Medical device packaging for Teknor

Medical Device Packaging: Form Following Function

Typically, packaging serves a few different purposes. It protects the product, naturally, but also needs to draw an audience. Walking down any supermarket aisle, for example, can be an assault on the senses. Every product is designed to entice, whether it’s through crazy packaging, colors, content, anything to get your attention. However, the one industry in which this is the exception and not the rule: medical device packaging.

Medical Device Packaging: The Old Standards

The principle of ‘form follows function’ is usually associated with 20th century industrial design. Basically, it means that the shape of an object should be primarily based on its intended function or purpose.  As it relates to medical device packaging, this usually translates as plain. Not many bright or fancy colors, clever logos or designs, or any of the other qualities we see in other types of packaging.

There are good reasons for this, though. Designing packaging for medical devices is a bit more restrictive than, say, a sales kit, where creativity is king. Medical device packaging must comply a plethora of elements, like:

  • Product protection (always important, but doubly so when we’re talking about spendy hearing aids, neuromodulators, and things of that nature)
  • Standards compliance (the FDA are just the tip of the iceberg if a product has to meet global regulatory standards)
  • Manufacturability
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Reliable processes not dependent or suspect to supply shortage
  • Product development timeline synchronization
  • And more

It boils down to being able to produce something for less to keep consumer costs down while keeping the product itself unharmed.  That’s still the end goal, but there’s some disruption happening in the marketplace.

A New Paradigm: Make it Better, Faster, and Cost-Effective

Innovation is on the tip of the tongue of every organization nowadays, but it’s rare to see the word make the leap from just buzzword to implementation.  Part of building an innovative culture is asking questions, and switching perspectives. That’s what Sunrise brought to the table to help Teknor Apex showcase their medical-grade PVC compounds.

Teknor medical device packaging
Teknor Apex medical device packaging

Precision-cut cavities ensure that the product is secure, as well as the sturdy packaging. The overall design uses an impactful red to convey significance and urgency while reinforcing Teknor Apex’s brand, and the tri-fold allows for ample room for more content as desired. The overall look and feel of the packaging conveys the reliability of its contents while still having a kind of futuristic vibe. Teknor Apex creates medical-grade PVC compounds in China, Singapore, Europe and the United States, and as such needs to meet global compliance standards.  

This package underscores that with understated elegance, letting the design convey innovation. It is possible to create something that speaks an international language through design (and meets the numerous medical device packaging requirements) without boring consumers. 

how to package an Apple setup box

Start With A Setup Box: How to Package Like Apple

You don’t get to be the leader in the industry without having a signature style. No other company knows this better than Apple. From an iPhone in its setup box to an iMac’s handled container, Apple’s strict packaging requirements are part of what makes their product seem so luxurious. The Apple aesthetic–reflected in their store and iOS–is marked by simplicity.

It’s no mistake that many other brands seem to mimic the aesthetic. Who doesn’t want to experience the benefit of the halo effect? Selling a product in a minimalist white box is enough to evoke the Apple mystique for consumers. But it’s more than just that. Whether you’re getting ready to launch a Kickstarter or redesigning your current packaging, here are some tips from the experts via FastCoDesign.

White setup box

This is the cornerstone. White is the signature color, and the setup box (think the iPhone box) turns opening a new phone into an unveiling ceremony. Well, as long as you’re not this guy.

Setup boxes are two piece boxes with rigid top and bottom trays. The inside can be customized to fit your product, and finishing options can enhance the experience for your customers. Following the white aesthetic (or, if you must, choosing a single color for the package) also helps reduce the number of decisions to make…which can be a major stress point for any product manufacturer.

Product should be the focus of the design

One of the most striking things about most of Apple’s packaging is the large image against a stark background. The product is always the focus of the design. Apple might use the screen in an interesting way, using it to showcase the graphics or interface of the product, but that’s about it.


While you don’t ever see a stack of Apple products at their retail stores, you know simply by looking at the packaging that there is a symmetry to the box. This helps the proportions *feel* right to consumers, even though they probably can’t put their finger on what it is that’s so pleasing.

iPad setup box.
Sunrise did not create the iPad setup box.

Minimal text

Let’s deconstruct the text on the iPad box. The lid has a picture of the iPad screen. The end of the box features the Apple logo. The sides say, ‘iPad.’ And that’s basically it. Again, the product is the focus of the design. Many product developers focus on telling people why they should purchase this product while Apple shows consumers the product, and leaves the selling to other outlets. This is a box that answers the question What’s in the box, not Why should I buy it.

From an optimistic standpoint, if you are hoping that your product is picked up for Apple distribution, you can use their guidelines to plan for a smooth transition. Note that this style isn’t for every product; sometimes you do need a little more text, more color to stand out, or just prefer an asymmetrical style. Follow your instincts, and create packaging that makes you as proud as your product does.

Season ticket holders Minnesota Vikings gate fold box

Something Season Ticket Holders Will Cheer About

As a Wisconsin native (go Pack go!), I know that fandom is a camaraderie that extends off the field. It’s one thing to be fan, but it’s another level to be a season ticket holder. Season ticket holders are a unique breed. They’re ride-or-die types; they feel the wins and losses of their team personally. They know the name and stats of every person on the team (and definitely have an opinion on them).  It’s a passion that’s sustaining and reciprocal; sports teams don’t always play well, but season ticket holders always make it to their seats.

To honor that passion and commitment, consider upgrading the packaging for those season tickets they hold so dear. Here are few suggestions that offer a luxe element balanced with functionality and quality. Talk to one of our reps to learn more about finishing options. Embossing, lamination, and foil stamping are just a few ways to highlight that logo and incite maximum excitement for the upcoming season.

season ticket holder sleeve box

Custom Sleeve Box

The functionality of the sleeve box is timeless. Think of how match boxes open, the inner tray sliding crisply out of a sleeve, both elements complimenting each other. The sleeve box works well for a variety of products, from cell phones to vape / e-cigs, because it holds its contents securely and the inner tray is crafted from sturdy turned edge chipboard. Add some texture in the form of embossing, foil or debossing to truly impress your fans.

Minnesota Vikings season ticket holders custom gate fold boxes magnet box

Gate Fold Box

The gate fold box is marked by the enticement factor. Hinged double doors, clasped shut by a magnetic closure, begging to be opened.  Gate fold boxes are fantastic for presentation packaging. They make strong impressions and can be easily used as keepsakes or mementos. Diehard fans love well-made, logo-emblazoned keepsakes. What types of fan-related memorabilia could your season ticket holders keep in this box through the years?

Front Open Box, ideal for season ticket holders

Front Open Box

It’s not what you think. A customized front open box creates a one-of-a-kind experience for your season ticket holder. Starting with a sturdy and rigid package, the top flap is held shut by magnets. Then – ta da! – the front swings up and back, not unlike a convertible car. The high walls make it ideal for print materials or other types of collateral. It literally looks like a treasure chest, which is pretty much the same thing to your season ticket holders.

magnetic closure cigar style box with silver foil stamping for season ticket holders

Cigar Box with Magnetic Closure

There’s a reason that this style of box is one of the most popular styles we produce. The magnetic closure on this cigar style box (in this example, with silver foil stamping, created for the Carolina Panthers) turns opening this box into a ceremony. The slow reveal of its contents adds to that theatrical element. The style also lends itself well to a variety of finishing options. Simply put, it’s a classic box that can be easily updated and customized.

Season Ticket Holders: The Foundation of the Fandom

Upgrading season ticket packages creates keepsakes for die-hard fans. Sunrise has created packaging not only for our local teams, but for a variety of teams in a variety of sports. We like to think of it as packaging for fans by fans, and unlike sports teams, we never disappoint.

Magnetic box urban decay through the looking glass make up palette

Urban Decay Slays With Magnetic Box Palette

While not a Sunrise product, Urban Decay is known for going all-out when it comes to releasing palettes. I’ve long been a sucker for these releases, not only because their eye shadow is amazing, but I love the presentation packaging. The 2010 ‘Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows’ release did not disappoint; I don’t mind the retread of colors in the palette, and as an Alice fan, I’m on board because of box quality. Magnetic box closure, vibrant colors, soft finishing, it’s all a part of the package. So when Disney announced the release of ‘Through the Looking Glass,’ my hopes were up that a second Urban Decay palette was on the way, too.

And it was! The palette launched a few weeks ago, and I finally got my hands on one. Urban Decay calls the packaging a “trippy tribute” with stunning colors and pop-up features. The top has a slight magnetic closure to it, and upon slipping it open, an embossed quote appears over two doors. Upon opening those, a butterfly pops up (literally, it pops up).  The packaging is LUXE to the extreme. Which is what we’ve come to expect from Urban Decay at this point, but the literal pull of the magnetic box never ceases to incite a little excitement in me. And while it’s ultimately the twenty new shades that I’ll actually use from this purchase, what is it about the packaging that makes it a little extra special? Let’s break it down.

Cigar Box Design

The style of all Urban Decay palette boxes is called a ‘cigar box’ for the way the top flap opens. While the make up drawer itself isn’t necessarily a part of the cigar box features, the pull-out style reminds me of a humidor.

Magnetic Box Closure

Maybe it’s a psychological feature, but that tiny bit of extra effort to open the magnetic box closure increases the anticipation to see what’s inside. In short, magnet boxes make everything cooler. At Sunrise, it’s one of our favorite style of boxes. Our signature style – we call them NetBoxes – are similar to Urban Decay’s palette design. Both utilize the cigar box layout with a magnetic hinged lid to add elements of sophistication.

Dimensional Visuals

This box is practically a kaleidoscope. The colors reflect the eye shadow palette while evoking the spirit of Alice and Through the Looking Glass without compromising any part of Urban Decay’s brand.  It’s velvety and rich. Just like the product.

Get Ready to Fall Down a Rabbit Hole

Well, a make up one, at least. With the film’s release date just a few weeks away, this palette is sure to sell out soon. Not only for the new shades, but any Urban Decay and/or Alice fan will scoop them up quickly. And if there’s one lesson we can all learn from Alice and the rest of the wonderland crew, time is relative!

Prince is Dead, Long Live Prince

On April 21, 2016, Minnesota lost one of its most famous citizens. Prince Rogers Nelson – known simply as Prince for the majority of his multi-decade career – died in his Paisley Park home in Chanhassen. His death came days after hosting a dance party and reassuring fans that they should “save their prayers.”

One of the world’s most prolific songwriters, Prince was known for the level of customization he brought to his craft. An innovator in every sense of the word as well as a perfectionist, he played nearly every instrument on his early releases on top of providing vocals. Prince’s sense of style and presentation extended past his flamboyant stage presence. He carefully controlled his image and oversaw the merchandise which bore his image. Additionally, he was proud of his Minnesota roots, and sought out local businesses to patronize. Sunrise created this custom box for him.

Prince rigid two piece box

Custom Promotional Packaging

This custom promotional box was created for Prince to house the live album box set “One Nite Alone…Live!” released in 2002 (but containing works dating twenty years or more) with The New Power Generation.  Inside is a thermoformed tray, with dimensions designed to fit the three discs. Not only is it a great example of presentation packaging, but the attention to detail is evident from the piano key-influenced box sides and thumb holes to aid the user in opening the package. We’ve all experienced opening a two piece rigid box where the lid is a little too snug, right? This allows users to open the box without potentially harming the discs.

The particular mission of this album was to showcase real music by real musicians. It was highly lauded for the three discs seemingly spanning a single show (it actually doesn’t, it’s just edited to sound that way). The album is a perfect encapsulation of not only some of his biggest hits, but also the passion, intensity, and energy that defined his career. Custom boxes with lids like this have the power to reflect those qualities. While the design or image on the lid is pure Prince – literally – the enhancements, like ensuring that the cover slides off smoothly, are the types of details that enhance the overall experience of the album.

2 piece setup box for Prince

End of the Purple Prince Era

From shopping at Minneapolis’s Electric Fetus record store to contracting with us, Minnesota box manufacturer, to produce packaging for the “One Nite Alone…Live!” album, Prince was, at heart, a local boy who did well. They say that the experience of seeing a great musician live can’t be replicated in album form. With Prince’s death, his legacy is carried on through his music, and his attention to detail in the packaging.


Creativity Alert! Boxes Make Your Comics Even Geekier!

Check out this awesome custom box from Boxes in Action. Cleverly designed to invoke the iconic 80s version of the Transformers’ leader Optimus Prime, this narrow, corrugated box is meant to store comic books. If you’ve ever been to a comic book shop, you’ve seen the tell-tale white boxes that have become the industry standard for storing back issues of serial comics. They are also, ahem, prime storage for personal collectors as well. Cheap, breathable, and standardized. But Boxes in Action is mixing it up a bit.

_20160323_160143_original_20160323_153933_original Obviously, I fixated on the Transformers box, but the online shop offers a handful of geek-oriented comic boxes, ranging from Batman to the Incredible Hulk. Definitely well-tailored to their target audience, these boxes are both display-worthy and functional. Of course, at $45 a pop, you might not be racking up an Optimus armada all that quickly. Still the charm factor is there in spades. And if the pricing becomes a little more economical, stores and hardcore collectors alike might be changing their tune. Imagine walking into your friendly local comic shop and seeing themed boxes for each title! Need the latest issue of Wolverine? Just look for the claws!

Just more evidence to support the power of custom box printing. A little creativity goes a long way. Never underestimate the drive of a fan to show off their favorite franchise. In fact, my graphic novel collection is nothing to write home about, but I suddenly feel the need to upgrade my storage!

Images: Boxes in Action

Vaportrail Retail Packaging

Product Packaging Boxes: What You Should Know

Packaging is not simply about storage, or giving something a shell. In fact, it’s marketing. So when you’re considering product packaging boxes for retail or promotional use, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

First Thing’s First

You need to consider the purpose of your box. There’s a market in Italy that has done away with packaging. You can buy pasta in bulk from buckets that are labeled by nothing more than laminated notecard. This might work for a quaint farmer’s market-style grocery business, but it doesn’t work for the retail arena. Not every product is self-explanatory. And pasta is not even self-explanatory! What if you needed to know a specific ingredient for an allergy? Even if the ingredients are listed, do you want to go around to every individual bucket and read the fine print? The average shopper is in the same boat.

The Eye Knows What it Wants

vibrant_product_packaging_boxes_akalooThey may or may not be looking for something specific. But, in either case, they’ll know it when they see it. And, as much as we may hate to admit it, we the people need product packaging. We are a visual species. Color drives where our eye looks. In the same way, packaging reels in consumers. Once there, they know exactly where to look. Which brings us to the next point: there is a kind of standard when it comes to product packaging boxes.

Packaging Standards

Granted there’s room for creativity in packaging (innovation is always a big crowd-pleaser) but think about when something you pick up in the store. Where’s the first place you look for more info? You flip the box over, don’t you? It’s almost automatic, right? How about those bullet points along the sides? Or nutrition facts, to bring it back to the pasta.

What this means is that even though every box is its own construct, there’s a certain agreement that packaging delivers on. Placing of particular information, location, and even the graphic design to some extent. And if these elements aren’t accessible? It may be a turn-off to your buyers, even on a subconscious level. In fact, studies are going on right now about the effects of “too clever” advertising.

This is just the first layer of what goes into creating exceptional product packaging boxes. If there’s one takeaway from this first lesson, is to treat custom packaging like marketing. Too many people think of it as the “fun part” or the “easy part” and let it sit on the back burner. But there is a science to it.


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Retail Ready Packaging  |  Box Design  |  Cosmetic Packaging

Custom Turned Edge Box

Is Your Box Too Clever?

Choosing a look for you product packaging can be a lot of fun, but it can’t be all fun. Whether you realize it or not, designing a box for your product is advertising, if only at its most basic. Especially if you’re trying to stake a claim at brick and mortar stores.

Think of all the elements that need to fall in place. Color palette, product images, information blurbs, logos, contact info, warnings, taglines, instructions. Maybe you could dodge out of one or two, but for the most part, all these pieces have to come together to complete the puzzle. On top of all that, it needs to outmatch the competition.

Long and Short of it

clever sports packagingNow there’s a couple different ways to go about marketing in general. There’s the Long Con model, and there’s the Instant Gratification. One banks on a slow burn, building towards brand stamina. The other is more in your face, presenting everything with a bang to hook you fast. Usually these campaigns are more aligned with print ads or commercials, but the concept translates to packaging as well.

Think of your key customer. The target demographic for your product. Now picture them walking through a department store, eyeing everything along the way. Maybe they’re in a rush, or the wheels of the cart are extra oiled and they’re cruising right along. How long do you have to grab their attention?

Quick Study

A new theory might offer some insight. Researchers from a pair of universities in the Netherlands have been testing the efficacy of advertisements on a faster scale. While most marketing research uses test audiences watching commercials, the tests conducted by these marketers screened shorter glimpses, the longest of which was only 30 seconds. While this is meant to simulate online ads especially, the model fits for billboards, storefronts, and any other visual marketing that is meant to turn heads. That means packaging too.

Eye-tracking tests have confirmed the simpler ads were more effective right away. This isn’t surprising as our society draws ever nearer to quicker, more convenient stimuli. The conclusion of the authors based on these findings was that campaigns that are too clever might be detrimental to some products. That is to say, if you want somebody to buy your soda, just show them the soda. On the rocks, maybe an umbrella. Nothing extensive.

On the flip side, though, the researchers found the ads that took longer to roll out were received more positively by the viewer. A visual pun, a clever message, or an image that told a story was appreciated more than the basics. But, you have to remember, the test audience was forced to react to these advertisements for the sake of the experiment. In the wild, customers don’t owe your product the same attention. Most aisles are an ocular overload.

What Does it all Mean?

What does this mean for creating advertising boxes? Unfortunately, we still have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Obviously, the Long Con strategy still builds the most brand loyalty. But without the Instant Gratification, will your product stick? While there’s no magic catch-all answer, it is certainly food for thought when considering a product packaging design.

Where is your product going to be stocked?

Who or what is its main competition?

How much time do you have to reel in your prospective buyer?

In the end, the kind of campaign you want to run–the message you want your brand to send–all starts with the box.


Top Shelf Tequila Earns Luxury Liquor Packaging

Tequila! Now that I have your attention…

It’s not every day that I get to cover booze and packaging in the same blog. Separate blogs, obviously, but in the same? That’s rare!

Pump the brakes, it’s business hours.

Luxury liquor packaging is a rising trend.

Sure, you see specialty bottles (especially with tequila) but more well-established liquor companies often have an iconic bottle shape that is worth its weight in gold on the shelf. (In fact, we all know that sometimes the shape of the bottle is the only way to identify a particular liquor at the end of a particularly wild night out.) But for liquor stores, the packaging can be a make-or-break moment. Unlike at a bar, customers at a liquor store are looking for something new and improved, a drink they’ve never tried before. So iconic beverages might need to switch things up. Tequila titan Patrón certainly fits that bill. But their new luxury liquor packaging might have more to do with the price tag.

First, the box. A cabinet-style box crafted of real wood and hand-wrapped leather opens to reveal a bottle of Patrón En Lalique Serie 1, a drawer with a decorative stopper, and a booklet about the story of Patrón. The decor is inspired by the agave plant from which the tequila is derived, and the bottle is a custom design from the famous glassmaker Lalique.

The price for a bottle? Oh, just a cool $7500. Apparently the fancy cabinet and stopper is just the cherry on top.

But even if your product doesn’t fetch a small fortune, you can still benefit from luxury liquor packaging on a more reasonable scale. Hard cover boxes with rigid packaging, turned edges, wrap materials, and magnetic tabs are all little upgrades that can make packaging really pop at retail.

Source: Packaging News


Is Smartphone Packaging Going Virtual?

Packaging with a purpose. It’s what we’re all about. So when we see a custom box pulling double duty, well, we tend to get a little excited.

Check out this smartphone packaging for Alcatel’s OneTouch Idol 4S. Its durable, plastic box doubles as a Google Cardboard viewer.

What’s Google Cardboard?

As lo-fi as it sounds, it’s actually Google’s virtual reality program. Where other big companies are trying to create high-end VR hardware, Google Cardboard has taken a simpler, more economical approach. They hope to put virtual reality into everyone’s hands by providing basic cardboard viewing goggles that work with just about any smartphone to produce a virtually-rendered 360-degree immersive experience. From broad ambitions of creating virtual field trips for classrooms to simply making VR more accessible, Google hopes the simple viewing device will pair with what everybody’s already carrying in their pocket: a supercomputer that also makes phone calls.

So pairing a smartphone with the viewer seems like a smart first step–but using the smartphone packaging as the viewer is just plain genius. Not just for Google either.

Really Smartphone Packaging

Have you heard of Alcatel? Me neither. The phone itself is nothing to write home about. But it’s packaging alone has garnered it national attention from techies and packaging aficionados alike; once again proving that packaging is what sells a product.

The beauty behind a custom box is that it makes your product whatever you want it to be. Sure, when it gets home it transforms into a phone, a candle, a cheese grater, or whatever! But on the shelf, it’s someone’s art, someone’s idea, someone’s passion. There’s something magical about that moment between purchase and unboxing. Maybe it’s the anticipation of it all. That’s one of the reason’s so many boxes get saved. Or turn into the toy on Christmas morning. It’s the memory, the love at first sight, of seeing that box for the first time.

So why fight it? Embrace it, like Alcatel, and let your box do the selling.