Thermoformed Trays Add A Little Something Extra

When it comes to packaging, there’s a lot of emphasis on the outside. Think of a birthday present. If two presents are placed in front of you–one with a sleek, crisp package, the other in a paper bag–which do you want to open first? While the outside of the packaging might be what attracts customers in the first place, it’s what’s inside that retains them. This is where thermoformed trays take center stage…or rather, they provide the center stage. Thermoformed trays for the health and beauty products.

Thermoformed trays are essentially plastic trays, heated and molded into custom shapes and sizes to ensure that your products are held firmly in place. They create a veritable stage for your products. Trays can be placed inside nearly any kind of container, from the popular cigar box to a turned-edge binder.  It’s a versatile solution that many industries include in their packaging designs.  

Here are a few more reasons why this type of custom insert works well for so many different needs: 

Thermoformed Trays Offer Products: 

Protection

To go back to the birthday present example, the only thing more disappointing than a poorly-wrapped present is a broken one. Thermoformed trays are customized to your product, ensuring that it is secure within the larger package. 

Safety

Healthcare packaging and medical device packaging typically utilize thermorformed trays for safety reasons. This industry, focused on life-saving tools and equipment, needs to have their tools safely stored in place where it’s easy to find and use them. 

Organization

Whatever you happen to be packaging with your product, thermoformed trays can keep everything in order. Trays allow you to help customers move through products sequentially.Oor if there are other inserts, to ensure that the most important or relevant ones are easily accessible. 

Ready to Learn More?

Thermoforming is a highly-customizeable process. It starts with designing a layout for your product, selecting materials, and finally moving into the final stages of your custom packaging needs.  Whether you are looking for sustainable, economical, or something else, Sunrise has a solution. Get started today.

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.

FlashPad Wallets: The Perfect Closing Gift

Okay, let me rephrase: FlashPad Wallets make the perfect closing gift *holder*.

Giving clients a gift at closing as a realtor sounds like a great idea. Who doesn’t like presents, for one, and a gift is a great way to express your appreciation for their business. It’s also a delicate way to ask for a referral (directly or indirectly, depending on your style). However, there are ample opportunities for the sweet gesture to go awry as RealtorMag describes.

For example, a set of crystal wine glasses sounds lovely. Unless they’re emblazoned with your company’s logo, in which case it’s really just a present for you, right? And what if they choose not to drink alcohol? Yes, we know that wine glasses don’t have to be used for wine, but it’s the implication as well as the lack of personalization that offends.  

So how does one come up with a gift that’s personal (but not too personal), won’t offend in any way, leaves a positive impression and reinforces your chance of a referral?

FlashPad Wallets can hold gift cards or USB Drives

FlashPad Wallets to the rescue

FlashPad Wallets are a new take on our classic FlashPad. They are smaller, lighter, and more portable.  The Wallet snaps shut and opens like a bifold wallet (hence the name...and it also possible to purchase as a trifold for more content). The inner and outer areas are completely customizable to whatever logo and messaging you want to share. While the package might become a keepsake for your client, what’s inside will catch their eye.

As RealtorMag notes, there’s one gift that everyone appreciates: money. It’s a tad gauche to fill it with cash, not to mention impersonal, so select a gift card that meets their needs. You’ve spent a substantial amount of time with them, so think back to conversations with them. Are they planning on buying new furniture? Do they love Starbucks or some other item? Does their new house have a lot of shelves that need to be filled with books? The opportunities are endless. The finishing options for FlashPad Wallets also allow for you to write a personalized message while the preprinted packaging does the selling for you.

Another option for the Wallet is a USB drive to be filled with whatever materials you share with clients. Information about their new neighborhood, any closing documents that can be saved digitally...whatever you can think of. I love the key-shaped USB for this idea; it’s a nice touch without being too cutesy. 

Regardless of how you choose to bookend the relationship, your client will probably remember you more for how you worked with them than the closing gift. Use the gift to build your reputation and connect with clients on a deeper level. And let the FlashPad Wallet remind them of where to send referrals. 

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?

Upgrade Your Box

turned edge hinge box

What do you think of when you think of box packaging? A plain cube? 6 equal sides? A brown cardboard brick? Seems uninspired. But there’s so much more. So let’s talk about a…

Packaging Upgrade

 

If you’ve looked through our gallery then, spoiler alert, you know we’ve already thrown the idea of a ‘boring box’ out the window. The days of basic are over when it comes to retail and promotional packaging. A box needs to be salesperson, showcasing a product or organization when nobody else can. Let’s go over a few packaging upgrades that can give a box a standout presence.

Magnets

The slickest, coolest, most secure upgrade, magnets make the difference. Whether you opt for hidden magnetic tabs that snap lids shut with invisible power, or an ornate clasp straight from a castle gate, this element adds a sophistication that is the difference between post-consumer waste and reusable heirloom.

Handles

Not only does a handle turn a box into a stylish makeshift briefcase, it also adds a lot of functionality. A presentation kit that can be transported easier, is something worth keeping around. Something memorable. A custom handle box shows that you care about the end-user.

Windows

You’ve heard that eyes are the window to the soul, right? Well, flip it back on them! Put a window on your custom box for some all-around product transparency. Perhaps a stylish opening to show off a textured material, a clear plastic that offers a glimpse, or a thermoformed blister for including a sample.

Foil Stamping

Shiny! Embossing your logo into a rigid setup box already adds some dimension, but why not go all in on a foil stamp. This little upgrade adds a metallic sheen to your impression. Used tastefully, it’s the perfect complement and carries that look of richness.

Textures

The breakthroughs in textured wraps for packaging will blow you away. From suede to snakeskin, your box can tap into that tactile appeal that makes or breaks products in the marketplace. If you have a box that can’t be put down, that’s half the battle right there.

Pockets

An oldie-but-goodie. Pockets are awesome. Functional. A little sleeve for a business card, or an industrial pocket for literature and instructions. These hidden accessories set projects apart, bringing your clients back for more. Pro tip: sleeves are cool, but if you need to include a compact disc, consider adding adhesive disc hubs to turn a binder or box into an instant DVD case.

Foam

Stop thinking bubble bath, are start thinking contoured support. Die-cut foam inserts inside your custom marketing kit are the pinnacle of professionalism. Clean, crisp, and cut to the exact specifications of your product, a foam insert not only stores securely, it displays elegantly.

Tech (of the Future)

As electronics become more and more inconspicuous, the easier they can be added to custom packaging products. RFID tags embedded in a box can either be used for instant package tracking, or give your clients an almost magical link to your website (think: reordering) or social media account (think: likes!). The day is fast approaching that super thin video screens could allow you to present that Super Bowl-quality commercial upon opening.


 

These are just a few of the packaging upgrades available through Sunrise Packaging. Request a Quote for a quick and easy one-on-one with our experts! The only thing between you and getting noticed is a mouse click!

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

5 Things to Put on Your Podcast Flash Drive

podcast_flash_drive

“Podcast” is a polarizing term. If you know what it is, there’s probably a few you can’t live without–don’t commute without one, in my opinion–or you have no clue what I’m talking about. If you’re of the latter category, I envy you. You’re about to discover specialized, personalized internet radio shows for the first time. But if you’re already an avid podcast downloader, then perhaps you’ve thought about starting your own.

Perhaps you already have.

Not even a decade ago, if you started a podcast, you could probably rank #1 in searches. But now as the internet has given birth to you YouTube stars, podcasts have become the cat’s pajamas. Everybody and their brother has one. I have one. And once you have one, the addiction becomes sort of like tattoos–you just have to have another.

My podcast was more for pleasure than for business. Local fame and a few loyal listeners was plenty for my ego. But if you’re looking to make a name for yourself in the medium, you already know you’ll have some competition. Even if you’re hosting the most niche podcast–Crust-First Pizza Reviews on Horseback, for example–the ease of creating your own show means you’ll still probably be buried. If you want to give your podcast some notoriety, I suggest going analog.

Creating a podcast flash drive for your show is just good business. A USB drive acts as a gift, stores nearly-unlimited data, and lives up to its name when it comes to flash. Once you have them made, simply hit up the convention of your choice (preferably one relevant to your topic) and let the SWAG flow!

Before you hit the trade show floor however, consider this a checklist for what to include on your podcast flash drive. Here are 5 that cannot be missed.

Your Podcast (duh)

Too sassy? Look, even the smartest people leave the house with only one shoe. Sometimes the obvious stuff is the easiest to forget. When loading up your drive with digital goodies, this one is a biggie. But don’t just pick any episode, choose the best episode. Or the episode that is most intriguing. Maybe you have a two-parter with a great cliffhanger. Or make a shortened sample of an episode to give your potential listeners just a taste. Then they’ll want to find your show on their own. Which reminds me…

Link It Up!

While giving your listeners a sample, don’t forget to set them on the path to finding your show online. That’s the beauty of a flash drive—digital content. Easily create a shortcut to your show’s website, or any social media that you update. Be bold–send them right to the subscription sign-up! Or maybe you have a Kickstarter or Patreon that needs some traffic.

Behind-The-Scenes Footage

Right now, some of you amateur ‘casters are thinking “Hey, I have a face for radio, that’s why I started a podcast in the first place!” Tough! Images, especially video, can set your podcast apart. People loving putting a name to a voice too. Include a compressed video of some behind the scenes action on your podcast flash drive. At the very least, it’ll make the viewer feel like they’re on the ground floor of something big!

Logo or No Go

When I said “on” I didn’t just mean digital contents. Let’s not forget the exterior of the flash drive. One of the most thrilling parts of starting your own podcast is creating a compelling logo. If you haven’t done that, well…that’s Step 1. But Step 1.5 should be to show off that logo on your custom USB.

A Bottle Opener?

8GB_flash_drive_bottle_opener_thinkgeekThis one might be a little more specific to me. As the cohost of a beer review podcast, I think this bottle opener flash drive would be the perfect promotional gift to my listeners. What would yours be? Choosing a flash drive that represents what your show is about is not only charming and clever, but it makes an already practical gift even cooler. And with so many different-shaped flash drives out there, finding one that’s the right fit for you is even easier than hitting the record button.

As a bonus, package your podcast flash drive in one of our signature FlashPads™. The smooth hardcover presentation will leave your competition in the dust. Make the perfect modern mixtape to find your listeners. Show off even more visuals, cleanly store your preloaded USB drive, even use an NFC tag for more interactivity.

Above all, when getting your podcast off the ground, it’s important to think outside the box. And outside the internet. Don’t wait for people to search for your show, give your show to them!

For more info check out the USB Packaging blog!

Images: ThinkGeek

Packaging That Ignites the Senses

InVitamin_facial_careYou already know that presentation packaging is a big deal. As a protective vessel, as the first thing a customer sees, as a storage device, now more than ever, a box is more than a box. Luxury packaging has its own voice. Maybe it screams from the shelf, or maybe it whispers. Either way, it is the draw of the proverbial “cover” that reals consumers in.

Artwork is the most basic step. Breathtaking visuals can draw the eye, while the simplicity of an elegant font can breathe value into a product simply by exuding charm. But if you’re looking to go one step further, the next logical step is tactile. A unique cover material can make all the difference. As simple as a silky soft-touch lamination or as complex as as textured snakeskin, an exotic wrap material is hard to put down. When a customer actually gets a product into their hands, that’s a good chunk of the battle. And if there’s something that feels soothing to the touch, well, that battle turns that much more in your favor.

But what’s the next step after that? The next evolution? We have touch and sight covered, what about the other 3 senses?

Marketing experts already know the key to selling is engaging as many senses as possible. You see this in every commercial and print ad. But now it seems the marketing world is taking things one step further. Targeting the consumer in the store, at the moment of decision, with multi-sensory triggers. Infant supply aisles that waft of baby powder, beach-scented swim trunk sections. Some of these innovations are already in play–but if you can’t control a particular stores marketing trends, then will the future of packaging include these extra sensory upgrades?

Imagine it. Wine packaging laced with the buttery notes of a fine cabernet. A tree-trimmer that smells like fresh-cut grass, or the air before a summer storm. With presentation packaging, these experiences aren’t far off. Packaging is all about innovation, and nothing is more innovative than an engaging, interactive experience.

Digital Print Trends 2016

Digital print for promotional packaging

Custom packaging is a pretty broad topic. Does it mean a cardboard box, a plastic wrapper, or a metal briefcase? When designing packaging for a product, the one major element to hit is to choose a design that complements the product itself. Form follows function, at the end of the day.

One way to keep a box customized while also the right fit for the job is to utilize digital printing.

 

What is digital print?

It is what you think it is: a process by which a digitally-stored image is printed directly onto the medium. This shouldn’t sound revolutionary. You might assume most images seen on packaging are digitally-printed. However, when it comes to boxes, t-shirts, or anything printed in large amounts, screen printing is still a more practical process in bulk.

A new press release, however, shows the beauty of going digital. David Luttenberger, global packaging director for the Mintel Group, has made a list of packaging trends for 2016--and right at the top? A focus on digital print.

Luttenberger calls the rise of this technique an evolution, not revolution. Which is true: experts have been predicting a digital boom as far back as 2013. But what digital printing offers is far more versatile than the endless, one-shot screen print process. Screen printing cannot be manipulated on the fly like digital can. With digital printing, you can change ingredients, logos, and instructions with a few changes to the digital source. This allows for smaller runs, or preliminary press versions of product packaging. Luttenberger draws attention to the successful Coca-Cola campaign of including names on their labels. This imaginative marketing would not have been plausible with screen printing.

Digital also allows you to include smaller details for higher-definition. Screen printing works for simple logos, but if you need to include lifelike imagery, digital is the only way to go.

In a nutshell, digital printing gives businesses more freedom. Freedom to try a new look, a new campaign, or a new marketing strategy, without committing to the asset creation or monotony of screen printing.

Will digital finally see it’s boom in 2016? Only time will tell.