The Marie Kondo Effect: How Minimalist Packaging Sparks Joy in Consumers

Use the MariKon method to create minimalist product packaging.

Who doesn't love Marie Kondo?

In 2019, her show—Tidying Up With Marie Kondo—hit Netflix and introduced us to the KonMari method of decluttering our homes. The premise was simple enough: We should only keep things that spark joy in our lives.

Marie's show and books taught us how to declutter with a positive mindset.


Admittedly, Kondo's approach to tidying the home isn't for everyone. For the average person, her approach can be a bit much — especially for those who aren't overly sentimental about their possessions. 

However, the best-selling author's philosophy and lessons remain valid. Not only that, you can apply them in various areas of life.

For instance, you can use the same approach to design minimalist packaging that resonates with customers.

Let's explore how minimalism can elevate your packaging creative and ways you can apply it to your next design project.

What Is Minimalism?

First, let's talk about minimalism. What is it and why should you care? 

Brooklyn Candle Studio's minimalist candle design

In graphic design, minimalism refers to projects that only use essential elements to get their point across. In practice, this often means:

  • Fewer colors and shapes
  • Less text
  • Simpler design layouts
  • Stronger use of negative space (also known as white space)

Minimalist designs also tend to use typography as their main focal point. 

Why Does Minimalism Work?

Minimalism works not just for customers but for business owners as well. 

Let's say you're a small business owner with limited graphic design experience and no budget to hire a designer. 

But with a minimalist approach, you can create designs that are comparable to those made by professionals. You probably won't need access to paid graphic design tools to create them. 

Chanel uses a minimalistic approach to its product packaging

Minimalist designs often rely on classic elements and clean aesthetics. So they are less susceptible to shifting design trends. That makes them stay relevant longer.

For customers, the benefits of minimalist packaging designs are even more evident:

  • Better Clarity and Focus—Minimalist design prioritizes the core message or content by eliminating clutter and unnecessary elements. Customers will easily understand the point you're trying to make with your packaging.
  • Increased Visual Appeal—Minimalism creates a sense of elegance, sophistication, and modern aesthetics. Clean lines, uncluttered space, and limited color palettes are visually appealing, helping you leave a lasting impression.
  • Reduced Stress and Cognitive Load—Visual clutter can be mentally taxing. Minimalist designs appeal to potential customers by reducing their cognitive load by presenting information clearly and concisely. Simply put, minimalist designs calm down shoppers and help them focus.

The KonMari Method and Minimalism

Every try designing packaging from the ground up? For most people, the problem is knowing when to stop. When working with a blank canvas, it's so easy to go overboard with design elements. Our instinct tells us to add more images, shapes, text, and colors. 

This is especially true for individuals who lack graphic design experience. It's as if they're overcompensating by adding more design elements. They lose sight of the goal and shift all their attention to the stuff that doesn't matter. 

The result?

They end up with packaging that overwhelms shoppers as opposed to awe them. They are confronted by ad copies that ramble, color combinations that don't make sense, distracting layouts, and unfocused messaging. 

The KonMari method reminds us to dial it back. 

Does It Spark Joy?

While they're open to change, the homeowners featured on Marie Kondo's show often struggle with letting go of their possessions. Whenever they reach an impasse, Marie asks them to identify which items still spark joy in their lives. Those that don't make the cut are donated or thrown out. 


Basically, homeowners are asked to identify which items they still find valuable and which are worth letting go.

You can ask yourself the same when designing your packaging. Which design elements are worth keeping? Those that don't serve any purpose should be removed from your packaging design. 

You might have worked hard on these design elements. And you might have learned to love having them there. But if they don't serve a purpose, you're better off getting rid of them.

Peace in Minimalism

Reducing clutter brings us peace —  a sense of calm from living a more simplified life. The less stuff we have, the more space we create. This gives us more room to breathe.


People feel the same way about packaging. 

The less there is to look at, the more appealing a design becomes. Shoppers can feel calmer looking at your packaging if you remove all the unnecessary details. It also brings a sense of elegance. That's why minimalism is great for luxury brands. 

How to Use Minimalist Elements

Are you sold on the benefits of minimalist packaging? Great! Here's how you can make minimalist packaging for your brand.

Make Your Product the Hero

Let your product shine! Ditch the clutter and use clear, high-quality packaging that lets the world know what your product is all about. 

Stick to a Few Colors

Keep it classic with a limited color palette. Think black and white, natural tones, or a pop of your brand's signature color. This creates a unified look that's easy on the eyes.

Find the Right Font

Find a readable font. Limit the ad copy to essential info like your brand name, product name, and key features. Use strategically placed text to guide a shopper's eye to where you need them to be.

Embrace the space

Like the Taylor Swift song "Blank Space," keep things simple and minimal with key details like the product name playing the role of a hero, allowing what matters to shine.

Here are a few tips we've gathered from product packaging specialists:

  • Think About Functionality — Your packaging should be as delightful to use as your product itself. Make it easy to open, close, and store – think happy customers!
  • Make Recyclable Packaging — Design packaging that can have a second life. Think reusable containers or clever recycling options. It reduces waste and shows you're environmentally conscious.
  • Use Sustainable Materials — Explore printing methods and materials that minimize your environmental impact. Eco-friendly packaging is a win-win for you and the planet.

Remember, minimalist design isn't bland – it's about strategic simplicity. By using these elements creatively, you can create packaging that's gorgeous, impactful, and perfectly communicates your brand's message. Let your product take center stage, keep it clean, and watch your brand stand out!


When designing product packaging, ask yourself: "Does this element spark joy?" 

Just like discarding clutter that no longer serves you, remove unnecessary design elements. Embrace negative space, prioritize clear communication, and let your product shine. 

By following these principles, you can create packaging that resonates with customers, promotes a sense of calm, and positions your brand for success.

Remember, minimalist design is a powerful tool. Use it strategically to design packaging that sparks joy for your customers and your business.

If you'd like to learn more about product packaging, call or chat with one of our print professionals. You can also get in touch through email at

Related Posts

We use cookies to enhance site navigation, enable some functionality, for analytics, and support our marketing. Our functionality includes third-party technologies that may access and store your data within our secured accounts at their sites. Learn more in our Terms and Privacy policies. By clickingAcceptor continuing to use the website, you agree to our use of cookies and other technologies.