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Authenticity, Bold Design & Sustainability: The Key Trends in Branding for 2023


As a small business owner and graphic designer, it’s always exciting to see what new trends are emerging in the world of branding, packaging, and website design. And as we look ahead to 2023, I can confidently say that we’re in for some exciting changes!

In this article, I’ll take a closer look at some of the key trends that I believe will shape the branding landscape in the coming year, and offer some tips on how your small business can make the most of them.

1. Embracing Authenticity in Brand Identity Design

One of the biggest trends we’re seeing in brand identity design is a shift towards authenticity. Consumers are becoming increasingly sceptical of polished, corporate branding and are instead looking for brands that feel real and relatable.

For small businesses, this presents a great opportunity to showcase the unique personalities and values that make your brand stand out. Think about the stories and messages that really matter to you and your customers, and use them to inform your branding.

For example, if your business is all about sustainability and reducing waste, make sure that’s reflected in your branding. Use earthy colours and imagery, and incorporate eco-friendly messaging into your tagline or mission statement.

2. Using Bold Colours and Typography in Packaging Design

Another trend that’s gaining momentum in the world of packaging design is the use of bold colours and typography. Instead of relying on traditional product photography, more and more brands are using bright, eye-catching colours and bold typography to make their products stand out on the shelf.

For small businesses, this is an excellent opportunity to make your products pop. Think about the colours and typography that best reflect your brand’s personality and use them to create packaging that’s memorable and unique.

For example, a small business that specializes in organic skincare products can use clean and fresh colours like green and blue, as well as elegant and simple typography.

Bold red Deon Libra products arrange together with mood lighting.
Image credit: Deon Libra by Nice People

3. Creating Website Designs that are Accessible and Mobile-Friendly

In the world of website design, accessibility and mobile-friendliness are becoming increasingly important. With more and more people accessing the internet on their smartphones and tablets, it’s essential that your website is easy to navigate and looks great on any device.

For small businesses, this means designing websites that are clean, simple, and easy to use. Avoid cluttering your pages with too many elements and make sure that your text and images are easy to read on a small screen.

Another important aspect of website design is including accessibility features such as alt-text for images and captions for videos. This will make your website more accessible for people with disabilities, and help you reach a wider audience.

4. Incorporating Interactive Elements into Website Design

As we move into 2023, we’re also seeing a trend towards website designs that incorporate interactive elements. From hover effects to animations, these elements can help to create a more engaging and memorable user experience.

For small businesses, this presents an excellent opportunity to create a website that stands out from the crowd. Think about the interactive elements that would best suit your brand and use them to create a website that’s both beautiful and functional.

For example, an eco-friendly fashion brand can incorporate a “virtual try-on” feature that allows customers to see how an item looks on a model before they buy it.

Gigantic! was designed by Brooklyn, NY-based Gander.

5. Creating a Strong Brand Story

Another important 2023 design trend is the creation of a strong brand story. Consumers are looking for brands that they can connect with on a personal level, and a well-crafted brand story can help to create that connection.

A strong brand story should tell your customers who you are, what you stand for, and why they should care. It should be authentic, relatable, and consistent across all of your branding and marketing materials.

For small businesses, this can be a bit more challenging, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Start by identifying the core values and mission of your business, and think about the unique story that sets your brand apart. Then, use that story to inform all of your branding and marketing efforts.

6. Incorporating Sustainability in Packaging Design

Another 2023 design trend that’s gaining momentum in the world of packaging design is sustainability. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchases and are looking for brands that are making an effort to reduce waste and use eco-friendly materials.

For small businesses, this presents a great opportunity to showcase your commitment to sustainability and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Think about the ways that you can reduce the environmental impact of your packaging, such as using biodegradable or recycled materials, or designing packaging that can be easily reused or repurposed.

For example, a small business that specializes in handmade soaps can package their products in biodegradable cellulose bags instead of plastic packaging and use a minimalistic design with a focus on the natural ingredients of the products.

Additionally, incorporating transparent communication on your packaging about the sustainable choices you made in the production process can help build trust and loyalty with your customers.

Incorporating sustainability into your packaging design not only helps the environment but also appeals to conscious consumers, helping to grow your business and brand reputation.

Packaging box for sleepwear brand, Gretes
Image credit: Gretes Sleepwear by Andstudio

As we move into 2023, small businesses have an incredible opportunity to stand out in a crowded market by embracing authenticity, bold design, and interactive elements in their branding, packaging, and website design. By telling a strong brand story and being consistent across all of your marketing materials, you can create a strong emotional connection with your customers that will help your business grow.

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