What do the climate crisis, political and technical issues, and discussions about Generation Z have in common? They are all subject to current discourses about global events and social changes that have a huge influence on design trends. A team of four designers at LEONHARD KURZ constantly uncovers new trends and presents them once a year in a trend presentation in order to enable the company to offer pioneering products. Are you curious about this year's KURZ packaging design trends?
The LEONHARD KURZ design team, which consists of a total of four designers from the Packaging and Print (Business Area Industrial Products) and Advanced Design (Business Area Plastic Decoration) divisions, is on the road year after year, attending the most important design trade fairs, conferences, and design weeks. The objective is to gather as much information and as many insights as possible. The captured impressions of surface effects, shapes, processing, and colors are then clustered and broken down into four different themes. This generates the KURZ trends, which are presented once a year in the form of a new packaging series, new plastic decors, and colors.
The trend presentations are preceded by elaborate and time-consuming trend research. They are challenging, comprehensive, and absolutely essential for the anticipatory development of new products and processes. How is the world changing? What will be important in the years to come? Generation Z are getting more and more powerful with respect to purchasing - what matters to them? And what do we as a manufacturer have to pay attention to? These are just some of the many questions that need to be answered by KURZ designers - not only for the graphic industry, but also across other sectors, for example, the plastic decor or textile industries.
“We have to provide both analog and digital content in order to keep up with the times, whether at trade fairs, events, lectures, or congresses. We need to be where young, up-and-coming creative agencies are, alongside established innovative design companies and agencies. The gathered information must then be sorted in order to filter out the essence and to be able to name and formulate trends. At the same time, trend colors are researched and defined,” explains Annie Kuschel, Head of Design Management Packaging and Print at KURZ.
In the process, there are a few challenges to overcome. “In addition to investing time, we also need to keep an eye on what has already been done. This helps us to identify what is new or how something has developed. Some trends stick around a bit longer, while others are very volatile - so we have to filter well to discern what’s relevant,” explains Julia König, Senior Designer at KURZ. The four different themes, which are then derived from our research, are assigned keywords, colors, and mood images. Random, Control, Dark Matter, and Boldism are the current KURZ design trends that emerged from our latest research.
Fascinatingly strange, seemingly arbitrary, untamed & wild. That’s Random, a design trend that reflects Gen Z’s desire for freedom and attitude to life, full of contradictions. Three trend colors embody this feeling: Curious Lime, a bold, fresh light green bursting with zest for life. This is contrasted by Analog Brown LUXOR® 110683, which looks rather nostalgic, like randomly mixed colors from an antique painting box. Added to this is the silver trend color LIGHT LINE® Edit, in which paper and word snippets create depth effects and diffractions. Random’s concept is based on the esthetics of analog photography and collage-like composite images that come together to form an imperfect result.
Crises, wars, and pandemics illustrate how vulnerable and finite humanity is. Science and technology seem to make the world controllable and tangible through evidence, facts, and figures. The Control design trend embodies this illusion of security. The trend color Conductive Blue LUXOR® 110684 is a cool, metallized, and high-gloss blue that reflects reliability and confidence. In addition, the copper shade Complex Rosé LUXOR® 110685 radiates pure functionality. The silver shade LIGHT LINE® Coding makes reference to the cryptic world of codes. Data visualization makes a huge mass of numbers visible in the form of lines, spirals, and other diagrams. In this design concept, playful geometries form an almost poetic rhythm.
A little mystical, shady, and dark, and a balancing act between good and evil: Dark Matter is mysterious and offers a glimpse into a shadow world. The trend color Disruptive Silver LUXOR® 110686 is like a silver stripe on the horizon that breaks through the dark night and makes objects mysteriously shimmer. Mystic Glow COLORIT® PEARL 307035, on the other hand, covers the world like a white veil and hints at mysterious transparency. The third trend color is LIGHT LINE® Amorphous, in which shimmering silver, amorphous forms evaporate into a holographic space. Dark Matter is reminiscent of the neo-Gothic style. This trend visualizes an escape into spiritual fantasy worlds and showcases the beauty of the dark side.
The fourth KURZ trend provokes radical clarity and uniqueness: It is loud, and bold colors confidently draw attention. The trend color Attentive Green COLORIT® V 307037 leaves no room for compromise - be it bright or matte, it catches the eye. In direct contrast, there’s Blunt Red COLORIT® GLOSS 307034, a red-orange with a strong signaling effect. This color combination is complemented by LIGHT LINE® Blow Up, in which the letter combination ‘BOLDISM’ boldly alternates between shimmering in silver and appearing mirrored.
Annie Kuschel introduced annual trend presentations at KURZ 12 years ago. Since then, both KURZ itself and our customers have benefited greatly from this concept. Read our article 'Out-of-the-box thinking for innovative designs' to find out more about past trends. The transformation of society is constantly pushing new trends into the world that need to be captured. We are excited to see which upcoming KURZ trends will follow the current four design trends.
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