In the past, design and art movements have played a major role in shaping history. This includes everything from the Renaissance up to today’s packaging. In recent years, minimalism and maximalism have become popular aesthetics. Whether you’re a designer, artist, business owner, or someone who appreciates visual aesthetics, you may have heard discussions about minimalism vs maximalism.

It can be difficult to choose the best approach. We will examine the differences between them and look at various packaging examples in this article. Let’s find the style that works best for your design!

What is minimalism exactly?

Minimalism, a 1960s movement, is rooted in Modernism. It is characterized by a “less is more” approach and emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and elegance. The minimalist designs are often characterized by a palette of neutrals and pastels, simple shapes and clean lines. Textures are usually absent.

Designers can also use white space and negative space in order to create breathing room around important features, and to help communicate their message. White space is a specific area that has been left white or blank. Negative space refers only to areas in a design which are not occupied. These spaces, although they may appear unimportant at first glance, help to emphasize essential elements. This emphasizes the importance of harmony and balance, which are equally important to the design elements.

Simple and clean album cover design. Stephen.

What is maximalism, and what does it mean?

Maxim332c7aalism, on the other hand is the opposite to minimalism. The postmodernist movement of the second half of the 20th Century was a reaction against minimalism. Often called the “aesthetic of excess”, this is a movement that prioritizes bold colors, sharp patterns, and catchy textures in attention-grabbing designs. Maximalism is the opposite of minimalism which emphasizes simplicity and subtle design. It embraces extravagance and excess.

candy packaging design for upbite
The design of the candy packaging is colorful and fun. goopanic

Packaging design: minimalism and maximalism

When it comes to design, there’s often a perceived dichotomy between minimalism and maximalism. However, it’s worth considering whether these approaches are truly mutually exclusive. Many designs combine elements from both. This is true especially in packaging design where brands have to balance their brand identity and message with creating an attractive product that standsout on shelves. A minimalist design Can be a good choice for brands that are looking to portray a sleek, modern image. Often associated with high-end items that exude luxury and sophistication.

Apple’s products, for example, have a matte finish which feels smooth to the touch. The name of the brand is usually embossed in the box. Apple has created a strong connection between its products and the feeling of innovation and modernity through their minimalistic design. Focus is placed on the specific information with fewer graphics, creating a sophisticated and clean image that appeals consumers who value elegance and simplicity.

The maximalism of a brand can also be used to express their energy and enthusiasm. Usually, it includes bright colors, patterns and textures. You can create an air of playfulness and vibrancy. It can appeal to younger audiences.

a handful of goodies packaging design
An impressive candy packaging design by UniqueHub

In the next section, we’ll examine examples of successful and innovative packaging design in both minimalism and maximalism.

Here are some examples of packaging that is both minimalistic and maximalist.

What’s the best way to learn about visual design?

Look at the picture.

In this section, you’ll see a wide range of different product packaging that either leans toward minimalism or maximalism. Learn how to incorporate these ideas into packaging designs by reading on!

Heyhale nutrition packaging design: minimalist

heyhale packaging design
A minimalist packaging design for heyhale nutrition’s vegan protein mix by extrafindesign
Why it’s minimalist

The packaging is minimalistic, focusing on only the essentials: the logo, the company name and the product name. This packaging design is authentic and stylish without being over-thought.

Why we love it

This design shows how simple can be effective. It aligns with the product’s vegan-friendly and natural ingredients, using earthy tones and eco-friendly materials to communicate its values. The minimalistic design incorporates the product’s name as well as a subtle representation. This gives the design a touch of organic appeal. Packaging that is plastic-free enhances the eco-friendly aspect of this product. Overall, this design is perfect for the health-conscious consumer.

Ting’s Jackfruit Chips packaging design: whatever you want it to be

ting’s jackfruit chips packaging design
The best of both minimalism and maximalism Ting’s Chips packaging design by Anastasia S.
Why it’s maximal

This design is an excellent example of maximalism with its bold typography, vibrant colors, and mixture of layers. The asymmetrical design creates an eye-catching composition. Photographic imagery gives the design a touch of realism. The combination of 2D shapes and colors with photographic imagery gives a nod to the ’90s collage style, adding even more maximalist elements to the design.

Why this falls under both umbrellas

It deliberately blends minimalist and maximalist elements, combining negative space with simple geometric shapes and adding bold colors to achieve a modern and unique look.

Why we love it

This packaging is a favorite of ours because it has a playful composition and vibrant colors. It gives an “ordered chaos” to the design, making it more memorable. The resealable bag adds a practical element and the photo draws your attention to what’s important—the product itself.

Xook packaging design: minimalist

xook snacks and salads packaging design
Xook’s Packaging design for minimalist salads and snacks by goopanic
Why it’s minimal

It’s hard to argue that this packaging design takes anything other than the minimalist approach. On the two prominent surfaces we can see the logo of the company, the name of the product and its type. The composition is clean and uncluttered. The negative space and typography are clean. The minimalistic design is reinforced by using a single color and font.

A handle integrated into the lid’s cutout also adds a playful element. The rebellious personality is teased while maintaining the minimalist aesthetic.

Why we love it

The Xook stall offers salads, bowls and fresh food made to order. The packaging design reflects the brand’s commitment to straightforward, user-friendly service with its clear and simple design. Additionally, the use of eco-friendly materials aligns with the brand’s sustainability values.

Little Danube packaging design: minimalist

xook snacks and salads packaging design
Little Danube body exfoliant soap packaging design by Kamilla Oblakova
Why it’s minimalist

The limited color palette of this packaging design makes it appear minimalistic. Negative space is used to create a simple and clean composition. The minimalist style is also reflected in the use of simple geometric shapes.

The designers have made it playful and fun by adding space and balance around each element. The design is uncluttered despite the large number of features.

Why we love it

This packaging is beautiful because it has soft, meaningful colors and illustrations. It reflects the story of the founder, Katrina’s journey from east to west of Europe, where each bar of soap carries a wonderful scent that resonates with a memory and place.

Ayurvedic Hand made soap packaging design: maximalist

ayurvedic hand made soap packaging design
This beautiful packaging is made from handmade soap. Ayurvedic By: identity pulse
Why it’s maximalist

This design is a great example of how bright colors, intricate patterns and complex designs can create a maximumist look. This style is emphasized by floral and geometric patterns. Earthy colors and botanical illustrations are used to make a connection between the soap’s natural ingredients and the viewers.

This design has a number of elements that give it a rich, opulent feel. It isn’t typical minimalist design.

Why we love it

The orange tones and the spacious layout are easy on the eye, and the intricate patterns give it depth and interest. Despite the complexity of the design, it doesn’t overwhelm the senses and maintains a sense of coherence and balance.

Cape Coast Co packaging design: minimalist

cape coast co candle packaging design
Candle packaging design by Cape Coast Co By: goopanic
Why this falls under both umbrellas

While this packaging design may fall under the category of minimalism, it’s far from ordinary. The unconventional text alignment, the layering and the incorporation of stickers give it a Brutalist feel. Although the limited color scheme of three colors and simple typeface may seem minimalistic at first, they create a feeling of chaos and complex.

Why we love it

The fact that it’s simple and to the point makes this design delightfully minimalist. This design goes beyond just a logo or product description. It shows how to use minimalist elements in unexpected ways.

Granola Barks packaging design: minimalist

granola barks packaging design
The packaging of granola bars is designed by Granola Barks By: extrafindesign
Why it’s minimal

While the design does incorporate a limited color palette, it also features several elements that prioritize the brand’s values and target audience. These include brand keywords, photos of the product and its intended users, and a clear message about the product’s benefits. The final result is a mix of minimalistic and informative design rather than a strict minimalist approach.

Why we love it

The packaging is simple and focuses on the essentials. A single color is used on the foil and background to highlight the main elements of the packaging design. This includes a photo and product name. The brand and product is communicated effortlessly to the audience—plus it’s packed with personality.

Pine State Coffee packaging design: maximalist

pine state coffee packaging design
Coffee beans packaging design Pine State Coffee By: barrios1
Why it’s maximal

The packaging of Pine State Coffee has a maximalist look with complex patterns and bright colors. It also includes detailed text. Even the intricate illustrations suggest attention to detail that’s typical of maximalism. The minimal designs on both sides of the packaging balance out the intricate front and back. Overall, this design is harmonious and well thought-out.

Why we love it

This packaging design perfectly echoes the branding as well as the product design itself—bright, fun, vibrant and welcoming. It incorporates the colors of the sunset, nature-themed illustrations and the product’s natural ingredients. Speaking of which, focusing on the product’s core component, coffee beans, is exactly what this packaging design does.

Selecting the right style to use for your packaging design

Minimalism or maximalism—which is right for you? What is more important, what style best suits your business, brand or product?

It is important to remember that there are no distinct lines between the two themes. Use bright, vibrant colors with a handwritten font if you want to. There are no rules in design! It’s up to you to figure out what works best for the application you need. What’s the best way to answer the maximalism vs minimalism question? You need to get out and explore your style, as well as that of your customers. Then, play with the design styles to find one that best represents your brand.

Do you want to create a packaging that is unique for your brand or product?
You can have something amazing created by our designers.

This article was written by a guest writer and published in 2018. The article has been updated and includes new information.

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