Roundup

What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes

By Katelan Cunningham · March 24, 2016

In the world of e-commerce, your products make their first appearance in a box instead of a store. In lieu of a carefully crafted shelf display, your products are laid inside cardboard, perhaps nestled in custom paper or cotton bags. Instead of welcoming signage and a perky employee, your box is the first thing customers see of your brand as it arrives on their doorstep. This is a great opportunity to show them what your brand is all about — and the best part is you don’t have to pay rent for a box. 

We’re taking a look at some custom box designs that do much more than just show a brand’s logo. They create an unboxing experience that starts before anyone even cuts the tape.

This roundup includes inspiration from some of our favorite companies and designers around the web. Unless specified, these designs are not made by Lumi.


Give them a sneak peek

Click and Grow sells a product that’s still a little foreign to consumers who aren't tech junkies. Everyday folks aren’t itching to buy a tech-savvy strawberry grow pot for their countertops, so the brand is going out of its way to be transparent about the product’s simplicity. Outside the box, there's an outline of the gadget from every angle, as if you're actually looking through the cardboard. And of course, the added “Let there be life,” mantra on the side gives consumers all the feels. If it makes sense for your product and your brand aesthetic, consider showing everyone what’s inside.

 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes
 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes

Brag about your product

This packaging for Sitka Salmon is modest, but offers total transparency into their quality and process. With simple facts like, “Our fist are processed and on ice in twenty minutes,” and a map showing where the fish are caught, people receiving these packages feel closer to their food and they feel like it’s sourced responsibly. Any time you can make your customer feel good about themselves and good about your brand, you can be pretty certain that they’ll come back for more.

 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes

Make it Interactive

You can think beyond your brand name, logos and slogans, and go for something a little more complex. Even for the non-Russian speakers among us, it’s clear that this box from Carton Papa is all about fun. You may not be marketing to the 4-and-under age range, but think about what your target audience values in your product and how you can enhance that value in their unboxing experience. For example, if you’re shipping out gourmet ketchup, you can print a sauce recipe on the box. If you’re shipping out handmade jewelry, you can print outfit suggestions or Instagram hashtags.

 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes
 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes

Don’t neglect the sides

Whether you go with a kraft or colored box, branded patterns can make your box feel more dynamic and help the top pop. Sesame went bright with their branding, emphasizing their friendly logo with cheery, tasteful, thin white stripes around the sides. The bold pattern alludes to wrapping paper, so it feels a little bit more premium.

 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes
 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes

Add some variation

If you’re enlisting a fleet of different box sizes, you can have some fun by adding variation to each design. Make design decisions that best suit the the proportions and size of the box, while keeping things cohesive. These Tart Blanc boxes come in three different design variations, but with no other design elements in play, the fleet is fun and classy.

 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes
 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes

Consider some extra dimension

A well-branded box can do well on its own, but for in-person purchases and deliveries, consider what other embellishments could bring your brand to the next level. You could go with ribbon or twine like Zum Zum, or add a wax seal or patterned masking tape.

 What's in a Box? 6 Design Tips for Beautiful Boxes

Your boxes have such a big impact on your brand experience that they're are basically part of you’re team. Work your Custom Boxes as hard as you can to make sure they’re representing your brand just like you would if you were delivering each item in person.

Pro-tip: If you want to create a multi-sided box on Lumi.com, here are the dielines for all of the sizes!

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