14 Unique Cardboard Box Packaging Ideas to Make Your Product Stand Out

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Creative packaging ideas can help your product rise above the competition. Yes, even if you’re using plain cardboard boxes for your packaging, it can still make your product eye-catching.

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Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Packoi Team

The key is to choose the right packaging design. It’s not enough that you choose bold colors or intricate lines and illustrations.

You have to come up with a design that calls out to new customers so they can become a part of your target market.

This is what you’ll learn in this article. You’ll get cardboard box packaging ideas that’ll make your product outshine everything else on store shelves.

Why Use Cardboard Packaging for Your Products?

cardboard packaging boxes

Of all the types of packaging that you can use, why should you opt for cardboard boxes? This type of packaging may seem simple, but you might be surprised by the packaging ideas you can create from it.

Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most commonly used eco-friendly packaging materials today. All products, from food to clothing and home appliances, use cardboard as packaging.

What does this tell you? Cardboard can make any box design possible.

But that’s not the only reason why you should consider using this packaging type for your products. There are 4 other reasons why you should consider this as your packaging solution.

1. Recyclable

Cardboard boxes are environmentally friendly. It’s a popular sustainable packaging because it can be recycled up to 5 to 7 times. Of course, you have to follow certain rules to make sure the cardboard stays recyclable.

For instance, anything that you decide to put on it should be environmentally friendly. If you plan to print on it, use vegetable-based ink. If you want to stick something on it, use eco-friendly adhesive. If you want to laminate it, use plant-based lamination.

You should also avoid mixing different materials with the cardboard. This will make it contaminated, and recycling facilities won’t accept it.

2. Renewable

Another reason to use cardboard packaging is that it comes from renewable sources. Cardboard and other paper-based materials come from trees.

cardboard packaging boxes

Even if we cut down trees to create more paper products, we can always plant new ones. This is good for the environment because old trees hardly benefit our environment as they age. The new and younger trees help provide more oxygen and cleanse our atmosphere of harmful greenhouse gases.

So by cutting down old trees and turning them into paper-based products, we are helping clean our air.

This would require proper forest management and careful monitoring. But when done properly, we can have an abundance of paper supplies to create multiple cardboard boxes.

3. Versatile

As a material, cardboard is incredibly versatile. You can make it into any type of packaging box design that you want.

It can be formed and shaped into any design that you want. With all the customization possibilities, it won’t be too hard to create a design that’ll attract the attention of your target audience.

You can make it look elegant and luxurious. You can deviate from the typical collapsible box and make it more functional by crafting it into a drawer-type box. That way, the customer can reuse it for storage.

4. Cost-Efficient

Using cardboard boxes isn’t the cheapest packaging material available – plastic is. But if you take into consideration the environmental damages that plastic can cause, you’ll realize that paper may be the more cost-efficient material after all.

The characteristics of cardboard also make storage and handling easier. It can be designed to be collapsible, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space to transport and store.

The packaging industry also offers a lot of variations of cardboard products. The options will give you the chance to negotiate and find the best material to give you a unique packaging solution.

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14 Cardboard Packaging Design Ideas

Cardboard boxes are one of the easiest to manipulate and design for uniqueness. It leaves a lot of room to accommodate all sorts of creative packaging ideas.

Even if you buy a plain cardboard box, you can do all sorts of things to it to make it unique to your brand. You can easily make it stand out so it attracts more customers. If you can get their attention, there’s a higher chance that they’ll buy your product.

But first, you have to find the right design to make it happen. Here are 14 ideas that you can use to get started.

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1. Focus on a Story

Your packaging box design is powerful because you can use it to tell a story. After all, stories resonate with people. It makes them feel emotions, and you can influence them to make a buying decision in your favor.

So if you’re unsure which of the packaging ideas you’ll choose, start by thinking of a story to tell. Make it the theme of your design.

Tell a story about your brand image. Or about the product. If you have advocacy, you can also use that if it aligns with your product.

Choose a story that you know your customers can relate to.

2. Use Typography and Color Psychology

Another creative packaging design idea is to use typography and color psychology.

Typography refers to the use of fonts in an artistic manner. Choose words that describe the product and create an all-over pattern in different fonts and sizes.

As for the color, base it on what your target market can relate to. You can also use your brand colors. Play with it, and don’t be afraid to risk different colors. If it aligns with the image and impression you want customers to have about your product, it’ll all tie up and make your box design stand out.

3. Highlight the Product

printed cardboard boxes

Here’s a simple suggestion for the packaging design of your cardboard boxes. Use a high-quality photo of your product and put it on the packaging. Use a neutral color so the product pops out and is the focal point of the design.

You can also add your brand somewhere visible, so people will recognize it even from afar.

The combination of the product photo and your branded packaging will surely catch the eye of your target customers.

4. Have Fun with it

Although your packaging design is meant to increase your revenue and product sales, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it.

Show your artistic side by going for creative packaging ideas. If you’re selling food products, choose a cartoon drawing depicting an open-mouthed face. Create a window right where the mouth is so the customers can see the food inside. It’ll look like the drawing is eating the food.

Or if you’re selling meat products, draw an image of a chicken, cow, or pig. Make the insides transparent so the meat being sold will show as the inside of the animal.

Think of other fun designs that fit your product.

5. Play with Shapes

The most simple shape for your box design is a square or rectangle. But don’t let yourself be tied to that alone.

You can play with different shapes, as long as they meet the needs of your product.

Choose a circular, triangular, or even a diamond shape if you want. Just make sure your product packaging can provide enough space for what will be put inside. That includes space for the product and any fillers that’ll help protect it from damage while in transit.

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6. Go Wild with Patterns

Using patterns is a great packaging design strategy. You can choose the typical patterns of polka dots, stripes, or zigzags.

Or you can do an all-over print using text or a graphic design that represents your brand or product.

What’s great about this is you can create your own pattern. Use your brand logo or a unique image that you designed yourself. Create a pattern out of that and print it all over the cardboard packaging.

This can efficiently make any plain box look visually appealing. It’s sure to stand out even if you put it among other products.

7. Add a Surprise Element

One thing that can make your product stand out is a surprise. This won’t be evident when the customer sees your packaging from afar.

But once they get near and try to get your product from inside, you spring the surprise on them.

Many box design elements can be used to achieve this surprise. You can give a small gift. Or you can include a product sample inside—something that compliments the product that the customer got.

Choose something that can elevate the experience of the customer when they’re using your product. This will make your brand memorable and increase the chances of a repeat purchase.

8. Be Weird

packaging design weird.

Anything unusual will stand out. So if you want your product to be noticed first, make your packaging design weird.

This means you have to make it look silly. Unconventional. Different and unexpected.

Think of an eye-catching, ridiculous design that your customers won’t believe what they’re seeing. Like a cigarette box that’s shaped like a coffin.

When they see the small coffin, it could be enough to encourage them to take a closer look at what the weird design is about.

Sometimes, that is all you need to get people to make a purchase. You just need to get their attention so they can be curious enough to want to know more about the product inside your weird packaging.

9. Give it Texture

Giving your packaging box design some texture is another strategy that you can use to stand out. It can be a simple embossing of patterns and designs on the surface of the packaging.

Or you can design the texture with a double purpose. Put it where customers will usually handle it. This will help them crimp the packaging better to carry it around conveniently.

You can opt to color these or let them blend under one shade. That way, it’ll come as a surprise when people hold it for a closer look.

10. Put Windows

die cut printed boxes

Die cuts in your box can be used to give a peek at the product inside your packaging. These windows can be shaped in any way. It can be a square, circle, or triangle. Or it can be shaped as something that represents the product within.

These die-cutting windows can attract the right people to your product. If someone is looking for cookies and your packaging shows a peek of the cookies you’re selling, people will know what to pick up. They don’t have to read anything or open the packaging.

Windows makes things convenient.

11. Promote Reusability

Your box design can also promote sustainability. Remember, cardboard boxes are the epitome of recyclability. While that’s already good enough, you can take that a step further by making your packaging reusable as well.

That means you have to make the box durable enough to withstand multiple uses. Even if it means the box can be used for storage purposes, that can greatly impact the environment.

You can also put instructions in the packaging that can help customers use the box as a decorative piece. Encourage them to be creative in reusing your packaging so it stays away from landfills.

12. Decorate with Stamps and Stickers

cardboard boxes with stickers

Here’s one of the creative packaging ideas that can bring life to a plain, boring cardboard container. Put stamps and stickers on it to make it unique.

This is a cost-efficient way of creating product packaging. You can buy the plain cardboard boxes in bulk, which will help you get a lower price for each box.

Then, you can use custom stamps and stickers to make the packaging design more unique. These can be used in other marketing tools, so you can also order them in bulk. But even if it’s only for a particular product, you can bet that those stockers and stamps will cost less.

Just make sure these are also eco-friendly so you don’t compromise the sustainability of the cardboard.

13. Opt for Simplicity

You don’t have to make your packaging design extravagant. You can keep it simple.

Having a box with one sticker may be enough. Or you can have a packaging sleeve printed. This can have 2 functions. It can serve as the design of the packaging, and it can also close the box to keep the product from spilling out.

In a sea of full-print boxes, simplicity can be just as eye-catching as bold colors.

14. Make It Giftable

Can you make a cardboard box gift-worthy? Of course, you can! It just needs the right print and box design to make it look festive.

If you’re using the box for the holidays, that’s the theme that you want to use. If it’s for a special occasion like Valentine’s or Mother’s Day – that’s the theme that you’ll follow.

There are also generic designs that you can use to make a box look ready to be given as a gift. Use your imagination and consider what your customers will appreciate.

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How to Choose the Best Creative Packaging Ideas

Choosing the best box design for your product will require you to meet specific requirements. You have to realize that a product’s packaging has several roles. If you want to maximize the benefits of your product’s packaging, you have to meet each of these roles.

To do that, you have to follow 5 simple rules.

Creative Packaging Ideas

1. Design for Protection

This is the main purpose of your packaging—to protect your product. Sure, you want the packaging to be more eye-catching while it’s on store shelves. You want the box design to be so beautiful that it’ll help you sell more products.

But it’ll be for nothing if the customer opens the packaging for a broken product.

So before anything else, make sure the packaging can protect the integrity of the product.

2. Design for Efficiency

Product packaging is also meant to be functional. It has to help the customer use the product well.

That means the box design should be built for convenience. It should complement the product so the customer can have the best experience using it.

To do this, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. How will they use the product? What do they need from the packaging to make it easier?

3. Design for Information

Your target audience will need 2 types of information from you.

The first is information about the product. This includes the product description, ingredients, and other information that’s mandated by law.

The second piece of information is how to use the product. Your packaging design should give guidance as to how the customer can maximize the benefits of using the product.

4. Design for Your Brand

brand cardboard boxes

Your product packaging is part of your marketing materials. With the right design, it can be a powerful tool for brand promotion.

So make sure that everyone knows it came from your brand. If you correctly lay out all the design elements, you can have branded packaging that highlights your product.

5. Design for the Experience

The packaging box design is there to help you sell products. But don’t stop there. Make sure the product packaging gives the customer an incredible first impression.

Why is this necessary? Because that’s how you get repeat purchases. Give the customer the best experience through your packaging, and you’ll earn their loyalty.

They’ll know that what you sell is worth it and deserves to be bought again.

Ready to Create Packaging Boxes Made of Cardboard with Packoi Printing.

Designing great cardboard packaging is easy if you have the right help. Use this guide to help you find the ideal packaging that can make your product rise above the competition, so you can enjoy more revenue and business growth.

Packoi Printing is ready to help you make that possible.

Give us a call to discuss all your ideas. We can send you a product quote based on what you need.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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