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Unique and Original Packaging Ideas For The Uninspired

Kate Wright
Kate Wright | 5 min read

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Finding packaging ideas and inspiration can be tiresome.

There are many creations out there, but they're not always possible for small brands to implement.

Cutting edge materials technology and elegant packaging design can really create a unique packaging design, but for a small brand like yours, it's not always achievable.

Although, it doesn't hurt to dream.

This article will take a look at some small to medium brands and give you packaging design ideas that you can actually use.

Scroll through the brands below, take note of what you like and get your creative juices flowing.

For more packaging design ideas from brands just like yours, take a look at our inspirations page and see how brands just like yours have created unique and customised packaging.

Colour

We live in colour - so use it.

That colour may be entirely black like Demagica's packaging below.

flatlay view of customised dark boxes by demagica

That colour may be something as bright as M0ther.

m0ther customer packaging

It can be as muted as Snakehive and their two-piece boxes.

Snakehive branded packaging

Or are loud as Happy Socks.

happy socks

It can create a feeling of something elegant like Concrete Jungle.

inspiration concrete jungle product boxes

Or something as 'special' as Monday's Child.

eco color mailer box mondays child

The fact is this: Colour has meaning, it evokes emotions and implies ideas.

Use colour as your main packaging idea to create something memorable.

Patterns

A simple shape that's repeated over and over, or a complex logo that tessellates to perfection.

Patterned packaging is an eye-catching packaging trend to make your brand stand out.

stitch happy custom packaging

Contrasting or complementary colours, combined with unique shapes create a cohesive feeling over your entire packaging design.

Use a pattern on the sides of your box, but leave the top surface empty with nothing more than your logo.

kraft cardboard box for brahmaki

This creates a frame around the surface of your logo, drawing the eye in and forcing it to focus on the logo.

Want to use a professionally designed pattern on your packaging?

Take a look at Packhelp's design showcase and customise your packaging pattern in our online editor. 

Minimalism

Taking a step back with your packaging design is a great way to stand out. There are many innovative packaging ideas that fit the minimalist design style.

It might be as simple as using nothing but your own logo and letting the natural texture of kraft cardboard do the talking.

personalised exo mailer box from monsieur du monde

It might be something like a simple white mailer box with a pastel-coloured sleeve doing all the talking.

cardboard box with a sleeve by alex ko fashion brand

Take a look at Oase, a high-end supplement brand using minimalist packaging design to its advantage. 

The unboxing experience

For e-commerce and retail brands alike, there's more to packaging than just a box.

As an online retailer, your packaging is the first physical touchpoint between your company and your customer.

custom mailer boxes for mens cosmetics

For retail stores, the packaging is what makes your product stand out, so you need to follow through with those feelings.

In both of these situations, an unboxing experience can be the difference. An unboxing experience leaves your customer thinking 'Gee I really got a lot more than I thought I would'.

custom gift boxes

This is a feeling that, when leveraged correctly, your brand can turn into customer retention, loyalty, and satisfaction - 3 potent metrics for any brand.

Start by taking your branding inside the box. That might be an elegant 'thanks for choosing us' printed on the inside lid of your mailer box, or your brand's main colour printed internally.

Scent subscription

Either way, it's what's inside that counts.

Void filler like customised tissue paper or kraft paper can really add a touch of elegance and show your customer that buying your product was the right idea.

An effective unboxing experience also sets the stage should your product become part of an unboxing video.

Not only does it leave a good impression on the person making the video, but in the world of customer reviews and user-generated content, your product, and brand, will appear in a much more positive light.

Sustainability

Over 67% of millennials say that they prefer to use brands that are sustainable.

Combine this with the fact that single-use plastics and petroleum-based materials account for up to 96% of landfill worldwide, and you can see the role that your packaging has to play.

Clear plastic bottle on sandy beach

Sustainable packaging is now the norm, not a 'nice to have'.

But luckily, implementing sustainable packaging doesn't mean using cutting edge materials technology, or changing each and every one of your packaging supplies.

It may very well mean just certifying your existing materials, or using less of them where you can.

The FSC certification is a globally recognised symbol that tells consumers and producers alike that this paper, wood or other pulp product comes from a renewable and ethically harvested source.

FSC certified cardboard

Other certifications like 'One Tree Planted' take a step further and show how trees are planted to offset the consumption of this specific product.

Long story short, recyclable paper pulp, or cardboard, is one of the best, cheapest and easy to implement forms of sustainable packaging on the market.

The natural texture of the cardboard complements the design of many 'sustainable brands' with brown often being a part of an 'eco' colour palette.

zara boxes

If cardboard isn't an option for your brand, look at a plant-based poly mailer.

These mailing bags are alternatives to traditional polythene mailing bags, but rather than being made from oil-based materials, they're made from plant products - usually corn, beetroot or carrot leftovers.

Not only are they made from plant-based materials, they're also stuck together with an organic adhesive which means that the entire bag (including the ink) is biodegradable.

Learn more about biodegradable poly mailers

Unique design

Sometimes a box is a box, and it's not all that eyecatching.

But it's not hard to make that bland square a totally different shape or give it some form of unique design to make it pop.

Retail brands can use a traditional type of product box or a pillow box with a cutout to show off their product inside.

moonsling packaging - tailor-made boxes by packhelp

Sometimes, a box isn't needed at all.

Sunad uses an expandable kraft mailer to keep their packaging material use down, but also offer a unique form of packaging.

inspiration sunad

Selling small jewellery, clothing accessories, teas or other sweets? Try a paper can with a metal lid. The cylindrical shape is one that's always going to be used again by your customer.

 

Branded

As a small business, you've spent a lot of time creating your logo, your brand book, your typography, your tone of voice and many many other ways to communicate.

Slopes and town two piece product box

This 'branding' is on your website. It's on your Facebook and Instagram pages. It's on transactional emails, receipts, storefronts, letterheads and newsletters.

So put it on your packaging.

Multi-coloured mailer boxes

Branded boxes are a great way to tell your customer that they're holding something that a business takes ownership of.

Branded packaging isn't about the product, it's about your brand that stands behind the product.

It can be small and subtle like Koti

Koti eco mailer boxes custom design

Or loud and in your face like We Are Knitters.

DIY knitting sets - subscription boxes

But putting your brand into your packaging shows that you care about your brand and the products that it sells.

Final thoughts

It's not hard to find your average packaging ideas, but finding ideas that your brand can implement is a little harder.

No matter your budget, some of the thoughts put forward in the above article are ones that can help you create a better form of packaging for your brand.

 

 

 

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