Designing Unique Shoeboxes: Saucony Originals:


Searching for one-of-a-kind packaging design can sometimes be like looking for a holy grail. Saucony found a surprising, smart and non-obvious solution for that problem.

What would happen if you decided to let your customers design your brand’s packaging?

Actually, there is one brand that was brave enough to do so.

And it ended up with great success.

Then, how can we engage a group of gifted customers to create your unique packaging design? Is it really possible?

An inspiring competition organised by Saucony Originals proves that with the talent of your devoted customers, originality is really possible.

Get to know Saucony Originals Designer Box!

Cretaive process saucony designer box

Saucony - a place, where two rivers flow together

Saucony is one of the oldest sport shoes manufacturers.

The brand was created at the end of the nineteenth century in Pennsylvania near the Saucony Creek. The word ‘Saucony’ was taken directly from the Native American language. It describes a place, where two rivers meet and start flowing together. It pretty much describes the geographical characteristics of the Saucony Creek.

In its’ early beginnings, Saucony focused mostly on manufacturing shoes for children. The brand produced as much as 800 pairs every day!

But then a big change came. Saucony began producing professional running shoes with special spikes.

And that was it.

Saucony running shoes were admired by professional runners, in the 70s. They were even awarded the ‘Best Quality’ award and were considered the best running shoes available.

The biggest social proof came later, when Rod Dixon, a runner sponsored by Saucony, won the New York Marathon in really dramatic circumstances.

Dixon overtook his rival in last metres and finished the race 8 seconds faster.

Saucony built its image by creating products dedicated to professionals. Shoes were high-quality and also looked cool.

Streetwear original urban style was born between hip-hop and skateboard culture.

It quickly went mainstream and streetwear started to be perceived as youthful, creative, urban lifestyle element.

With no surprise, Saucony products were ideally fitting the upcoming trends. Saucony later began producing streetwear garments.

That’s when Saucony Originals was born, offering a huge range of products inspired by the classic ’80s and ‘90s sneakers style.

Saucony Originals Designer Box - do it yourself

Streetwear fashion has always been connected with freedom and creativity. Saucony knew that when they started a unique kind of contest that included… boxes for shoes.

In June Saucony Originals decided to organise a suprising competition among their clients, who were assigned with the task of filling out the white space of Saucony’s shoebox with their own graphic design.

Creating saucony designer box

One of the requirements was to use only manual skills - no computer graphics allowed and only black colour.

The creator of the best design would be awarded 12 pairs of Saucony Originals shoes.

The response was amazing. Several dozen projects were submitted and tagged with #sauconyxpilot on their Instagram account.

A jury decided to award Kinga Winiarska’s project as the winner, in which she merged Saucony shoes with animalistic forces of nature.

the best saucony designer box
Image source: Designer Box

Additionally, two other works were noticed and awarded as well.

The competition was ideally fitted to target clients of Saucony Originals. Creative young people got engaged and became proactive with a brand that communicated it’s core values.

Creation of user-generated content used in social media was an extra marketing value of the whole event.

It’s also worth mentioning that Saucony’s contest boxes were designed specifically for the purpose of the competition.


Saucony Originals Designer Box in cooperation with Packhelp

Saucony decided to rely on Eco White Mailer Boxes.

The packaging design had to be pretty minimal - the free space was supposed to be filled by designs of art-talented customers.

That being said, white cardboard texture was strictly playing the role of a canvas. And did it well. Natural cardboard texture of eco white mailer boxes was ideally absorbing paint - no blurriness, just pure artistry and astonishing effect.

effects of work saucony designer box

The upper side of the box was the frame, limiting the space of to-be-created design. The side areas were filled with brand’s and contest logotypes and partner of the whole initiative - Pilot.

It turned out then, that a simple shoebox that could be designed in a bright way empowered creativity.

It’s a unique example of a box that became a canvas and was filled with talent and ideas from the brand’s customers.

That trendsetting idea can be easily used (with little adjustments) by other companies.

Can you imagine a better advertisement?

How Saucony Originals benefited from cooperation with Packhelp?

  • Shoeboxes were successfully designed to become a canvas for customers’ ideas and showcase talent
  • Thanks to the box, the entire competition was consistent with the brand’s values.
  • Thanks to the type of task, Saucony’s boxes were present in social media.
  • Clients generated content on their own using hashtag #sauconyxpilot and promoted the brand.

Did you get inspired? Look at our other inspiring stories.