Luxury Gift Packaging for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day originally meant to honor Saint Valentine. But since the days of Chaucer, it’s been associated with love. Or, to call a spade a spade, it’s associated with the giving of gifts. Flowers, chocolates, anything heart-shaped and/or expensive. It’s a holiday made for luxury gift packaging.

(Yes, we know it’s not *made* for giving gifts. Gifts are just the byproduct, the natural progression from courtly love).

Fine Chocolates Deserve the Finest Custom Cigar Style  or Two Piece Setup Box Luxury chocolate packaging

It’s easy to pile chocolates into a bag, tie it shut and call it a gift. Or to pick up some mass-produced box of waxy chocolates. But if you’re going to give them as a gift, take it from us: invest in good quality chocolate and good quality dessert boxes. The classic chocolate box? A cigar style box, with turned edges and imprinting. It’s true that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to chocolates, the box can be an indicator of quality. Two piece setup boxes are the other traditional style, as you can see to the right. Trust us, it’s worth the extra effort.

Luxury Gift Packaging for Engagement Rings

It probably doesn’t surprise you that Valentine’s Day is the most popular day to get engaged. It’s estimated that 6 million people agree to take the plunge (and not in a second-bottle-of-wine kind of way). The focus in any engagement is on the ring, naturally, but don’t overlook the significance of the box, either. The box holds sentimental value as well, and makes for a great keepsake. The standard style, a hinged magnetic box, can be further customized with names, a quote, or some other bit of content you share with your (hopefully) new fiancee.

 

Other Types of Luxury Items Require Luxury Packagingluxury gift packaging

Of course, Valentine’s gifts run the gamut outside of rings and chocolates. The item below is a luxury-brand lotion in a custom two piece setup box. Ideal not only for spa-day indulgences, but the box for the lotion itself only adds to the gift. Not to mention the experience of opening it. Lotion in and of itself isn’t the most exciting gift…until it arrives in a fancy box, right? Think of other items in which luxury gift packaging becomes an arena for differentiation. Watch boxes. Perfume or cologne gift boxes. Even electronics have jumped on board. Samsung and Apple are just two tech companies that have adopted an iconic, customized packaging style.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the Modern Era

All of this isn’t to say that enjoying Valentine’s Day means spending money. But purchasing things of a certain quality entails spending a little money. If your valentine isn’t worth it, who is?

Custom Cigar Boxes: Timeless & Elegant

Finding a box that's truly versatile is a harder task that it sounds. We love custom cigar boxes because, simply put, they're classic. It's a style of box associated with cigars, naturally, but there's something both Old World and modern about it. Depending on the design, a single box style can take on multiple personalities. While the classic cigar-style box presents convenience and ease of opening, it also naturally heightens the luxury and elegance factor. It's clear to see why this is one of our most popular styles, isn't it?

Features of Custom Cigar Boxes

  • Classic style
    From a new baby to weddings, cigars (and cigar boxes) are synonymous with celebrating and good feelings. The style lends itself to presentation, begging to be opened to whomever the custom box is presented.

  • Large variety of finishing options 
    Inlaid foil for your logo? Check. Colored chipboard to match branding guidelines? Check. Nearly anything you can think of, Sunrise Packaging can figure it out. Okay maybe not *everything* but we can try.

  • Interior organization
    It doesn't matter what's going inside the box. What matter is that, when the customer opens it, everything is in its place. Select an option that fits your budget and keeps your product safe.
custom cigar boxes
  • High quality materials = instant keepsake
    One of my favorite things growing up was a literal cigar box from my grandfather. While Sunrise doesn't deal in the wood and metal locking devices (my favorite features of my cigar box), we can utilize high quality materials. It'll help ensure that your custom cigar boxes are valued by customers for days to come.

  • Ability to recreate this iconic scene from Pretty Woman
    It probably won't involve early 90's Richard Gere, but we can't all be that lucky.

Custom cigar boxes are our go-to suggestion when it comes to a box style that conveys instant luxury and nostalgia. Everyone has a memory involving a cigar-style box. It's our job to make it's a positive one. Contact a representative today to learn more about finishing options and putting your own spin on this classic style.

Luxury Packaging Market

It's a good time to be in the luxury packaging business. 

According to a report from Market Intel Reports (read more at Whatech), the luxury packaging market is set to increase by 5% in the next five years. That means by 2021, the market should reach a value of over $20 billion. Large as the number is, this isn't a total surprise. Sunrise Packaging has had a front-row seat in watching these trends grow over recent years. The demand for great packaging has never been higher, and if this report is correct, it's only going to increase in the coming years.  

The full report includes information on opportunities and restraints on the market, but here are our main takeaways. 

 

Luxury packaging for cigars

Luxury Packaging Trends

So what's driving the increase in demand? There are three main factors--

  • personalized packaging
  • increasing awareness to sustainability issues
  • demographic and economic drivers

--combined with the need for premium brands to find more ways to differentiate themselves. The rapidly-changing marketplace means that brands can't coast on their name anymore. Consumers have access to literal world of products available via the Internet, and if a brand isn't holding up, consumers aren't shy about broadcasting their displeasure. 

The report includes more information on the state of every continent in terms of the luxury packaging market. The United States is the largest luxury market ( 21.5% revenue share). China holds the distinction of taking second in two categories: consumer of luxury goods and luxury packaging manufacturer. However, with a 36% consumption share of the world’s luxury good market (in terms of revenues), Europe leads the way. It helps that the majority of luxury brand houses call the continent home. Take a second and write down the top five luxury brands that come into your head. What's on the list? Gucci? Chanel? Rolex? Mercedes Benz?  Italian, French, Swiss, German.  From that list, you can also get a sense for the products that tend to drive the market. 

It used to be that these products were hard to get. They were limited to those who either lived in areas affluent enough to shop the storefront, or those able to order via catalogs or other methods. E-commerce has leveled the access level (not to mention discount sites and others). Luxury packaging helps to set products apart in the egalitarian marketplace. Packaging has an important role in maintaining a brand's image. This is even more important in the age of social media, as brands are finding opportunities to tie custom packaging to marketing strategy.

Custom Boxes & Luxury Packaging

Luxury packaging is about a few factors: design, materials, and experience. Does the package design reflect your product and your consumers expectations? Did you use materials and finishing options that look and feel a little indulgent for the consumer? And consider how both of those designs contribute to the experience of opening the package. Custom options make the difference between luxury and mundane. Contact Sunrise Packaging today to help create your luxury packaging.

Packaging for Millennials & Beyond

It might surprise you to learn that different generations have different effects on the packaging industry. Baby boomers, which have thundered like a herd of elephants through the ages, dominate the pharmaceutical packaging market.  Medical device packaging for them needs to be lightweight, easy to open, and clearly labeled. However, millennials have surpassed the baby booms to become the largest generation in United States history. Representing nearly 25% of the population, it’s clear that packaging for millennials requires a different tone, look and feel than previous generations.

Packaging for Millennials is Different

Millenials are defined as the generation born between the early 1980’s and mid-1990’s.  While singular qualities range, like any generation, millennials are marked by their desire for uniqueness and creativity, and manufacturers are reacting with increasingly innovative and interesting packaging decisions. Their comfort with mobile devices and online shopping means that knowledge and possessions are quickly available at their fingertips. Ranging from their early twenties to late thirties, their purchasing power is primarily what’s driving the changes in packaging to meet their desire for instant gratification.

What Millennials Look For in Packaging

According to Packaging Digest, there are a few common things that millennials look for in choosing brands and, by extension, packaging for millennials:

  1. What does the brand say about me?
    Millennials want to feel a personal connection to brands because brands say something about a person. In part, brands define who a person is and what their values are. As a generation with access to nearly anything, the choices are limitless. To assign meaning to those choices, millennials see their purchases as emblematic of themselves.
  2. How can this brand be customized to me?
    It’s the insult of all insults: BASIC. To call someone basic is essentially to call them uninteresting. Un-extraordinary. Snd worst of all, boring. This is partially a reference to the millennial love for specialty product ingredients but also the packaging. Millennials consistently gravitate toward custom packaging, according to Supermarket News. Think of the Coca-Cola initiative recently, with people’s names on Cokes.
  3. Is it exclusive and high-end packaging?
    Building on the customization factor, millennials love high-end private label branding. Think luxury and exclusive packaging. Or at least packaging that can be perceived like that.
  4. Who else is using it?
    Social media gives everyone a platform to rant or rave about products, and millennials are very adept at picking up what’s hot and what’s not. Creating buzz is key to packaging for millennials. Include QR codes, hashtags, anything that invites interaction with the brand on the package itself.

How Packaging for Generation Z Will Go Even Further

There’s no sign of these trends stopping with millennials. Generation Z is coming up fast behind them, and they promise to wield even more market power. Expect them to want an even MORE personal relationship with their chosen brands.They’ll also expect to use their mobile-first identity to interact with brands constantly.

Contact Sunrise today for tips and ideas on creating packaging that speaks to millennials in their language.

Luxury Brand Packaging Tips

Luxury brand packaging is one of those things that's better experienced than described. However, as one of Minnesota's premier producers of high end custom packaging, we're well-situated to take a stab at defining some of the features that make packaging feel luxurious. Custom packaging can make a sizable impression. And it's our job to make sure that it's a positive impression as a result of great design and fine craftsmanship.

The tips below, adapted from TheDieLine, discuss how to appeal to consumers and leave an impression of high-end luxury packaging. It involves appealing to the senses in unexpected--yet pleasing--ways.  It's turning the mundane into the extraordinary. And it's easier than you think.

Tips for High End Custom Packaging

Include micro-interactions
You can guide users through a delayed-gratification type of an experience through micro-interactions. Micro-interactions are unexpected surprises about a package or a box. Utilize materials in unexpected ways (especially materials that convey the luxurious quality you want to convey, like our soft touch lamination). Design points of interplay for the user and the product. Magnet closure, pull tabs, these extras surprise and delight consumers. 

luxury brand packaging

Reduce redundant hand positions
Haptic feedback helps inform luxury packaging. Believe it or not, but according to TheDieLine, redundant hand positions required to open packaging reduce perceived quality. Use one simple criterion: how easy is it to open the package? Could it be opened blindfolded, or would it require tools and complicated handiwork? It's a testament to the classic simplicity and elegance of the cigar box

luxury brand packaging

Contrast finishes
The way light interacts with colors and finishes affects how consumers perceive things. It can make the difference between a high-end box and a cheap one, or at least the perception either way. The finish should be smooth, crisp, consistent, and even. Incorporating foil stamping on a matte material is one of our favorite ways to create this kind of contrast. However, show restraint when it comes to contrasting.  Discretion and minimalism in design define understated luxury.

Gold foil stamp example on luxury brand packaging

Luxury Brand Packaging Value Perception

When all is said and done, creating luxury brand packaging is all about creating a perception of high value. By following the cues discussed, it's possible to trigger the sensory cues that say "high-end." While these are tips that help convey luxury, it's important to remember packaging basics, such as: 

  • Take measures to ensure packaging won't become warped or misshapen due to humidity, poor handling, etc.
  • Incorporate materials and finishes that are pleasing to touch. 
  • Design an opening experience worthy of an unveiling video. 

Consumers want to be thrilled. Discover ways to incorporate these types of interactions and sensations into your packaging to create something they'll love. 

The Wedding Netbox: Sticking Together Forever

Planning a wedding can be like falling down a rabbit hole. Just when you think you know what you want, you log in to Pinterest and see something that makes you want to change 300 invitations. Short of ignoring Pinterest, bridal sites, and wedding magazines, the best way to stop the wedding-planning-change-ups is to choose what you love the first time around. The other tip is outsource as much as possible. DIY wedding might sound attractive...until you get to the *do*, and from there, it's enlisting every family member and friend you have. Guest gifts are where most brides start to lose their sanity a little bit.  It's hard--darn near impossible, actually--to come up with something that's personalized, meaningful, and valued by every single guest. Well, maybe food, but that's a given. Cut out part of the work: here are some of the most popular wedding guest gifts according to Buzzfeed, and all can be safely housed in a keepsake wedding netbox.

Custom Stemless Wine Glasses

Traditional wine glasses, with those endless stems, are elegant and useful...if you drink wine. Or if you like being fancy with your water.  However, what's great about stemless is that it bridges the gap from overly-fancy to simple juice glass without a stretch.  A simple engraving will forever remind guests of your special day. Or, save the money and put it toward a wedding netbox from Sunrise. We recommend custom die cut foam inserts to keep the glasses in place and from turning into shards. 

Homemade Liqueurs or Homebrew

Liquor is a gift that keeps on giving. It's also a great compliment to the season of a wedding. Consider pairing the season with something seasonal: 

  • Spring: elderflower liqueur
  • Summer: limoncello or margarita mix
  • Fall: apple brandy or liqueur
  • Winter: Irish cream 

Or, if you or a friend does their own homebrew (or you might have a nearby location that will do all the hard work for you, like Minnesota's Vine Park), that's another great option. Bonus: custom labels. 

wedding netbox guest gift

Instagram Coasters

In our social media omnipresent society, Instagram gives everyone the ability to be an amateur photographer. Choose photos that are beautiful and meaningful--like of your childhood home, trips, etc--and not just you and your paramour's duck faces. Custom thermoformed trays, nesting your coasters with thumb holes inside a custom wedding netbox, create the perfect presentation for your wedding guests.

The Versatility of the Wedding Netbox

The whole point of a wedding guest gift is to create something indispensible versus something disposable. It's a way to thank your guests for participating in (what should be) an amazing experience. The archetypal stressed-out bride is one tradition to which you shouldn't adhere. Choose a wedding gift that's simple and expresses your relationship, and work with Sunrise to design the perfect wedding netbox to share it with the world. 

A Champagne Box Worth Buying: Dom Pérignon

It's July in Minnesota, which means that we're in the heart of summer. Despite being a state known for snow and winter sports, we take summer pretty seriously in the land of 10,000 lakes. While some might argue that cold beer is the best companion on a hot day, I agree that it does the job in a pinch--but a glass of bubbly is even better. Effervescent and refreshing, champagne is a surprisingly perfect pairing for not only toasts (seriously - try it with scrambled eggs or potato chips). Champagne has an interesting history, and the best products are imbued with their own stories. One of the best known brands, Dom Pérignon, has an especially storied history. There's quite a bit stuffed into this champagne box. 

The History of a Great House

For a sparkling wine to be called champagne, it must come from the Champagne region of France. That's where we're starting this story, in France circa 1668. Dom Pierre Pérignon was a French Benedictine monk. While he didn't *invent* champagne, the Dom heavily influenced how it was made in a time when the region primarily produced red wines. While it might sound strange that a monastery controlled a vineyard, it wasn't uncommon in medieval France. Even today, authentic Trappist beers are brewed in monasteries. Today, it makes money; at the time, it was just another beverage. 

Back to champagne. The region of Champagne had been known as a wine produce since Roman times, but it was competing with neighbor Burgundy for production and quality. As cellarmaster, Dom Pérignon took great strides in increasing the quality and quantity of wines from the region. His accomplishments include:

Dom Perignon champagne box from Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=462004
  • Being the first to blend grapes in such a way as to improve the quality of wines, balance one element with another in order to make a better whole, and deal with a number of their imperfections
  • Perfecting the art of producing clear white wines from black grapes by clever manipulation of the presses
  • Enhancing the tendency of Champagne wines to retain their natural sugar in order to naturally induce secondary fermentation in the Spring
  • Being a master at deciding when to bottle these wines in order to capture the bubble
  • Introducing corks (instead of wood), which were fastened to bottles with hemp string soaked in oil in order to keep the wines fresh and sparkling, and used thicker glass in order to strengthen the bottles (which were prone to explode at that time)

Basically, he established wine-making principles that are still in use today. 

Dom Perignon champagne box from http://www.jamesbondlifestyle.com/

A Champagne Box for the Ages

Over the years, the demand for Dom Pérignon has only grown.  Economics is all about supply and demand: when supply is limited, demand is higher. As a vintage champagne, all the grapes must be harvested in the same year. And, if it was a weak year for grapes, it's not made at all. Since 1921, there have been 41 vintages; it's extremely rare for harvests to result in a vintage multiple years in a row. When your goal is bottled perfection, it's obvious that not every year will yield the best. 

Dom Pérignon, despite the demand from royalty and rappers alike, never compromises for quality. A luxury product needs luxury packaging, and while Minnesota-based Sunrise doesn't make their boxes, we're enamored of the custom set up champagne box style utilized. 

Cosmetic Box Review: Dior Backstage Pros Solution Set

Cosmetic box sets are usually a way to get a little more bang for your buck. Sometimes there might be exclusive shades or add-ins, or a make-up bag, or some other kind of hook for consumers. One brand that bucks this trend, especially when it comes to cosmetics, is Dior. It’s rare to see their products discounted in any way, and buying a set (like the Backstage Pros Gift Set) doesn’t save much more money than buying each product individually.

I don’t mind this, to be honest. I would rather buy shades and products that work for my skin without feeling pressured to buy a set of which I would only use half of the products. However, I am a sucker for great packaging, and the Dior Backstage Pros Solution cosmetic box is gorgeous.  It’s classy and understated, and clearly high-end. Two piece setup boxes have a rigidity and sturdiness that elevates them from something that goes out with the recycling to something in which you store keepsakes.  And that’s true even if it isn’t emblazoned with ‘Dior.’

But back to the products.

Included in This Cosmetic Box

(and with translation below):Dior luxury catwalk cosmetic box

  • Diorshow Maximizer
    “Mascara serum base, lash amplifying effect”
  • Diorshow Brow Styler in 001 Universal Brown
    “Ultra fine precision brow pencil”
  • Dior Addict Lip Maximizer in 001 Pink
    “Collagen active lip-gloss”
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow in 001 Pink
    “Color awakening lip balm”
  • Nail Glow
    “Instant French manicure/brightening effect”

Full disclosure: I wouldn’t have bought the set if it didn’t work with my skin tones, but luckily, 001 Pink is one of faves. It’s subtle and slightly plumping without being overwhelming, and it works on a variety of skin tones.

Same goes for the 001 brow styler, which gives a natural brow look.  Unlike cheaper pencils, which give off too much powder or waxiness.  Some online reviews have criticized the amount received for the price. When it comes to make-up, I’m a firm believer that quality is more important than quantity. However, I will admit to not being 100% sold on the Maximizer mascara. My eyelashes are very fine, and this tends to add more gunk than desired volume to them. It’s entirely possible I need application lessons, but this is the only product in the cosmetic box that I wouldn’t purchase on its own.

But back to a high note: Dior’s nail glow is worth every penny for ladies whose nails tend to chip otherwise. Reviews have noted the strong acetone scent, but c’mon…it’s nail polish! The shade works for my nails, leaving the nail tips looking whiter and rest slightly pink, as promised with the instant French manicure advertising. I know, I know, I didn’t believe it either, but try it out.

Cosmetic Box…Not by Sunrise (but just you wait)

This cosmetic box isn’t a product by Sunrise, but we do a pretty bang-up job with custom setup boxes. We’ll have some exciting news regarding this particular style in the next few months, too…so hold onto your seats in anticipation.

Contact a sales rep for more information!

What’s in a Printing Technique?

While it's true that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the adage doesn't quite extend to product packaging. Packaging makes a first impression and a lasting one at that. It's what might draw someone to your product, and draw them back again. Choosing the right printing technique plays a key part in making an impression (pun slightly intended).  

At Sunrise Packaging, the printing techniques which you can use include:

Printing techniques not only enhance design, but lend a tactile quality to packaging. Who can see an embossed design and not run their fingers over it? By appealing to multiple senses, it enhances the user's experience with your product before they've even opened it up.

Debossing printing technique example

Embossing and Debossing Printing Technique

Embossing and debossing are similar processes with opposite effects.  While both involve a mounted plate making impressions, embossing produces a raised impression while debossing creates a depressed impression.  Both techniques give the final product some texture, making the packaging irresistible to fingers running over the design.  The example to the left shows debossing; note that either can be used in conjunction with foil printing.

Foil Stamping Printing Technique

As noted above, both embossing or debossing can be used with foil stamping for an impactful, striking image.  Known as hot foil stampers, foil stamping machines use heat to transfer metallic foil to a solid surface. As a permanent process, it's popular for products with longevity: luxury keepsakes, like the Minnesota Vikings package to the right, branded items for photographers, or any business which needs to make their mark.

Foil stamping printing technique
Silk screening printing technique

Silk Screening / Screen Printing Technique

In silk screening or screen printing, a stencil forms open areas of mesh that allow ink to transfer to the material. A roller then rolls across the stencil, forcing ink into the desired space. This method, possibly familiar to you from custom t-shirt designs, is usually employed on boxes (like the Kentucky Derby example) or binders. 

Print Coating Printing Technique

Print coatings not only enhance but also help protect the design. The coating can protect against the effects of repeated use, extreme temperatures, moisture, things that threaten the integrity and longevity of a box, binder, or other type of packaging.  There are several types of print coatings. Each come with their own pros and cons; check out some of the options below, or chat with an expert for recommendations based on your needs!

  • Overprint varnish is the most cost efficient type of print coating.  It provides a mild shine and some protection. 
  • Aqueous contains protective sealants yet is environmentally-friendly as it is water-based. It's fairly glossy, per the example, and won't yellow over time.
  • Laminates has two options: film and liquid based. They're very effective in protecting from water and provide wipe-able surfaces. 
  • UV Coating is liquid-based and applied/cured by UV lamps. Its main advantages include the highest gloss out of these options, better clarity and higher abrasion/rub resistance. 

Contact a representative to find out which options fit your product and your budget!

What is a Designer Box?

Let’s start with what a designer box isn’t: plain cardboard.

Medela-OpenedIf you’re shipping out blouses, candy, promotional material, or whatever in uninspired packaging, you might as well be replace the word FRAGILE with DON’T BOTHER OPENING.

But why? A box is a box is a box, right? False. If that were true, everything you ever ordered online would arrive as though it were homemade cookies from your great aunt: cardboard, duct tape, and a scribbled address. But companies don’t spend all this time and money on cultivating top-tier products just to have them look like something you bought from somebody on eBay. Sure, there’s lots to love about corrugated. It’s cheap, padded, and disposable…but are those really words you want associated with your product?

Even e-retailers are being told to “ditch the brown box” by experts. Frankly, it’s a little on the boring side. Not to mention, it’s hard to establish brand identity with a box that looks like everyone else’s. Which brings us to the designer box.

Like designer anything, a designer box has features. It could be a unique opening, something outside the standard top flaps. Maybe it’s shiny foil trim, gold or silver. Perhaps it’s embossed handwriting, magnetic clasps, or a flocked interior. Maybe it’s all of the above.

gate_fold_designer_box_minnesota_vikings

One place to start is packaging that is rigid. This means the walls of the box are assembled using chipboard, a condensed form of cardboard that mimics the stiffness of thin particleboard. You might have experienced this type of packaging in smartphone packaging, or even with high-end board games. The result is more durability and, ultimately, reusability. That’s another designer difference: boxes can be eco-friendly as the day is long, but reusable packaging is smart packaging. It’s multifunctional, and therefore valuable. Pop quiz. What’s the better choice for bagging your groceries–paper or plastic? The answer is actual secret option C, a reusable bag. No matter the material, disposable products still contribute to waste.

As with most things, it’s important to remember your audience. Or maybe, recipients in this case. If your product is an all-organic, environmentally-minded soap, you might not want to include all the bells and whistles on your packaging. (You might not want to have packaging at all, but good luck with that at retail.) In this case, you might want to opt for the cardboard box. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spruce it up–even eBay knows that. And it’s totally possible with soy-based inks and water-based coatings. But for items with a higher price tag (think: electronics, tools, clothing), don’t you want packaging that matches the quality of your product? More than that, don’t you want the security and storage that comes along with designer packaging?