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Trends 2017, Part 2: The Past Idealised

In complicated times people look back to an idealised past. This post looks at how this is effecting the way people shop and design.

This is PART 2 of our simplified summary of The Dieline’s 13 Emerging Package Design + Consumer Shopping Trends of 2017, report. A big report in small bites for busy designers.

Part 2: The Past Idealised

We are living in complicated, uncertain, nervous times. Past times were not simple either, but people like to remember them that way, and now we do have information coming at us from every direction, twenty-four hours a day. Designs are digital and packaging is text-heavy, with little space. Food and drinks are highly machine-processed and the ingredients are long lists of worrying chemical names. People feel something has been lost.

(Above and below) Market Pantry needed a design with more personality and that felt more "real". This design, with its screen-printed look and more space, aligns with the evolving needs of millennials and delivers a sense of nostalgia, like something your grandmother had in her pantry. Designed by Target Creative / Pearlfisher. See more at The Dieline.


Shoppers are looking for something that reflects their idealised, even fictionalised, memories. They want their food and drinks to be pure and simple, and to have a true connection to them, to know exactly what is in them and where those ingredients came from. People don’t want to return to the past, but they long for these idealised more simple times when people cared about craft and quality, and algorithms didn’t make all the decisions.

(Above) Sommer House granola is packaged in reusable glass jars. The logo is letterpressed, along with a hand written batch no. and ingredients, and a a note that it is locally grown. Notice h alumt of free space, even on the back label. Designed by Project M+ . See more at The Dieline.


This year’s packaging trends reflect this longing for an idealised past. The aesthetic is a refined, selective look back. Colours are soft. There is more space in the designs. Boxes appear to be printed with vintage block type and hand lettering; they have blind embossed background patterns, ornate crests, and lithographic-style illustrations. At B&H we have called this style undigital, meaning that at some point the artwork was hand crafted, with perfect imperfections that make designs feel real.

(Above) This design for Lysholm N52 Botanisk Aquavit presents something more special than just gin. It presents Aquavit as a local brand specially developed for use in cocktails. The design is delicate and subtle to represent the flavours, and includes a bit of story about the founder of the company. Designed by OlssønBarbieri. See more at The Dieline.

(Above and Below) Benham's Sonoma Dry gin is poured into a blown blue glass bottle. Heat embossing was applied at the base of the bottle with the distilling company's logo. The label is collage of old maps and labels. Designed by Stranger & Stranger. See more at The Dieline.

This trend is not only represented by top shelf specialty brands of spirits. It has also been applied to one of the most recognisable brands of beer in the world, Budweiser.

(Above) Budweiser’s brand is based on their care for the beer. They wanted a design that reflected this level of care, attention, and detail. This may also be a reaction to the rise in small brewery craft beer culture. Notice the ornate layers and the amount of empty space. Designed by Jones Knowles Ritchie. See more at The Dieline.





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