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!

Medical Device Box Considerations

Packaging design isn't as straightforward as it seems. And that can be a huge issue when dealing with products in a highly regulated industry, which is why designing a medical device box can require all-hands-on-deck at times. 

That's not to say that it's always an emergency. There are simply a lot of things that can go wrong or put a hold on the packaging design and box manufacturing process. However, there are a few things that can be done to avoid time-consuming and expensive mistakes. 

Avoiding Medical Device Box Mishaps

These tips come from our experiences and those of others in the industry. The importance of every product arriving to market safely and securely is our number one goal. But if we can help the process go a little more smoothly... Well, check out these tips:

Get the Final Device to Us ASAP
And the sooner, the better. Last minute design changes that affect how the product will fit in the packaging mean a lot minute of important changes for us. We need to know the weight, dimensions, texture, anything and everything about the device to create the best possible packaging solution. 

Design "Inside Out"
By"inside out" we mean start with the immediate protection layer. A medical device box is more than just an outer shell. Usually, they require a foam insert or thermoformed tray. On top of that there might be a sleeve, and then the final outer box. The best way to know whether or not you need all of these pieces is to start with the the most precious part - the device - and work outwards. 

Run Packaging Decisions Past All Stakeholders
When you consider the hierarchy of your company, and make the assumption that *those* people are your only stakeholders, it's another possible space for mistakes. Make sure that you've chatted with more than just your CMO, CFO, and other c-suite folks, like the people in shipping who will need to send out the package. Sterilization experts who can attest to the integrity of the packaging. And who is going to actually receive this medical device box? Can they access the device quickly if it's a life-saving instrument? Does the recipient need to have agile, nimble fingers to coax it open? 

Considering All Aspects

With our decades of experience in the field of packaging in Minnesota, we've seen a thing or two. Contact us for your next medical packaging need!

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!

High End Packaging for Real Estate

Short supply and high demand is a recipe for a crazy housing market. Particularly as more and millennials start to dip their toes into home ownership. It can be daunting for mortgage brokers, homebuilders, and realtors to find ways to make an impact on this tech-savvy, immediate-results generation of homebuyers. Utilizing tools, like social channels featuring high end packaging, is one way to reach people.

In this Uber & DIY-focused economy, brand loyalty and expertise counts for less than it did in the past. For a business like realty, which are hugely relationship-based, this means that their basic marketing model needs to change. Referrals are still a big way to gain business, but reaching out on various mediums is another way to gain interest. It's the online shopping effect. We see something we like, we tap on it and can buy it.

Obviously, real estate doesn't work *quite* like that. But check out Carrington Creek's Insta, and tell me you're not enticed to learn more about these gorgeous homes. Particularly that signature Welcome Home box.

High End Packaging for High End Homes

Carrington Creek (located in Arkansas) is a homebuilder focused on building relationships as well. They've won multiple awards for quality, customer satisfaction, realtor excellence, and more. And when we began work on a special project for them, we knew it was going to be a special collaboration.

High end packaging always presents interesting challenges. At its heart, the best packaging utilizes simple design techniques. But the unique features are where we like to make it truly high end, the little touches that speak to a users tactile or visual senses. For this project, we used offset printing and a scuff free matte lamination.  This box is as sturdy as the homes they build, and just as classic with monochrome coloring. With spot UV over the logo, this is a box that pops. Maybe not as much as that champagne, but it's a coordinated effort!

Use Custom Packaging as Part of a Targeted Marketing Strategy

These welcome boxes are gorgeous on every level. They're highly Instagrammable, prominently featuring the logo, and create a true connection with the homebuyer. It's clear that this is a celebratory gift while still being functional.

But it's still part of a marketing strategy. If you're homebuilding organization or realty company is looking to put that extra panache into your marketing tactics, reach out to Sunrise to sketch out your own welcome kit!

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!

Creating a Board Game Box: 3 Things to Consider

Thinking about making your own custom board game box? Read this first. 

Sunrise Packaging has worked with a lot of unique projects over the years, but some of the most innovative and excited creators are those who make games. It’s a true passion project. And we hate to see that excitement fizzle out over some of the most common things that game makers miss or don’t consider when they design their custom game board box. custom game board box, custom game board

On the surface, creating game board boxes isn’t an overly complicated thing. But like any packaging project, there are things to consider that an outsider might not think about beforehand. The weight of the packaging materials, for instance. The mobility of the game box. The design and print quality of the box. Not to mention the copy for the box as well. In a way, custom board game boxes aren’t unlike product launch kits in everything they need to accomplish. 

Custom Board Game Box: Choose Your Own Adventure

Things that every game maker should consider when it comes to crafting their own game board boxes. Essentially, it comes down to one thing: plan ahead.

  1.  What’s your budget?
    Knowing what you want to spend can help determine other options. If you want to make money on your custom game, it’s completely necessary to have a budget in mind for what you want to spend on packaging on top of the game production costs. 
  2. How do you want users to interact with the packaging?
    Customer experience is of increasing importance. Not to mention that a great unboxing video could increase sales dramatically.  Sunrise Packaging can help craft boxes with handles and magnet closure as well as custom inserts and printed elements inside the box itself. Get creative, but keep the whimsy in check. Outlandish ideas aren’t always the most sustainable
  3. What will entice buyers?
    You’re browsing online and see a interesting game. You click on it, and read the position description. Alternate scenario: Walking through a store, you see an unfamiliar product. You’re compelled to pick it up and find more about it. How do you decide whether or not to buy it? Make sure to craft content that will speak to buyers and compel them to actually purchase it, not just pick it up for a moment.

Proper planning is the most important part of creating a custom board game box that will sell. These are just three things that you should consider. 

Contact Sunrise Packaging for Guidance

Making your own game packaging might seem more cost-efficient, but it’s not if you have to spend hours upon hours doing it. Leave it to the experts; we’ll leave the game making to you. Contact us today!

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!

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!