Packaging Innovation
cardboard box design
June 5, 2017

How to design a cardboard box? There’s lots to consider

Designing a cardboard box may sound easy enough, but it entails much more than you’d imagine. The perfect box does not only look great, but is also extremely practical. To make sure you don’t overlook any crucial features, this article lists the most important boxes designers need to tick (pun intended, yes).

Keeping performance in mind

One thing’s for sure: you don’t want to come up with a great look and then find yourself redesigning the structure of your cardboard box in a later stage. That’s why you should consider structure from the beginning. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Should there be a window to give consumers a glimpse of the product inside?
  • If the product consists of separate parts, does the box need straps or divisions?
  • Is the product part of a line? Does your box need to adhere to a particular look?
  • Should the box provide space for predetermined images or artwork?
  • Will the boxes be filled by hand or automatically?
  • Do the boxes need to fit on particular shelving units?
These and many more questions affect the structure of the box. In any case, make sure to ask for a sample product before you start designing.

Designing the perfect cardboard box for your brand

Once you’ve determined all the practical features, it’s time to decide which type of box best suits the brand you’re designing for. In general, there are three types of boxes to choose from: folding boxes, corrugated boxes and rigid boxes. Folding boxes are made of thin paperboard and easy to flatten, ship and store. Rigid boxes are made of a heavier chip board covered with a thin wrap. They are shipped fully set up and are mostly used for luxury products. A corrugated box is go-to option for heavy products. This type of box is made of cardboard sheets with flat liner on the sides and fluted material in the middle.

Talk to your vendor

Before you get started on the graphic design, talk to your vendor for inspiration. After all, different vendors offer different types of boxes. What’s more, packaging suppliers know exactly which materials, colors and embellishments are realistic and achievable for your particular design.   Inspired by The Dieline