Psychedelic Packaging Trend That Will Help You Stand Out in 2024

Packaging designers are facing new challenges in creating branding concepts that enable products to stand out on retailers’ shelves. Many current custom food packaging trends owe their inspiration to an artistic style that developed and flourished over 50 years ago: the psychedelic art movement.

Psychedelic art features surrealistic images and subject matter. Highly contrasting bright colors are a typical feature. The style was predominant in album cover artwork and posters for rock concerts during the late 1960s.

History and Influence of the 60’s

The span of years that began at the end of 1959 and referred to as “The Sixties” brought about major changes in American society, politics and culture. Many of the changes occurred in reaction to the social conformity that dominated the previous decade. Inspired and fueled by young people yearning for an individualism no longer restrained by the conformist culture of the 1950s, a “60’s counterculture” evolved.

The 60’s counterculture impacted both pop culture and artistic concepts. New stylistic approaches in music and art took on revolutionary forms. Many of those forms fall within the psychedelic category. Psychiatrist Humphry Osmond first coined the term “psychedelic,” which means “mind manifesting,” in 1957. His intent was to categorize chemically induced attempts to illustrate the inner world of the psyche. The term later began to refer to artistic and musical endeavors intended to evoke a similar response.

Vinyl record album cover art based on psychedelic visual concepts often featured innovative lettering and creative object morphing. These graphic concepts have made their way into many modern branding designs, including custom frozen food packaging and stand-up pouches. Today’s digital-printing technologies make design, set-up and photo-quality production techniques possible that were not previously available to small and medium-sized businesses hoping to launch new product lines.

Capture an Ultra-Wide Audience

The young individuals who embraced the late 1960’s counterculture currently comprise the generational demographic referred to as “baby boomers.” The term reflects the increased birth rate that began during the years following the end of WWII. Because they account for a large share of the population, boomers are often the focus of marketing and branding campaigns. Although this could account for the trend toward psychedelic graphic elements in packaging, the appeal is much more than a nostalgia factor.

A key element in effective branding and packaging is uniqueness. Innovative lettering, images and color contrasts promote the “one-of-a-kind” dynamic that grabs shoppers’ attention and encourages a closer look. The desired result does not rely solely on invoking a nostalgic response; it can be singularly captivating on its own. Regardless of the targeted demographic, overhauling an existing package design can make a significant difference in shoppers noticing and reaching for a product they may have previously ignored.

Take Advantage of New Packaging and Printing Technologies.

Whether you’re launching a new product or rebranding an existing one, today’s digital printing technology provides the means to compete with much larger international brands. Upgrading an existing snack or frozen food product to newly designed and custom printed resealable bags can, for example, alert shoppers to your latest product enhancement and boost both sales and exposure. Partnering with a digitally capable custom packaging expert can be the first and key step in obtaining your well-deserved share of the market.

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