Recyclable Boxes: Reusing Gift Boxes

(This story won’t sound relevant to recyclable boxes or setup boxes, but I promise it’s getting there)! Last December, I received a glass tumbler from Starbucks that I absolutely loved. Although it technically *just packaging,* I also loved the box it came in. Starbucks does a great job creating attractive packaging, and their two-piece setup boxes for the holidays are durable and always feature rich colors. Each year has a different color: last year was red, this year was green, and so on. They also design a brand new series of tumblers every year, so when they sell out, they’re gone forever.

Starbucks recyclable boxesBut I used the setup box to package another gift, keeping the lovely tumbler for myself. However, maybe as a lesson regarding growing too fond of things, I accidentally dropped the tumblr at a gas station in sub-zero temperatures. It shattered. I was sad, and I must have mentioned the fact to my mother (we bought the tumbler together).

Lo and behold, this Christmas, I took the wrapping paper off a present. I recognized the red box, but in the back of my head, I knew that the gift boxes from Starbucks this year were green. I opened the box, and there it was. My shattered tumbler, which she had found online, whole again. Added bonus: I got to keep the box this time around!

As the major December holidays pass, most households are left with a lot of new things which need to find homes as well as a lot of boxes and wrapping paper. Recyclable boxes aren’t a problem (wrapping paper is another story, since the majority of it isn’t recyclable).  There are plenty of ways to take sturdy gift boxes and repurpose them around the house. 

Tips for Reusing Recyclable Boxes

  1. Re-gift
    The easiest thing to do with when you receive a nice gift box? Reuse it for its intended purpose.  The wrong attitude is to think of it as someone else’s problem; rather, think of it as spreading the joy of a nicely-packaged custom gift box. 
  2. Use it as a desk organizer
    Full disclosure: This is how I’m using my own Starbucks setup box. My workspace at home has drawers with organizers, but I’m always looking for something to help me out on top of the desk that doesn’t look like it came from an office supply store. The red box is colorful and not too big. It’s made of sturdy chipboard with sharp edges, so I know it won’t look battered in a few weeks. It’s perfect to hold my oh-so-necessary supply of Gin-Gins, lip balm, favorite fine tip marker pens, and other random necessities, all in one place. 
  3. Holiday storage
    It’s nearly time to pack up all those holiday decorations. Use the sturdier of the boxes you received to switch out any older packaging that’s starting to wear, or to keep any new items safe. In my house, the holiday decorations are pretty secure, in one spot, but occasionally there might be some jostling. Keep your memories safe and secure with an updated custom gift box. 

And When All Else Fails

Break them down and put them in the recycling. Reasonable sentimentality can only go so far. But next year, keep in mind how someone might get some enjoyment out of a nice setup box for their gift. 

How do you upcycle recyclable boxes from the holidays?

Medical Packaging For Boomers

Nearly 27% of the population of the United States was born between 1946 and 1964. Termed the Baby Boomers, this generation has stampeded its way through the decades and are now arriving at retirement age. While aging typically indicates health decline, this generation is bucking that trend (or segments of them are). They're eating better, exercising more, taking preventative measures designed to help them not only live longer, but have a higher quality of life as well. Their expectations are higher than previous generations; baby boomers also tend to have more money and are generally wealthier. They want the best--and they can probably pay for it--in their products, and that includes medical packaging.

Medical packaging presentation packaging for baby boomers

How Baby Boomers Affect Medical Packaging

The enormous influence of the baby boomer generation reflects its size and spending power. Their needs regarding medical packaging are unique to the industry; they love new and innovative styles, but still need to have ease of opening. Think of a bottle of aspirin. It's a common joke, but sometimes the childproof lock defeats adult logic. Add in arthritic hands and possibly declining mental state, and pill-sized pain relief becomes an insurmountable task.  

For the product above, Sunpack created a box with light magnetic closure. This ensures that it won't open accidentally but is easy enough to slip open when needed.

The design of the medical packaging is important as well when it comes to the user's ability to remove it from the package. In the aspirin example from above, it's easy to shake out too many and lose some of the medication. It's not a huge factor with something relatively low-cost, like aspirin, but becomes exponentially more important with the medicine itself. Being able to package an actual device, such as the Axionics device in the picture, securely is step one. Step two is creating a tray which can not only securely hold the device, but allows for semi-easy removal. The thumb holes around each part of the device help ensure a firm grasp prior to lifting.

Vision is another consideration for medical packaging designed for baby boomers. Naturally, as we age, our vision tends to decrease. Medical packaging needs to be clear and concise in design as well as content.  Devices need to be easily identifiable, but that doesn't mean devoid of creativity. For Axionics, you can see the design is deceptively simple, elegant, and with simple fonts to aid comprehension. While white is the dominant color within the design, choosing a bright, single accent color reduces visual clutter.

Karten medical packaging custom tray

Keep It Simple

When it comes to baby boomers and medical packaging, HealthcarePackaging.com said it best:

This consumer segment is looking for brands that will help them take care of themselves and better their lives, without constantly reminding them that they aren’t actually as young as they think they are.

Packaging is great way to connect with an audience. It not only entices people to try it, but if it offers a pleasurable experience, it guarantees referrals and repeat business. Sunpack can help design products that meet this need for your products.

Nifty Netbox PopUp Palettes

In honor the recent release (and soon-to-be sold out) Urban Decay Through the Looking Glass eye shadow palette, I decided to revisit the original Alice in Wonderland palette (though note that these are not Sunrise products). What I love about these palettes is, first and foremost, the eye shadow selection. Urban Decay is super pigmented without feeling heavy or weighty, making it easy to vary the intensity. Secondly, the packaging for these palettes is always fun and interesting. The magnetic closure, or netbox, as Sunrise calls them, adds an interesting element. It helps ensure that what lies beneath that top flap stays secure and accessible for days to come. The drawer feature is one of my favorite features. It’s great to pull it out, see all the colors at once, and formulate your blending plan.

alice in wonderland netbox urban decay

Courtesy of Urban Decay

Alice in Wonderland vs. Through the Looking Glass Netbox

The obvious precursor to Through the Looking Glass. The original Alice palette netbox takes obvious inspiration from the original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Whimsical mushrooms swirl around the mirror in the pop up portion, the caterpillar looms over Alice, and it’s basically a must-have for literary Alice memorabilia fans and collectors. This was one of the first palettes for which I popped the $60, and the one that made me a convert.

As one of those people, the fact that there are no original shades in this palette isn’t as much of a bummer as it would be others.  That might sound surprising, but Urban Decay is notorious for re-purposing older shades in palettes. But it can be frustrating, so it pays to do your research prior to investing in a palette. From a purely financial standpoint, it’s a steal to get 16 eye shadows, two mini eyeliners, and a mini primer potion for that price. Buying each individually would run around $200. Granted, these are smaller than you would buy individually, but still it’s still a better deal.

through the looking glass urban decay netbox

Photo courtesy of Bustle.com

On the other hand, Through the Looking Glass makes up for it. With 20 new shades and a great design, this netbox delivers in more ways than one. One frequent offenses of the pop-up palettes is that they tend to skew toward the glittery-shimmery side of things, but there’s a good amount of matte shades for change. Another deviation in this palette is the organization of colors. They’re organized into columns according to character. Depending on how creative you are, this might make blending easier or feel limiting. I tend toward the former.

What’s your favorite palette and why?

5 Cool Features for a Standout Custom Game Box


 

Central City custom game box design, turned edges, offset printing, and glossy lamination

Central City Box Art

I can safely say that board games are the name of the, well, game around my homestead lately. My roommate and I have been spending our spare time discussing everything from hit points to game mechanics to hypothetical company names. Maybe it’s that Gen Con is just around the corner, or that an old friend of mine just launched a Kickstarter campaign for his custom game due out next year, but something is definitely in the air.

 

 

 

The indie custom game scene appears to be at its peak, and I’m absorbed with all the aspects. As much as I’m a geek about story and characters, I’m also a geek about the design side. The game board intrigues me, sure, but I’m what you’d call a custom game box enthusiast too. Between graphics, blurbs, and logos, I love to judge the proverbial book by its cover.

 

Last week, I found myself at a game shop. Surprise surprise. As I made my way up and down the aisles, I tried to keep track of what caught my eye. It wasn’t necessarily the graphics. I mean, sure, a splash of color or a cool character rendering couldn’t hurt your custom game, but what really drew me in was the packaging. An interesting shape or texture. Features.

 

Which of course got me thinking. So if you’re a game designer about to box up your hot new board game, then you may want to consider these…

 

Cool Custom Game Box Features

Handle It

custom handle box

Handle boxes make a great presentation for press kits, but they can also add a little flare to your custom game. A game box that looks like a briefcase or a treasure chest could certainly benefit from this little element. Plus, handles are just plain handy. They make your game easier to transport. Keep your meeples upright, peoples!

 

Magnetic Personality

cigar style magnet box for custom game design

Who doesn’t love magnets? Think about the last time you got a box or a device with a magnet. Now think how much time you spent playing with said magnet. It’s like a game within a game! Okay, maybe I’m just easily entertained, but magnets do add an extra level of security. The smooth snap enclosure also increases the value of your game by leaps and bounds.

 

Sleeves FTW!

example of a heat-sealed sleeve with turned edge printing and lamination

How many times have you had a board game that you loved but lost the rules? Or some other important paper element–a card, or a booklet perhaps? What if you included a sleeve in your custom game. It could safely hold rules, cards, maybe even a custom DVD to go along with your game. You could even utilize the sleeve to create a little window into your game box, another cool design feature!

 

Hold Out for the Fold Out

die-cut custom game board with turned edges and glossy lamination

You might think this idea is bonkers, but I think it’s the next revolution in game design. Folding game boards are pretty standard, but what if your custom game box became your board game! Yeah, I said it! Using buttons, magnets, tuck tabs, it wouldn’t be a stretch for the box could transform into a gameboard. Major cool factor in my book.

 

Notch Your Usual Box

example of custom packaging with thumb notches

Thumb notches, thumb notches, thumb notches. You gotta have the thumb notches, especially when it comes to custom game design. This is true for any box really. This handy little design feature makes your game infinitely easier to open. What’s the point of having thermoformed compartments for all your individual pieces if you’re just going to shake everything loose trying to get the box open. Cards all scattered, meeples everywhere like a mini hurricane hit. A little thumb notch goes a long way.

 

It can be tricky to stand out in any market, but with custom game design on the rise, the market is about to get even bigger. No matter what game box feature you go with, always remember to stand out, make a splash, and blow your audience away!

Customized Incentive Games: Bored to Board in 5 Steps

Jungle Safari customized incentive game

Customized incentive games are a great way to boost sales at the same time as boosting morale. Why? Because they’re fun. Incentive games are so well received because employees because they’re competitive. They can also take the place of a raise or bonus that just isn’t in the budget. But just like with any game, customized incentive games have rules. Not just for the player, but for the game-maker as well.

 

It’s Called Gamification.

 

And it means using elements of game development to promote an increase in productivity. It’s taught in business classes and preached about in textbooks. It’s not just a fun thing to talk about in the breakroom. It’s a trusted motivational tool.

 

How Can Customized Incentive Games Help?

 

There are many different variations of incentive games, but customized incentive games set the gold standard. Anyone can tape a twenty over the water cooler and say most sales wins, but what about tomorrow? And the next day? Seems like that would get expensive. And what happens when you don’t put up the bill one day? Chills. But a creative boss can do better (and probably save a little dough along the way) by creating a unique game experience with a board game that is tailor fit to your business. Many companies use custom board games for corporate retreats, team-building activities, meeting a sales goal, or even as a holiday bonus. Later we can get into ideas for customized incentive games, but for now, let’s talk about the universal rules for business owners considering customized incentive games.

 

Personal

This should be an obvious element of customized incentive games. Customized means personalized. A game that is made specifically for your business or trade. Let’s look at the Monopoly model. A standard chipboard game board with a border of squares where players need to progress. If you owned a restaurant, you wouldn’t fill the squares with goals like Be Positive or Promote Synergy. You would want something like Sell 5 Desserts in One Shift, or Sell 3 Bottles of Wine. Be specific. A good game shouldn’t have wiggle room. And while we’re being personal, consider adding some inside jokes or an experience unique to your business.

 

Attainable

Nobody likes an unfair game. Customized incentive games are no exception. Incentives are always pretty tensile. Some employees are content with their performance and don’t want to be pushed.  But a game that’s fun is contagious. Competition is contagious. Know what isn’t contagious? An impossible goal. No server is going to sell 20 bottles of wine in one night, or 20 cars in a day. A game like that is over before it even begins.

 

Interactive

Another problem with taping a twenty over the water cooler? There’s nothing to do. Except your job, of course. But how’s that incentivizing? It’s important to get up out of your chair, especially in an office setting. Even the smallest excuse to be less sedentary is a win. If you’re a CEO of a chain, consider sending a customized incentive game to every branch of your business. Something that can be set up at the front of the office. After a few people get up to move that piece, everyone will want the chance.

Custom Game Boards and customized incentive games with turned edge chipboard for business or  home entertainment.

Attractive

Just like any game at a retail store, the package needs to sell. Your employees won’t be sold on a piece of paper tacked to the wall. That’s about as memorable as a staff meeting. Use the opportunities of a customized incentive game to really wow your staff. A durable chipboard game with turned edge printing gives the game a real feel. Like they’re playing a real game. Playing to win.

 

Payable

Which brings me to the biggest rule: the payout. Maybe it’s money. Maybe it’s a free night’s stay at a hotel. Heck, maybe it’s a pair of socks. Whatever the payout is, make sure you can actually pay it out. You customized incentive game is only as good as your word. And if you promise winnings that can’t be paid, you lose the trust of your employees. You get one shot. If your incentive game doesn’t deliver on its promise, nobody will play again.

 

Experts estimate that 70% of the world’s top performing businesses use gamification to boost their sales. It is a proven method for improving productivity. And it isn’t just for employees. Elements of gamification can be geared towards consumers as well.

Custom Setup Boxes for Extending Your Brand

Custom Setup Boxes for Extending Your Brand

Custom setup boxes, extend brand, two piece setup box, full color print, foil stamping, rigid box, custom retail packaging, partial telescoping

Setup box is probably considered the most classic take on what a “box” actually is. Custom setup boxes comprise of two pieces which are a top and a bottom tray. Custom setup boxes can be put together a few different ways. To get the most sturdy and reliable type of this unsophisticated packaging solution, you should use a rigid setup that uses turned edge construction and presents distinctive customization options. A custom rigid setup box can use a rigid chipboard that may be wrapped with custom artwork which helps give the entire custom box durable support. A great custom setup box design does wonders for your marketing your product and extending your brand.

www.sunpack.com

 

 

Custom Designed Luxury Packaging Branding

 Custom Designed Luxury Packaging Branding

custom presentation box, custom luxury packaging, turned edge, 2 piece setup box, rigid setup box

The Dagmar box and publication set shown here is a great instance of custom designed rigid luxury packaging. The custom packaging uses minimalist design and extends Dagmar’s branding. The custom box grasps the sophisticated simplicity of the logo as well as the products that make brand recognition possible. Characteristic of successful Swedish fashion brand, the two piece rigid setup box shown here is a luxury packaging design that exemplifies the brand and adds value to the product. Using open space wisely, the graphic design on the custom turned edge box is decorated by the logo and a simple tagline. This custom high end luxury box shows how important extending their brand is.

 

 

This Custom Two Piece Setup Box Packaging Makes Tiffany Stand Out

 Custom Two Piece Setup Box Packaging

Two Piece Setup Box Packaging, custom two piece setup box, custom packaging, embossing, turned edge, foil stamp
This Tiffany and Co. classic custom two piece setup box packaging says it all. The custom rigid packaging radiates very high quality and elegance and extends their brand. Their custom design crafts a luxurious gift status symbol with their series of blue boxes. The custom two piece setup box packaging embodies a gift that is just a ”bit more special” than their competition. It definitely helps Tiffany and Co. stand out, encourage gift purchases, and make a lasting impression on their customers.

Use Black for Lustrous Custom Designed Marketing Boxes & Kits

custom-box-packaging  Rigid two piece set-up-box with silk screening

I have observed that black appears to be a very popular choice when it comes to lustrous, custom designed marketing boxes and kits. Black is valuable in so many ways since it is practical yet it unquestionably exemplifies the mindset of elegance and permits additional colors or custom features to truly dazzle. Custom foil stamping and silk screening usually work extremely well for black custom designed box packaging to successfully get your branding message out. When this combination is done impressively, your custom designed box likely will produce the feeling, mood, and image that your brand creates that play a role in persuasion. View some of these great custom packaging examples of this.

 

Distinctive and Appealing Custom Setup Box Packaging

Custom Health and Beauty Packaging

I consider the custom turned edge two piece setup box packaging for Stick Bears soaps very distinctive and appealing. The custom rigid setup box packaging generates a very natural and luxurious feeling for their product which is what they are all about. Stitch Bears crafted a group of appealing soaps for their organic baby brand and use organic powder from goat’s milk as the soap’s key ingredient. Their custom design packaging fits so well with their product and branding! An additional novelty is the soap’s custom product design, which is crafted to look like a Popsicle. This is intended to diminish a child’s distaste of bathing by correlating their soap with something pleasurable. The wooden stick is also comfortable to hold when the milk soap bubbles become slippery. The custom two piece setup box packaging and design add amazing perceived value of the Stick Bears product and enhances their brand.