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!

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!

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!

How to Work the Magnetic Flap Box

Magnetic flaps on their own are used widely not only in packaging. Binders often use a magnetic flap for closure, as do some styles of journals and books (Bibles are probably the most common). Even some purses use magnetic flaps to ensure tight closure. The magnetic flap box is also increasingly popular, and that's in part to the versatility--and universal delight--of magnets.

It starts with the traditional hinged cigar box. The overlapping hard cover, with magnet, is the additional feature that elevates a simple box into something a little more. While the magnet is the *connecting* piece, so to speak, other elements can take your simple box to the next level.

The Magnetic Flap Box in Action

In the example to the side, created for CME4Life, you can see some of our favorite options at work.

First and foremost: the magnetic flap. It allows for a seamless design from top to bottom, creating a continuity for the eye to follow. It continues as the user slides their finger under the flap to open, revealing the product in full.

This digitally-printed box also features vivid colors. Sunrise can ensure color-matching with this process so that your logo and brand recognition are never compromised in the printing process. It's also laminated. Lamination can enhance colors as well as create another tactile touchpoint for users. This particular example uses matte lamination, one of our favorites. It makes the box as a whole soft to the touch, smooth, and adds a layer of protection to the piece.

Other Magnetic Flap Box Options

This magnetic flap box is just one example of many that Sunrise has handcrafted over the years. Other features which we think make this style of packaging especially pop include:

  • Custom inserts
    In short, inserts keep packaging neat and products safe. Made to order for every project, we can ensure that our custom inserts will fit to perfection.
  • Thermoformed trays
    Sunrise has a custom tooling department that means no delay or travel between workshops for your packaging creation. Thermoforming is a great option to highlight product features; it's literally like a little stage for your items!
  • Personalized foil stamping
    One of the most popular options out there. Foil stamping is a striking customization option that immediately creates a sense of luxury for any package.

And this is just scratching the surface of what's possible with packaging customization. Contact Sunrise today to design your project!

Custom Box Design in Minnesota

Custom box design is something we not only love, but take seriously at Sunrise Packaging.

Our approach is founded in common sense and experience. When anyone encounters an interesting package, their curiosity is automatically piqued. The packaging doesn't have to be unnecessarily tricky, the closure particularly unique. It's a closed box; sometimes, that's all we need to get our imagination flowing.  Our job is to get the user excited for your product.

We accomplish this by using some of our tried and true methods to create great customized packaging. When it comes to a box, it's not always *just* a box.

Delivering More Than a Package: Custom Box Design

Custom Size

It's practically passed into cliche to talk about how to maneuver square pegs into round holes. Yet, when it comes to packaging, there's a kind of "single size fits all" mentality that drives organizations to buy boxes in bulk. While we recognize there's no harm in that approach, there's also not much to gain, either. Part of the pleasure of custom box design is derived from the fit. Perfect, every time. In the example to the side, we created this box for Rheem as a thank-you to their customers.   While the image might distort the size, it's a large box at 24 inches by 22 inches and 8 inches deep.

Just like any bespoke product, a box that's made specifically for your product will always do the job it's designed to do: make your product shine.

Custom Inserts

In the final picture above, you can just see the inside of the box with the custom foam inserts inside. We talk a lot about presentation packaging at Sunrise, and this project is a perfect example. Presentation packaging can focus on the external features, but it's also about how a product (or products) lay inside the custom box design as well. As we mentioned above, everyone wants to be dazzled by an unopened box. Make sure that the reality lives up to expectations with a little padding inside your package.

Custom Finishing

Presentation is all about appearances, and ensuring that your box presents well to customers is key. Yes, the focal point is what's inside the package. But that doesn't mean you get to ignore the outside.

We love this example above because it's simple yet stunning. The brand pops out at the viewer, and while you can't touch it through the screen, it's wrapped in soft Nuba paper. Great packaging engages multiple senses; this one does not disappoint on multiple fronts.

What's Your Custom Box Style?

Just like people, boxes and organizations have personalities. What do you want yours to say?

Sunrise can help develop it. Contact our team today!

Custom Promo Boxes & 2018 Trends

Like any industry, custom promo boxes are subject to trends. Take a look through the different ages to get an idea of what was acceptable (or rather, expected) packaging from just a decade ago. You'll see that it's changed, in every way from shipping time to box design.  But what makes this interesting is the nostalgia factor we see creeping into 2018 trends.

More on that later. 

Customers are looking for some key things when it comes to their packaging needs. They want sturdy custom boxes, a personalized experience and, if shipping online, they want it fast. Different markets respond differently to these base demands, but below we include some tips on the most enduring and prominent trends we're seeing. 

Trends of Custom Promo Boxes

Packaging Longevity

We've commented on this before, but it's a recurring factor: we can order from any corner of the globe and have it in our home within days. It's truly amazing. Yet these distances can have adverse effects on organic products, like first aid items and medicines. Packaging needs to withstand the trials of travel.

"Unboxing" & Social 

One of the top YouTube categories for kids right now is unboxing toys. Yes, you read that correctly. It's people recording themselves unboxing toys. Not necessarily playing with them, or sharing them, or anything else - narrating their experience taking them out of the box. And it's not just toys, you can find unboxings for nearly anything on YouTube and beyond on Instagram, Reddit, and more. 

It's important to note that upcoming generations, even more so than the current ones, will be critically looking at packaging styles, containers, and above all, personalization.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia sells. Whether it's garish unicorn-emblazoned Trapper Keepers or Coca-Cola in glass bottles, people are attracted to things that remind them of memories wrapped with happiness. Best of all for packaging design, it's relatively easy to add in a throwback font in design, as well as utilize materials or designs that are evocative of a time past like kraft packing paper or other custom inserts. 

Bring Us Your Ideas

While we do believe that trends should help inform any packaging decisions, we also want to create innovative solutions. Bring us your ideas and your needs, and let's create something perfect for your product. 

Opening Day = Box Closures

As a proud Minnesota company, we love all things related to our hometown teams. And on this Opening Day for the Minnesota Twins, we turned our attention to another kind of opening that captures our attention: box closures. 

If you want to contest the importance of and customer attention to box closures, look no further than your own experience. We don’t doubt that at one point or another, you spent more time than you like to admit lazily flipping open a magnetic box lid. Or slowly slide the top piece off of a setup box to savor the moment of getting a new smartphone or tablet. The delicious moment of flipping up a cigar box top. 

Design custom packaging that allows users to savor that anticipation. Here are some of our favorite box closures in honor of Opening Day!

Box Closures That Captivate

Slip Slant Boxes with box closures

Magnetic Closures

Far and away one of our most popular features. Magnetic boxes are versatile and instant keepsakes for users. Closures can be embedded in many different types of box styles. Plus magnets are one of the most secure types of closure so products are safe and secure. 

custom luxury boxesSetup Boxes

You might not think a lot about setup boxes having a particular flavor to their opening and closing, but consider again.  Setup boxes are a frequently used for luxury goods and technology products for a few reasons. Their rigid chipboard construction, paired with a thermoformed or custom insert, keeps the product secure. These highly-customizable two pieces allow for a high quality finish via the wrap. Most of all, the sleek design is evocative and suggestive of luxury. 

Design Your Own

When someone comes to Sunrise with a project, we do everything we can to bring it into reality – even when it means creating something new and personalized to your business objectives. We’ve taken on new interpretations when it comes to slip cases, gatefold, and more. Contact us today to start bringing your vision to life. 

Play Ball!

Openings are full of anticipation, from the excitement of a new baseball season to revealing an exciting product.  No matter which team is *your* team, Sunrise is ready to bring you and your products to the next level of success. 

Unconventional Set Up Boxes

Using the term "set up boxes" might make sense to you or it might not. If you're not attuned to the packaging industry, it probably doesn't mean much. But that's where we like to take the chance to educate you.

A setup box consists of two pieces. In layman's terms, a top and bottom. The bottom is usually made of strong chipboard with a custom wrap on it. Otherwise known as turned edge, this stylish finish can take on different elements depending on your needs. The top fits snugly over the bottom. Also made of chipboard, it slides on and off easily; you've no doubt encountered this style as it's often used for game boxes, smartphones, and more.  

As you look through our two piece set-up box gallery, you will see the unlimited potential of this customized box style. Sunrise just completed an interesting variation for Findlay Technologies. 

Set Up Boxes By Design

Confused? Look closer. 

By design, this might appear to be another cardboard package delivered by any mail service. Once you read the address label, it becomes clear that this isn't just another mailing box. While pictures don't quite do it justice, the feel of the box gives it away as something special as well. 

You can't quite tell, but these are set-up boxes. The boxes are wrapped with a digitally printed / matte lamination material. From the corners, you can just the turned edge finishing on them. 

We love the unconventionality of this box. It takes multiple sets of expectations and flips them, creating a sense of surprise and fun the for the recipient. Here's what we mean.

Expectation #1: It's just a plain cardboard box 

But from that first touch, the customer realizes that it isn't. Part of engaging users is finding ways to engage their senses, and with this design and style, they're all in.  And once they open the box, they're treated to even more potential customization. Thermoformed trays, custom inserts, the sky's the limit. 

Expectation #2: It's just another set up box

Using a design that usurps expectations helps engage users, but it also illustrates different features of a particular packaging style. While these setup boxes share characteristics with others, the content and design are what set it apart.  Set up boxes lend themselves well to a variety of finishing options. And their hardcover durability makes them trustworthy packaging for nearly any product. 

Design Maketh the Set-Up Box

So the lesson that we learn from this? Taking the time to figure out the overall effect you want your packaging to have helps determine the right box style and the right design.  Taking something seemingly conventional, like setup boxes, and turning them into something truly unconventional, is a challenge we love taking up. Contact Sunrise today to talk through your needs and ideas for your set up boxes!

Offset Printing For Your Custom Box Project

When it comes to packaging, most people might not pay much attention to the printing. Whether it's offset printing, or digital, or screen, it's probably not registered unless they're in the business. At least, they aren't noticing it consciously.

While the integrity of a custom box is the most important element when it comes to product safety, design is up next when it comes to drawing customer attention. Appealing to the five senses is a powerful way to create sentiment with customers. Particularly sight and touch.  This is why choosing your printing style wisely is important. And it's why we usually  suggest offset printing. 

What is Offset Printing?

Offset printing is a style of printing that's known for producing the highest possible printing quality. It allows for the greatest detail as well as color fidelity, and it works well with a variety of custom finishes. 

The example to the right is a custom magnet box created for DP Derm. We used offset printing which enhances the spot UV print used on the logo and the wave graphic. While you can't touch it through the screen, the soft touch lamination applied to the offset printed wrap is irresistable. These different features could be used with other styles of printing as well. But when it comes to creating something truly special for customers, it's best to indulge in truly luxurious options. And those options are best showcased by offset printing.

Other Printing Styles for Custom Boxes

We've mentioned some of the other types of printing Sunrise often uses for projects. They include: 

  • Digital Printing
    Faster and less expensive than offset printing, digital printing allows for quick turnaround and allows users to change the modify the output easily. 
  • Screen Printing
    Also called silkscreen or seriography, screen printing is usually used on binders and sometimes on boxes.

These different options all serve different needs, and Sunrise representatives can help you decide which one is best for your project. 

In addition to printing options, the possibilities for finishings is even greater. From foil stamping to debossing and print coatings, there's something to enhance every project. 

Contact Us!

Contact us today to get started on your next custom packaging project!

Collectors Boxes: Creating Demand for Products

Collectors boxes have been around for a while, but what makes a good collectors box is less well-defined. 

If we take a trip back down memory lane, let's consider some of the retail packaging crazes within recent memory. Funko pop dolls come to mind. Minecraft. Pokemon. Beanie Babies. In the cosmetic packaging world, Urban Decay's special palettes sell out within hours; Kylie Jenner lip kits within minutes. Even cereal boxes, like the limited edition old school monster designs. And one of the most popular and omnipresent campaigns in recent history: the Share A Coke campaign, where individual custom labels entice customers to "share a Coke with... [insert name here]."

What do all of these have in common?

Collectors Boxes: What Sets Them Apart?

The easy answer? Put 'limited edition' in front of any custom packaging, and it will increase demand. But the success of these craze-inducing campaigns goes deeper than that. 

Sunrise recently partnered with Solid Ink to create unique collector's packaging. This project utilized a turned edge design with four color printing and matte lamination. Created for their unique Chris Garver and Horitomo collections, the project specifications demand that these custom box sets reflect the brand as well as the inspiration.

Overall, it works as a great case study of what goes into a successful design and creation of deluxe box sets.  In short, it's tapping into what your audience already knows and desires, tying it into your brand, and limiting access.

Create Demand

Solid Ink created these limited edition boxes with the intent of creating demand. It's econ 101: supply affects demand. With these boxes in limited supply, and only available in certain places, it increases the demand. It might seem like a strange analogy, but the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990's is the poster child for this kind of strategy. As a particular Beanie Baby became more popular, the company would conscientiously pull it from the line up, creating--all together now--demand (and price inflation, but that's another story).

Create Something Original

It takes time, skill, and no small amount of luck to create something that captures the collective conscience and enters the zeitgeist. Most importantly, it has to have elements of originality. Even if something similar exists, or another version didn't quite succeed, taking time to find out what the missing element is could be the difference between a generic mobile app and Flappy Bird.

Create Brand Tie Ins

The tattoo industry is all about originality and body modification as an art form. It makes sense that the stars of that subculture are held in high regard. Their name lends authenticity to products, and enhances the sense of uniqueness around a collectors boxes set. When your target audience recognizes someone they admire as part of a brand, it creates an instant resonance. 

Let the Design Support Your Product

Sunrise Packaging has a practiced hand at creating limited edition packaging and collectors boxes. We worked with Prince on album packaging, numerous sports teams on gifts for season ticket holders, and other types of deluxe boxes. Bring us your ideas, and we'll bring them into reality.