Back in July, I met with our internal packaging experts to find out what was trending in 2016 with regards to the folding carton industry. Our team was happy to share their insight with you in hopes that it would spark your own creative ideas.

The Thoro team believes it is critical for us to monitor the latest packaging design trends, and the Paperboard Packaging Council is a great resource for that. Recently judged by a panel of packaging design and industry experts, the 72nd annual competition revealed some truly inspiring work. While the winners will be announced at the PPC Fall Meeting in Indianapolis, IN on October 8, 2015, below are a few of the key packaging trends that emerged during the judging.

Geometric Structures Today, package designers are turning to bold, unconventional structures that stimulate imaginations and kindle desires. One popular design strategy seen at this year’s competition was the use of geometric structures with unique angles and sculptural effects. Generally reserved for specialty products, these design elements lend themselves well to paperboard and are entering the mainstream markets.

“Wow Factor” Finishing Techniques As a whole, this year’s entries also displayed a previously unseen level of graphic and finishing techniques. One carton used micro-embossing to simulate rough, plaque-ridden teeth. Another simulated the leather of an expensive handbag while another smooth feel of worn wood. This year’s entries revealed how detailed finishing effects can create a powerful sensory experience that can persuade consumers to buy.

Stackable Innovations While branding and consumer experience are key factors in successful package design, so too is efficiency in storing and transport. The entries this year revealed that designers are keeping these considerations in mind by creating stackable cartons for unexpected products. For example, one design for a six-pack can carrier featured a retractable handle that, once lowered into the carton, left a flat surface for stacking on the store shelf and on pallets. Another confectionery package was designed so that the family of different sized cartons could nest securely atop one another during transport and on the store shelf.

For more information about any of these trends or styles, please give us a call at 951-278-2100 or send us an email at