Cardboard
& Ideas

C&I Tackles Box Design

As you may or may not know, we are building a kit for designers and makers. A big part of developing a physical product means designing the first thing a customer sees in the store: the box!

And while the box should be visually appealing from the outside, it should also be fully functional inside. This means understanding what the customer needs when it comes to your product. In our case, the product will have many loose pieces like in a board game which means studying how board games package themselves.

So last week, we escaped the rain and spent some quality time at Castle Cafe opening up board games and marking down which packaging we liked and which ones we didn’t. Below are some of our favourites and not so favourites:

Seasons

seasons_inside

Seasons did a wonderful job at their internal packaging. It’s definitely my favourite of the ones we studied. Everything inside the box fits nicely and has a place. The dice are kept in a fairly shallow container that keeps them close to the top and the cards have a dip in between the decks so that taking them out is easy (no card left behind!). My favourite part is that the two larger pieces of the set have their own dedicated section in the box. There is minimal movement and they serve double purpose as a blocker for the loose pieces underneath (in case of the box being upside down or left on its side). Beautiful.

Smallworld

smallworld_inside

While not the best example overall, the key takeaway is the plastic casing for the many square tiles. We’ve all had the terrible experience of trying to find that one piece in a pile and this solves it. Turning the box on its side does not let the tiles loose so you can open up and play fairly easily. The same cannot be said for the rest of the pieces, unfortunately.

Say Anything

say_anything_inside

Another favourite. I love how the pieces are so tight to the container. The only loose pieces are kept in place by being located underneath the cards; preventing them from falling out.

Descent

descent_inside

Opening up this box was a bit of a let down. The pieces were all over the place and while this isn’t such a problem (because the tiles are so large), the presentation felt lazy and a bit of a throwaway. The next example shows a better way of using the “valley” style of packaging.

Carcassonne

carcasonne_inside

Talk about way too much box for such small pieces (this could probably be packaged in a tube), but the tiles are kept neatly in place and do not move around much. Getting them out in a neat manner is a bit of a hassle, but it accomplishes what it wants and is neatly presented for when the players.

*not pictured: many, many more games taken apart and analyzed

Let us know about some of your favourite (and least favourite) boxes in the comments below! We’re fully committed to studying the good and the bad to figure out what works best!

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