It may be a response to economics, or it may just be a fashion trend. Product design is going simple. As an example, let’s look at Tom’s of Maine toothpaste line of products. They used to have very colorful boxes. The different colors made it easy to locate your preferred flavor on the shelf faster. I always looked for the purple box for the Fennel-flavored Propolis & Myrrh Anti-plaque toothpaste. Today, I went in to find the box and it was gone. It took me a few seconds, but I saw that all the boxes were now all the same layout and same color, but each sporting a slightly different color photo of whatever flavor they are. The emphasis is taken off ‘antiplaque’ and ‘natural’ and put on ‘propolis & myrrh’.
It won’t take us long to get used to the rebranding and this may not be the best example because the original packaging was already fairly simple, but it seems to be a trend that happening with a lot of products and a lot of companies. There seems to be an overall simplification of logos, simplification of color schemes to two or three spot colors, and it’s usually all based on a white background. Apple seemed to have started it. Now even Walmart is doing it. I’m curious how far it will go.