As designers, we are always looking for inspiration to fuel our creative projects. This week delivered plenty of ingenious design ideas that are sure to get those creative juices flowing. From innovative product designs to clever branding and packaging, there are so many great concepts to explore.
In this article, we will highlight five of the best design ideas we came across this week. These concepts demonstrate clever problem-solving, outside-the-box thinking, and masterful execution. Read on for an injection of design inspiration.
Unique and Eye-Catching Packaging Designs
Product packaging serves the critical functions of protecting a product and providing information to consumers. However, it also represents a major branding opportunity. This week, we saw several examples of packaging that took things to the next level with striking visuals and creative structural designs.
Haircare Brand Uses Imaginative Packaging Shapes
A new haircare brand made waves this week with its selection of unconventional bottle shapes. Rather than using standard cylindrical containers, the bottles are modeled after the silhouettes of various hairstyles. This adds a sculptural, artistic element while also communicating the intended use and vibe of each product.
The shampoo bottle resembles the profile of a mohawk, spiked up and punk rock in nature. The conditioner mimics the flowing tresses of a shoulder-length style. And the hair gel container looks like a molded faux-hawk. This outside-the-bottle thinking allows the packaging to express the identity of each product in a memorable fashion.
Olive Oil Brand Goes Bold with Graphic Packaging
An Italian olive oil brand decided to forego classic label designs in favor of bold, graphic packaging that catches the eye. Each bottle varietal is encased in a sleeve printed with striking vintage-inspired illustrations. Vibrant colors and strong geometric patterns give the products strong visual impact.
This eye-catching packaging achieves multiple design wins. It differentiates the brand from competitors, with packaging that is hard to ignore on store shelves. The retro graphics also communicate a sense of authentic, Old World quality and tradition. Finally, the different patterns help consumers distinguish between the varietals. Setting this olive oil apart with captivating graphics gives it a major advantage.
Beer Company Uses Bag-in-Box Format
In an effort to reduce waste, one beer company began offering its brew in an eco-friendly bag-in-box format this week. Rather than traditional six-pack containers or cans, the beer is housed in a recyclable cardboard box containing a foil bag. Taps on the side of the box allow easy pouring.
This innovative approach lowers both packaging and shipping weight compared to bottled beer. The bags take up less space, meaning more beer fits inside each truckload. Plus, the cardboard box provides ample space for eye-catching branding. Offering their brews in this planet-friendly format provides a feel-good sustainability benefit for consumers as well.
Tactile and Interactive Product Designs
Technology has introduced more screens and sleek flat surfaces into our lives. However, many designers are recognizing the enduring value of tactile, interactive elements people can touch. This week we spotted several notable product designs that incorporate interesting physical forms and controls.
Camera Concept Features Physical Lens Controls
A concept for a new digital camera replaces touchscreen controls with physical knobs and dials. Users adjust shooting modes and settings like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture through prominent analog controls along the top of the camera. Adjustable rings surrounding each lens provide optical controls like zoom and focus.
The tactile nature of these controls allows photographers to make adjustments quickly without digging into menus. The mechanical dials also deliver satisfying user feedback through the clicking and turning. And the centered placement of controls provides convenience for shooting with either hand. This fusion of analog inputs and digital technology demonstrates sophisticated design thinking.
Lamp With Movable Arms Allows Custom Lighting
An innovative lighting system designed this week provides users total control over directing light. The minimalist LED lamp features three fully posable arms capped with lampshades. Users can adjust the length, angle, and flex of the arms to customize the lighting effect.
The ability to manipulate the arms unlocks limitless lighting possibilities for task, ambient, or accent needs. This human-centered design allows for precision lighting direction while removing the need for multiple lamps cluttering a room. The ability to physically adjust the lights delivers an intuitive user experience.
Customizable Modular Synthesizer System
An electronic musical instrument company developed a new modular synthesizer users can physically arrange to their preferences. The various synthesizer components connect together via cables like building blocks. Users can then shape the sound by repositioning modules and altering the routing of signals through the system.
This hands-on design promotes learning through experimentation and collaboration. Musicians can achieve the exact sound they want by reconfiguring components and adjusting knobs for tactile feedback. The interactive nature makes synthesizing music more intuitive and enjoyable.
Artistic Branding Designs
A brand’s visual identity plays a key role in shaping perceptions and forging emotional connections. Some super creative branding designs caught our eye this week for their use of artistic elements to express brand personalities and stories.
Optical Illusion Logo Communicates Automotive Motion
An iconic Italian automaker revealed a clever new logo design centered around motion and speed. The logo features the letters of the brand name slicing diagonally through a road-like transverse line. This creates an optical illusion of dynamic motion radiating out from the logo’s center.
By integrating visual cues of traveling down an open road, the logo design reflects core brand values like performance and freedom. The swooping graphic also references nostalgic motoring technology like dashboard tachometers. By tapping into brand heritage and imagery, this illusion-based logo captures the essence of the driving experience.
Whimsical Character Illustrations Define Beauty Brand
A natural beauty brand specializing in skincare and cosmetics underwent a rebrand this week focused on lively character illustrations. Each skincare or makeup product features its own unique character design that represents the transformative effect of using the product.
For example, the lip balm tube depicts a confident feminine character with glossy lips, while the acne treatment features a smiling face with clear glowing skin. These friendly, optimistic characters communicate the uplifting emotional impact the products provide. The illustrated cast delivers a cohesive visual theme while helping consumers find the right items for their needs.
Graffiti-Style Typography Brands Urban Restaurant
The branding for a hip new urban diner employs graffiti-style typography and hand-drawn illustrations to reflect local culture. The restaurant’s name is stylized as colorful bubble letters straight out of street art. Illustrations of food items also appear splattered across print materials in a colorful, haphazard fashion.
This edgy aesthetic immediately identifies the brand as youthful, creative, and a bit rebellious. The urban references make the restaurant feel embedded within the up-and-coming neighborhood it calls home. The graffiti styling delivers visual excitement while celebrating the surrounding community.
Inventive Structural Designs
Good design is not just about appearances—it also requires problem-solving and engineering inventive forms. This week delivered some phenomenal examples of thoughtful structural designs across various applications.
Bookstore Designed With Overlapping Oval Rooms
A newly designed bookstore features a stunning architecture based on overlapping oval spaces. The various rooms branch off each other like tree limbs, creating intimate reading nooks within the larger space. The oval structures are interspersed with curved shelves and winding pathways.
This dynamic layout provides visual interest while lending an organic flow to customer movement. The tiered oval construction allows rooms to maintain privacy and quiet atmospheres. As a sanctuary for reading, the thoughtful structural design enriches the book-browsing experience.
Coffee Table Converts Into Seating Area
A convertible coffee table debuted this week with an inventive expanding design. When closed, it appears as a normal coffee table with a wooden top and legs. But the table conceals benches and shelves that slide out when expanded.
This clever piece functions as both a coffee table and a seating area. The expandable structure allows a small space to pull double duty. And the ability to convert the table opens up possibilities for customizing a room for multifunctional uses. The elegant wood grain keeps it looking sophisticated in both modes.
Modular Greenhouse Inspired By Molecular Structures
An easy-to-assemble greenhouse design released this week draws inspiration from microscopic structures. The greenhouse pieces interlock via connectors modeled after atoms bonding together. The geometrically-patterned panels assemble into a stable, enclosed structure.
The molecular design influence gives the greenhouse an intriguing aesthetic. And the sturdy modular connectors enable the DIY greenhouse to be scaled up or down as needed. This blending of scientific principles, customization, and eco-friendly functionality demonstrates smart structural design.
What makes a good design?
There are several hallmarks of good design. Some key elements include:
- Innovation – Finding new solutions to problems, pushing boundaries
- Aesthetic appeal – Having an attractive, engaging visual presentation
- Functionality – Serving practical uses effectively and intuitively
- Cohesiveness – All elements align to communicate the design intentions
- Purpose – Solving a problem, improving lives, fulfilling goals
- Craftsmanship – High-quality construction using materials skillfully
- Sustainability – Responsible environmental practices and lifecycle planning
- Inclusiveness – Design considers diverse users and accessibility needs
How can designers stay inspired?
Some great ways for designers to boost inspiration include:
- Look to different industries and fields – Fashion, architecture, nature, food etc.
- Travel somewhere new – New environments spark new perspective
- Visit art museums and galleries – Immerse in creative works
- Experiment with different mediums – Photography, sketching, collage etc.
- Maintain an inspiration library – Collect visual references in one place
- Collaborate and brainstorm – Feed off energy of others
- Stay curious – Constantly observe, ask questions, and analyze
- Step away briefly – Let the mind refresh and refocus
What makes a strong brand identity?
Characteristics of effective brand identities include:
- Differentiation – Unique compared to competitors
- Authenticity – Aligns with core values and mission
- Memorability – Elements are striking, bold, and distinctive
- Consistency – Cohesive visual style across applications
- Flexibility – Adapts well to different media and contexts
- Timelessness – Not trendy or dated, withstands the test of time
- Versatility – Appeals to diverse audiences and markets
- Meaning – Communicates personality, story, and purpose
- Emotion – Forges visceral feelings and connections
- Simplicity – Easily recognized and remembered at a glance
How can designers promote sustainability?
Designers can incorporate sustainability principles through:
- Eco-friendly materials – Renewable, recycled, upcycled resources
- Energy efficiency – Designs minimize environmental impact
- Waste reduction – Designs reuse and recycle materials
- Producer ethics – Sourcing materials responsibly
- Quality construction – Products built to last
- Consumer education – Designs promote sustainable use
- Carbon footprint – Develop climate neutral production methods
- Lifecycle analysis – Understand impacts from production to disposal
- Nature inspiration – Mimic sustainable cycles found in nature
- Social value – Design for needs of people and communities
What current design trends stand out?
Notable current design trends include:
- Handmade, custom touches
- Nostalgic references
- Bold, geometric graphics
- Vintage typography
- Interactive, tactile elements
- Warm, natural color palettes
- Illustration-based styles
- Asymmetries and unusual shapes
- Retro-inspired packaging
- Surreal photography and visuals
- Typography as art
- Minimalism and negative space
- Traditional craftsmanship techniques
- Purposeful, ethical brands
- Genderless styling in fashion
This week offered a phenomenal selection of structural designs, tactile creations, artistic branding, and inventive packaging concepts to appreciate. Diverse materials, unconventional forms, custom illustrations, and interactive elements brought these designs to life while solving problems and conveying brand stories.
As technology intersects with traditional techniques, designers continue pushing the boundaries of aesthetic appeal, functionality, and sustainability. While current trends may fade in time, these examples represent universal hallmarks of quality, purposeful design crafted to enrich lives. They provide timeless inspiration to explore the possibilities and potentials of great design thinking.
Which designs stood out most to you this week and why? What impacts might these concepts have on future design? Let these innovative ideas stir your own creativity as you envision how to design a better tomorrow.