How a Custom Wrap Affects Customers

SoftTouch


The heart (or maybe the skin) of luxury packaging is the custom wrap material. From plain paper adorned with digital print to exotic textures and patterns meant to replicate snakeskin or cheetah spots, the appearance of a box is first and foremost the eye-catcher. I like to think of the custom box material as the first line of advertising. If you can’t stand out on the shelf, how are you going to compete at the brick and mortars?

Tactile and Tactical

If the look is the first line, the feel of custom packaging is the second. But this tactile phase in the retail battle is arguably the most important. There’s something about actually holding a product that really turns things up to 11.

I used to work at a big-chain retail store. We’d often had “contests” which were more like daily sales goals for a specific product. If it was some sort of plush or pillow, I knew it was game over. All I had to do was hand the product to somebody, let them walk around the store with it, and by checkout time, they just had to buy it. Why? Because you just can’t help grow attached to something you’re holding onto. But if you don’t have a sales floor extraordinaire like myself hoisting your product into the empty arms of consumers, then you have to go for the next best thing: the two-punch combo of attractive and tactilely-pleasing packaging. The custom box that you just have to pick up, and that you just can’t put down.

Sure, it all boils down to the product within, but you can’t deny the power of a first impression. It’s just as true for luxury packaging, if not moreso.

Packaging manufacturers are always looking for the next big trend in materials, textures, wraps, and designs. And we love a good challenge. The old “form follows function” has given us some very distinct/cool/practical/innovative box designs. But inventing a texture is even trickier. A recent story from Packaging Europe tells the tale of a how a company’s request for a very specific paper lead one of the oldest paper mills to create one of the newest trends in packaging.

Are You Swayed by Suede?

James Cropper, a “luxury paper” company, was asked by Spain-based LOEWE to create a paper with a feel of suede for their new product packaging. Carvetian Suede–so named for James Cropper’s historical stomping ground–is a textured paper that mimics the feel of suede. Not only does it feel like the classy material, but it improves upon it by being biodegradable. James Cropper uses at least 40% recycled materials to create this exotic custom wrap.

Carvetian Suede custom wrap material by James Cropper

Maybe you don’t have to wrap your box in suede, but the lesson here is to always be mindful of your product packaging. The luxury in “luxury packaging” shouldn’t be mistaken for frivolous or exorbitant. What it’s really about is showing your customers you believe in your product, that you value it. And, perhaps more importantly, that they will too.

Image: jamescropper.com

Premium Packaging Just as Important for E-Retailers

customized magnetic boxes with turned edges and soft touch lamination,

We’ve made a case or two (or three, or five) for how important presentation packaging is to the retail market. Custom retail boxes adorned with the trappings of luxury packaging are the eye-catchers and head-turners of brick and mortar stores. Think about it–how many times have you been drawn to some creative or colorful packaging only to find out it’s something you’re not in the market for. But maybe you became in the market for it.

That’s how it works. At Sunrise, we consider premium retail packaging is the first line of offense in a good marketing strategy. (It’s also the first line of defense in theft-protection, if you want to get technical.) Wow your audience at the very first site.

This is great for physical locations, but what about the Web? E-retailers (think Amazon) have stuck mainly to simple corrugated cardboard packaging. After all, a box for shipping just needs to be functional, right? Not according to a new article from Independent Retailer urging eTailers to “ditch the brown box.”

Dotcom Distribution’s Maria Haggerty’s stance on internet retailer packaging is fueled by points similar to the case for standard retail packaging. The main point seems to be that no matter the source, packaging for e-retailers needs to fulfill the same goals. Turn heads and catch eyes. Add value to the product within. Make you as a consumer feel good about your purchase. Even when you know what’s inside, there is something sort of empty about tearing into a plain cardboard box.

Haggerty goes on to mention how important premium packaging is to social media. From unboxing videos to packaging damaged in shipment, retail packaging makes its way into social forums. When a box is beat up in transit, most of the time folks will take to social media, telling their story and even posting pics to Facebook, Twitter, etc. Haggerty believes this tradition of only posting the bad can be combatted by high-quality and highly creative packaging. Something that’s worth posting just because it’s beautiful or cool. It’s true that people generally find it easier to complain than to boast about products and their packaging, but high-end luxury packaging could be a turning point for that sentiment.

“Forty percent of consumers said branded packaging makes them more likely to share a product image or video on social media, and consumers are 1.5 times more likely to share pictures of gift-like boxes than traditional brown boxes on social platforms.” – Maria Haggerty, Dotcom Distribution

It’s tough to take a side on this one. On one hand, we couldn’t agree more that custom boxes and presentation packaging are a crucial element to sales and marketing a product. On the flip side, it’s hard to deny how perfect corrugated cardboard packaging (aka the old reliable brown box) is for shipping. Ships in flat-packed bulk to start, cushioned along the way, and ends up being recycled thanks to its naturally eco-friendly nature.

Of course, there are middle of the roads to this issue. Our instant rigid boxes, for example, ship flat, but have all the adornments of luxury packaging. E-flute is a corrugated product that can be nearly as flashy as chipboard. And if you’re looking to keep packaging green (a selling point in of itself) there are options such as soy-based inks and aqueous coatings.

Instant Rigid Box_premium packaging trendsElf3

What it comes down to is that packaging can make a product appear to be a gift–even if it’s a gift to yourself–and there’s a certain pride and joy that comes from opening a gift. The retail arena knows this, and it’s time the e-retail business catches up.

6 Eco Friendly Ideas for Post-Consumer Corrugated Cardboard

 

cardboard-boxes1

So What Do You Do with Your Custom Corrugated Boxes After They Serve Their Purpose?

 

Recycle them, of course. That’s obvious. We all know that generating post-consumer waste is nearly unavoidable in the retail market, but corrugated cardboard is an eco friendly post-consumer fiber that is easily recycled. And it’s place in retail as light-but-durable packaging is widely celebrated.

 

But how are you going to recycle it? I’m not talking about the route you take to the recycling center. I’m talking about the step in between. You know about that step, right? The part where your post-consumer corrugated cardboard becomes the key to crafting? The doorway to imagination? I mean, you’ve heard about that, right?

 

Custom corrugated boxes are eco friendly. But they’re also kid friendly. You’ve seen it before: some birthday or Christmas where the box gets more mileage than the toy inside. Kids love cardboard. Parents: don’t be discouraged by this–embrace it! Get that kid a box and let them go hog wild!

 

Recently, I wrote about how corrugated cardboard has been vital to prototyping my own board game. Yes, the cardboard box has become coveted in my household. Brown Gold, we call it. But it got me thinking: there’s a lot of awesome ways for kids to use corrugated cardboard boxes that can be quite beneficial to their creativity (and the environment). Here’s a few, just off the top of my head.

 

Make a Puzzlepost-consumer corrugated cardboard for custom board games and puzzles

Puzzles are one of the most timeless toys in history. Going to the store to pick one out is fun…but how about making one? Take a piece of corrugated cardboard and either draw right on it, or glue on a picture. Flip it over and sketch out the pieces. The cutting part might need a little supervision–or maybe an adult with an Exacto knife–but at the end, you’ll have a thick, sturdy puzzle made to your exact specifications. Definitely a good project for a rainy afternoon.
 

Make a “Layer Sculpture”

Keep those scissors handy. Break down some corrugated cardboard boxes and cut out a base for your sculpture. Essentially, you’re going to become a 3-D printer, crafting your little statue layer by layer from the ground up. Stencil out the next piece so that it fits within the confines of the base, and so on and so on. Eventually with a little stacking and glue, you’ll have a layer sculpture. A castle spire, the Statue of Liberty. You can even make yourself that Academy Award you’ve always deserved.

 

Make a Giant Interactive Board Game

Now this use for corrugated cardboard will really get you moving around! Breakdown a repurposed cardboard box or two. Or three, or four, or five. (A good old B-Flute RSC Box would be perfect.) Use the flaps as spaces for a giant board game. Get out the markers and crayons to add rules and regulations to the spaces. Collect 200 Pennies or Win a Candy Bar or whatever! Half the fun of making a board game is making up the rules. And making a giant, fully-interactive board game that can go around the house, through the yard, or all of the above will definitely getting the creative motors running. And don’t forget the giant cardboard box dice! 

 

Make Room!

Sure this is fun for kids, but it’s also good for parents, right? Use some repurposed cardboard boxes to create a den of storage cubbies. Or turn existing shelving a little more personal and private by creating custom drawers for each member of the family. Everybody needs more space. Stack’em up and see that precious floor space you’ve been missing!

 

Make Stencils

I use this a lot in my board game design when I need to draw a particular shape or symbol over and over again. Take a sturdy piece of corrugated cardboard and cut out a cool shape. Now you have a template for drawing shapes again and again, and the best part is they’ll be personalized to what you like drawing! Maybe you’re a 5-leaf clover fan, or partial to crescent moons! The options are endless!

 

Make a Robot

box bot, eco friendly idea for post-consumer corrugated cardboard

 

 

I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t suggest making a robot to someone. But a custom box made of corrugated cardboard makes the perfect robot parts. 5 or 6 of them stacked together make for all the components of a robot. With very sizes and shapes of boxes, you can make a pretty unique bot. Make it a mini, or life-sized. Just try not to give it artificial intelligence–I’ve heard that ends poorly.

 

 

 

 

Whew! That should hold you for awhile, right? Two rainy saturdays, at the very least. These ideas are all fine and well, but it’s important to remember what it means for the environment. Every time you get a little more use out that custom packaging or corrugated box before the recycling bin, you’re contributing to the fight against post-consumer waste. Granted the eco friendly nature of corrugated cardboard plays its part in that battle, but why not get something creative out of the deal while you’re at it? After all, it’s a lot easier to utilize something than figure out how to properly dispose of it.

 


 

The Unboxing Phenomenon

We live in a world where being a “YouTube Celebrity” is a thing. Actual people, making a living from ad revenue generated by viral video views. According to Vogue, 24-year-old PewDiePie–the biggest YT celeb of them all–cleared $4 million from attracting viewers. Yeah.

 

So what are these personalities doing in these videos? Humorous lists, makeup tips, and reviews seem to round out the rundown, but there’s also this thing called an unboxing.

 

What is an Unboxing Exactly?

Oh, it’s exactly what you think it is.

 

It’s opening a boxed product (or products) for the first time and sharing its contents with viewers. Why? Well, it ends up being kind of a mash-up of a product review and that Christmas morning thrill of opening something new. That firsthand reaction giving a sense of honesty and transparency.

unboxing a product, presentation packaging

Image: PCMag.com

While YouTube celebrities are gaining from this trend, many “minor league” YouTubers are jumping on the bandwagon. Click the magnifying glass and search “unboxing” and you’ll see what I mean. Whether it’s a push for viral video stardom or an honest passion for sharing, the results are the same. If custom packaging is the first draw at retail, unboxing is undoubtedly the second. Buyers who feel a sense of regret from passing up a product might end up searching for the product online. If there’s a video of someone opening it available, this will get them even closer to the product before having to make the purchase.

 

In the realm of custom packaging design, you can take this one of two ways. One, model your custom box in such a way that the product is more visible, or adjust the graphics so what’s inside is more obvious. This could include using digital offset printing to include an image of the product along with a description, or utilizing clear thermoformed packaging–clamshells, blister packs, etc. A stronger retail-ready box might make it so your buyer doesn’t have to go to YouTube.

 

On the other hand, you might want to play up this angle. Maybe you want your custom box unboxed! If there’s one element that’s clearly the star of these unboxing events, it’s the packaging. That first moment of the video when you see the custom box with its turned edges intact, its tuck tabs still tucked, that’s when it’s the most appealing, isn’t it? There’s really something about a box that hasn’t been opened yet. All the potential it holds. The mystery! The suspense! Isn’t that what really drives people to these unboxing videos? That curiosity of what happens when the box opens?

 

So if your product starts with a rigid two-piece setup box, or a full wraparound box made of chipboard, maybe you want to court a YouTube unboxing.

Fulfillment

And if it doesn’t? Maybe it should. CNN reports that unboxing videos on YouTube have increased by a whopping 871% since 2010. And if the views are any indication of popularity, that’s some potential free advertising.

 

Start with Presentation Packaging that Accents the Product Inside.

 

Custom box design is an important part of the retail step, and with the evolution of YouTube, it’s become an even more prominent step than ever before. Even if an unboxing isn’t what you’re going for, it’s probably a good idea to keep in mind what draws people to the videos. That passion for what’s inside starts with what’s on the outside. As you might’ve guessed; even with how new the unboxing trend is, it’s still based in Marketing 101. Impressive packaging draws crowds.

Luxury Packaging Afterlife: The Post-Consumer Purpose

Post-Consumer Waste. What does it mean?

 

Simplified, it means what you do with the box after you’ve opened your purchase. Do you toss it in the trash? Or do you find a way to utilize it, repurpose it.

 

At Sunrise Packaging, we try to use recyclable materials whenever possible. Eco-binders made from recyclable material and utilizing eco friendly, vegetable-based ink. Aqueous print coatings preserve paper from yellowing, making products more reusable, and they’re water-based. Using grades of plastic for thermoforming that can be recycled. In fact, RPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) is a polymer made using reclaimed post-consumer material.

recyclable corrugated cardboard cuts back on post-consumer waste

When you think about it, our packaging lends itself quite well to the fight against post-consumer waste. Even though they are on opposite ends of the spectrum, luxury packaging and corrugated cardboard boxes can both cut back on post-consumer waste. How? Well, with a little imagination for starters.

 

Let’s start with luxury packaging. The brilliance of luxury packaging is that it’s not only eye-catching, it adds value to the product itself. The same upscale element that makes it attractive in stores, makes it somewhat of a keepsake in the post-consumer market. Fine packaging can be used and reused as gift boxes and storage long after they’ve served their purpose. I use a magnetic cigar-style box to hold the components of a board game I’m designing. It feels like an heirloom. That magnetic strip, the soft–touch lamination–that’s something I can proudly display on my bookshelf. Not meant for refuse.

repurposed magnetic cigar style box for board game design, turned edges, upscale, post-consumer

On the other side of the coin, rugged, durable corrugated cardboard–still a staple of modern packaging–is designed to be used again and again, and yet is recycled and recyclable. Now that’s eco friendly! Think of the last time you reused a corrugated cardboard box. I bet it wasn’t that long ago. Something always needs moving, lifting, or transporting. And cardboard, with its varying flutes, was there for you. While custom cardboard boxes don’t always have the flash of, let’s say, a rigid two-piece setup box, or the stiffness of a chipboard, but they are lightweight, disposable, and endlessly reusable.

 

 

Corrugated Cardboard and Rigid Chipboard: The Eco Friendly Odd Couple

 

Two different materials, used in different ways, both contributing to the fight against post-consumer waste. One with staying power, and one that bows out gracefully when the time comes. It might take a little imagination–heck, it might take a lot of imagination–but there’s always an eco friendly (re)purpose for packaging, luxury or rugged. All things to consider for your next custom box or packaging project. Do you want to be the heirloom? Or the bottom of the bin?


 

 

The Staying Power of Flash Drive Packaging

Fact: FlashPads Get Opened.

 

Our exclusive USB flash drive packaging is the hybrid of a custom box and an informational pamphlet, with a splash of business card thrown in for good measure. A stylish combination of turned-edge printing and soft-touch lamination that makes every FlashPad feel like a gift. Something worth saving. And that 1-2 punch of hardcover and binding ensures people are enticed to open the FlashPad and see what’s inside. A little mysterious, a little dapper. Sort of the Jon Hamm of trade show takehomes.

Giftcard packaging giftpad for gift cards packaging and credit card packaging and flash drives

But being a better business card is just the tip of the iceberg for our USB flash drive packaging flagship. You’ve seen what they can do for ebooks, and even universities. That’s the easy choice. With a loaded FlashPad, you’ve already chosen to give your potential client/enrollee/buyer a customized flash drive–that’s the gift that keeps on giving. More space? Who doesn’t need that in their life. But let’s go one step further, shall we? The FlashPad got the door open, now let’s get a foot in there.

Flash Drive, branding, business, creative, custom, custom usb drives, drives, flash drive, flash drives, Flash Pad, packaging, promotional, Technology, unique, USB, USB case, USB Drives, webkey packaging, luxury packaging

FlashPads are memorable and functional. Check and double-check. But our custom pads do more than just secure a flash drive. Pads can come in just about any size, and hold just about anything you want to include. We recently made custom pad for the Minnesota Vikings that held not only a piece of their old stadium, but an iPad too! Obviously that was a pretty custom project. And if you’re trying to make the trade show rounds, I’m not saying include an iPad in every giveaway (although that would certainly make a splash) but there are ways that you can give your FlashPad a little more staying power. As long as you’re up for thinking outside the box, so to speak.

 

branding, business, creative, custom, custom usb drives, drives, flash drive, flash drives, Flash Pad, packaging, promotional, Technology, unique, USB, USB case, USB Drives, flash drive webkey packaging, luxury packaging, giftpad

 

How about using the diecut foam insert to include a coupon. In fact, why not just make the FlashPad itself into a coupon! A tear-away tab with a 10% discount? A request-a-quote form that can be mailed back? All possible! What’s that? You have an exclusive link preloaded on the flash drive that brings them to a special coupon on your website? Boom! The easier you can make it for your client to get in touch with you post-show, the better. And in terms of functionality, the FlashPad is like a Swiss Army Knife compared to a pamphlet or brochure. Heck, you could include a Swiss Army Knife if you really wanted.

 

Or how about a sample? If there’s one thing we in the luxury packaging world know, it’s that tactile goes a long way. Maybe you’re a materials processor with a new polymer to show off. Or a recycling representative that wants to show what post-consumer waste can become. At Sunrise, we’re uniquely suited to include thermoformed compartments on just about anything we make. A mineral sample, seeds for planting, a stone swatch for countertops? Go wild!

 

 

The FlashPad is about more than the flash drive.

Are you getting the picture here? Plenty of exclusives can be added to your personal packaging solution to add value and get your business remembered. Bottle openers from liquor reps, nail clippers from a salon–

 

I literally can’t stop thinking of ideas. But I better save something for next time. Until then…

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New Holiday Packaging for the Elf on the Shelf

Summer is over and it’s time to start discussing Christmas! Okay, maybe not yet. But some holiday packaging markets are already preparing for the snowy season ahead.

One yuletide tradition you can expect to see a little early is the Elf on the Shelf thanks to a little help from Sunrise Packaging.

An Old Tradition Gets a New Look with Corrugated Holiday Packaging

If you’re not familiar with Elf on the Shelf–well, where have you been? Apparently not on Facebook. According to just about any family’s photo uploads, the seemingly timeless tradition of a rambunctious Elf (hailing from the Shelf) carries on year after year. This mischievous little critter appears to be the scapegoat for a wide variety of good-hearted, Toy Story-esque pranks around the house. But how exactly does the Elf get on one’s shelf? That’s where holiday packaging comes in.

Elf on the Shelf custom boxes, corrugated cardboard, b-flute

The (in)famous history of the Elf on the Shelf can be traced back to 2004. Over a cup of tea, an erstwhile mother-daughter duo decided to make a time-honored family tradition into a global phenomenon. Legend has it that Santa dispatches helper Elves around the world come December to keep an eye on families and make sure that the holiday magic is running high. This is the reason the Elf is often caught off the Shelf in a covert location. What results is a month-long game of hide and seek and, more importantly, a tradition the whole family can take part in.

 

But the Elf has to get delivered somehow and apparently Santa thinks holiday packaging is the best vehicle (other than the sleigh, of course). This beautiful custom box crafted by Sunrise Packaging. A 4-color printing finished with Custom Holiday Packaging from Sunrise Packaging, MNan eco-friendly aqueous print coating displays the warm colors of the season. These custom RSC boxes are made of B-Flute corrugated cardboard for a combination of durability and cushion, holding up in transit as well as storage between holiday seasons.

 

Sunrise was able to deliver on this holiday packaging just a week after art approvals. At that rate, Christmas could almost come twice a year! In any case, the Elf on the Shelf custom box was a pleasure to work on. A truly lovely piece of holiday packaging that will hopefully be a part of your family’s traditions this Christmas season. You can almost taste the eggnog, can’t you?

College Bound FlashPad Put New Spin on Old Tradition

Ah, college. You remember it well, don’t you? Your favorite seat in the auditorium class. The patch of grass out in front of your dorm where you’d gather on a sunny afternoon. But how about your first college memory? You know, that fateful day where you went to the mailbox and saw that acceptance letter–or what you hoped was the acceptance letter.

 

Maybe you remember it fondly, or maybe you just remember the scene from any coming-of-age college movie. Either way the acceptance letter plays a big role in the college experience. And thanks to Sunrise Packaging’s College Bound FlashPad, the moment of truth just got that much more exciting.

 

Some universities have already switched to the College Bound FlashPad for their correspondence. Why? Because it’s a big thing in a small package.

 

College Bound FlashPads for university recruitment, acceptance letters with hard turned edge binding and offset printing

 

First Impressions

Start with the packaging itself. The College Bound FlashPad is a prestigious presentation. It opens up like a book and presents you with a gift. Imagine the words “You’re In” or “Welcome to Your Future” embossed on a turned-edge hardback binding. The shiny university emblem foil stamped into the cover. Something to run your hands over, instead of just a cold piece of paper with a standard office font. The university is telling the student he or she matters, and the student has the first taste of pride in their future alma mater. A preview of holding their degree.

 

Get Loaded

Secondly, it’s functional. Maybe your acceptance letter was followed by a packet of information. Maybe it was buried in a bunch of Welcome! pamphlets jumbled around by the mail carrier. But the FlashPad is crisp, clean, and capable of storing all that information in one little flash drive. Imagine you’re in the Admissions department of a college. Instead of getting an influx of forms and papers chicken-scratched by incoming freshmen, you get a digital form back via email. That’s the beauty of the flash drive, isn’t it? All your paperwork–not some of it–packed into one easy to use device. All parties involved can benefit from that. Sunrise Packaging will even load up your data for you!

 

Standout Recruitment

On the flip side, universities can also use the College Bound FlashPad recruit potential students. Imagine a college fair where all the university reps are still handing out lanyards to impress. Give a student something they can use, something memorable. As a college recruiter, you can load your flash drive with newsletters, class rosters, statistics. You can even load the FlashPad with other goodies–a pen, a flashlight–to add even more value. If a student can expect the kind of luxury a FlashPad offers before they’ve even enrolled, you can imagine how they’ll perceive the experience and education that’s awaiting them at your university.
So go on. Give somebody that amazing acceptance letter they’ve been waiting for with a College Bound FlashPad. The one from the movies. The one that opens itself and truly shines.

Prestigious college flashpads with turned edge bindings, offset printing, embossing, and foil-stamping

Magnetic Boxes: The Allure of Magnets in Custom Packaging

 

When you want to add a little dash of panache to your packaging, you gotta go magnetic, as in magnetic boxes. At first, I was a little skeptical how cool a box could be. A box is a box is a box, right? But the first time I held one of these magnetic boxes in my hand, I let out a satisfied breath and thought, Yeah, luxury packaging is definitely a thing.

custom magnetic boxes, magbox, netbox, soft touch lamination, turned edges

Magnetic boxes like the Netbox­™ are just plain cool. Part of that coolness comes from the magnet itself. Fact: Everyone loves magnets. Why? It probably starts when we’re young. If you can’t remember the exact first time you saw a magnet, you can definitely remember playing with them at some point in your childhood. A pair of magnetic spheres twisting and swirling in a vortex around themselves on your kitchen table, or the clasp of your parents’ magnetic boxes becoming endlessly fascinating on a summer afternoon. The fascination began there, didn’t it?

 

But as you grew up, you realized magnets are still kind of a mystery, adding to their dapper mystique. We know manmade metals can be heated to their “Curie” levels, producing magnetic properties…but they also come from space! These metals get ionized by traveling on asteroids. Whoa. And don’t even get me started on lodestones! A lodestone is a naturally-charged magnetic stone….if you can call getting zapped by lightning ‘natural!’ It’s like a geological superhero!

 

All of these elements give magnets their allure, and magnetic boxes are no exception. You might say they have a magnetic personality all their own…

 

…or you might not.

 

Custom mag box with softtouch lamination for presentation packaging and sales kits

 

 

Puns aside, there is something to be said for custom magnetic boxes in the world of luxury packaging. The NetBox™ feels like silk thanks to a soft-touch application, and there’s no denying that familiar snap of its magnetic enclosure. Opening magnetic boxes conjures the sense of unboxing a full array of rich chocolates–and a custom thermoform tray or a precision-cut foam insert can add to that feeling. Seeing an organized spread of items in elegant packaging sends a pretty strong message.

When the box itself feels like an heirloom, the trust in whatever its holding within goes through the roof.

A celebrity wouldn’t be caught dead in a fast food restaurant, and you wouldn’t put an elegant product in a shoebox. Well, unless the product is shoes–but you get the point! Dress your product for the job it wants, not for the job it has. And magnetic boxes are the business casual for the packaging world.

5 Cool Features for a Standout Custom Game Box


 

Central City custom game box design, turned edges, offset printing, and glossy lamination

Central City Box Art

I can safely say that board games are the name of the, well, game around my homestead lately. My roommate and I have been spending our spare time discussing everything from hit points to game mechanics to hypothetical company names. Maybe it’s that Gen Con is just around the corner, or that an old friend of mine just launched a Kickstarter campaign for his custom game due out next year, but something is definitely in the air.

 

 

 

The indie custom game scene appears to be at its peak, and I’m absorbed with all the aspects. As much as I’m a geek about story and characters, I’m also a geek about the design side. The game board intrigues me, sure, but I’m what you’d call a custom game box enthusiast too. Between graphics, blurbs, and logos, I love to judge the proverbial book by its cover.

 

Last week, I found myself at a game shop. Surprise surprise. As I made my way up and down the aisles, I tried to keep track of what caught my eye. It wasn’t necessarily the graphics. I mean, sure, a splash of color or a cool character rendering couldn’t hurt your custom game, but what really drew me in was the packaging. An interesting shape or texture. Features.

 

Which of course got me thinking. So if you’re a game designer about to box up your hot new board game, then you may want to consider these…

 

Cool Custom Game Box Features

Handle It

custom handle box

Handle boxes make a great presentation for press kits, but they can also add a little flare to your custom game. A game box that looks like a briefcase or a treasure chest could certainly benefit from this little element. Plus, handles are just plain handy. They make your game easier to transport. Keep your meeples upright, peoples!

 

Magnetic Personality

cigar style magnet box for custom game design

Who doesn’t love magnets? Think about the last time you got a box or a device with a magnet. Now think how much time you spent playing with said magnet. It’s like a game within a game! Okay, maybe I’m just easily entertained, but magnets do add an extra level of security. The smooth snap enclosure also increases the value of your game by leaps and bounds.

 

Sleeves FTW!

example of a heat-sealed sleeve with turned edge printing and lamination

How many times have you had a board game that you loved but lost the rules? Or some other important paper element–a card, or a booklet perhaps? What if you included a sleeve in your custom game. It could safely hold rules, cards, maybe even a custom DVD to go along with your game. You could even utilize the sleeve to create a little window into your game box, another cool design feature!

 

Hold Out for the Fold Out

die-cut custom game board with turned edges and glossy lamination

You might think this idea is bonkers, but I think it’s the next revolution in game design. Folding game boards are pretty standard, but what if your custom game box became your board game! Yeah, I said it! Using buttons, magnets, tuck tabs, it wouldn’t be a stretch for the box could transform into a gameboard. Major cool factor in my book.

 

Notch Your Usual Box

example of custom packaging with thumb notches

Thumb notches, thumb notches, thumb notches. You gotta have the thumb notches, especially when it comes to custom game design. This is true for any box really. This handy little design feature makes your game infinitely easier to open. What’s the point of having thermoformed compartments for all your individual pieces if you’re just going to shake everything loose trying to get the box open. Cards all scattered, meeples everywhere like a mini hurricane hit. A little thumb notch goes a long way.

 

It can be tricky to stand out in any market, but with custom game design on the rise, the market is about to get even bigger. No matter what game box feature you go with, always remember to stand out, make a splash, and blow your audience away!