Packaging Design Elements

(or, how create great, memorable boxes). Design elements are the ornamentation that makes a box or custom package truly shine. Imagine an evergreen tree. It's majestic. Beautiful, in a stately, classic way. But add those literal ornaments, and it becomes an iconic symbol. 

When you think of designing packaging, use that same approach. Begin with a classic box style, and add on from there. At Sunrise Packaging, we have no shortage of classic box styles, from gate fold to cigar and beyond. 

And just like that Christmas tree, it's important to take a balanced approach to choosing design elements. Too much and the box is overwhelming, the intent muddled, and the consumer confused. Too little, and a company runs the worst risk of all: boring the user. When do you know that you have the right mix?

Balancing the Bling of Design Elements

While there are many design elements organizations can consider in designing their packaging, there are a few that always stand out.

  • Spot UV Print
    Spot UV print adds an incredible high gloss. Check out the example to the side. By adding the logo for black-on-black design, this coating truly stands out. You can see how it immediately catches your eye, while the white contrast of other elements make the package digestible without being overwhelming.
  • Foil Stamping
    Spot UV isn't the only way to add shine to your packaging project. Foil stamping adds custom foil seals to boxes with heat. Add embossing to create a truly striking 3D image. 
  • Offset Printing
    Quality takes time, and offset printing makes good use of that time. Packaging wraps need to be printed one at a time to create a truly dazzling and vibrancy in color.

These three options are popular options for boxes. But just like any industry, packaging follows trends. We can't wait to see what comes up next. 

What Inspires Your Packaging?

Design elements are an important part of your packaging design, but they aren't everything. To help guide your design process, step back and ask yourself: what's the inspiration? If you can find a theme that speaks to your product and your organization, it's a starting point. 

Sunrise Packaging can pick it up and carry your project over the finish line. Give us your ideas and your inspirations, and we can guide your design decisions. Talk to our team today!

2020 Trends: Smart Packaging

Smart packaging, also known as intelligent or active packaging, is an emerging term for packaging that is more interactive in some way. Imagine a prescription container that can tell you when it's getting low, or automatically send an order to refill itself. Or another package that can automatically dispense the proper dosage. 

There are subtle differences between these three types of packaging, but they equate to the same thing: how can the circle of our increasingly interconnected devices grow to encompass healthcare packaging as well?

Active & Intelligent: Key Aspects for Smart Packaging

While the examples above seem far-fetched, we're closer than it might seem. Innovators are working through methods which utilize familiar technologies, like Bluetooth and NFC (near field communication), to find new ways with which our medical needs interact with our various devices. These have been used in packaging for some time, but technology is refined and integrated, new uses emerge. 

At the heart of all these endeavors, though, is the patient or the user. Researchers in this field have to ask, What does the end-user need? How can this best serve them? Smart packaging needs to be active and intelligent to provide the most good. It needs to be intuitive and integrated into not only devices owned and familiar to the user, but amenable to how their mind works as well. 

Looking Forward

Sunrise Packaging has yet to create smart packaging on the level described above. Demand isn't quite there yet. Not to mention it's relatively cost-prohibitive and time-consuming to product on a large-scale at present.

But there's no doubt that the trend toward integrated smart devices is not slowing down. Demand and expectations will grow, and eventually the constraints around this type of packaging will become more manageable.

 

The Simplified Sample Kit

There's a time and a place for ornamentation in packaging. Especially when it comes to sales and marketing. But when it comes to sample kits--that first taste that customers get of a product--it's usually best to keep it simple. 

Simplicity is a concept that we champion at Sunrise, and for more reasons than the fact that minimalism is a major trend right now. Simplicity means uncluttered communication. It removes the potential for misunderstanding and confusion. Not to mention visual discomfort and dissonance. 

Sample Kit Simplicity

It's easy to fall into the trap of including too much within a packaging concept. A sample kit is the perfect example of a piece which is easy to over-design in an attempt to impress the recipient.  Everyone wants their products to sell; they want their products to make an impact, and to leave an impression. 

But it's important to consider the type of impression that's going to be left. If a sample kit is tricky or awkward to open, for example, it automatically puts a bad taste in the user's mouth. Too much text, overly-contrasting colors and fonts, any number of elements can make for a confusing experience. Less is more, they say, and it's especially true when we consider how to craft clear sample kits.

As you consider your sample kit, think first of the experience you want your user to have. How does it echo the experience the product seeks to deliver? What elements will best serve that end? It can be hard to put these ideas into words, and even harder to translate it into packaging. That's where Sunrise Packaging comes in. 

Within our experience, we've worked with culling down elements from overzealous marketers and designers. We can help define scope as necessary, framing your project within the necessary parameters of a sample kit. Contact us today!

Upscale Boxes for Software

In the age of the cloud and the software-as-a-service, it's hard to believe that physical software sales are still a thing. But it is, and for good reason, and it involves upscale boxes as well. 

If we go back to the beginning of the internet, it was viewed as a vague but exciting prospect. Hard to pin down, specifically, but the unlimited possibilities were appealing to the entire world. And while that perception has changed over the years, the potential has grown into both positive and negative things.  For every Kickstarter helping to save a life, there's a scammer waiting to pump bank accounts dry. 

Software Upscale Boxes

So what does this have to do with why software is still sold in upscale boxes?

Well, a lot of people don't trust software they can't touch. 

Their rationale is sound enough, and it's common enough for major retailers to continue to sell mostly empty boxes. They contain a download link and an activation code, since most computers don't have CD drives anymore. There's something comforting in the tangible for people. It builds trust. And adding in upscale packaging features makes it feel even more real and authentic. 

While the boxes in the example to the side weren't empty, we used some of our top high-end packaging tips to create this project. Thicker chipboard and glossy lamination give it a sheen and weightiness that inspires confidence. Our classic magnetic box style seals the deal.

High Hopes for High End Boxes

High end packaging for software boxes isn't something that's going away anytime soon. While mistrust of online downloads is part of the equation, we know there's a lure when it comes to well-made physical box. Let us work our magic with your next software box project. Reach out to our team for creating your upscale boxes!

Custom Boxes and Why DIY Doesn’t Always Work

Do It Yourself, or DIY, is hardly a new concept. There's something very American about the idea that anyone can do anything, but in reality, that's not always the case. Especially when it comes to custom boxes. 

Customized packaging is a bit of a niche specialty. There are a lot of things to consider that go into each project, and Sunrise Packaging carefully looks at all pieces of a request to make sure nothing is overlooked. For example, medical supply packaging must meet a lot of standards that are determined by a governing board. Cosmetics, food and other product industries have their own regulations regarding packaging as well. While other types of custom boxes, like those that hold game boards or USB sticks, don't have as stringent regulations, there are also things that a packaging novice might not consider. 

What DIY Can't Teach You

Over the years, our experience has given us a kind of sixth sense when it comes to custom packaging requests. We can look at a project and know what's needed even before the customer has specified it. Things that might not come to mind immediately--

  • inserts for product presentation and protection
  • thermoformed containers for security
  • magnetic latch to keep the box securely closed
  • finishing options to showcase the brand

--and more are things that are all just part of the way we think. 

In the project to the side, created for Codeware, we made a few recommendations to keep their product safe in transit and ensure that it presented well to the customer upon arrival. The scuff-free matte lamination also helps keep the box looking new.

Drop the DIY

We know it might be tempting to dive into a create your own box scenario and DIY your packaging project. But working with field experts, like the Sunrise Packaging team, is guaranteed to save you time and money. They'll steer you toward the right direction, ask the right questions, and work alongside you to realize all of your packaging dreams. 

And even if you aren't dreaming of packaging, we'll still help you out! Contact our team today.

Upscale Packaging from Sunrise

Upscale packaging does more than makes the customer feel fancy. It might feel like something that an organization can write of when their product isn't sold in the same way as retail boxes, but that sentiment couldn't be further from the truth. 

Consider medical device packaging. Let's say that you need a certain medical device, and there are two options:

  • Option 1: plain, white corrugated box with a stamp on the front.
  • Option 2: full color with a branded logo and content on all sides of the box. Maybe some customer testimonials, instructions, statements on ease of use, etc. 

Which packaging style inspires more confidence for you?

Upscale packaging is, like many things, more than what you see on the outside. It's also custom inserts to product items, sturdy construction to prevent tampering, and much more. But it's near impossible to discount the importance of that first impression.

Signs of Upscale Packaging

Upscale packaging doesn't have to follow a rule book. Just look at these creative takes from Canva. But there are a few things that instantly indicate to a user that this package is a tier above. 

  • Employ a pattern, some stylization, or an interesting color scheme to catch their eye. Taking care to present something attention-grabbing is the first impression your users will have.
  • Think about the unboxing experience, and let the packaging complement the product. Who is using this product? What might make it easier for them to use and understand the intent?
  • Use texture. At Sunpack, we have many finishing options that can add a tactile aspect to any packaging project. The more senses you can engage with your packaging, the more engaged your user will be.

Even if your product isn't necessarily compared to others, upscale packaging should still be a priority to inspire confidence and connection with your users. Sunrise Packaging is able to use our decades of experience to help guide you there. 

Bring us your ideas and preferences, and we can work together on the perfect package! Talk to our team today.

Wealth Management Branding

Wealth management branding is something that takes time to build. A brand is something that goes beyond just a name and tagline; it's something that should encompass the ethos and mission of your organization. In the financial planning world, it can be hard to stand out. But, if you can define your purpose in an upfront manner and use it to inform some of the larger content and marketing decisions, it will help your organization stand out. Designing packaging that complements a brand becomes easier as well. 

Crafting a Wealth Management Branding Strategy

What do you do? Why? Who's your ideal client? 

These are just a few of the questions that can help inform your wealth management branding strategy (for more, check out this Financial Advocates piece). Your marketing and branding efforts should inform how you talk about these five elements:

  • Products
  • Services
  • Target client
  • Value proposition
  • Passion

As this alignment becomes more apparent, then it can branch out to help inform other initiatives. 

In the project above for Beacon Capital Management, look at the different elements present. From the lighthouse imagery to the tagline to the use of color and box style... What do all of these elements communicate?

Asking the Right Questions

Building a brand is an ongoing process. Share your successes, community feedback, and more in your marketing channels, and use it to inform design and content decisions. This example showcases how imagery and words can evoke specific sentiments and feelings about an organization. Leave it to Sunrise Packaging to bring your brand into a tangible form. It's our job to know when to recommend soft touch lamination, embossing details, and more finishing options. 

When you're ready to firm up your brand with customized packaging, call Sunrise!

Out-of-the-Box Medical Packaging

In every genre, there are certain tropes. These are the stereotypes or scenarios we expect to see. When we think of horror movies, we all know the looming masked figure who can easily catch up with running victims despite never seeming to change their slow, ominous gait. When we think of cheesy romance novels, there's a shirtless man embracing a tiny blonde while his muscles bulge out of his skin. And, a little less scintillating, we have certain ideas when it comes to medical packaging. 

Medical packaging has its own set of tropes. For example, think back to the last healthcare device you saw. Chances are it met some of these stereotypes: 

  • Clean, minimal design with majority white background
  • San serif text in blue or green (in color theory, these colors are seen as calm and serene - a vibe that's welcome when dealing with health) 
  • Easy-to-open 
  • Soft touch lamination

There are certainly more we could include, but these are probably the most common. It's not to say there's anything wrong with these features. In fact, most medical packaging tropes exist to calm the consumer and put them at ease. When we know what to expect, things feel more manageable. But manageable doesn't have to mean boring.

Medical Packaging Doesn't Have to Look Like Medical Packaging

Boring is a subjective term, but we're willing to bet that no one would assign that label to this recent project. 

This project was developed for a medical packaging partner to hold documents. And while it doesn't overtly overthrow many of the stereotypes we associate with medical packaging, it does subvert them just enough to hold the interest of the user. It uses the white and blue color palette, but the bright mustard accent adds a hint of modernity and fun to the package. It also uses an easy closure device, but it's more than the standard paper slide we see so often.

The latch, along with the handle, add a layer of accessibility that sometimes gets overlooked in more affordable medical packaging styles. It's a box that's loaded with extras, and that showcases the brand at the same time as functionality. 

Brands Can Speak Louder Than Words

Medical packaging is usually subject to a number of regulations and requirements, which is one reason that many healthcare organizations opt for "safe" versus "unique." Customers know what to expect, and frankly, it's cheaper to recycle designs and utilize familiar tropes. 

But as the above example shows, there's value to be found outside of the "safe" zone. When there's an opportunity to showcase a brand alongside a functional design, it's not an opportunity to pass up. Learn more about how Sunrise can take a safe project and turn it into an opportunity. Contact the team today!

Blank Boxes Provide a Branding Opportunity

There are a lot of reasons that a marketing department might want to opt for flexibility in their materials, including marketing kits or custom gift boxes.  Blank boxes aren't a common request at Sunrise Packaging, but we have the capacity to help create a malleable box style that can be easily customized for whatever use it be put toward. 

Don't be put off by the term 'blank boxes,' either. Sunrise can create a base box style that is hardy, sturdy and secure, leaving the next level of customization up to you and your organization.

Blank Boxes are Perfect for Promos, Sales, and More

In the example to the side, you can see how we worked with an organization to create a custom, two-piece setup box that provides value and recognition. It's as close to a blank slate as a box can get, from a literal perspective. 

Traditionally, an organization might come to us with their content for the box prepared. From taglines to social media handles to instructions, most boxes start with an intent of what it's going to hold. But there's another approach that works just as well, and that's to start from the opposite end. Create a box that can be used in multiple ways, and utilize different customization tactics as necessary. Organizations can use stickers or decals to further customize the box, capitalizing on earlier decisions like size, color and lamination.

Check out some of these ideas for enhanced personalization for blank boxes, like stickers, inserts and more.

Easing Brand and Budget Concerns

Budget and brand uncertainty can be another reason that blank boxes are preferred by some organizations. It's cheaper to purchase boxes in bulk, and less customization also lowers the price as well. If your brand is in limbo for any reason - a possible logo redesign, or other change coming--but packaging is needed, it can be ideal to stick with something simple. 

Whatever your reasons might be for requesting blank boxes, Sunrise has got you covered. We can help create something that is higher quality than a bulk production site, but still flexible enough for your needs. Talk to our sales team today!

Medical Packaging for Education

Medical packaging can be a complicated subject. At Sunrise Packaging, we've done our fair share of creating unique boxes and packaging solutions for medical projects. We're always looking to expand our horizons, and we recently wrapped up a project on a new avenue for medical packaging for us: education. 

Launch Kit for Learning

Medical Coding Academy helps students prep for their Medical Coding National Board Exam. They came to us with a need to create a new prep kit for their students. We jumped at the chance to create these bright, engaging pieces of medical packaging. Typically, when we hear about medical packaging, one of the first concerns is what regulatory information needs to be included. It's a refreshing project that allows for more creative freedom. 

And we definitely looked to leverage our creative freedom here. We began with a custom magnet box and added a foam insert and clear, plastic pocket for the materials and products that it would hold.  The outside has a matte lamination and offset printing to ensure the vivid colors will resist fading. 

As we mentioned before, we love the colors and vibrancy of this design. 

A New Design for Medical Packaging

This kind of medical packaging puts a new spin on things. The educational aspect sends a slightly different message, particularly with the use of colors, avatars and bright content: this content will NOT be boring! And aren't those the words all of us want to hear when it comes to learning something new? 

Engaging, bright and vivid are words educators strive to hear applied to their work. Wouldn't it be great to apply them to medical packaging more often, too?

When your industry is facing a packaging challenge, check in with the team at Sunrise to help resolve it. Chances are, we might have a few ideas. Talk to our team today!