December 14, 2012

Exploring Minimal Type Based Packaging

Exploring Minimal Type Based Packaging

Have you ever picked up a product because you were drawn to it only to realize later on that there are no photos or graphics in the design and that the brilliant designer who created it just used typography and color as his two weapons of choice?

I have and it is one of my favorite types of package design because it brings the entire design to its bare essentials and purest form.

To understand minimal type based designs we need to look as a few things first.

  • Variety in typefaces
  • Is this product a fit for a minimal design?
  • Choosing the correct font is critical for success
  • Making sure its polished off with the right finishes

Variety with just Fonts and Color

In these examples you can see that the choice of font ties directly into the feel and tone of the brand. Its important to find the font that fits your emotional messaging. Think of then as your graphic assets that you can manipulate in size, position, weight and blank to communicate the brand’s message. Think of it as painting with fonts.

With just a splash of color the world is a new again

Another very important weapon in your arsenal in a minimal design is color. Simply using a single key color can draw the eye, impart a sense of power or duality and it adds that needed impact of punch for a minimal design.

Is it a fit?

Sometimes as designers we want to try a new technique or force a favorite way of designing on a new project and that most times is the wrong approach. You have to be brutally honest and let the brand and packaging goals drive the direction. You can determine how you get there.

Sometimes its very clear that with a minimal design every little choice is under the microscope since there are no lens flares and photos to hide a bad type choice.

By George I think we found it!

There is nothing better than the feeling of finding that perfect match of typeface to design or product. Trying to mix a very modern font with an organic jam might not mesh as well as you may think. Its important to experiment with fonts and typefaces till you find that right balance and tone.

In fact design agency Antrepo04.com did a series on reducing your favorite brands to thier core minimal elements and typefaces and it really illustrates just how powerful the type is compared to the rest of the design.

Finishing Touches

As you explore minimal designs you will notice that the final finishes become very crucial to adding that missing element of emotion, value and prestige the design needed.

Its surprising that just by adding a matte finish to a black bottle will change the entire feel of the design and take what may have looked like a cheap in store brand and elevate it to high end luxury good.

Be vigilant in choosing the right blend of matte, gloss and metallic finishes to give your designs that last kick they needed.


by Kevin Smith
SmashBrand helps brands create, optimize, and launch successful products, services, and customer experiences. Our data-driven process is the key to accelerating sales and minimizing risks.

We use a strategic combination of market research, design, and consumer testing to solve complex brand problems more effectively, create differentiation, and forge more meaningful connections with customers.

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