Say No To Blank Boxes

Amanda Pharis -

While many shipping boxes are just used to get the product from point A to point B, in reality, they’re part of the total sales funnel. You need to put your brand front and center on each box so that potential customers know who you are and what you’re about as soon as they see it on their doorstep. With branded boxes, you can do this without paying any more than you would if you were using blank shipping boxes. Here’s how.

What Makes Good Packaging Design

What makes a shipping box design good? It varies from brand to brand—but in general, good package design has these two characteristics.

Your box should fit your product without creating wasted space or weight. More weight, more fuel, less environmentally friendly. Smart design can reduce overall packaging footprint; economically arranging and packaging products to use less dunnage and with smart materials that resist crushing can go further with less box material. Working in cubes and square dimensions can reduce the math it takes to configure the most efficient packing formula. Create bundles or minimum order quantities that reduce the strain on your shipping box packing to reduce materials and shipment sizes. 

Smart graphics can create an engaging experience with a well designed box. Adding next steps graphics for creating a robot, cat scratching post or even how to create a compost garden starting with just one box is a great way to add value to your box design. When your customer receives their box and finds a delightful discovery before even reaching their product, your box has done its job. Your box’s design has set the tone for your customer for the next step in the journey: enjoying the product they have received. Your shipping box graphics can even include call to actions asking your customer to re-engage with your brand on social media or even return to your website. 

A good box design doesn’t have to be “clever” to be deemed great. A great design is communicating, not decorating. Decorations can be a part of your branding, but must be used smartly so as to not distract from the brand message or from handling instructions for the box. 

What Makes Good Labels

Good, informative labels can come in all different shapes and sizes, but they should all describe what’s inside. Whether more literally with icons for FRAGILE or even just the word “FRAGILE”, or more metaphorical like iconography for sustainability specifications. Many brands use stickers to add this information to their shipping boxes, but if you print important icons like Team Lift warnings, there are no concerns about your stickers falling off when you least expect it—like during transit. Clear labels also inform your customer about the next steps with the packaging. Clear, easy to understand icons or instructions about how to recycle or reuse the box can add to your shipping box’s value without adding cost. 

Tips on Putting Together a Shipping Box Design

As we covered above, shipping boxes don’t have to be basic or bland, they can actually act as an advertising platform for your product. When starting your shipping box design, make sure you consider two things: protection, then branding.

To make sure your products arrive safely, opt for packaging that closely fits your product. Also, include responsible, recyclable cushioning so that your product doesn’t suffer damage during shipping. After your box contents and dunnage is correct and arranged for transport, then consider what your branding is going to do. What can your print add to the value of the box? Follow the user’s actions once their box arrives from accepting the package to opening the box and removal of the box and contents.

  • Add icons that reinforce what handling instructions are needed to protect what’s inside, then
  • consider messaging about why this product is at their doorstep and remind them of the benefit that they’re expecting and excited about.
  • Once the shipping box has done its job, what needs to be included to help your customer dispose of the box properly and responsibly?

These elements go into creating a box that your customers’ will want to share as much as they want to share your product. What great ideas can you come up with for your box journeys?