Designing a Custom Game Box

Playing games is something that goes back to the beginning of sentient beings. Ok, I don’t *know* that, but we can assume that once beings started being able to think complex thoughts, they were able to become bored. And out of boredom comes attempts at relief, right? That sentiment has endured for ccustom game box, custom game board, customized incentive games for boosting productivity in businessenturies. There’s evidence that ancient Romans played tic-tac-toe; Anne Boleyn was quite adept at chess; and in modern times, a simple word game on cards can take the world by storm. It’s no wonder that board games and card games are among some of the most funded Kickstarters.  A custom game box is a great way to draw attention to your Kickstarter as well as spread the word about your product.

Ad Magic CEO Shari Spiro (recently profiled in Bloomberg) knows a thing or two about designing a custom game box. Her company has created packaging for the understated Cards Against Humanity and the more crass Poop: The Game, to name a few. Here are a few considerations for those getting ready to design a custom box for a Kickstarter board game or card game.

Considerations For Your Custom Game Box Design

  1. Have a plan
    Don’t pull a number out of thin air when it comes to packaging costs.  The goal is to make money, obviously, so think critically about what you want to sell for, and we here at Sunrise can help provide options from there.
  2. A little whimsy is doable
    Crazy custom game packaging abounds on Kickstarter, and not all packaging companies can handle the most extreme. Remember, while outlandish ideas are great to grab attention, they’re not always sustainable. Keep the whimsy to the design, the content, and the game itself.Custom Game box, two piece rigid game box, custom game box
  3. Leverage your network
    Spiro has her favorite vendors and producers to accomplish the challenges that customers place in front of her. Game makers can also reach out to the other people they know who are working to create games, or Kickstarter campaigns, and capitalize on their lessons learned.

Board games and card games are among the most ambitious projects on Kickstarter. They require a varied skillset: creative, logical, ambitious, not to mention entrepreneurial. Crowdfunding is still something of an emerging model, with clear successes and failures as far as projects go. Do your due diligence when it comes to packaging your product. It can help attract funders in the early stages, and it’ll garner new customers as your product launches.

A Mortgage Thank You Can Increase Business

In this booming housing market, the possibility exists for big business for mortgage lenders. The biggest problem is figuring out how to rise above the hundreds of other lenders customers can select. Marketing has changed a lot over the past decade. Interestingly, 2006 is also the last time the housing market was as strong as it is today. Ten years ago, Facebook and Twitter were new territory. Nowadays, a full social media strategy is the minimum for any marketing effort. The impact of other social sites, particularly review sites, has also impacted businesses. The feedback cycle is immediate and unfiltered, and people aren’t afraid to share their experiences with companies. The good and the bad. This is particularly important in industries where relationship building is still the standard for gaining business. You know, like realty and mortgage lending.  A mortgage thank you is a no-brainer. But what kind of thank you?

Designing a Mortgage Thank You

Showing customer appreciation is harder than it seems, right? A company doesn’t want to come off too flippant, too robotic, or inappropriate. But in the interests of time efficiency, you can’t exactly spend a few hours everyday hunting down the perfect piece of artwork to complement a client’s dining room trim.  Split the difference by creating a customized box. Sunrise Packaging, here in Minnesota, can help design something that meets your budget and image.  And from there, come up with some ideas of how to fill it.

  • Thank you noteMortgage thank you box
    Whether you buy a card or use custom stationary, take the time to write out the note longhand. We don’t have to explain why…right? If you don’t know what to write, Google it.
  • Gift certificate for local businesses
    Even if your clients are refinancing or not new to the area, a coupon or gift certificate to a local business is appreciated. Plus you can possibly build a kind of referral exchange with the other business.
  • Local maps of resources
    If they’re new to the area, it would be handy to learn about things that are nearby. Dog parks, microbreweries, escape rooms, whatever they’re particular deal might be. You know a lot about these people, you should have an idea of what they like.
  • A cash card
    It might feel a tad crass, but if we’re being honest, cash is the only universally appreciated gift. It allows the customer to spend it on whatever they want, without feeling obligated in any way. It’s not quite the gift that keeps on giving, but it’s close.

Choosing the Box Options

Believe it or not, but a box isn’t just a box. Take the time to figure out what needs to go *in* it, then we’ll know what types of custom box options it needs.  How to make your branding stand out, what types of insert it needs to protect and preserve the gift, and best of all: how to make that perfect final impression. This is a business of referrals. Your mortgage thank you should have them talking about your company into the next decade.

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. 

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!

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?

Brain Records Celebrates 40 Years With Awesome Box Set

Here’s some awesome packaging. It’s a box set celebrating the 40th anniversary of Brain Records. Located in Germany, Brain Records was founded in 1972 and is considered the revolutionary label of electronic music.

There were tons of connections in the Brain Records scene as the majority of the acts shared members and were really good friends. Designed by Joseph Cox, the special edition box set pays tribute to those connections using the circuitry as a metaphor. The graphics also illustrate a connection to the electronic instruments that were prominent to the label’s sound.

With the revival of vinyl records, designers are given so much more space to work with. So the packaging of box sets such as this end up looking so incredible.

The Beauty of Cardboard

Many look at cardboard and see it as a simple packaging material.  To often it finds its way to the trash instead of being recycled.  But as the cliche goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  This is the case for Mark Langan, who is an artist based out of Ohio that has made his life’s work out of corrugated boxes.

As his website states;

…I see it as an endless supply source that I purge from my trash and neighborhoods, reusing it towards my creations.  Artwork that is intriguing to the viewer whereas one might ponder quite some time over. A form of green art, that makes a definitive statement with its contribution to the recycling movement.

With a touch of brilliance Mark takes “reuse” to a new level.  Revamping simple cardboard into breath taking works of art.  Here are a few samples of his work.

http://keetsa.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/langan3.jpghttp://cwoca.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Salutation-Mark-Langan1.jpg

For more information visit:

Langa Art

Google Images