Packaging is integral to every product sold in the retail environment. Over the years I have designed all matter of stickers, sell sheets, belly bands, j-wraps, blow-in cards, blister packs, clam shells, handled cases and more. Some of the challenges in packaging products include the physical area for sell material (especially when two or three languages often need to be displayed), how a product is displayed, what its competition is, and how to attract attention. Below are packaging solutions devised to solve a range of challenges in specific retail channels such as clubs, boutiques, direct to consumer kiosks, and mass market retailers. The packaging conveys value, sentimentality, fun, or ease of use, depending on the product.
Shown here: Four pack stationery sets sold at clubs. The challenges in packaging this item included the manner of display (these are sold flat on a table) and their competition (both books and games). These needed to look fun, stand out on a crowded flat surface, and appear substantial enough that they could compete with products that have greater perceived value. We created a decorative sell band which looks nice, and because it wraps across the front of the box overlapping all four items, we were able to call out each component directly. On the back of the box we put the large surface area to good use, fanning out each element of the four products and elaborating on their contents. This product proved very successful at the clubs and is still in production today.
Shown Here: Sharing Memories Boxed Kits sold at mass retail. Margins in the wholesale industry are often tight, but if you sell into some of the biggest retail chains, then you understand just how tight they can be. These boxed kits needed to have inexpensive packaging that effectively gave a sense of value. We used a closed box with a lot of surface area for printing. We enumerated and drew attention to the piece count, spread out the contents, and highlighted the playful artwork so that it still looked like fun for kids. We also needed two sizes for the kit, one version that could stand on a shelf and a smaller footprint to hang on pegs, both are shown here.
Shown Here: Dress Up Paper Doll Kits sold in most channels. The development of this product was, in essence, a packaging project. The kit was conceived of as a modernized paper doll kit. Rather than classic tabbed clothes, we used clings for the outfits. We included materials like gems, ribbons, and fabrics to add a crafting element to the kit, and staggered the interior pages so that at retail the consumer could easily see the contents through the die-cut cover (far left). The inside back of the item opened up into a combination play scene and storage folder (center left). The initial success of this item invited a broad range of licensing opportunities, and in turn, more variations of the product were developed. In order to take advantage of powerful brands like Disney Princesses that are licensed into extremely narrow categories, we repackaged the product into a book format (middle right). Key to every version of the format was the back cover, which included a beauty shot of the item in use, and highlighted the contents and dimensional playscene.
Shown Here: Various Scrapbook Paper Kits sold in craft retail chains and clubs. Towards the end of the scrapbook craze, steep prices and the time consuming work of scrapbooking began to overwhelm consumers. We sought to develop economical ways to simplify the process for them. This led us to develop value paper pads and pre-designed kits that consumers could simply add photographs and stickers to and call it a day. The packaging challenge was finding ways to emphasis the contents and simplicity of the range of products. With the Variety Paper Pad (far left), the many patterns included in the pad had to be clear, thus a layout that showed all of the content in an attractive way. With the Scrapbooking Simple 123 (center left and center right), how to use the product needed to be explained in seconds. For the clubs, multiple Simple 123 titles were bundled together, creating the Ultimate Simple 123 Scrapbook Kit (far right). The packaging for this item had to show both a page layout and the individual pattern designs. It also had to highlight the piece count, without looking like a “value” item. The design we landed on combines elements of the other items, highlighting a pre-designed page, and using the spine of the product to lay out pattern sheets. The back cover displayed a range of predesigned pages, just like its Simple 123 predecessor (middle right).
Shown Here: Keepsake Baby Items sold at mass and in gift channels. The challenge in packaging baby items is often to strike a balance between promoting the product and keeping it special–these items are, after all, for the most precious time in many people’s lives. In order to use one packaging solution per item for all sales channels, the sell material had to feel special enough to be given as a gift at a baby shower. Using a sell band that felt as decorative as it was descriptive was key to achieving our goal. Shown here are variations of sell bands we used on keepsake baby items.
Shown Here: Deluxe Scrapbook sold at clubs. In the heyday of scrapbooking, materials and dimension were king. Our product had to lay flat on a table but also allow a consumer to see the materials of the scrapbook album, plus the dimension, quality, and quantity of the stickers. We conceived of this two sided box. From the front, a consumer could touch the album, when flipped, they could see all of the different stickers through a die-cut window. The entire contents of the boxed set were printed and outlined on the back of the packaging.