What’s Ahead: Custom Labeling Trends for 2020


2019 was a year of contrasts on the packaging and label front – not that you’d expect anything else from an industry that regularly devotes itself to fine-tuning the precise shade that will really make a label’s text stand out.

Among 2019’s custom labeling trends were:

  • Vintage. This aesthetic was adopted by brands from haircare to food and beverage giants, and showcased fonts and graphics that have been described as everything from nostalgic and retro to careworn and weathered.

    RELATED ARTICLE: How to Use Nostalgia in Your Label Design

  • Modern. From sleek black text to stark white or translucent labeling, the modern aesthetic reigned supreme on many major packaging designs throughout the year.

  • Natural. Industries from cannabis and CBD to personal hygiene went with a more rugged, neutral colored design for both packaging and labeling.

  • Bright. Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019 was Living Coral, inspiring an array of this and other bright colors for many rebrands and limited edition packaging designs.

RELATED ARTICLE: What Does Your Brand Color Palette Say About Your Business?

What’s Ahead for Custom Labels and Flexible Packaging in 2020?

Though we can expect trends like vintage, modern, and natural to persist into the next year, what other trends are likely to arise once 2020 begins? So far, 2020 promises to usher in a whole new era of contrasts in packaging and labeling. 2020’s emerging trends include:

  • Bold eclecticism. Eclectic simply means “deriving style from a diverse range of sources”, and that’s exactly what 2020 will mean for many industries. Expect to see a combination of a few of 2019’s trends when more and more packaging features clean, stark backgrounds with a pop of bright colors and die cuts.

  • Sustainability. The demand for more sustainable packaging is at an all-time high as consumers want to lessen their impact on the environment. In addition to using actual recycled materials, consumers want their packaging to look sustainable, promoting the rise of natural cardboard and rustic colors.

  • Personalization. Limited-run shrink wrap and label printing for special events, seasons, and many more occasions promises to be big in 2020. This trend capitalizes on the nostalgia market from last year, providing a source of collectible memorabilia for many brands moving forward.

  • Transparency. The clean label movement aims at disclosing and removing artificial ingredients from food and beverage by 2020. For the labeling industry, this means a shift to highlighting desirable ingredients on the front of packaging. Innovations such as responsive labeling give consumers a better picture of the lifespan and factory origins of the product.

While these will certainly not be the only trends that arise as 2020 elapses, they’re some of the major shifts occurring at the end of 2019. Stay tuned to this blog for more details as more information emerges.

If you’re interested in applying some of the newest trends to your brand’s labeling, reach out to Century Label today for more information about our custom label printing services.