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With “unboxing” videos sweeping social media, customers clearly love a clever box. Baseline works with clients to design bespoke boxes that are as much of the story as the product.

An out-of-the-box box

“…to make a box itself
part of the brand experience.”

“…to make a box itself part of the brand experience.”

Everyone loves a lovely box, especially people known as “influencers” – social media stars with thousands of followers.

Apple has lifted the bar when it comes to brand packaging. Unboxing an Apple product is now part of the purchase and ownership experience. That’s our aim, too – to make a box itself part of the brand experience.

Lewis Road Creamery knew it when it needed an appealing, decorative package to promote a new long-life milk to the Asian market. And again to launch (and keep cool) a new Christmas milk. And once again to launch a yoghurt. Whittaker’s Chocolate knew it when it opted for a fully printed, bespoke rollover box to introduce its new ginger and caramel chocolate made with Bundaberg ginger beer to chocolate lovers here and in Australia. Farrah’s knew it when it sent its ‘superbeets’ wrap to health and fitness influencers.

We know it, too. So, when these companies came to us, we worked with them to create packaging that ticked all the boxes. We created eye-catching box designs suited to their target audiences, whether trade or retail customers, or those in media and social media.

Our boxes are visually exciting and fun to open. So much fun, in fact, that influencers video the experience and share it with their followers – thereby also sharing the products.

Our boxes are also robust and functional, recyclable and very often reusable. Farrah’s ‘superbeets’ wraps packaging, for example, was made from plywood and designed to become a planter box, using the vege seeds Farrah’s sent along with the wraps.

The box as brand

The best boxes do double duty. They protect a product in transit and they tell a story. Often the box is the only way to communicate with customers. We’re here to ensure this customer touchpoint isn’t a wasted opportunity – we know where to add your words and branding, and the carefully designed artwork.

That’s particularly critical when a brand is totally unknown in a new market. This was something we were very aware of when working with Tom and Luke, which was launching its health bars into the US market. We created a custom shipper and presentation box that both wowed Tom and Luke’s new audience and told the brand story of Tom and Luke, and New Zealand itself.

Repeat relationships

We have on-going long-term relationships with many of our clients, including Tom and Luke, Farrah’s, Lewis Road Creamery and New World.

With each design we are challenged to come up with something new to surprise both our clients and their customers. With each design we can evolve our packaging ideas, using our knowledge of their customers and what suits their brand.

At the same time, we become super excited about designing for new clients and their customers. We love devising concepts from scratch. We love the discovery process – learning about our clients’ customers, their markets, their brands, even running workshops if required. We even love doing the assembly and distribution.

Wrappers for wraps

Farrah’s is one of our biggest bespoke boxes repeat clients. We’ve created various display stands and bespoke boxes for Farrah’s to promote its wraps and related products, including several influencer kits.

One of our early kits promoted Farrah’s Italian herb wraps. We developed a pizza delivery box, as Farrah’s customers often make pizza with the wraps. So the box was reusable, we printed a checker-board on the pizza box, along with pop-out checker pieces so kids could play while the pizza cooked. We even attached a pizza cutter inside the lid.

The pressure was on to come up with something equally as exciting when Farrah’s relaunched its garlic wraps. Farrah’s needed a box that could deliver the wraps along with curry paste, two curry bowls and, naturally, a garlic bulb, to retailers, media and trade recipients, and social media influencers.

Farrah’s had seen a box we created for Barker’s tomato sauce where the box was printed like a tomato so had the initial idea of printing up a box like a garlic bulb. After discussing what would be contained in the box, who would be opening it, and what they hoped their customers would feel as they opened the box, we got to work.

Cooking up concepts

“….take it a step further – we wanted the box construction to open like garlic.”

“….take it a step further – we wanted the box construction to open like garlic.”

We decided to take it a step further – we wanted the box construction to open like garlic. We came up with multiple ideas, then, after discussion within our wider team we presented Farrah’s with our two strongest ideas.

The approved design was a rigid cardboard hexagonal box, with two layers of foldover lids creating clove-like cells. The first set peeled back to reveal the wraps sitting securely within the top layer. Then the second set opened to display the bowls, paste and garlic beneath.

Not only did the box create an impressive double reveal, it was structurally robust and totally recyclable. The interlocking design negated the need for tape, although it did have a single sticker on top, personalised to the recipient.

Because we had never made such a box before, we spent a couple of weeks designing and adjusting the die lines, prototyping a couple of versions, then designing the artwork to make the box look as garlicy as possible.

After final approval, production began. Our production team printed, cut, assembled, filled and dispatched about 100 of the boxes to top social media influencers. Very soon the videos started appearing of influencers delightedly unboxing their wraps, sharing their delight with their followers.

Q & A

Kim Worthy & Ruben Norris

These two designers enjoy working together, drawing on each other’s strengths and ideas, and challenging each other to do even better.

Why do you work together so well?

Ruben: We trust each other and appreciate each other’s ideas. We can be totally honest with each other without getting annoyed or frustrated. My strength is turning Kim’s 2D ideas into 3D. I trust that if Kim likes what I come up with, it will be what people want.

Who has the harder job?

Kim: Definitely Ruben! I come up with ideas but don’t know if they’ll work. Then I discuss them with Ruben, and I can often hear him muttering to himself from his workstation opposite me, as he nuts out how to make them work. I appreciate how he can make our ideas come to life.

Why was prototyping in 3D so important for the Farrah’s garlic wrap project?

Ruben: Prototyping is vitally important, especially with something totally new like the garlic box. I can look at it on screen and in my CAD design programme, but this was all about the physical reveal so we had to prototype it in 3D a couple of times to get it right. It was well worth the time to achieve the impact.

What’s the advantage of getting Baseline involved right at the start of a project?

Kim: We’re the experts at designing for packaging, and we also understand production and all aspects of delivery. We can do it all. Having us involved at the beginning and right through the process creates a streamlined experience and a more creative and successful product.

Ruben: We understand how flat things will look folded, which is harder to imagine than it sounds. We understand how the design and artwork will work and how to get the most out of using packaging to tell a story. We can maximise that for our clients – and their customers.

How does what you do fit in with The Box Business?

Kim: The beauty of having The Box Business and custom design through Baseline is that we have an option for everyone. When customers need something too bespoke for The Box Business, they can be referred to Baseline, and if customers come to Baseline with requirements we think could be easily done through The Box Business, we refer them to our online business. Some clients work with both.

Ruben: At Baseline we can design pretty much any custom box – even one that looks like a garlic bulb! And we can print on both sides of a box, which we can’t currently achieve through The Box Business.

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