Yes, that time of year is fast approaching! The holidays might still be a few months away, but it’s not too early to start thinking about your holiday packaging designs for 2019!

We often associate the holidays with cliche icons like snowflakes and candy canes. But with how much gift wrapping gets done, you can bet that packaging is just as important!

A beautifully-wrapped parcel is one of the most universal images of the holiday season. It symbolizes festivity and celebration. Because gift-giving is the key activity during this period, consumers are primed to look out for eye-catching products. So, investing in a seasonal packaging refresh provides a nice cognitive prompt for the upcoming holidays!

To help give you some inspiration, we’ve rounded up the top holiday packaging design trends for the 2019 holiday season!

Minimalist Packaging Designs (Be Like Marie Kondo and Simplify!)

This past year, minimalist designs for product packaging have grown immensely in popularity. You can bet that the 2019 holiday season will be no different. Why? Because the traditional color palettes that we see all over holiday marketing materials has become overused. When certain colors or designs become commonplace, they no longer make an impression on consumers.

Ideally, you want your holiday packaging designs to be eye-catching and memorable. In a season characterized by bold hues, this year's minimalist design trend means going back to basics and channeling simplicity - why not try black and white?

At first glance, black and white might seem inappropriate for creating some holiday cheer. But because it's non-traditional, it's far more likely to stand out from the crowd of regular holiday packaging designs.

Close-up of black and white checked out with a black ribbon bow

As The Foxes Den shows, black and white packaging designs photograph extremely well because they offer a high contrast between colors. Minimalist packaging is also classy and timeless, which helps your brand to look more high-end.

With all the advantages it offers, we are forecasting minimalist designs to be one of this year's biggest holiday packaging design trends!

Metallic Prints (Get Your Shine On!)

With its associations to tinsel and shiny wrapping paper, metallics have long been a key seasonal element. As we move away from stereotypical holiday imagery, bringing some metallic accents into your holiday packaging design reflects the season in a tasteful, eye-catching way.

Make-up brands were among the first to channel this design trend in their holiday cosmetics packaging. Below is a great example from Kylie Cosmetics for their limited edition 2019 holiday collection:

Kylie Cosmetics holiday collection 2019

One of the best things about metallics is that you don't have to change key brand details. Kylie Cosmetics keeps the signature millennial pink as the base color, adding in snowflake-like dots and a metallic typeface for a nice seasonal twist. By maintaining their principal branding and accentuating it, they’ve created quite the festive unboxing for their customers!

That’s not to say that everything has to be glitter—don’t worry. You can channel this holiday packaging design trend in more subtle ways!

Quinn the Fox custom packaging with gold branded sticker

A metallic sticker, like this custom sticker design by Quinn the Fox, can provide a strong focal point in your holiday packaging design.

Black and Gold thank you card

This black and gold thank-you card by Paper Pony Co. adds a fantastic level of sophistication and glitz, perfect for the holiday season!

Embrace Quirky Illustrations

We are seeing more and more brands wanting their personality to shine through in their holiday packaging designs. Don’t just take it from us: look at what the big businesses are up to! Coca Cola was one of the most notable companies to make steps into the illustration for the holidays arena with its holiday polar bear design. But 2019 marks the year that we will see real growth in custom graphic design or illustration-inspired holiday packaging designs from independent retailers.

For boutique businesses, an on-brand seasonal design is creative and quirky. It also helps to represent the independent streak that your customers love!

Packaging decorated with hand drawn Christmas trees

These festive hand-drawn illustrations by Der Kleine Salon are simple and memorable. They also add that all-important personal touch to their holiday packaging. When your design plays directly off your brand, it helps to channel the excitement of the season in a familiar way for your existing customers. Custom branded packaging also makes for a great feature on your social media channels!

Keeping it Green with Sustainable Packaging

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) there is an increase of 25% each week in the amount of household waste produced between Thanksgiving and New Year. With all that waste, there is also a rise in the desire for change. In 2019, the holiday season will prove no exception to the growing consumer demand for eco friendly packaging solutions.

If that isn't enough of a reason on its own to adopt sustainable holiday packaging, read on! Dotcom Distribution's 2019 consumer study found that 62% of shoppers are more likely to buy from brands who use eco-friendly packaging materials.

More than ever, consumers are seeking out brands that place an emphasis on sustainability. All of this means that doing what’s best for your business and doing what’s best for the planet are no longer at odds! It’s a holiday miracle!

Incorporating recyclable or reusable elements into your holiday packaging design is a great way to lower its impact. You can also make the most of new innovations within the packaging industry, such as biodegradable or compostable packaging.

Check this post out for more environmentally friendly packaging ideas!

Your holiday packaging design is one of the best seasonal marketing tools at your disposal. A seasonal refresh sparks excitement and interest in your customers. This is especially effective when you think outside the box!

So, what do these 2019 holiday packaging design trends have in common? All signs show that traditional seasonal imagery is no longer in vogue. When brands are facing increasing competition to stand out, an unconventional, on-brand holiday packaging design is the key to making a lasting impression. For the 2019 holidays, don't be afraid to get creative!

For more on holiday packaging design, check out our seasonal packaging guide!