messaging

When you crowd your folding carton with lots of text, ornate visuals, and motley design elements, you may end up confusing consumers rather than informing them.

However, when you embrace minimalist design for your beauty brand, you help consumers focus on what is most important. For instance, this could be the simple, but still eye-catching design utilized by Rahua, a hair product company that uses only organic and plant-derived ingredients.

Sustainability is one of Rahua’s central values, which is made abundantly clear with this clean packaging. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the message “rainforest grown.” The luxor foil further gives it just enough resplendence to catch consumer attention without overwhelming them.

Shows Off Expert Designs

To effectively pull off more advanced decorative effects, beauty brands will often turn to minimalist design. It’s easy to go overboard with these visual elements, but with a more focused design, your beauty brand can benefit from some of the most cutting-edge effects in packaging.

This includes foil stamping, embossing and debossing, coatings, and specialty laminations.

Foil stamping involves adhering metallic foil to a substrate using heat, or UV light in the case of cold fold stamping. While historically only in done gold or silver, foil now comes in many colors. This gives your folding carton eye-grabbing shimmer.

Embossing refers to physically raising the design element in a substrate so it literally stands out above everything else. Conversely, debossing lowers the visual feature into the substrate. Both effects command special attention from consumers when employed in beauty product packaging.

Laminations are a film typically made of polyester, nylon, or polypropylene. These plastics are heat activated and applied to your substrate of choice using high temperatures and pressure. This provides added durability to packaging while enhancing its overall visual appeal.

Specialty coatings produce visual and functional effects similar to laminations, but instead rely on spreading a liquid glaze over the entire substrate, which is later cured with UV light.

These advanced decorative effects can be blended well, the visual artistry reflecting the high quality of your products, such as these folding cartons designed by Luzern Labs, a skincare brand focused on clean beauty.

Less Packaging Is More Sustainable

As mentioned above, minimalist packaging enables your brand to clearly communicate your values. Since more straightforward design usually entails less packaging, this approach can reinforce your dedication to sustainability, something that should be clear in your brand messaging.

Consumers notice when brands utilize excessive amounts of packaging (which runs counter to right-size packaging principles). Some consumers also tend to be turned off by overly industrial-looking packaging, futuristic designs that conjure up synthetics, for example, consumers opting for more organic or natural aesthetics, instead.

In addition to implementing right-size packaging principles, minimalist packaging can evoke a feeling of sustainability, especially when employing earthy tones and visual cues.

You see this in the folding carton design for Lauren Conrad, a beauty brand that uses vegan, cruelty-free, and clean cosmetic ingredients. This lipstick packaging uses off-white colors printed on sustainable paperboard alternatives to showcase the brand’s commitment to greater sustainability.

While keeping your design minimalistic, you should also consider a few other packaging practices brands are integrating into their processes to be more sustainable.

Be sure your paper-derived material is sourced from sustainably managed forests as certified by the nonprofits Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Integrate sustainable alternatives into substrate design, such as hemp, cotton, casein protein, sugarcane bagasse, and post-consumer recycled paper. You can also reduce your carbon footprint by shortening your supply chains and collaborating with a domestic packaging partner.

All of these add up to what consumers might consider a genuinely eco-friendly beauty brand. Notably, clean beauty is ascendent and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

Minimalist packaging is a savvy way to become more green, keep your messaging clear, and show off your expert design acumen. Consumers will reward it with loyalty and passion.

Oliver is a printing and packaging firm with more than 260 years of combined experience. Contact us today to learn more about how minimalist packaging can strengthen your beauty brand.

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