2023 Back-to-School Trends for Tweens and Teens

Pleats Mama

Despite families grappling with the pressure of rising costs and strained budgets this year, many parents still view the back-to-school category as a special and essential shopping event for their children.

According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, nearly six in 10 parents say they would be willing to splurge for the right reasons, like treating their child or allowing their child to express themselves. When it comes to back-to-school design trends, there is a bigger focus for parents on replenishing the necessities, such as school supplies, while holding off on non-essential purchases such as apparel and tech.

Autumn Winter 2023/24 Tweens and Teens Design Direction

Here, we highlight three back-to-school design trends for tweens and teens from our Back to School  2023/24 Trend Application Report available on our subscription platform My TrendBible Premium, providing inspiration for stationery, lunch boxes, backpacks, desk supplies and more.

Corrugated forms

The do-it-yourself narrative that runs through our ‘Build Us Up’¬†trend story lends itself perfectly to back-to-school designs. Championing inclusivity, this new generation of innovators comes together to build a better, more inclusive world. A unisex palette brings a sophisticated yet playful manner, one that provides a more joyful take on minimalist design.

Back to school
Pleats Mama, Jona Berglind

Rudimentary construction materials such as corrugated steel inspire new colourful, pleated shapes for stationery, paper, pencil cases, desk storage and bags.

Optical illusions

Our ‘New Dimensions’ trend story offers a bold and dynamic back-to-school translation, one that appeals to tweens, teens and nostalgic caregivers alike. Immersive digital spaces inform real-life design, inspiring a new, game-like aesthetic that can be used across multiple product categories.

Philip Hunter Bell, Write Sketch &

Take inspiration from the cyber universe to create surreal patterns and mind-bending illusions. Use these shapes and patterns to bring a retro-gaming feel to stationery, laptop cases, bags and lunch boxes.

Inverted scallop details

The focus on sustainability and the protection of the planet presents a fresh back-to-school translation from our ‘Endless Bloom’ trend. Key features of this trend are the introduction of unexpected decorative details, such as scallop and fluting detailing. A sustainable message is also translated through recycled plastics and papers.

Jaewan Park

Inverted scallops provide a fresh update to this popular shape. Use this design detail to add interest and tactility to lunch box lids, pencil cases and desk storage.

Working on your tweens and teens product ranges for 2024? Our Back to School – Trend Application: Autumn Winter 2024/25 report is available when you subscribe to our Premium membership at My TrendBible. My TrendBible is our trend subscription service designed to inspire and spark ideas, giving your teams confidence in actioning trends and providing validation from across the globe.

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