Green Looking Green Products Packaging

Green Packaging 1

How do we recognise green products packaging on shelves? Is it by their colours? Their materials? Their looks? Actually, it’s all of that and more.


Packaging World recently published an article considering the features we look for when looking for green products ─ you know, sustainable, natural, responsible ones. Nowadays, it’s important for package designers to know what customers are looking for, even more so when entire generations back up particular trends:

[quote style=”boxed”]“The emerging shopping behaviors of millennial consumers (…) are having a significant impact on package design. Their interest in items that are natural, organic, and/or tied to a cause are not only driving package appearance, but also the messages conveyed.”[/quote]

Current conveyance, according to PW, depends on six of the said features: PDP, color, graphic elements, icons, typography, and packaging materials. They took the trouble to go in depth on each of these, so we’ll just quote some of the most interesting bits and leave it all to check for yourself.

PDP, (the Principal Display Panel), is currently considered to be the most important medium to connect with customers. Here’s where all elements come into play, and package designers are taking advantage of all sides of the packagings:

[quote style=”boxed”]“Side panels have become the storytelling space of the green package. These panels are where you can explain your history, values, passion, and cause. And the back panel of the package (…) is the place to focus on what’s inside and how a product works.”[/quote]

Regarding colors, greens are still dominating the market, (with shades of brown and golden), along with natural-feeling graphic imagery. Icons, on the other hand, are earning power as copywriting loses its ground on the confidence of customers: terms as “natural” are loosely regulated and make way to marketing deceits.

The regulation concerns, in turn, are encouraging citizens to ask for transparency and honesty in the packaging industry, with phrases like “non-GMO” and recognizable icons:

[quote style=”boxed”]“Shoppers (…) know to look for icons on product packages as a quick way to determine if the contents within the package are the products for them. Most recognized—and important to feature, if applicable—is the USDA Organic logo. This, and others that can be verified, such as “Certified Vegan,” hold the most weight.”[/quote]

Typography, in turn, is focusing its efforts on designing highly hierarchical structures, placing key sustainability concepts in full view. Finally, there’s little to advice about materials, other than picking the most sustainable, recyclable and natural-looking ones; and, of course, staying away from refined plastics and the like.


Sponsored by Derprosa, leading brand in biaxially oriented polypropylene films for packaging.