A box is a box is a box. Right?
Well, not exactly – especially if you’re going custom.
A custom box can come in any shape or size to house your products perfectly. Your box design can help increase brand recognition and pump up sales.
A custom box will give you maximum flexibility, but it will involve a little more work. Your novel box creation all starts with a template.
Designing a box template isn’t all fun and games.
You also have to be practical with your box and take into account mundane things like shipping costs and rules established by retailers.
That’s why you need to understand different packaging shapes and styles, so you get the right template.
Packaging templates can look like a confusing mess to the uninitiated.
You may be wondering, how a 2d drawing with a bunch of dotted lines is going to turn into a 3d box.
Well, fret-not, even if you’re not tech-savvy, or you’ve never heard of a dieline (a flat template for the package that indicates where it needs to be cut and perforated), there’s an affordable – or even free – option to get you the right box for your unique needs.
There are primarily three ways to get a packaging template. You can hire a designer, find an already made template, or go the DIY route. What you choose will depend on your budget, how much customization you need, and what your skill set is.
Here’s a breakdown of 7 great resources to get you the box template you need at any price point:
Nowadays you can find just about anything on the internet – and packaging templates are no exception.
You may have an odd-shaped product that’s difficult to fit into a standard box, but chances are someone has run into a similar problem. There may very well be the perfect packaging template already out there for you. And the good news is, you can find many of these templates for free!
Die Cut Templates can easily give you a custom template.
All you have to do is enter the dimensions and material thickness of your box, and then you can download your dieline. You can try a demo for free, and then sign up if you see what you like. You can buy a single custom dieline starting at $2.40, or if you need several dielines, you can sign up for a subscription plan.
Template Maker offers up free box and bag templates. The site has many options for those irregularly-shaped items. They have everything from coffin-shaped boxes to cardboard milk cartons. Need a 13-sided box? No problem. They’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for an unusual way to package your items, they’re worth checking out.
There are already countless box templates out there that you can adapt to your own needs, but sometimes you may need a box that has to fulfill a very specific purpose.
If you want to get exactly what you want, or you don’t have the time to hunt down the perfect template, it makes sense to hire a designer.
Of course, you don’t want to hire any old designer. You want to find one that specializes in packaging design. There are plenty of talented designers out there that would have no problem whipping out a box template for you. Here are some places you can look to find a qualified packaging designer:
99Designs allows you to search specifically for package designers, so you can find the cream of the crop.
99Designs even lets you run a design contest where multiple designers compete for your business. They’ll create original samples and you get to choose the best one. Chances are these expert designers may come up with an awesome idea for your branded packaging that you never would have thought of.
Behance, which is owned by Adobe, allows you to easily search for and peruse different packaging designers’ portfolios to find someone that understands your style and has the experience you need.
If you have a healthy budget and are targeting a large market, you may want to splurge and hire a design agency. Word of mouth is always an effective way to find a company that’s a good fit for you.
Additionally, The Dieline has an online package design directory, which is chock full of design agencies specializing in package design. One of these companies is sure to get you hooked up with the packaging template of your dreams.
What’s complicated about a template is it’s a 2d drawing that needs to somehow turn into a 3d object – in this case, a retail box.
For some of us, that might be a little difficult to conceptualize and the task might feel daunting. But for those with a little technical know-how, a DIY option may be the way to go.
Adobe’s super-powerful software programs, Illustrator or InDesign, can come up with just about any kind of box template you can imagine.
Both programs are vector-based, which means your templates are scalable. That’s handy if you need a range of box sizes.
There are a couple of drawbacks on your way to the perfect template, using these tools. First off, the monthly plans don’t come cheap. It’s just over $20/month for an individual Illustrator subscription.
Also, these programs have a steep learning curve. Fortunately, there are a bunch of online tutorials to get you started on your way to the ideal box template. You’re only limited by your tech-know-how and your creativity.
Of course, DIY doesn’t mean you have to be a design pro.
There are some excellent hybrid options out there. Boxshot is a 3d packaging software that has a more intuitive user interface with plenty of online tutorials. It offers 50 shapes you can play around with, but you can add your own if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Boxshot starts at $49 for the first 12 months, so is probably best for those needing to design more than a couple of simple boxes.
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, Boxshot also offers a simpler Dieline Creator, where you can choose from several already designed templates. All you do is plug in your dimensions to generate a downloadable file. The cost is $9.99.
No matter what size or shape product you need to put in a box, there’s a template out there for you.
You can opt for a free online template, or you might decide to hire a designer to give you something unique.
Decide on what works best for you.
Whatever you choose – the right box template will help showcase your goods in the best light.
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