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Minimalism vs maximalism: A Guide for packaging design


From the Renaissance to modern package design, art and design trends have played an important part in influencing our environment throughout history. Minimalism vs maximalism, two conflicting aesthetics that have gained appeal in recent years, is one example of such a trend. You may have heard conversations regarding minimalism vs maximalism whether you’re a designer, artist, company owner, or someone who likes visual aesthetics.

Choosing the best method might be difficult. In this article, we will look at what distinguishes them and analyse several packaging instances. Let’s choose the ideal style for your project!

What is minimalism?

Minimalism is a 1960s-era trend that is founded in the Modernist movement. It is distinguished by a “less is more” philosophy that emphasises simplicity, utility, and beauty. Minimalist designs often use a colour palette of pastels and neutrals, as well as clear lines and basic shapes with no textures.

Designers also employ negative space and white space to give crucial elements breathing room and to make the message they are delivering more understandable. Negative space refers to sections of a design that are vacant, while white space refers to particular regions that are purposely kept blank or white. Although these gaps may seem insignificant, they serve to highlight critical aspects. This focus contributes to the creation of a feeling of balance and harmony, which is as vital as the design components themselves.

What is maximalism?

Maximalism, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of minimalism. It originated in the later part of the twentieth century as a response to minimalism and the postmodernist movement. This is a style that prioritises strong colours, crisp patterns, and captivating textures in attention-grabbing designs. It is sometimes referred to as the “aesthetic of excess.” In contrast to minimalism, which emphasises simplicity and modest design, maximalism celebrates excess and extravagance.


Minimalism vs maximalism: packaging design

There is sometimes a perceived contradiction between minimalism and maximalism in design. However, whether these techniques are actually mutually incompatible is worth debating. Many designs, in fact, include parts of both. This is particularly true in package design, where firms must strike a balance between communicating their identity and mission and producing a visually attractive product that sticks out on shelves.

A minimalist design may be an excellent option for firms seeking to portray a sleek and contemporary image, which is frequently linked with high-end items exuding refinement and luxury.

Apple goods, for example, have a trademark matte texture that feels extraordinarily smooth to the touch, typically with the company name imprinted on the box. Through its minimalist design approach, Apple has effectively fostered a link between their goods and a sense of modernity and innovation. With fewer visual components, the emphasis is on particular content, resulting in a clean and polished appearance that appeals to customers who respect simplicity and elegance.

Maximalism, on the other hand, may be a successful option for companies seeking to stand out and show energy and enthusiasm. It generally has bright colours, patterns, and textures. It is possible to generate a feeling of liveliness and fun. This is especially enticing to younger viewers.

We’ll look at instances of effective and inventive package design in both minimalism and maximalism in the next section.

Minimalism vs maximalism: packaging examples

What is the most effective technique to learn about visual design?

By just looking.

This section contains a broad variety of product packaging that tends towards minimalism or maximalism. Continue reading to find out how to use these concepts into your package designs!

LENNO packaging design: minimalist


Why it’s minimalist?

This package design is simple in nature, focusing on the fundamental elements such as the logo, business name, and product name. The usage of green and white in subtle tones, as well as a low-maintenance san serif font, gives it a sophisticated, real sense that isn’t overthought.

Why we love it

This design is an excellent illustration of how simple can be really effective. Its principles are consistent with the product’s vegan-friendly and natural components, with earthy tones and eco-friendly materials used to express them. The product name and a slight depiction of the components are included in the simple design, which adds an organic touch.

The usage of plastic-free packaging improves the company’s environmental image. Overall, the design is ideal for the health-minded and ecologically sensitive customer.

ALEC’S packaging design: maximalist


Why it’s maximal

With its use of strong text, vibrant colors, and a combination of layered materials, this design is a superb example of maximalism. The use of photographic images lends reality and substance to the design, while the asymmetrical arrangement provides a dynamic and aesthetically attractive composition. The use of 2D forms and colours in conjunction with photographic images pays homage to the collage style of the 1990s, adding even more maximalist aspects to the design.

Why does this one come under both categories

It purposefully combines minimalist and maximalist design principles, using negative space and basic geometric forms while also integrating vivid colours and quirky layered accents for a modern and one-of-a-kind outcome.

Why we love it

We like this package because of its whimsical composition and vibrant colours. It gives the design a “ordered chaos” feel, making it more memorable. The resealable bag provides a practical touch, and the picture emphasises what’s important—the product itself.

Ohsome box packaging: Minimalist


Why it’s minimal?

It’s difficult to dispute that this package design is anything other than minimalist. The firm emblem, name, and product kind are visible on the two most visible surfaces. The general composition is free of clutter. Negative space and clear typography are used. The usage of a single typeface and color palette emphasizes the minimalism approach even more.

Why we love it?

With its clean and simple design, the packaging shows the brand’s dedication to uncomplicated, user-friendly service. Furthermore, the usage of eco-friendly products is consistent with the brand’s sustainability objectives.

Milksta packaging design: Maximalist

milksta packaging design

Why it’s maximalist?

The vivid colors and elaborate patterns in this design produce a maximalist impression. This style is emphasized by the floral and geometric elements. The combination of earthy tones and plant drawings establishes a visual link with the natural components used in the soap, influencing the spectator to trust in the product’s quality.

This design uses a range of components to generate an overall feeling of plenty and richness, which is unusual for minimalist design.

Why we love it?

The tone pink and open layout are pleasing to the eyes, and the delicate designs offer depth and intrigue. Despite its intricacy, the design does not overpower the senses and retains cohesion and balance.

Orbe coffee packaging: Minimalist

orbe coffee packaging

Why we love it?

This design is refreshingly simplistic due of its simplicity and directness. The design goes beyond the basics of a logo and a product description, demonstrating how simple components may be applied in surprising ways.

Code Mood Packaging: Maximalist


Why it’s maximal?

This packaging for Pine State Coffee is a maximalist design, with complex patterns, strong contrasting colors, and elaborate writing. Even the elaborate graphics reflect the kind of attention to detail associated with maximalism. The use of basic patterns on the pack’s sides, on the other hand, balances out the complexity of the front and back, making the whole design seem cohesive and well-considered.

Why we love it?

This package design is colorful, lively, vivid, and inviting, echoing both the logo and the product design. It blends sunset hues, nature imagery, and the product’s natural components. Speaking of which, this package design focuses on the product’s main component, coffee beans.

Choosing the Right Packaging Design Style

Which is better for you, minimalism vs maximalism? More significantly, which style is appropriate for your brand, product, or business?

Remember that there are no obvious distinctions between these two subjects. Use bold, colorful colors with a basic handwritten script if you wish. Design rules are made to be violated! It is up to you to choose what works best for the application you need. And what is the best method to address the topic of minimalism vs maximalism? Simply go out there and learn about your own style and clientele. Then, experiment with different design styles until you discover one that properly reflects your company!

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