Packaging is important. Sure it’s not as important as the product itself - but as the first thing a customer sees, it’s still important to get right.
And when a product is on display in a retail space or at an event, the packaging becomes part of communicating the product. It needs to both inform and showcase, and often it becomes part of the solution for transportation or storage.
doppel is so far only available online but these were all points we considered when designing the packaging.
When designing our packaging and the ‘unboxing’ experience we first reviewed a huge variety of packaging already in use in the market. We looked at wearable products like watches, jewelry and fitness trackers, but also at lots of unrelated products such as chocolate bars and wine!
We went through the same design process we do with all aspects of doppel:
- Research is followed by the creation of a mood boards, image critique, and then the creation of a desirable and essential criteria list.
- We then begin concept creation, concept critique, concept development, before designing a final design.
- Next we create prototypes, test them, and then develop the design before beginning user testing.
- Finally we select the materials and then it’s time for mass manufacture!
When we were developing the concepts, one of the most important aspects to consider was shape.
Initially we wanted a slim box that presented doppel flat. We thought that packing that could slip through a letterbox was a great idea! However as doppel is a premium product our consumers need to sign for it - so we abandon that idea as that shape is a poor use of space when shipping. Shipping a cube is the most efficient form for us to send doppel, the financial and environmental a factors are an important consideration for large scale production and distribution.
Our visual identity is clean, simple and inspired by the natural world. The team felt that it was important to keep a clean, minimal aesthetic, but as a minimal soft textured brown box could easily just look like cardboard, it was imperative that we make the packaging look and feel interesting, unique and high quality. Plus earthy tones make the crisp black and white of doppel really pop!
Apart from requiring our logo and brand name the rest of the packaging was a blank canvas. In the app we have the beautiful animation, a pair of waves. This graphic is used to measure the user's heart rate and to control the rhythms. This flowing back and forth aesthetic represents the changes in mood and pace of life that doppel helps the user achieve. It was fitting that we use this design on the packaging.
We experimented by abstracting the wave formation to create a graphic that could wrap around the exterior of the box.
Our first set of prototypes looked visually interesting, but not refined enough, the waves were too much of a feature and distracted from the doppel logo. We experimented with different colors, then different materials, but overlaying and bonding a form like that would have been incredibly difficult. Having been inspired by embossed features on other boxes we hoped to emboss the waves, revealing the pattern through shadows, creating a glorious texture. But getting a prototype would have required an extremely expensive tool. In an attempt to achieve a similar subtle texture and color change as embossing we experimented with a stencil and spray varnish directly onto the card.
The effect was great! The varnish catches the light and provides a lovely texture change that your fingers want to explore. For mass manufacture this is achieved by curing a UV resin onto the card.
Inserts rely so heavily on material form strength that it is very difficult to prototype this effectively. Staying with card, we made many different inserts holding doppel and the other parts in various formations. Showing doppel off while keeping it protected and ensuring the user can get it out easily was a challenge.
We tested the unboxing process with many people. Watching their process was very useful and helps us add features to help them unbox easily.
Packaging has been one of the easiest parts for us from a manufacturing perspective. This is because we have kept to a very fundamental form and common techniques. There are some parts of doppel that have never been made before - our clear topped motor for example - but where possible we have stuck to existing processes and parts.
We really love our packaging and we hope you enjoy it too!