The ongoing discourse around gender identity is increasingly influencing product design and marketing strategies. Gone are the days when blue was reserved for boys and pink for girls. Nowadays, many brands are choosing to steer away from presenting products as gender-specific.
This move, however, tends to be more apparent within new brands rather than established brands. But whether you’re new to the cosmetic and skincare industry or you’ve been hanging around a while, there’s certainly value in evolving your packaging design in line with changing cultural attitudes. After all, it’s important to keep up with changing tides or risk being left behind. With this in mind, here are some ideas for gender-neutral packaging design:
- Limited color:Rather than opting for colors that adhere to outdated ideas of gender norms, consider using a limited color palette that doesn’t conform to traditional gender associations. Take a look at the widely popular skincare brand, The Ordinary. They’ve opted for neutral-colored packaging that lets the product do the talking and doesn’t limit their appeal to one specific gender. That being said, you can still include color in your packaging design but opt for neutral tones like earthy greens, soothing blues, or warm yellows that appeal universally.
- Minimalist typography: Another way to move away from gender-specificity is to embrace clean and simple typography that transcends gender expectations. A simple, sans serif typeface is an appropriate choice for effectively communicating your brand’s message without relying on gender-specific fonts. Not only will this approach ensure that your packaging remains gender-neutral, but it’s also timeless.
- Abstract patterns:Wave goodbye to soft edges and flowery prints for “female” products and instead incorporate abstract patterns or geometric designs that don’t adhere to conventional gender norms. Patterns such as these can add visual interest to your packaging while avoiding any associations with specific genders.
- Functional design: At the end of the day, the overarching appeal of your product should be the product itself. Therefore, you want to ensure that the practicality and functionality of your packaging design are your priority. Above all, emphasize usability and convenience with packaging that prioritizes functionality over gender-targeted aesthetics.
- Inclusive imagery:If you would like your packaging to feature imagery, then opt for diverse and inclusive images that celebrate diversity. Steer clear of using any images that align with traditional gender stereotypes and, instead, showcase a range of individuals of different backgrounds, and identities.