Storecheck Baltics – on the trail of Baltic (design) creativity
Our recent exploration of the Baltic states – Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland – proved to be a fascinating journey of discovery for packaging designers who love to experience and develop creativity. These countries, each with their own unique cultural diversity, offered us exciting impressions of how deeply packaging design can be interwoven with regional origins, aesthetics and modern trends. In our article, we present the most striking and interesting packaging designs that we repeatedly encountered during our Baltic store check.
First, a brief digression – a conscious immersion in the spectacular Baltic region
From a purely geographical point of view, only Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia belong to the Baltic States. However, as most Estonians feel culturally closer to the Finns than to the Latvians and Lithuanians, we have taken the liberty of including Finland in our big Baltic store check.
What characterizes the three Baltic states proper, but also Finland, are breathtaking natural beauty as far as the eye can see and a cultural heritage that is second to none. It is a great adventure to explore the Baltic States with all its treasures, one that always has surprises in store – and above all one that is completely worthwhile. With our store check report, we would like to introduce you to the peculiarities of the Baltic culture through the packaging design trends. Let’s go!
Heritage: Traditional elements in the guise of modern packaging
The Baltic States have a rich tradition that is beautifully reflected in their packaging designs. With their packaging, brands such as Voila, Jaani and Eesti Pagar provide prime examples of how the old can be seamlessly combined with the new to create a thoroughly harmonious whole. The packaging features various folkloristic motifs, patterns and elements interpreted in a modern way. In this sense, the packagings tell stylish picture stories that are about special Baltic customs and at the same time have a contemporary feel. They appeal to modern consumers who are proud of their origins and show that tradition can be both timeless and contemporary.
Orange as a brand color: bold and vibrant
During our extensive store check in the Baltic countries, one color in particular caught our eye: Orange. The frequent use of this vibrant color stands in stark contrast to the more muted shades that we predominantly see on the packaging of German brands. Brands such as Karums, Kalev, Gadelis and Amfora Jogurtas are not afraid to make a statement – especially as the color orange symbolizes a regional peculiarity in the Baltic states: People in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland value vibrancy and visibility. In a way, orange packaging challenges the norm and offers a refreshingly cheerful alternative on the shelves.
Modernity with a difference: contemporary flair with traditional touches
Baltic brands are true masters at innovatively implementing modern design elements and garnishing them with traditional touches. The best example of this is the Fermency brand. Creatively decorated with contemporary food patterns against a vividly colored background, their packaging for regionally popular fermented products demonstrates the extraordinary originality with which modern design consciousness can merge with tradition. This is also made clear by the typography used and the design of the logo itself.
Illustrations: artistic and visually appealing storytelling
The use of illustrations for modern packaging is nothing special in itself. But in the Baltic States, illustration-based packaging design is not just for aesthetic purposes; rather, the brands there are concerned with narrative and engagement. Here is an overview of three very good, meaningful examples:
1. with their extremely whimsical characters characterized by an apple-shaped head of hair, Öun’s apple drinks create a playful and memorable brand image.
2) Jahu-Jaan’s intricately detailed designs are primarily characterized by their elegant handmade touch, combining functionality with a sense of playfulness and joy.
3 The latter also applies to the lively illustrations of the Aktivus brand, which – as the name suggests – depict various activities. The sight of the packaging design inevitably brings a smile to the face and immediately creates a positive emotional relationship with the brand.
These three brands show in an impressive way how illustrations can bring packaging to life and turn every product into a small work of art that tells its own story.
Unusual color coding with “vegan pink” and colorful cans
With its pink branding for vegan products, the F’sh Peas brand is boldly turning away from the conventional, green-dominated packaging that is common for vegan products, not least on the shelves in the DACH region, and is thus setting a new trend. This unique choice of color, paired with soft pastel shades, ensures that the packaging in the stores stands out from its conventional “neighbors” and is therefore particularly eye-catching. At the same time, they offer a (much-needed) fresh perspective on vegan brand design, in line with the motto: pink is the new green.
Similarly, Baltic brands such as Rainbow and Jemma are introducing a spectrum of pastel shades to the canned food sector. They are breaking away from traditional color schemes and bringing an innovative, cheerful vibe to the predominantly blue product category.
A look inside: the literally fresh appeal of the stores
During our visits to supermarkets in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland, we very often saw interiors that looked just as elegant and clean as the packaging designs we saw and admired. We were particularly impressed by the fresh produce areas: Their mostly green decoration, often even with plants, highlighted the natural freshness of the products on offer there in a coherent, stylish and inviting way.
However, anyone who thinks that Baltic stores tend to be overly ornate is mistaken: in fact, the stores mainly focus on minimalism in their furnishings and design. This tendency underlines the regional preference for simplicity, clarity and functionality. The minimalist yet aesthetic approach creates a visually appealing and overall very pleasant shopping experience.
The conclusion of our Baltic States store check: promoting diversity and innovation
Our store check in the Baltic States was an insightful journey that introduced us to a rich variety of packaging designs that skillfully blend traditional elements with bold colors and modern aesthetics. The extensive exploration has not only revealed the unique cultural identity of each country, but also the universal appeal of innovative and thoughtful packaging designs.
As we continue our global exploration of new packaging trends, the tremendous creativity and unusual ingenuity of Baltic brands stands as a shining example of how packaging can be a canvas for cultural expression, innovation and consumer engagement.