Whether consciously or subconsciously, chances are, at some point or another, you have bought a product based on its packaging. While we may think we can resist the lure of packaging, nobody is 100% immune. Your kids may have pushed you to buy a specific cereal because their favorite cartoon character was on the package or you may have bought a cologne, or perfume because you liked the vibe it gave off.

Although they say “never judge a book by its cover,” packaging professionals know, more than almost anyone else, the power of visual design in captivating consumers. For this reason, packagers need to stay ahead of the trends in order to ensure their products pop. Here are some current packaging design trends to notice:

1. Less is more

There was a time when bigger, flashier, and bolder was better. Today, this is not necessarily the case. Packaging has evolved to become sleek, simple and sophisticated. In fact, being too flashy is often considered to be too overwhelming and sometimes even tacky. In contrast, simple packaging designs catch the eye because they let the brand display their most important messages without the bells and whistles that cause distractions.

2. Vintage inspired

There’s something enthralling about drawing inspiration from other eras. Such designs give a sense of timelessness while also provoking feelings of nostalgia. For that reason, vintage packaging designs, which incorporate classic design elements, are growing in popularity.

3. Sustainability

With environmentalism becoming an increasingly important issue, companies and consumers alike have recognized the value in making products more environmentally friendly. The trend towards using natural, recycled, or sustainable materials has made a huge impact on the packaging market. The best part is, not only are these items responsible, but they still remain visually appealing, so everybody wins.

4. Functionality

Package designers constantly have their thinking caps on to come up with ways to make their designs more innovative--and nothing says innovation more than a package with a dual purpose. Not only do these ingenious packaging concepts flaunt unique, visually appealing designs, but they are also able to fulfill a higher purpose--helping consumers to better perform everyday tasks.

5. Handwritten Labels

Handwritten text on packages has succeeded in winning the hearts of many consumers. With their personal touch, casual feel and authentic aura, such package designs give your brand a more genuine and approachable persona. For this reason, more and more companies are choosing to go with lighter, friendlier messaging by incorporating “handwritten” labels and logos onto their packaging.

With the onset of more and more competition battling it out for the same shelf space, now is not the time to slack off on packaging design. Rather, staying on trend and coming up with clever ways to push the envelope is of monumental importance when trying to distinguish your brand. By keeping these top-notch trends in mind and coming up with ways to make them your own, you’ll stay one step ahead of the competition and successfully enthrall your customers.