The Rise of Edgy Packaging 

Recently there have been some interesting cases of what we can only call ‘edgy’ packaging. Fun, healthy and nostalgic products are wrapped in packaging traditionally designed for ‘vices’ like beer and cigarettes. The biggest recent example is the surging popularity of Liquid Death. Big, golden 0,5 litre cans, covered in 80’s metal death visuals. The content? (Flavoured) water.

But that’s not the only example, as recently a ‘tooth gem kit’ dropped in the packaging of a nostalgic cigarette pack*. Tooth gem kits are jewels for your teeth, a trend that Millennials (and those before them) might remember from the 90s and 00s, during the height of the hip-hop bling era. And even though no one in their right mind should be wishing for a comeback of teeth bling, the branding is interesting.

Even though Generation Z is generally less interested in alcohol and (cigarette) smoking than previous generations, they are still largely teenagers. And teenagers like edge stuff. So it will be interesting to see if more brands and products will borrow the visual codes of traditional alcohol, tobacco (or even drug) designs to resonate with young people in the near future.

Ironically, due to the spreading ban on cigarette package design for tobacco companies, it seems the only companies that are allowed to make cool cigarette packs are those who do not put actual tobacco in them.