It's been a remarkable year at our industrial design consultancy. We've undergone a subtle rebrand, achieved B Corp status, celebrated parenthood, and delved into groundbreaking design projects and sustainable packaging solutions.
In this piece we reflect on the design and innovation trends of this year, the exciting launches that captured attention, and give you some insights into what's on the horizon for 2024 and beyond.
Top product design trends from 2023
Bold colour and interactions win out
Analysing a year’s worth of our inspiration posts on Instagram reveals some interesting themes in innovation and product design, with particular traction in Narrative, Colour, Boldness, Expressive features and a pronounced affinity for the timeless industrial design colour; orange.
The enthusiasm for celebrating interaction, in the form of large buttons or dials, is unmistakable. A desire for a bold and playful approach to design and material reuse is exemplified in the "garbage watch" and the OCB chipboard chair with truck straps. These examples underscore the idea that even the most affordable materials can be visually stunning when approached with creativity.
Looking ahead to the next year, we anticipate a continuation of design extremes. From beautifully minimal products brought to life through vibrant colors to the maximalist styles reminiscent of fashion trends. This forecast highlights the dynamic and diverse landscape of industrial design, where creativity knows no bounds.
Consumers want storytelling
Our recent short reel, celebrating the nuanced tonality and versatility of 3D printing, has had an impressive 32k+ plays to date. The video was part of a series of insights into our collaboration with Batch.Works and Studio Don on the launch of Kibu; a kids circular headphone project.
We see this appeal of perfectly imperfect tones and finishes paired with compelling storytelling resonating more strongly with consumers in 2024. The advent of Industry 4.0 in local manufacturing not only embraces cutting-edge technology but also revitalises artisan design practices for the contemporary era and local markets. This evolution marks a significant step forward in merging traditional craftsmanship with modern manufacturing methods and is a design and innovation trend that will be carrying over into the next 18 months.
Material trends from 2023
Materials play a pivotal role in Morrama's design and innovation endeavours. This year marked the launch of Wild’s compostable shower gel refill. The Morrama/Wild partnership is a great example of what can be achieved when both brand and design team make commitments to a more sustainable practice. Additionally, we've made significant strides in advancing our dry-molded fiber ECO-FLO project. And let's not overlook Maya, our refillable cosmetics range with the compostable paper based refills that launched at Cosmoprof this year and is available for brands to buy off-the-shelf.
This design philosophy of crafting plastic-free or zero-waste refillable packages and rechargeable containers is being adopted by more and more businesses. What began with deodorant has been embraced by personal care brands from soap: Kankan to shampoo: Tweakit. However, whilst brands are keen to adopt more planet-conscious packaging, they aren't wanting to position themselves as eco-warrior brands. Expect full-on colour and bold art direction as brands seek to appeal to the powerful Gen-Z market.
Tech trends 2023
Morrama Lab serves as a dynamic space dedicated to experimentation and speculative design. Our product visions address impactful issues, ranging from menopause to exploring augmented realities. Luma embodies our passion for crafting immersive packaging experiences, personalised healthcare solutions, and addressing needs in underserved areas. Issé is a product that seamlessly merges augmented reality with fashion-forward accessories.
This year we’ve also been exploring ways of integrating AI into our creative processes including platforms like Chat GPT, Mid Journey, and Fabrie. The AI landscape has exploded this year, although this boom has stirred up some challenges, particularly affecting hardware startup funding and raising questions around the energy consumption of AI models. What is most interesting to us however, is how AI will impact the technology space. Something Jo touches on in her post about the launch of Humane's wearable pin. With the phenomenal amount of investment that has poured into AI startups this year, all eyes are on what the AI bandwagon will bring.
Sustainable product & purpose driven practice
It goes without saying that the pressure is on every business to do more to address the impact their product, service and day-to-day operations have on the planet. Having worked with over 200 startups over the past 9 years, we have witnessed a shift from us asking teams about their sustainability considerations to them asking us how we will design for the planet. With consumers becoming more eco-conscious the fall out is brands making unsubstantiated claims. With new legislation around greenwashing including the Green Claims Code and Green Claims Directive, brands are going to have to be more transparent with where and how products are made.
At Morrama, we're proud of the awards and certificates that highlight our expertise and commitment to meaningful design solutions. These accolades include our B Corp certification, the recognition of a Pentaward Silver and Dieline Bronze, as well as earning a spot on the esteemed Dezeen Shortlist. Jo’s appointment as D&AD Product Design Jury President 2024 is also a huge acknowledgement from the industry. These awards reflect our dedication to providing innovative and impactful design services and show that Morrama stands out as the go-to choice for businesses seeking a cutting-edge design agency.
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