Think Outside the Box: 5 Ideas for Designing a Package

Are you moving, or do you want to send something by mail that’s oddly shaped? There was a time when options for packaging were pretty limited when it came to shipping. Basically, you searched out a rectangular cardboard box that could hold the items that were being shipped, and fit them in as best as possible. That is certainly not the case today, and with the invention of 3-D printing, mundane packaging has grown in to an area of really fun and exciting possibilities.

1. Whatever the need, there’s a package style to fit

Contemporary boxes, tubes, padded envelopes, and custom designs for packaging supplies can be made to accommodate whatever needs to be shipped—or just created for home and even professional use to store materials. Containers can be lined, bubble-wrapped, or foam protected, too, if they’re going a long way or holding delicate items. Cardboard can even be created that is sturdy enough to work as a permanent fixture in the home and even custom designed to fit in with your best furnishings.

If you’re mailing something special, you can custom design the packaging and choose a color that matches whatever you are sending. Some companies are also offering a design option that can hold text, graphics, and other elements on a personalized package. Packaging has come a long way from boring rectangular shapes and khaki color schemes.

2. Packaging comes in a range of shapes, styles and sizes

Boxes today can come in all shapes and sizes and be made of a wide range of materials, and include different kinds of closures. For shipping, a traditional four-fold top might be just the ticket, but there’s also the pizza-style flip top, front opening, or even an entirely separate lid that slips over the bottom, depending on how the packaging is to be used. Even cupboard style front opening boxes can be found.

3. Packaging smaller items

Packaging for smaller items has gotten creative, too. Envelopes or wrapping materials in sustainable (and reusable) materials are available. The packaging can be padded to protect delicate items, and even custom coloured and cut. Rather than the tedious process of finding old newspaper to pad and stuff fragile items, now it’s easy to buy bubble wrap or Z-foam to protect goods. It is durable, lightweight and can be reused for a very long time (as long as you can resist the urge to burst the air bubbles, of course).

4. 3-D packaging

Although 3-D printers are new and still prohibitively expensive for home use, their advancements have also enabled packaging to come in to the 21st century. Some of the advancements seem relatively simple, such as seamless tubes to hold liquids. Others are more advanced, such as creating thinner yet stronger materials with less waste, ultimately lowering costs and increasing sustainability. More playful products include packages that can now be created in specific shapes like animals or furniture.

5. The future of packaging

Packaging has come into its own in the digital age, providing great ways to protect and send items, but also providing storage and utility in an ongoing way for business and home owners. The uses of packaging are all around us—from the packaging of our fruits and veggies to the crates that protect our most precious possessions—and will likely only continue to grow in the future.

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