Design in the DetailsCustom packaging is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I spend a lot of time obsessing over the details of the product designs themselves, and I’ve always wanted our packaging to reflect the same care and quality that Ugmonk is known for. Nice packaging elevates an already strong product, and it makes for a memorable customer unboxing experience. I want you to be excited when you open your mailbox and see an Ugmonk package waiting for you. Most vendors’ minimum quantities for printed packaging are quite high, so I never pulled the trigger to order custom boxes or mailers. Over the years, we have added special touches like hand-stamped boxes and (more recently) custom-printed tape, but we had never produced fully custom packaging (other than for our limited-edition anniversary sets). As part of Ugmonk 2.0 and the rolling out of our new branding, I wanted to step up our packaging game and produce materials that match our bold new look and complement the quality of our products. That’s where Lumi comes in. Lumi makes it super easy to order a variety of customized packaging materials (such as boxes, mailers, decals, and tape) by simply uploading a logo or design and pressing “order.” Before I discovered Lumi, I sourced each of our packaging materials from multiple vendors, which was time consuming and hard to keep track of. The beauty of Lumi is that they do all of the legwork and logistics with the individual vendors, which makes it super easy for business owners like me. This allows me to focus more time on designing and less time searching for new packaging manufacturers and dealing with vendor issues. In addition to ordering some of the readymade packing items on their site, I also worked directly with Lumi to produce some fully custom items like our new printed boxes and poly mailers. Rather than just adding our logo, Rusty at Lumi worked with me to spec out all the details of these items. Here’s a look at some of my mockups and process.
Custom BoxesFor our new boxes, I wanted to design something unique, but still minimal and understated. I love the look of white ink against the brown cardboard of the box, so I came up with this split design with a flood coat of white on the right side of the box with little design details on each side. Since these boxes are used only for shipping (not for sitting on a retail shelf), there were several things to keep in mind when designing them. I intentionally left blank space on the top of the box so that there’s adequate room for the shipping label. I also positioned the Ugmonk icon on the rear sides of the box to make sure they wouldn’t be covered up by the tape that’s used to seal the front part of the box. These may seem like obvious decisions, but each detail needs to be considered and thought through even for something as simple as this.
Custom-Printed TapeTo seal our boxes, I designed new kraft tape with a repeating pattern of our new logo. The logo is printed in white, which matches the new boxes as well as some of our other materials. This tape also adds a nice touch when we have to use blank boxes for larger orders or anything that doesn’t fit in our standard size boxes.
Poly MailersIn the past, we’ve always used blank white poly mailers to ship our tees. I like using poly mailers for shipping tees because they are light, waterproof, and don’t fall apart even when being shipped halfway across the globe. Our new poly mailers were produced with a special matte black finish and custom cut to our specifications. They feature the Ugmonk wordmark on the front and our new icon on the back.
Other Odds and EndsWe also ordered a variety of other custom materials, such as rubber stamps and rigid kraft mailers (to ship our letterpress prints and leather mousepads).
StickersFor stickers, my new go-to source is Sticker Mule. The quality of the stickers is amazing and their site makes it super easy to order and reorder stickers. The quick turnaround time is a big bonus too. (If you've placed an order in the past couple weeks, you received a new Ugmonk logo sticker that was made by Sticker Mule).
Stock Packaging ProductsFor scenarios where we need something other than our custom packaging, Uline is our go-to source for blank boxes, mailers, and every other type of packaging item imaginable. They have over 31,000 different items in stock (I counted). Since they have multiple warehouses all across the country, most items ship in one day. Uline is not always the cheapest option, but their selection and customer service are second to none.
Hope this gives you some insight on we pulled this all off. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a tweet or leave a comment below.