The Rise of Minimalism in Beauty Packaging

In the last few years, minimalism has become somewhat ubiquitous in the branding world. From web design to retail locations to packaging, minimalist principles are everywhere. While it would be easy to label minimalism as a merely stylistic trend, the thinking behind the aesthetic makes it more than just a passing fad.

Minimalism is a way of reflecting and thinking about your design elements and principals. It can be traced to Theo Van Doesburg, who led the De Stijl movement – also known as neoplasticism – in the Netherlands in the early 20th century. Even though the movement only lasted 14 years, Van Doesburg introduced the foundations of minimalism. The trend never disappeared, but it has only recently become popular. Throughout this article, we will dissect the meaning of minimalism and the reasons why our design at MSLK is becoming more clean and minimal.

Definition 1 of minimalism: “Of a minimum amount, quantity, or degree negligible.” Minimal designs allow you to be more playful with the positioning and composition of elements. A good example is the trending hemp-infused natural plant-based patches by The Good Patch. They have created a functional package that enhances accessibility by using beautifully illustrated vector icons. The reduction of type conveys a clear message and drives focus. The combination of type, image, and color is timeless with a broad unisex target audience. Furthermore, the spatial relationship of the design elements creates a clear, calm, and thoughtful experience, allowing consumers to immediately understand the product’s effectiveness.

Definition 2 of minimalism: “A minimal amount of information.” Having a balanced amount of white space will result in clean design. A clean design means a clear user experience and a stronger say on audience eye movement through visual hierarchy and scale. From the 60s to the 90s, design trended to information overload. Recently, companies are thinking about how to be as clear and focused as possible. Take the print ad from JWT’s Female Tribes that focuses on the pay gap between men and woman. The use of minimal bold type and blocked-out letters suggest alternative offensive thoughts and sexist behaviors that have been associated with cultural narratives about women. That powerful way of tricking a mind through branding grabs attention in a quick second, creating impact and change within our world,

Definition 3 of minimalism: “Characterized by the use of simple or primary forms or structures.” Companies are starting to be aware of minimalism, and consumers are appreciating a minimal approach that is versatile, practical, and sustainable. Stock packaging is immediately available, cost-effective, and flexible, and can be tailored to any brand guidelines. ASARAI has used that to their advantage by designing a consciously constructed natural skincare line. The products come in either pumps or tubes housed in a recyclable tubular box. The minimalistic use of structure, color, and dynamic typography targets not only skincare lovers but a broad unisex audience. As a result, ASARAI’s brand awareness and unique personality is distinctive at retail next to their sea of competitors.

The recent practice of minimalism is a breath of fresh air. Minimalism makes it easier for users to understand packaging and to reflect on brand principles and values. This allows for brands to educate and bring awareness to a broader target audience. With a clear understanding of your values, consumers will easily be able to find themselves in your brand.

MSLK was recently recognized by DesignRush as a Top 25 Enterprise Logo Design & Branding Agency