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. 

Brand Activation Kits for Minnesota Brands

Minnesota was front and center for the last week of January. As host to Super Bowl LII, our state leaned into the “Bold North” moniker and created a great experience for locals and visitors alike. From the amazing Polaris backflip to Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl, Minnesota’s homegrown brands brought it in a big way. MN marketers might be ready for a break, but not for long. March 2019 will see the Final Four come to Minneapolis. We’re excited to see the stunts and innovation, and can’t wait to help build brand activation kits to support it all. 

Brand activation is the act of driving consumers to act by means of interactions and experiences designed by the brand. Brand activation kits support these interactions and experiences. As a  Minnesota company, we know Minnesota brands, their values and their challenges. Not the least of which is designing an outdoor environment in the subzero Minnesota winter. 

Homegrown Brand Activation Kits 

custom turned edge packaging design, Custom Rigid Turned Edge Box Packaging, custom turned edge box, full color print, custom box design, retail display box, branding

Sunrise Packaging can design packaging for any sort of brand activation. The goal of any marketing initiative is to garner a response; while it’s one thing to get people talking, it’s another to get them to pay attention and remember your brand. 

Brand activation itself can take many forms. Experiential marketing, consumer promotions, shopper marketing, all of these things can be part of it. Since there are many ways to implement, it’s usually easiest to give examples to explain brand activation. When we think back to the different Super Bowl LII experiences created by different brands, we get an idea of some of the elements that make successful brand activation campaigns:

  • Unique
    First and foremost, it needs to be unique to be memorable, right? There’s no point to it if it doesn’t increase consumer interaction with your brand, and if the consumer doesn’t remember you…
  • Relevant
    A crazy experience, zip-lining across the Mississippi River, is almost as unique as it gets. However, would it work for any brand? For a brand focused on thrill-seeking and adventure, yes. For a candy store? Not so much. 
  • Full of MN Pride
    As varied and interesting the various strategies were, there was one thing they all have in common. Minnesota, the Bold North tagline, was front and center for every single one.

As Minnesota brands start thinking about their plans for the next major event to come to Minnesota, include brand activation kits in your overall strategy. 

The Bold North, Round 2

March is usually a little more moderate in weather than January (well, most of the time). That said, the one million+ visitors who braved the Minnesota winter for the Super Bowl weren’t afraid of a little weather. Neither are we. Contact Sunrise Packaging today to design your brand activation kits!

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. 

Brokerage Welcome Kits

Becoming a successful broker has a relatively simple foundation: clients. Not only attracting new clients, but retaining old ones at the same time. Providing customized customer service can be a lot to balance in addition to staying on top of new rules, regulations, trends and other business facets.  Brokers need all the help they can. By investing in well-thought out brokerage welcome kits, you can start to pare down on some of the work. 

Brokerage welcome kits help clients feel special while giving them the information they need to take ownership and feel invested (to a larger extent). Welcome kits can also function like a pre-determined follow up plan…the most important part of maintaining those positive first impressions that won their business in the first place. Empower Brokerage has some great tips for putting together a custom welcome kit that’s sure to help retain clients. 

Building Brokerage Welcome Kits: A Checklist

Create a checklist

It might seem a little meta that the first item on our checklist is for you to make a checklist. Making a checklist of the items you need to go over with a client is a great way to get your ducks in a row. It ensures that nothing is missed. Plus, it helps you see your collateral and business in a new way. You might realize that there are redundancies or more efficient ways to share information when it’s all laid out in front of you. 

Policy documents

Whether this means ID cards, literal documents, their application, etc, include copies in your welcome kit. Advise them to keep their copies in a safe place. Don’t forget to include information on what their policy includes…and any upgrades, updates, and possible changes they need to be aware of with a timeline.  Consider investing in some document holding, custom inserts to keep everything in place and in a presentable manner. More on that later!

Contact information

welcome brokerage kits

Hopefully, your customers already have your business card. Adding them to your brokerage welcome kits is a nice touch, as well as adding other people in the office. Front desk, if available, plus any other customer service numbers or websites that they might need to access.  It’s an increasingly personalized touch to include bios of the others in the agency. 

Access tips

On that last note, do you have an online portal or some other type of self-service set up? Include information and instructions on how to set up new accounts and where they can access FAQs.  You can also include information for how they can post online reviews, an increasingly important (and sometimes overlooked) strategy for bettering your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. 

Agency swag

Everyone likes freebies, and they like them even more when they’re useful and/or aesthetically pleasing. Invest in some calendars, pens, Frisbees, whatever you can work into a plug for your agency.  The custom box for your brokerage welcome kit will also help you in this area. 

Custom Boxes for Your Welcome Kits

Work with Sunrise Packaging to scope out specifications for a truly one-of-a-kind welcome kit design. There are multiple options, from a cigar box, presentation-style of packaging to crafting custom inserts for all your materials to utilizing gorgeous finishing options.

Human Factors in Healthcare Packaging

Human factors is the study of how humans behave and interact with objects or services within an environment. It’s existed under many different names over time, but human factors seems to be the one that has stuck. While the field has expanded widely in the digital age–understanding how humans interact with parts of a system essentially defines a great web user experience–it has chiefly been the domain of medical devices.  For obvious reasons, it’s necessary to know how a device that regulates a heart rhythm or helps someone hear needs to work well with the human body. But just as the study has taken on new life in other formats, so can human factors inform another key medical area: healthcare packaging. 

Healthcare Packaging Defined by Human Factors

The ultimate goal of human factors applied to a product is to ensure that it’s safe and easy to use in the real world. It’s a good guideline for any product, but especially when we’re talking about medical device packaging or healthcare packaging in general. In fact, it was made a regulatory requirement by the FDA in 1990 for healthcare. healthcare packaging

Human factors sets out to study and answer three distinct questions at the outset: 

  • Who is the user?
  • What are they trying to do?
  • What is the environment of use?

HealthcarePackaging.com frames some of the scenarios for how these questions might be answered. This line of questioning is known as contextual inquiry. It reveals the key points needed to determine packaging requirements. For example, a hearing aid will need different medical packaging than a set of surgical instruments. Human factors studies, and contextual inquiries, are best conducted with actual users and customers…AKA outside of your boardroom and employee pool. It’s impossible for those close to a product to have an actual consumer mindset. And chances are that the intended use of a product will vary from how it’s actually used.

Integrating the Findings

The study detailed in the article linked above focused on finding ways to make sure the packaging reduces stress for users and simplifies things. In their study, they timed things like how long it took users to open the custom package. They also created graphics based on their findings, like the actual environment where the product is used, and how it fits in, as well as storyboards detailing how the task completion played out for various test subjects. 

Armed with this research, organizations can start to refine their healthcare packaging model. Find ways to reduce complexity and increase understanding for how users should actually be using the product.  

The bottom line? You might think you know how customers engage with healthcare packaging, but you have no idea.

2017 Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging Trends

Trends come and go, and this is especially true of the ephemeral world of fragrance and cosmetic packaging. Certain features and styles--cigar style boxes, magnetic closures, custom setup boxes, etc.--tend to be more prominent in some years than others. Cosmetics and fragrances are a dynamic division of packaging; they're subject to the whims of the fashion world, but loyal customers tend to be drawn to both respectful tradition for the past while enjoying modern innovation. What would Chanel No. 5 be without its stark, elegant style? It's a tall order for any designer to incorporate all these elements. 

However, there are some constants in this ever-changing industry as identified by Cosmetics Design. These guidelines aren't specific only to fragrance and cosmetic packaging, but could be incorporated into the style of any industry that desires their packaging to be creative yet artful and address commercial interests. 

Fragrance & cosmetic packaging

Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging as Art

According to the Pratt Institute 2016 recipient for fragrance packaging design, FangYi Chu, the most important aspect of design is storytelling: 

Through the creative direction, including logo, fonts, and color, the story can be displayed to everyone.

In this sense, custom packaging should endeavor to embody a narrative that speaks to customers. 

Resourceful Innovation & Packaging

Concerns have arose across customer bases when it comes to sustainability. Buyers are becoming hypersensitive to sustainable sourcing and eliminating waste, yet desire usable and functional packaging that is also aesthetically pleasing. At Sunrise Packaging, we can utilize recycled materials for boxes as well as employ other eco-friendly techniques in finishing as well as other stages. 

Cost-Effective Packaging

"Cost-effective" encompasses many things. Obviously, cost is one part of it. It can reflect size, meaning that customers are finding value in smaller cosmetic packages which makes them easier to carry for travelling. All in all, as Cosmetics Design points out, it means a smaller commitment from the customer. The increased ability of customers to peruse the world via the Internet means that they don't only have to buy from big name retailers who carry big name cosmetics and fragrances. They can purchase from anywhere, and the selection means that customer loyalty can easily shift. It's an opportunity and a detriment to the market. In this sphere, creative fragrance and custom cosmetic packaging could make or break whether a customer returns or not. 

Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging

Trends are usually cyclical, but when it comes to hyper-stylized industries, those trends take to take on new twists. With some foresight, designers can find inspiration while retaining classic elements. 

For more information on the topic, refer to:

2016 fragrance packaging trends that will still matter in the New Year

By Deanna Utroske, 21-Dec-2016

Novelty beauty packaging comes and goes, but a few trends Cosmetics Design covered this year will carry over into 2017—for fine fragrance and perhaps some other categories as well.

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!

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.