Bespoke Boxes

Creating packaging isn’t so different from creating clothing. Both industries are subject to fashion and fads, with new trends drifting in and out. We watch things that were old become new again, things that were passe become trendy with enough time. Whether we’re talking tailoring or bespoke boxes, some features are just continuous classics. 

The word “bespoke” has a history tied to London, England. In the 16th century, “bespeak” meaning to order or arrange in advance. That evolved to refer to clothing or other things that a customer orders before creation. Traditional techniques are still in use on Savile Row, where making clothes is still seen as an art and not a science. 

Automation is increasingly a larger part of any enterprise, and custom boxes are no exception. However, while the manual parts of the process are less, well, manual, the artistry still exists. It takes time to craft truly bespoke boxes. Here are some examples: 

21st Century Bespoke Boxes

Custom magnetic boxesbespoke boxes

Sunrise Packaging’s Netbox, or customized magnetic boxes, reflect a true packaging classic: the cigar box. With an overlapping hard cover, magnetized for closure, ‘t’s ready for customization in any number of ways. These boxes are perpetually striking and can be further personalized through embossing, foil stamping, screen printing, and more. 

Prince Two Piece Setup Box and bespoke boxesTwo piece setup boxes

As a Minnesota-based company, we can’t have a post tying fashion to bespoke boxes without using a Prince example! This box to the left is an example of a two piece setup box.  They’re popular for luxury packaging, game boxes, and gift packaging. The turned edge corners ensure perfect fit from top to bottom. The strong chipboard can be wrapped in material that appeals to the senses, from a soft touch to glossier finish. Whatever you want to convey with your packaging can be done. 

ThermoformingThermoformend trays for the health and beauty products.

Thermoforming is truly one of the best ways to create bespoke boxes or custom packaging. Plastic molds are created to the exact specifications of your product(s) to ensure a snug, comfortable fit. It adds layers of protection and security to boot. Sunrise can create the perfect tray, clamshell, or blister pack to meet your requirements. 

Where Past Meets Present

As you can see, bespoke boxes and customized packaging take what’s best from the past and make it better with the present. Cigar boxes are a timeless style, but thermoforming ensures that the products inside are safe and secure. Using innovative practices paired with a respect for the past, Minnesota custom box creator Sunrise is ready for any challenge you can bring to us.

Contact our reps today to get started!

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?

Award-Winning Packaging

It’s not impossible to find award-winning packaging.

There’s the Dieline Awards, the Luxury Packaging Awards…but packaging that wins a Grammy? That’s huge.

You might not know this, but there’s a category for the Grammy Awards that doesn’t get aired during the live telecast. Probably because the title is so long-winded, it would get cut short by the play-off music. The category is Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package and, since its inception in 1995, it’s usually presented at a ceremony preceding the awards show. And usually it’s given for some specialty artwork or cool inclusive. But this year’s BBSLEP–woof–Grammy Award-winning packaging was really a showstopper.

The award was given to a trio consisting of Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood, and–no big deal–Jack White! That’s right, the talented musician, famous for bands like the Dead Weather and the White Stripes, has now picked up his 11th Grammy–but this time it’s for packaging! (Actually, his 10th was too, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)

grammy_award_winning_packaging_by_third_man_recordsWhite’s Third Man Records put out a monster collection titled The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32), featuring prolific hits from the early 20th century. To truly showcase this collection, White and his team opted for the luxury packaging route. The cool contents notwithstanding, the packaging is a stainless steel and polished aluminum case designed to evoke the art deco era of early radio. (Check out the video above!)

The packaging isn’t the most practical (the website claims that each case is handmade and it could take up to a month to ship) but with a $400 price tag, the final product better be a little better than a cardboard box.

You don’t have to package your product in a metal suitcase, but you have to respect the idea behind it. The flash, the majesty, the shelf presence of presentation packaging draws a crowd. And, in some cases, draws a famous award too.

Oh, by the way, last year’s Grammy in this category? Also went to Jack White for The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One. Check out that award-winning packaging, plus all the other winners here.

Image: Third Man Store

The Most Famous Piece of Corrugated Cardboard Ever

A portion of the star wars early bird certificate, maybe the most famous piece of corrugated cardboard in the history of retail


The year is 1977. Fleetwood Mac is blasting through the speakers of Trans Ams everywhere, Star Wars takes the box office by storm, and the Kenner toy company is sitting on the golden egg of a lifetime–and they almost crushed it. Here’s the true story of how a piece of corrugated cardboard changed the face of marketing history.


 

May the Corrugated Cardboard Be With You

 

Months earlier in 1976, The Kenner toy company caught a seemingly lucky break. A small subsidiary of General Mills, Kenner’s usual fare was squirt guns and bubbles. But a major toy company, Mego, had passed on the Star Wars license to produce toys. Kenner, the Little Toy Company That Could, managed to acquire it.

 

Huge mistake for Mego. Potential mistake for Kenner.

 

Why? Just because Kenner picked up the license didn’t mean they believed in Star Wars. It seems impossible now, but the original Star Wars movie could barely get off the runway back in the day.

 

But once it did, it exploded.

 

The late May blockbuster left Kenner scrambling to produce Star Wars toys in time for the holiday season. Even by today’s standards, that’s a tough deadline. At some point, the small company realized they couldn’t meet the demand by Christmas. But did they give up? Not a chance. Instead they turned to a piece of customized corrugated cardboard into a legend.

 

The Star Wars Early Bird Certificate Was Born.

custom corrugated cardboard packaging used in the marketing of popular star wars toys

A member of the Kenner team had an idea. Instead of letting the ball drop, they created a corrugated cardboard box. Most likely an E-Flute wall structure–the standard in luxury display packaging–Kenner’s Early Bird Certificate doubled as a display stand. The idea was that kids could mail in the certificate and, when the toys were ready, Kenner would send out the first wave of toys, packaged in a thermoformed plastic tray. Then, when the package came, kids would have a spot ready to display them.

 

And they sold it.

 

Hero Complex’s Jay West calls it the “the most coveted empty box in the history of retail.” To think that anything could replace an action figure under the tree in a child’s eyes seems unlikely, let alone a hunk of corrugated cardboard. But it did. In fact, the anticipation of staring at the placeholder while waiting for the figurines to arrive made the prize even sweeter. Exclusive mail-away action figures would be the cornerstone of the Star Wars toys for the next 30 years.

 

Maybe Kenner’s whole plan wouldn’t fly today. But there’s a lot of takeaways from this story. Not giving up? Of course. Taking chances? Sure. But, above all, it shows the creativity stored in that “coveted empty box.” That’s the power of corrugated cardboard. It’s durable, environmental, economical, and endlessly engineerable. Just a simple piece of cardboard changed the face of product licensing forever. Think what it could change next.

 

You might be wondering what parents paid for that precious corrugated cardboard back in the day. $7.99. But what are folks willing to spend on it today?

the infamous customized corrugated cardboard on ebay, glossy laminate

 


 

Less Can Be More With Custom Packaging

custom two piece setup box

custom two piece setup box

Sometimes less is more! This custom packaged two-piece setup box for Gentleman’s Professional Body Care is a great example of how effective less can be! Whether it’s the amount of images used or the wording of an advertisement, less is very often more when it comes to branding and advertising – and that goes for the packaging as well. In custom packaging today, sometimes there can be information overload. Consumers are overcome and desiring for peaceful zones, so there is a expanding want of simplistic packaging experiences. This Gentleman’s custom two-piece setup box packaging is natural, readable, convenient, easy to open, with no blur – and in my opinion does a incredible job of getting their message and branding through.

Unique Packaging & Branding

Eco friendly rigid handle box

Luxury Packaging: Wine & Spirits

Specialty wines and spirits are luxury items and should therefore be displayed and purchased in a luxury packaging solution. Most often high end boxes, the photo gallery below shows some fantastic examples of intricate rigid boxes for wine, whiskey, and everything in between! By investing in customized luxury boxes for these specialty items, these companies add value to the entire product, creating an experience for the consumer, and investing in their targeted customer! We love seeing projects like these, because it gives us a chance to use our custom manufacturing capabilities to take a vision and make it a reality. From two piece setup boxes to turned edge cigar style boxes, luxury wine and spirits packaging is always uniquely tailored to the brand, the product, and that specific flavor profile. Any new rollout product or limited edition spirit will turn more heads in the store if they are accompanied by eye-catching display packaging. This creates a high end status that connoisseurs just have to have!