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How to DIY packaging when your samples get destroyed

So we launched our business about a year ago and have had a roller coaster year. We invented a product, got a pretty nuts response from our market (over $1m revenue and 15,000 units delivered), and now we're gearing up to launch our next invention later this summer. We move fast. Probably too fast… So when we pulled everything together for the shoot, we only asked our manufacturer for one printed box sample ahead of our shoot and assumed it would be enough to get some good photos. But because of how it shipped, it got pretty beat up during transit and was totally unusable.

Obviously as part of this launch, we needed to take some photos of our new product, the packaging, people using it, etc. Here's one of those photos.

If you look closely, you can see the die line on the perimeter of the box. That's because this isn't a box — it's the die line printed onto a poster and folded up into a box!

We tried reaching out to local print shops, but everyone had 6+ week lead times, 50+ box minimums, and it would have cost more than $250 per box to print samples. With that off the table, we needed to try something else. We ended up going to good ol' fashioned Staples and were able to get the posters (multiple!) printed for less than $100.

One photoshoot-turned-arts and crafts project later and we are super happy with the outcome. Plus we learned that we can use the poster-to-box method to test how different packaging designs will look on a box without going through all the trouble of printing (and shipping) samples.

So — if you need samples in a pinch:

  1. Print the die line on a poster from Walmart/Staples etc
  2. Cut it out
  3. Fold into a box (add cardboard on the inside for structural support if needed)

Just goes to show that sometimes the accidents can be more valuable than things going according to plan in the first place!

submitted by /u/hannahfromsleepout
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