Have you discovered Lilly Pulitzer? If not, you are in for a treat! Here is a peek into who they are and why the Design Packaging team loves working with them..
Lilly Pulitzer is a women’s apparel brand that is known for brightly patterned resort wear. Their brand is all about the resort lifestyle, being bright and always sunny side up. In the past 3 years, DPI has collaborated with the Lilly team to produce packaging based on their hand painted designs.
Every production run we do for Lilly Pulitzer packaging embodies the colorful lifestyle of the brand. This is “true brand harmony,” that every company should seek out. The team at Lilly Pulitzer is not only fantastic to work with, they are collaborative, imaginative and they immerse themselves in their packaging. That’s why, when it comes to branding, compatibility between our two companies is key. Whether it’s packaging or clothing, their patterns define the brand.
Fun fact: Did you know that every Lilly watercolor artwork has a hidden element? Next time you’re shopping try to find the Lilly name hidden within the pattern!
Design Packaging and Lilly Pulitzer have joined forces over the years to expand the brand’s packaging. The combination of our female empowered teams take on every challenge from sizing audits, to material selection and how to best distribute finished product.
The result? True brand harmony that is beautiful and pink!
Create brand awareness for your growing business with beautiful packaging that won’t break the bank.
Whether you’re a retailer or an e-commerce business, packaging your product is a must. The questions that small businesses find themselves asking are: Why do we need custom packaging? What can we purchase at a reasonable price that enhances our product?
From us to you, there is no secret. The answers to all your packaging questions lie here:
Small businesses & e-commerce boutiques use custom packaging to help their brand stand out among their competitors. This is an inexpensive and easy way to market your brand and increase your consumer experience.
Depending on the product, there are multiple packaging options available. Design Packaging can produce custom bags, boxes, tissue, labels and much more to elevate the retail or online purchasing experience of your brand.
Customizing your packaging doesn’t have to be an obstacle. Design Packaging can assist you with all of your creative needs, whether big or small, to deliver the product packaging your brand deserves.
Check out this unusual box design that houses a Nima portable gluten sensor.
Design Packaging produced this product packaging for the startup company Nima. The unique product within, demanded the uncommon packaging design you see here.
When your product ships or walks out your door to its new home, the last impression made, is the first thing your consumer sees… your brand on your packaging. Whether your packaging needs are large or small, we’re here to help. Let’s talk small and create big.
Create a Unique Experience for Consumers with a Custom Gift Card Carrier
Let’s be honest – gift cards are not very exciting to give or receive. Partly because of the lackluster packaging and boring reveal of a gift card. Usually, they are attached with cheap glue to an old-fashioned cardboard slip. We have all received something like this from our good old Aunt Mathilda who doesn’t know what to get us. All brands want to sell more gift cards, but how do you elevate the experience to boost sales?
Fortunately, this easily achieved with a packaging design makeover. An innovative custom gift card carrier will dramatically change the consumer experience by creating an exciting unveiling moment. Regardless of the type of structure, gift card carriers are simply more enticing than a cardboard slip because they generate anticipation, are interactive, and visually appealing. All the sudden, Aunt Mathilda gave you the ultimate gift that you can’t wait to use.
Take look at this unique pop-up envelope that DPI produced to carry a gift card.
This interactive pop-up gift card carrier slowly presents the card from within the envelope as it opens, which creates a unique unveiling moment. It is visually striking and interactive, and will help get consumers excited about giving and receiving your gift card.
Ecommerce package design is still evolving and finding its place within the online purchase loop. With new technologies streamlining checkout processes making every click count, brands are discovering the importance of packaging’s role in consumer happiness. Free returns being standard practice magnify the effect that poorly delivered experiences can have by increasing return rates and negative comments on social media — and take you from a 5-star to a 2-star product in no time.
We collaborate with many startups in search of the secret sauce to deliver memorable unboxing moments worthy of sharing on social media with our design, manufacturing, and global delivery. The truth is: there is no secret, no algorithm and no sauce. Simply put, you have to envision the consumer experience and understand the needs and expectations of each brand’s target market. Every brand is different, so taking too much inspiration from others will only deliver an experience lacking in brand authenticity. Let your brand pillars do the heavy lifting and allow packaging to guide consumers through them.
The most valuable knowledge I can share is less about design and more about the process, and the value of working with the right team.
Follow these three steps to point your e-commerce package design in the direction of success.
Step 1: Understand the Process
In order to improve your package design and close the loop on the e-commerce experience you have to understand the process from start to finish.
First, what happens after the checkout is complete? How are orders filled? Are they manually pick, packed and wrapped, or is it an automated process?
Second, what’s the storage capacity for the distribution center (DC)? Should packaging be broken down and assembled prior to picking and packing? Can the DC store assemble packaging?
And third, identify inner dimensions required for the top three standard order volumes. You want to design for the top three order volumes in order to discover efficiencies and gain economies of scale in packaging production.
Answering these three points will provide a baseline for the needs packaging must solve prior to anything being shipped to consumers.
Step 2: Which Comes First, Structural or Visual Packaging Design?
Given our defined baseline in Step 1, we can move forward with designing the unboxing process. By understanding the entire process, structural packaging and visual design can solve the needs of each user in the loop, including the end user. But which comes first, structure or visual design? Because experiences are consumed with our senses, unboxing begins with our eyes but quickly transitions to a physical interaction in our hands. For example, even the most beautiful clamshell packaging is still a clamshell requiring box cutters and bandages to deliver the product from its razor sharp clutches. So, without structural packaging as the wireframe to outline user interaction, it’s easy for brands to lose sight of the experience and focus on graphic design.
We recommend beginning the package design process with structure, identify key interactions and define the moments to be accentuated by visual design. How a box is opened and a product presented, how layers of protection create the experience, and how many physical elements make up the unboxing are all answered with structure. All packaging design should be the result of a collaborative process between structural packaging and visual designers.
Step 3: Layered Unveiling
Now that we understand the differences between structural and visual package design, we move to the layers of the unboxing experience.
In reality it will be one to two days before the consumer interacts with your e-commerce packaging since the order was completed online. It’s important to consider this when designing an unboxing experience because the consumer has forgotten the seamless checkout experience. The momentum of the sale has stopped by now, and it is the packaging’s responsibility to reignite the romance for the brand. Due to security, the box exterior can be simple with brand notes to build anticipation such as taglines, icons or color. Remember that we’re delivering an experience, not Fort Knox, so make the pack frustration-free and easy to open.
The interior presentation must validate the consumer’s purchase and show respect for the product. Brands that fail to respect their product can’t expect consumers to value and respect their brand. Utilizing brand-appropriate colors, textures and visual packaging design within the pack is the first step in a well-crafted unveiling process. A layered unveiling will mean something different to each brand, but the goal is to create a thoughtful interaction that connects with the consumer and builds the anticipation for what’s inside. An inner box topper, tissue, or fabric cut and sew packaging is a great way to incorporate a moment of pause, and delay the final reveal. Using cut and sew in e-commerce packaging is a great way to deliver a keepsake item that can be reused and create a lasting impression on the consumer.
As with any ecommerce package design, it’s important to prototype, test and refine. Make sure once the unboxing is complete that the number of packaging elements don’t outweigh the product purchased and deliver an onslaught of #overpackaged posts.
There’s a fine line to creating something memorable and something returnable. With over 30 years of packaging design, manufacturing, and global distribution our team is ready to guide you through the process.
Lack of Innovation in Jewelry Packaging Design Stifles the Unboxing Experience
Despite the fact that the jewelry industry has been around for centuries, its packaging hasn’t evolved much. Regardless of brand status, most brands use similar versions of jewelry packaging design: snap hinged boxes lined and covered with various materials. Though the quality of the box, materials, and graphic design varies between brands, the consumer experience with the jewelry packaging design still remains the same. This creates a crisis of identity for both high-end luxury brands and start-ups who wish to differentiate their brand and make an impact in the crowded jewelry market.
Jewelry brands must move quickly to differentiate their packaging to capture imaginations and present new experiences to stay relevant. However, there are no simple solutions to the problem, only bold ideas will challenge conventional understandings of what jewelry packaging is and should be.
There are countless ways to innovate jewelry packaging. One effective way is to change the construct of the jewelry box. Doing so can dramatically alter the user experience in unveiling the jewelry which leads to a more memorable moment. Additionally, alternative designs like leather pouches or fabric slips retain elements of that familiar jewelry unboxing experience but present it in a fresh manner for the consumer.
Memorable jewelry packaging delivers an experience, not just a beautiful product. Creating interactive moments is critical to this process. Intimate connections and memorable unboxing moments are byproducts of structural design and manufacturing processes. Those touch points should be determined by the brand. Consumers deserve a memorable unveiling regardless of the jewelry brand.
This truly unique jewelry packaging design, uses a pull tab to reveal the ring rather than the traditional method of an old fashioned snap hinge box. This new opening method delays instant gratification by presenting a completely new experience to unboxing jewelry packaging. It allows the consumer to initiate discovery of the details and functionality of the new packaging design creating a strong brand impression and memory. Choose to be bold; anyone can be boring.
Lack of Innovation in Jewelry Packaging Design Stifles the Unboxing Experience
Despite the fact that the jewelry industry has been around for centuries, its packaging hasn’t evolved much. Regardless of market status, jewelry brands use similar versions of design: snap hinged boxes lined and covered with various materials. Though the quality of the box, materials, and graphic design varies between brands, the consumer experience with the jewelry packaging design still remains the same.This creates a crisis of identity for both high-end luxury brands and start-ups who wish to differentiate their brand and make an impact in the crowded jewelry market.
Jewelry brands must move quickly to create new jewelry packaging designs which capture imaginations and present new experiences to stay relevant. However, there are no simple solutions to the problem, only bold ideas which challenge conventional understandings of what jewelry packaging is and what it should be.
Memorable jewelry packaging delivers an experience, not just a beautiful product. Creating interactive moments is critical to this process. Intimate connections and memorable unboxing moments are byproducts of structural design and manufacturing processes. Those touch points should be determined by the brand. Consumers deserve a memorable unveilingregardless of the jewelry brand.
This truly unique jewelry packaging design, uses a pull tab to reveal the ring rather than the traditional method of an old fashionedsnap hinge box. This new opening method delays instant gratification by presenting a completely new experience to unboxing jewelry packaging. It allows the consumer to initiate discovery of the details and functionality of the new packaging design creating a strong brand impression. Choose to be bold; anyone can be boring
Design Packaging has the decades of expertise necessary to help you disrupt your industry through packaging design.
A guide on incorporating sight, smell, touch, and taste into packaging design
As humans, we perceive our world through five senses. How our senses inform our buying decisions has been studied for decades by packaging design and marketing specialists. Creating multi-sensory experiences through packaging is critical to the success of any business.
Let’s take a look at how packaging design can utilize the five senses to differentiate your brand.
A visually striking package is critical to standing out from the competition. According to research, consumers will see the shape, color, and text of your packaging in that order. In addition your packaging must contrast visually from that of your competitors’.
For example, take your standard cereal aisle in a grocery chain. Let’s say that most of the cereal boxes are exploding with varieties of color and shapes on the boxes and contain copious amounts of text. The first approach in which to differentiate your packaging is to do the exact opposite of what your competitors are doing and take a minimalistic approach.
DPI Packaging Tip: Contrasting style is a first approach to standing out.
Always be in control of your consumers’ package unboxing experience. Smell being one aspect of that experience, is often overlooked yet completely in your control. You can edit the type of olfactory experience the consumer experiences by designing your package with the appropriate materials, processes, and structures based on their ability to maintain freshness.
Scent can also be designed into packaging through scented inks, ribbons, and other processes. Incorporating a ‘branded’ scent in your packaging can connect your in-store experience to the home unboxing of an ecommerce purchase.
DPI Packaging Tip: Packaging designed with a thoughtful olfactory experience can create memorable signature moments and truly stand out from the crowd.
The consumer’s tactile interaction with your packaging design is a crucial element to consider. Not only should your package feel unique it should also operate in a functional and interesting ways in accordance with your brand.
In order to differentiate your packaging, you should incorporate points of interaction for the consumer. Items like pop-up constructions, pull tabs, or plush suedes can increase the interactivity of your packaging and make your unboxing worth sharing.
DPI Packaging Tip: Incorporating points of interaction for the consumer can make your package design stand out.
Consider the auditory experience present in the unboxing process. Every sound provides you an opportunity to differentiate your brand. Refine each sound to create a brand appropriate unboxing experiences through material selection and manufacturing processes.
Thinner materials will provide a higher pitch than heavier weight materials. Compare the sound cellophane makes to a heavy weight paper shopping bag; the heavier the weight the deeper the tone.
DPI Packaging Tip: The right sounds designed into packaging can support the perceived quality of your brand.
Packaging design has the ability to influence perceived taste of your product in food packaging. The previous points about sound, touch, smell, and sight all impact the perceived taste of your product. In order to enhance your product’s flavor and differentiate your brand, you need to consider how your package sounds, feels, smells, and looks.
DPI Packaging Tip: Color in packaging design can impact both scent and tastes. Red packaging is generally perceived to be spicier, and green packaging to carry a more woodsy scent and flavor.
Design the complete experience by optimizing your packaging design for the human senses and differentiate your product on a more sensual level.
If you are looking for a packaging design that will entice the senses, let’s talk. With over 30 years of best in packaging, Design Packaging is ready to design, manufacture, and deliver a custom unboxing experience for your brand.
In this social media age, the best salesman of your product is actually the packaging design. In other words, the package in which it actually enters the customer’s hands. Too often, marketers and retailers attempt to control the way in which their products and packages are visually presented using professional lighting and cameras.Unfortunately, that same packaging design fails to dazzle the customer when professional lighting and cameras are replaced with bathroom fluorescents and cell phone cameras. Does your product still look exciting and engaging removed from those fancy advertisements, or is it a boring brown box? Does it look like something worthy of a picture and a share on social media?
While fancy lights and expensive set pieces can help you pull together a beautiful ad campaign, only the packaging design will allow your brand to flourish and become a truly ‘viral’ sensation across social media. After all, the packaging design which holds or accompanies the product is the physical manifestation of your brand and the object with which the customer will have the most interaction. A packaging design which is fun, exciting, and clever stands more chances of being photographed and shared than a simple box or bag. Packaging should create a sense of anticipation and excitement for the product that lies within, but much more than that, it delivers the brand promise in a snapshot. Though companies and brands may spend a fortune on advertisement campaigns nothing compares to social following and awareness generated by the packaging design.
Here are a few steps you can take to enhance your packaging design and make waves on social media platforms:
Consider Font Size – Your packaging design should be easily readable at a glance on any social media platform. This will help convey important information to the wider audience and help boost social media views. Prominently leverage your brand phrases and statements to attract potential customers.
Use High Quality Material – Though it may affect your overall costs on the spreadsheet, spending a bit more on the overall design of the packaging will help increase its overall quality and therefore its look. A high quality packaging design is far more likely to get a photo taken and shared than something slapped together for a deadline.
Design Packaging Specific for Social Media ‘Influencers’ – You can leverage the audiences of high profile media personalities to your advantage. This is what’s known as Social Media Influencer Packaging. Essentially, you want to create a complete packaging design experience of both the product and your brand for this particular social media influencer and enable them to share your signature moments with their audience. Look at some samples in the image below.
If your brand, product, or business needs help creating or manufacturing a packaging design worthy of social media attention, let’s talk. With over 30 years of best in class design, manufacturing, and global distribution, Design Packaging has the resources you need to create packages which will boost your viewership on social media.
Continuing the sustainability and recycling discussion, we felt it important to set a baseline for the current symbols used in packaging to communicate recyclability. Understanding the symbols used in packaging design to communicate the process of recycling or material sorting is important for designers working in the packaging industry. Not all municipalities are required to recycle materials with these symbols on them, the symbols are there to simplify sorting. Recycling of these materials is determined by regional demand for the recycled byproduct.
Here’s a quick-start guide of the major recycling symbols seen in packaging today.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) FSC isn’t about recycling, but it has everything to do with responsibly sourced materials, they are the gold standard for forest certification systems. The checkmark-and-tree icon and license number identifies the materials with this symbol come from responsible sources. The license numbers attached to the icon certify that the company is authorized to use the logo, and adhere to the strict chain-of-custody management processes through the supply chain .
Essentially, FSC certified materials are sourced from forests that are managed to protect old-growth, the rights of indigenous people, water quality, prevents the loss of natural forest cover, and prohibits the use of hazardous chemicals.
#1 PET or PETE Polyethylene Terephthalate, is a polymer resin used in thermoforming of inserts, water bottles, and take out containers. PET’s triangle with the number 1 is the most widely recycled material due to the diverse number of products it can be converted to.
PET is currently being recycled into new bottles, fabrics, or spun into poly fillings for outerwear, pet-beds, and bedding.
#2 HDPE High Density Polyethylene is an extremely versatile material that’s easily recycled in the majority of municipalities around the country. It’s extremely strong and lightweight replacing much heavier materials in packaging reducing the items overall environmental impact, partially due to its lower risk of leaching.
HDPE can be just as easily extruded to make bags as it can be molded to produce make-up palettes or outdoor furniture.
#3 PVC or “V”
Polyvinyl Chloride is another strong and lightweight plastic used in both its flexible and rigid form with the combination of plasticizers. As with all plastics, they are delivered in a pelletized or powdered form into which pigments can be added to create a rainbow of colors. Because PVC is chlorine based it’s not dependent on crude oil, making it incompatible with other types of polymers. PVC must be sorted and recycled only with PVC, as even the smallest amount of PVC may be considered a waste stream contaminant.
Note that size matters, small items (fist sized or smaller) typically get filtered out through the sorting process and end up in landfills.
Low Density Polyethylene has many applications, but its most relatable application is plastic shopping bag film due to its strength and flexibility. LDPE is also used in coating other substrates for its water resistance and tear strength, for example paper cups, milk cartons, and frozen food bags. The process of layering multiple materials renders both the base substrate and the coating difficult to separate and be recycled individually. Therefore products of combined substrates typically go to landfill, or are incinerated (which in some states is considered recycling, as it becomes energy).
Bulk collection programs of either LDPE, or LDPE coated materials are able to be recycled easily. Plastic shopping bag collection programs at grocery stores can collect thousands of bags and recycled at one time, without contaminating other waste streams.
Polypropylene is a durable rigid plastic that can be heat fused, and molded with flexible living hinges. Typical packaging uses include food packaging that require hot filling processes as the PP material has a high melting point and can withstand the process. PP is also quickly becoming the choice for plastic straws as the material does not crack as easily, and does not sink. PP is also new to recycling, with municipalities accepting it only as recently as 2012. Brands like P&G and Unilever are building a market for Post-Consumer PP which is seeing an increase in the material’s use.
Polystyrene can be either rigid or made into a protective Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam, AKA Styrofoam (which is a brand name for expanded foam insulation from DOW Chemical). In its rigid form we encounter it as single-use silverware, toys, electronics, and more. In its expanded or extruded form the foam can be upwards of 95% air giving it excellent protective qualities. We encounter styrofoam in many aspects of our lives, surfboards, egg packaging, packing peanuts, and many other uses that require lightweight product protection. The fact that Styrene naturally occurs in foods like coffee, strawberries, or beef, doesn’t make it safe to consume.
Once PS has been expanded and becomes the end product EPS, it cannot be recycled back into PS and it is often cheaper to produce it using virgin PS than to recycle it. Rigid PS is recyclable, and can be turned into many products post life, but make sure to check your local municipality if it’s accepted.
#7 Misc. or Other
Number seven essentially means all other plastics including bioplastics, multi-sourced plastics, compostables, fiberglass, nylon, and others that may contain BPA. Bio-based plastics are also categorized #7 and contain Polylactic Acid (PLA) which are plant based vs petroleum based plastics. A benefit to bioplastics is that they are biodegradable under certain environments, but require industrial processing to achieve it. Bioplastics will not biodegrade at home or in a landfill, in these environments they will breakdown as slowly as petroleum based plastics.
#7 is the catch-all mutt of plastics, and many curbside programs will not accept #7 plastics, including those labeled PLA.
Post-Consumer Waste (PCW)
PCW identifies the materials used in the final product were recycled at the end of their life-cycle. Many states today are requiring packaging use various amounts of PCW, in California for example all paper shopping bags must include a minimum of 40% PCW and be fully recyclable. Not adhering to these bag laws can result in fines to the brand responsible.
Pre-Consumer Waste shares the PCW abbreviation, yet is important to know the difference. Pre-Consumer waste is made up recycled materials that never made it to the consumer. For example, trimmings, extras, rejected materials, or scraps.
With more packaging material bans and laws governing recycling changing daily, you can choose to use materials with a higher post consumer content. The more demand on recycled materials the more reason for municipalities to accept a broader range of substrates. Increase demand, and they’ll increase supply.
Today in the U.S. consumers make the decision as to what goes into their curbside recycle bins, not knowing what materials are recycled in their area. Recycling symbols on packaging solely mean that the materials contained within are recyclable, they do not communicate that the end product is accepted at curbside nationally. There are many groups today working on further educating consumers and standardizing labels on collection bins. Recycle Across America has recently released standardized labels available here; The labels easily identify landfill waste, compostable waste, and glass, cans, and plastic bottles reducing public confusion at the bin.
It’s important to be informed about the materials you choose, where they will live, and recycling capabilities of those regions. As a consumer it’s best to abide by the age old rule, “When in doubt, throw it out”, as a designer it’s important to educate yourself, your client, and the consumer.