Bespoke Branded Packaging – Our Top 5 Design Tips

The Full Package

With a growing trend in time spent disconnected from digital and a resurgence of all things analogue this year, we think it’s the perfect opportunity to remind you all about the pleasure of lovingly hand-crafted, physical objects. These objects are often beautiful in themselves, but you can add an extra layer of tactility and intrigue to any product with carefully selected packaging, and in doing so add to the overall user experience with the excitement of unwrapping something. This can result in something people are proud to display, and want to keep. After speaking to our in-house team of experts, we’ve collated our top five things to consider when embarking on a bespoke branded packaging project to help you maximize its impact and ROI.

Bespoke packaging design closed box

1) Think of your recipients.

It seems an obvious point to start with, but it can be tempting to design bespoke branded packaging that looks fabulous – but that’s about all it does. The key to longevity is usefulness and to get to the root of this, you need to carefully consider your recipient before you start. What they do on a daily basis? Where they are likely to put (and hopefully keep) their customized products? Do they work at a desk or always on the go? What sort of trends do they follow? Packaging design should culminate in bespoke packaging that the recipients will want to keep as much as the products inside.
We think our glamorous desk box is just that. It houses a perpetual calendar, pen and business cards on an ongoing basis and tidies away all usual desk stationery as well. Each day the user can open the lid, remove their trusty notebook, grab a pen or pencil, change the date and get on with their productive day – repacking the box and closing the lid once their work is done. In this way, the box becomes the modern creative’s toolbox and something that looks so sleek they’re happy to keep on display.

foiled paper over board gift box

2) Choose materials wisely.

You want your bespoke branded packaging to last, to keep your name under the recipients’ noses, but of course you don’t want to negate style. As our VIP boxes were gong to be used every day, it was crucial they were robust and not over-engineered, but they still needed to be stylish. These requirements steered us towards the paper over board box with foam inlay that you see. ‘Buckram’ paper from Winter & Companywas chosen for the outer covering for its hard wearing and textural qualities, giving a tactile experience every time someone opens or closes the box.
Black was chosen not only as it aids durability and survives marks and scuffs, but because it is a colour free of any specific gender association, will go with virtually any colour combinations that may already be on the recipient’s desk and is synonymous with sleek, sophisticated style. Minimal, subtle branding was added to the lid with our logo in a black gloss foil on the front edge – a small reminder of where the box came from, but not enough to deter the user from keeping it on display.

3) Follow Brand Guidelines.

Consult your company brand guidelines before you get too carried away! – there will be non-negotiable rules that need to be adhered to. For example, logos often have placement rules around them and there may be a specific palette of colours to use. Lifting the lid of our VIP box, a distinctive yet unobtrusive pairing of on-brand plum and navy shades of paper from the ‘Wibalin’ range coats the inner surfaces (also colouring the exposed shoulder lining seen on the sides of the box when closed). The plum colour draws on a tone from our logo and the navy ties the box to the products inside, which were predominantly navy; both colours which reference our brand’s British colours.

Open VIP box bespoke packaging design

Inside bespoke packaging design VIP box

4) Think logistically.

The mechanics of your bespoke branded packaging need to work so that the product is easy to use – everything needs to fit perfectly for ultimate user satisfaction. Our design team are experts in thinking up functional solutions for creative ideas, ensuring they work perfectly through extensive testing. The branded products inside our VIP box (a collection of everyday essential office ‘tools’ including a pear wood perpetual calendar, softcover Duo notebook, Leuchtturm1917 diary and Puma Twist ballpoint pen) were held in place by a layer of hard-wearing, black, cut foam that will survive as long as the box does and won’t lose shape over time as the items are lifted in and out. A concealed ribbon was inserted to allow the lid of the box to remain perpendicular when open – allowing easy access of the contents at all times. A final logistical consideration we made was the size – after all, desk space is often at a premium for busy professionals, so we needed to ensure the box was compact enough that it could be kept to hand on a desk top for ease of access.

5) Reflect brand personality.

A creative project like this is the ideal opportunity to express brand personality. As our box was designed to sit open, we used the inside of the lid as an ideal place to inject a flash of our creative flair with an intricate foiled design flooding the cardholder that sits there. Boston based illustrator Maggie Enterrioswas commissioned to create a unique illustration representative of our company – on closer inspection, you’ll see details of foils, dies, stationery, packaging and workshop tools all overlapping into an intricate piece of art. A section of the design appears debossed on the softcover notebook inside too, connecting the box with the products. The pocket was made from GF Smith‘Colorplan’ card and contained a foil printed thank you card for the recipient, giving a personal touch, to reflect our company ethos. The final flourish was three stainless steel paper clips (a pen nib, scissors and pencil) slotted on the edge of the thank you card in the pocket – a little something to show our fun side carries over into our bespoke packaging design.

VIP Bespoke branded packaging

If you think your usual corporate bundle of branded products could do with re-housing in truly bespoke style, please get in touch with a member of our team who can chat with you about your individual requirements.