Minimalism vs Maximalism- Which is the better choice for your packaging design?

You may have heard the famous saying “less is more” used frequently in day to day situations and being used in conversation across industries such as interior design, fashion, beauty and art.

When it comes to graphic design, many successful designers have adopted the “less is more” concept throughout their work, also known as minimalism. The term originates from British philosopher Richard Wollheim’s 1965 critique of a group of artists for their “minimal art content”. Since then, it has evolved in meaning and esteem; people no longer view it as a critique, but rather a symbol for the everyday consumer.

The minimalist technique uses only necessary elements for functionality, producing a simple, clear and sophisticated look. It is prolific in design; from ‘millennials’ using a minimalistic approach when it comes to designing their homes, to web page designers using it to offer a better UX across web pages they create. Furthermore, the uprise of simplicity has been the catalyst for many successful businesses to turn to a rebrand. 

Maximalism, as you may have guessed, is the drastic opposite. As an aesthetic of excess, its philosophy can be summarised as “more is more”. Maximalist designers believe this technique expresses individuality by using bold colours, textures and patterns to fill up empty space. With more designers opting for minimalism, it’s no wonder that a number of brands are now leaning in the opposite direction in order to be distinguished: after all, a product that diverges from what is popular can now be seen as exceptionally unique.

Which is the better choice for your design?

Let’s take packaging design, for instance: your typical supermarket deals with an inventory of over 40,000 different branded products daily. Ask yourself: would your minimalistic design stand out from a crowded supermarket shelf?

Ultimately, it depends on the brand voice you want to communicate. Are you looking to be an unmissable, enthusiastic brand shouting for attention? Or do you aim to be sophisticated, to the point and no-fuss?

To explore the advantages of and highlight the differences between minimalism and maximalism, let’s start by taking a look at some recent minimalist rebrands…

Examples of minimalist design


BT’s default mantra “Simple is good” is now reflected in their recent rebrand which delivers a no-nonsense brand identity, with greater focus on the product and customers. The simplicity and minimalism of their new logo has proven controversial, and many have criticised the amount of time it has taken the company to reveal this look; however, we would argue less clutter in design is always a positive. It allows the customer to immediately recognise the branding and straightaway discern the key message the company wants to display.


Mastercard’s completely wordless design couldn’t be more minimalist if it tried! Although the logo consists of only two overlapping red and yellow circles, this design has become an emblem that is recognisable worldwide; immediately associated with Mastercard.  This brand identity, again, links to the key message that the company wants to express: connectivity and seamlessness.

Now that have looked at two effective examples of minimalistic design, let’s look at how they can be the key to success.

Advantages of minimalism design in packaging

Now that have looked at two effective examples of minimalistic design, let’s look at how they can be the key to success.

-Stand out with simplicity

As David Raskin, professor of contemporary art says: “The richer you are, the less you have.” Some may disagree, but a minimalist design can actually be more eye-catching than an elaborate design. When all the other packages on the shelf are overflowing with busy designs, a simple design will stand out more. Therefore, it can stand out against all the clutter from other designs because it’s different and having a minimal design can grab the eye of passers-by. The design displays a quiet confidence of its own, which allows the product to speak for itself.

-Clarity of information

A minimalistic design can potentially convey honesty, with nothing else to distract the eye the minimal design can clearly communicate what your product is and what goes into it.  Minimalists work seeks to get to the heart of what is actually important, cutting away all the minor details and displaying only the most important. Having a minimalist approach to packaging, such as only displaying necessary information and uncomplicated designs, also presents your product as fuss-free, which is something that consumers certainly look for.


Minimalism is one of the few design trends that just never gets old, the simplicity of it makes minimalism easy to incorporate into a number of product variations across numerous platforms.

Examples of maximalism in design

Although minimalist designs cut out the nonsense, some consumers like the level of mystery from some brands that are less straightforward. Therefore, the levels of curiosity evoked by maximalist branding may also be something to consider.

Pukka Tea

This brand doesn’t like to go unnoticed when it comes to their packaging design. Each line of their tea is represented by a vivid colour scheme and pattern that evokes the tea’s flavours in a wild, repeating motif – invoking mystery, nature and adventure all at once which engage their target audience and spread their message by catching their eye with strong designs which can’t be missed.

Advantages of Maximalist design used in packaging

-Evokes curiosity and mystery

Contrarily to minimalism which uses the only elements that the design needs to function, a maximalist design uses a variety of patterns, designs, and elements that make the design become unmissable. Therefore, these designs may be quite random in their selection and not directly something you might associate with that brand. As a result of this, a maximalist design can evoke creativity and create a sense of mystery leaving the consumer wanting to find out more or purchase which can be a great aspect for a product on a busy supermarket shelf. A vibrant, loud design is certain to stand out. 

-Unmissable and can bring the brand to life

Your product may not be known for evoking excitement when people think about it. For example, you may be a dishwasher tablet brand which many people do not associate with excitement, joy or any similar feelings. However, your packaging design can bring your brand to life and make your product more exciting through its standalone design.

-More likely to be shared on social media and have greater brand exposure

We all know that social media is all about sharing what looks the best with the rest of the world. Whether this may be a flawless photograph of yourself, or a design you like the look of, by making your packaging more visually appealing and interesting it is more likely to get shared across social media platforms.

Ultimately, this is free advertising tool to a large audience for your product which is no doubt going to increase brand exposure. Also, 66% of consumers have tried a new product because of its packaging and 70% of consumers have stated that they form the decision whether to purchase on the packaging.


As discussed, simplicity and intricate detailing both have their place in the packaging world. However, the style that is best for you really depends on how you want your packaging/design to speak to its audience. Between latest trends, what competitors are doing, and your own preferences – there’s no question that defining your brand identity can be difficult decision.

Ultimately, we believe that originality is what entices consumers. Originality provides your audience with something other brands haven’t delivered, but this is easier said than done. You may not be able to get to the root of what your brand truly represents – which is why you should always seek professional advice when it comes to creating your trademark image.

Creative agencies such Media Village have a set of procedures and resources available to help you get the most out of your brand. We have successfully worked with many well-known food companies at every stage of the marketing process, collaborating creatively to reach the best design solution for their needs.

Together, we can also help you to unlock what makes you stand out for the crowd and create a brand identity that is unmissable and unique to you.

How gluten free companies can benefit from working with a creative agency

Britain’s shopping basket is going free-from, with Brits dodging dairy and going off gluten and grains at a growing rate. We have forked out an extra £230m on free-from food and drink in the past year.

That’s a rise of more than 40%!

This 40% growth has not only been driven by consumers who have medical conditions that require free-from diets, but also by what we refer to as free-from lifestyle choices – a growing market of people who are choosing to cut certain ingredients from their diet for health or lifestyle reasons.

Innovation in this upcoming food and beverage market has made gluten-free foods more palatable, helping to boost the sector’s profile; for this reason, the market has outgrown appealing exclusively to those who are needs-based, and recent statistics have shown that one in ten people, and even 15% of UK households, are set to be avoiding gluten and wheat altogether.

With the ever-growing market now rallying for more choice and flavours, there has never been a better time to look at what is likely to propel the purchase: packaging.

Packaging design and why it even matters

The best well-branded food packaging can elicit a Pavlovian hunger response. Ask yourself: have you ever seen a McDonald’s bag and experienced that un shakeable craving?

Free-from companies can also benefit from well-executed packaging design, exponentially increasing their brand recognition. Take supermarket giants, Aldi and Lidl, for example; both of whom launched a free-from label in August 2017. Within a crowded retail space, the average supermarket will stock more than 40,000 items – what better way to enhance a product’s appearance and memorability beside competitive brands, than through bespoke packaging design?

Furthermore, did you know that 40% of consumers admit that they would share a picture of a product’s packaging on social media if it was interesting enough? Social media interaction alone can boost awareness and generate engagement around your brand – you just need the packaging to have that special quality.

That’s where we come in.

We understand that food packaging is a crucial design discipline; with your target audience/demographic and USP in mind, we aim to develop and design packaging that reflects and represents your brand perfectly. By staying on-brand with your identity and promise, we can help you stay at the forefront of your customer’s minds; however, we also realise that one generic style won’t work for everything, and we are always willing to adapt.

 Our belief is that packaging can describe much more than where the product came from; it can also communicate a powerful message to its audience. You just need to decide what your message is.

Any good food brand should follow the following principles when considering packaging design:

  • Make sure it can be seen on the shelf (impact)
  • Make sure it engages shoppers (relevance)
  • Make sure it communicates key messages
  • Make sure it sells

We advise you to keep it simple, keep it honest. When it comes to food packaging, the design should show the product contained within: if a consumer cannot identify what you are selling, they are likely to walk on by. Always be straightforward: keep it clear and clean in design, font and wording.

Your packaging will interact with hundreds of people: it is absolutely a missed opportunity if it is not branded and properly designed.

How we have helped gluten free companies stand out

Over the last six months, we have worked with three different gluten free companies, producing and designing packaging sleeves, menu cards, thank you cards, banners and business cards.

1. KO-CO Brownies

KO-CO Brownies are an upcoming gluten free and dairy free chocolate brownie brand. The branding we designed for them followed a nature-inspired image and conveyed the brand message professionally.

How did we help KO-CO Brownies?

We designed and produced the following:

  • Brownie watch straps for a range of flavours
  • Menu cards
  • Thank you cards
  • Labels for packaging
  • Banner for market shows

We worked towards the customer brief and created a design that would match their target demographic and express their target message efficiently.

2. Bak’d Cake Co.

An award-winning, family run, free-from brand which offers artisan treats to enjoy baking at home. All of the recipes produced and offered were developed by the family themselves, inspired by their own experiences to create alternative solutions to nut allergies and gluten intolerance.

How did we help Bak’d Cake Co.?

We produced a range of high-quality printed packaging for the baking at home kits, which incorporated different colours and styles to match the various flavours they had to offer.

3. gf2go

gf2go is another business created to solve a problem within the industry and offer more choice to those with gluten intolerance. They produce gluten free bread, brownies, cakes, cereals, pies and a range of puddings.

How did we help gf2go?

We produced high quality packaging to protect and advertise their sticky toffee pudding products. 

Our promise to you

As you can see, we pride ourselves on equipping companies with the essentials they need to stand out. With product innovation expected to grow, we have realised the potential our business model and services have to help any food or drink business stand out in this lucrative industry.

We take full advantage of our ability to offer the full marketing solution in-house, all under one roof, which has huge potential for any business wanting to get noticed (and noticed in the right way)!

 From photography, branding and even to vehicle livery, we can refine every touchpoint of your customer’s journey. In the gluten free industry this has never been more relevant. The potential for new brands entering the market every month is very high and the market is quickly becoming saturated; therefore, having packaging that stands out and makes an impact could be the crucial finish you need to maintain your place on the supermarket shelves.

Remember, your product’s packaging should communicate what your brand stands for, and what it means for your customer.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create a lasting impression on the shelf and in the minds of your customers.

5 reasons why every business should invest in Graphic Design

We understand – particularly when it comes to small businesses with limited resources – that when times get tough and businesses are forced to make cuts, it’s often the creative budget that faces these cuts first. Unfortunately, companies often fail to see how investing in their creative budget can, in fact, help achieve the goals they have thus far prioritised – failing to recognise that the department of design and visuals can actually be the difference between ‘mediocre’ and ‘great’.

1. The numbers are in, design sells

Studies have shown that visual appeal can influence us within about 50 milliseconds. In brief, this is how quickly a designer’s content must impress. To get these results, your company would benefit from working with a professional designer, meaning that you will have the chance to seek their expertise to ensure your brand message is perfect. Additionally, we believe that your design should support the principles you have built your company around, and strive to reach your customers’ hearts (rather than just their wallets)!

You may think: “I already understand my company ethos, know our goals, and have no problem discussing these with the customer”. Nonetheless, a visual aid could be the difference between just you understanding your goals and everybody else understanding them, exactly as you want.

The majority of us are visual learners. 65% of people agree that they grasp concepts more easily with a visual accompaniment. Used in this way, design can ‘simplify’ communication in branding; making obvious who the design is for by appealing to its target audience, and allowing the design the ability to attract the right attention in the right way. For example, you may have a product intended for the adult market – but if the wrong design is covering the product, this can mislead your audience and really become a problem.

According to Adobe, over the span of 10 years, companies with strong designs outperformed those with weak designs by 219% on the S&P 500 Index (a stock market index), so the numbers truly are in, design sells.

2.Packaging design can alter your customer’s perception

You may have heard of the concept “eat with your eyes”. Though eating stimulates many senses, sight is actually a huge part of influencing decisions when it comes to food, and this does not go unacknowledged when marketing the food on the shelves at supermarkets. The question is: how do we make our products appealing, when we can’t plate them up?

The truth is that you really can take advantage of packaging and design just as much as supermarket products do. In fact, most products can be marketed and designed in alignment with this “eat with your eyes” concept. This is how we can aim to inspire purchase behaviour and even evoke positive emotions towards a brand. We have also worked with a diverse collection of businesses within the food industry towards creating packaging/branding that is unique on the shelf, helping it stand out.

Food for thought: people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see/do. So why not consult our expertise in design to make an impact on your customer’s perceptions of a product, and target your audience in exactly the right way?

3. Good design keeps your brand memorable.

Let’s consider a brand that has generated a memorable design: Pantone.

Pantone, a simple colour matching brand, has developed a distinct design style that makes them iconic, creating memorability and awareness for the brand.

Pantone developed it’s distinctive, memorable brand by becoming the universal language of print and colour. They noticed how difficult it was for designers, ad agencies and printers to communicate exact colours, therefore they became the go to brand that provided the solution to this.

Now, think of your business design as a handshake: the first impression between two people – in this case, your business and your customer. Does the experience make them smile or frown? Do they say “hi”, “hello”, or “good day”? Is the handshake firm and formal, or warm and friendly?

Within the digital era, design sits at the core of amazing brand experiences. Companies are realising that by embedding design into business practices, they are actually encouraging deeper customer loyalty, ultimately making a positive impact on their business’s performance.

4. Strong web design= strong customer loyalty

Today, most businesses have some form of online presence. In fact, it is more likely that you will first encounter a business online; therefore, the impression your website makes and leaves is more important than ever. But how do you leave a good impression?

By investing in good design, of course!

The kneejerk reaction to a badly designed website is often to not trust it, let alone bother reading on. Even in cases where the user has found the smallest detail of the web design not to like, the site is often not explored further than the homepage. Ultimately, this affects business success and the sales of your product/service.

According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span has declined by 4 seconds since 2000. Shockingly, the attention span today is said to be only eight seconds – whereas even a goldfish can manage nine! If the customer cannot find what they are looking for within this window, a poorly designed website can hinder all your chances. Therefore, by displaying a strong brand identity and ensuring this identity is consistent across all of your platforms, you can continue to secure customers, attention and trust.

We want to help your brand be accessed across a variety of marketing platforms, whether printed or digital. Our in-house graphic designers always strive to create a consistently high quality brand image for every customer we deal with. Additionally, consumers who come into contact with the brand identity you have established (whether it be your logo, type font, or brand colours) will, with the correct design, be prompted towards the desired emotional response to your product/services. It might make all the difference.

5. Design sets you apart from the crowd

Have you ever bought a product simply because it looked nicer than the alternative? Of course you have.

For any business, competition is always high. The chances are that consumers are simply attracted to the one thing that makes the product stand out over another – and that thing is most likely a good, strong design.

As a proven selling point, we can help your brand stand out with intentional design decisions. Strong visuals can also make your brand memorable and can help trigger memories to keep the brand fresh in your mind. Furthermore, if your product/service is considered to be `technical’ or ‘difficult to understand`, effective visuals can act as a translation service – which simplifies complex language and helps to explain exactly what it is you are offering.

Your business doesn’t have to be within the creative industry or even have an ‘exciting’ product to have a strong identity. With our creative skills, expertise and experience, we are able to offer creative solutions for any industry, no matter the product. Even if you can’t see a way that your business can be creative – there is every chance we can. After all, it’s exactly what we’re here for.