Build a Box - Custom Boxes | The Best Box Design Trends of 2021

The Best Box Design Trends of 2021

Product packaging and box design have become more important than ever before with the sharp rise in e-commerce consumerism in 2021. Despite loosening pandemic restrictions, consumers are still turning to online shopping in record numbers, making it even more difficult for small businesses to stand out and earn a loyal following. However, those who successfully stand out and create a reputation for themselves online can do so in a big way. If you want to harness the full potential of custom shipping boxes for your own business, here are some of the most popular and effective box design trends of the past year.


Clean lines and simplistic designs are hallmarks of contemporary style in general, and when it comes to custom shipping boxes, this is no different. 2021 saw the trend of minimalistic design continue just as strongly as in years past, using clean lines, sharp angles, and bold yet singular colors. Although this box design trend is more subtle than many others, it has a striking and incredibly effective appearance that helps it stand out from the more traditional competitor packaging. Paired with the trend of bold and prominent typography, this simplistic design approach is a surefire way to give your custom shipping boxes a modern feeling.

Color Blocking

One step up from monochromatic and minimalistic custom packaging boxes is color blocking. Color blocking has been a staple of custom retail box design for years, but it experienced a resurgence in 2021, with designers offering a fresh, modern take boasting fewer restrictions. While older methods of color blocking remained largely confined to straight lines and complementary colors, 2021’s color blocking included flowing lines, abstract shapes, analogous colors, triadic colors, and just about anything else that could help custom retail boxes stand out on shelves. 

Prominent Branding

Growing naturally from minimalism and striking colors, prominent branding and typography were also a 2021 box design favorite. In this trend, the brand or product’s name is the visual focal point of the packaging, with all other design elements merely serving as a further emphasis of the brand name. This type of packaging may adopt clean, bold fonts that make the brand name impossible to ignore. Alternatively, they may use creative lettering to speak to the brand’s overall aesthetic and capture the buyer’s imagination. Whether whimsical or severe, the use of bold typography is consistently compelling and serves as a vital marketing effort that spreads brand awareness before the custom box with logo even reaches the buyer’s front door.


Each year, ethical consumerism moves further to the forefront of the global dialogue, and 2021 was no exception. To practice (and, sometimes, more importantly, advertise to customers that they are practicing) corporate social responsibility, companies began creating more sustainable packaging for their custom shipping boxes and custom retail boxes. These shifts to sustainability include using 100 percent recyclable cardboard, soy-based inks, biodegradable void fill, and molded inserts. In addition, using custom shipping boxes with dimensions perfectly tailored to your product’s size and shape helps reduce the number of packaging materials used as well as the amount of space required for transit, lowering your company’s carbon footprint and contributing less to the global waste stream. Consumers have repeatedly shown that they are willing to pay more for products with sustainable packaging made by companies with eco-friendly business practices, so when it comes time to design your custom packaging boxes, design with the planet in mind.


Capitalizing on popular packaging trends can help you stay at the forefront of your industry and draw in new consumers. To make the most of your marketing and shipping budget, invest in custom shipping boxes or custom retail boxes from Build A Box. Get started building your custom packaging boxes using our online design tool, or give us a call at (888) 406-1610 to speak with one of our design experts and receive personalized assistance. You can also fill out our online contact form if you have any questions or would like to receive a free quote for a range of quantities. We look forward to hearing from you!