Project: Spectrum | Packaging Evolved

Beloved community,

Today we are going to show you the evolution of Spectrum’s box as well as ask your opinion on a couple of important design choices.

New to the project?

Welcome! We summarized Project: Spectrum’s critical milestones; hope it helps to quickly onboard you with our crowd-development journey. You can also find our introduction to cardboard box assembly process. We’ll be using some of the processes’ names right away in today’s topic.

Spectrum’s box, fully customized

Let’s get right to the development samples!

This environmentally friendly Spectrum box comprises 80% recyclable cardboard and only utilizes expanded polyethylene (EPE) protective foam when necessary. When developing this packaging, we took into consideration three main criteria: safety, user experience, and your request for a sustainable solution. Spectrum greets you immediately after opening the box, and the accessories you need to turn it on are waiting for you in the box’s top compartment. Pull Spectrum out right away, take the power brick out from its box on the top left, and pull the other cable out from the side hole on the top right. No box parts get damaged during the process, so if you would like to store your Spectrum and cables back in its original packaging, the box will get the job done just as it did before it was opened.

The current side hole design will be enlarged to open up the possibility for cable customization on the assembly lines (something that we are exploring). We were initially looking into having the two accessory boxes opening in the same direction so you can pull out the power brick and cable from the top; this, however, turns out to be a non-feasible solution due to structural rigidity limits. Our next step is to make the wooden tooling to implement the changes we wanted and perform drop tests to ensure that the current structure is rigid enough to protect Spectrum. We will also evaluate the cost of the box painting and kick off the process soon. Our cardboard construction allows for quick implementation and tests after changes. The packaging gets developed as the project progresses; we will make sure Spectrum stays safe on its way to your home and offer you a pleasant unboxing experience.

Stand’s box, buffed up

“Wait, haven’t you just showed us that good-looking EPE box two weeks ago?”

It’s even better now after two iterations.

The completely revamped cardboard design retains the same volume and strong protection as the EPE one while being more sustainable. We built the box out of 100% cardboard and simplified the reinforcing structure to give it a clean and minimalistic look. Required drop tests will be conducted once the latest stand development samples have been produced. It is essential to note that at the current stage we focus on structural design; after locking down the structure, we will look into applying paint and further optimizing the design to offer enough protection without the plastic wraps shown in the sample’s picture.

Our question to you on reusability

Last week some of you expressed the need to keep your monitor boxes and re-use them for transporting your devices. As mentioned earlier, taking your Spectrum in and out of the box leaves the packaging intact so, of course, you’re more than welcome to reuse it! As we intended to design our package as sustainable as possible under its current structure, we went with a die-cut shape design on the top of the box that you can press down to create a hole and use it to carry your monitor around. Although this choice will utilize no other materials than cardboard, it is generally less comfortable moving long distances and not resilient enough for repetitive usage.

image
The handle picture on the right is for illustration purposes only.

We are thinking about replacing the die-cut with a handle design with small tabs inside the box to guarantee security and last forever with reuses. The issue we face is that the handle has to be made of plastic due to manufacturing limits. The addition of such a plastic part is less sustainable; however, if enough of you will use it multiple times, this change actually makes the box more sustainable through increased reusability. That’s why we need your input on this:

Do you consider using your monitor’s box more than once?

  • Yes, I will definitely use it more than once.
  • Yes, I will probably use it more than once.
  • Maybe, I will possibly use it more than once.
  • Probably not; I will unlikely use it more than once.
  • No, I will not use it more than once.

0 voters

Which of the two handling designs we introduced do you prefer?

  • I prefer the die-cut shape (hole).
  • I prefer the plastic handle.

0 voters

How do you plan to use your Spectrum’s box?

Hit us up in the comments! We love to hear your opinion and get an idea of your use-case for the box.

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16 Likes

I would have voted for the die cut handle but it won’t work well with the inner packaging pushed right up against it.

8 Likes

I keep the box of higher end products just in case something goes wrong with it, that way I can ship it back while it’s under warranty for a replacement or repair. I would like the Spectrum box to be durable enough for this use case.

20 Likes

In the first picture, Spectrum’s current box’s structural design has a small cut-out at the bottom to allow room to push open and hold the die-cut shape. Would it be enough for it to function well?

3 Likes

I like the plastic handle because it is easier to carry, especially for those with large hands, petite hands, anybody who has long nails, those who have to go up flights of stairs, etc. It also looks more high end and more pleasing to the eye. Whenever I purchase something that is on the expensive end, the box always seems to have a handle for carrying ease to help prevent an accidental drop. Though the box should protect it, you will always have that in your mind kind of expecting to see something wrong, or at least I do. That being said, if it’s going to cost extra, use the cost elsewhere.

7 Likes

I just hope the performance of the all-cardboard package design holds up in high-humidity climates. To be absolutely certain that the product is protected in all use cases (which is the main job of the packaging), I would much prefer to see eve using foam inserts over an all-cardboard solution which is cheaper but also not as robust.

3 Likes

Is the die cut on both sides so it’s like picking up a moving box? If so that would be useful. Sure the other is one handed but the amount of use is minimal. I have saved my monitor boxes because I knew I would move in the past. So why not keep that perfectly shaped box. Even if I don’t move again I can use when I redo my office etc. Not a guarantee but an important thing to think about on a normally non-mobile product

2 Likes

I use all boxes to start a fireplace. Please do not use any plastic coating, stickers or any other materials that make toxic smoke when burning.

8 Likes

I couldn’t help but notice the “painting in development” on the box, have you settled on a design? if you don’t want to reveal yet that’s fine, but is it going to be simple/minimalist or artistic? Is this something the community can get involved in or has the ship sailed?

3 Likes

Great to hear that you are interested in the box painting! :smiley: We will write about our design direction and concept for the box painting later in our project; it is being worked out as of now. If the design process requires input from you guys, we will make sure to gather your opinions/concepts as soon as we decide to do so.


The design shown only has the die-cut shape on one side.

3 Likes

Even from a shipping prospective; I welcome the use of sustainable materials but I would prefer a plastic handle. A rigid handle will give me more piece of mind the monitor will survive International shipping, transportation and courier handling over a cardboard only die cut out.

Otherwise, and I mentioned this last week, this fold design is very similar to the box used in recent Dell models and it’s exceptionally protective and practical for multiple use. It looks like a very well thought out design decision.

8 Likes

I voted for the not plastic handle, because plastic waste is more important to me then the better handle.

7 Likes

I think it would be more sustainable if the small number of people wanting to transport the box multiple times bought a plastic bag for the box to go in rather than imposing the plastic handle on everyone.

Maybe I will use it more than once but this is more a case of keeping it in the attic in case of moving home and then it won’t necessarily involve using a handle as you can just carry the box holding the sides.

7 Likes

If you mean that you could push your fingers through the foam so it would act as a backing for the cardboard “handle” then yes. That sounds great.

2 Likes

I’m gonna open the box, then put it in the basement, then throw it away when I run out of space. I definitely don’t need the extra handle (I’d always carry it with both hands under the box) and I’m all for maximum sustainability.

I agree with justin. The handles are wasted on everyone who doesn’t want them, and everyone who does has other options.

6 Likes

I travel a lot when I do photography, and I often bring a monitor ot TV. Making the box 100% reusable, and the less moving parts the better, = more good imo.Hell, if you could mimic the xbox series x packaging + a handle that would be amazing.

4 Likes

If you’re transporting it a lot though wouldn’t you use some sort of flight case or similar bag to what you would use for transporting camera equipment?

EDIT:
If there’s a common size of flight case not dissimilar to the size of the Spectrum packaging perhaps you could harmonize the Spectrum packaging such that the internal foam could be lifted and shifted to suit the flight case?

2 Likes

NGL, I have zero interest in sustainability with respect to this.

Some may disagree with me, but the fact is that any environmental costs relating to the design of the packaging for the Spectrum will be orders of magnitude below the costs stemming from the manufacturing, transport, and probably even final use of it.

And the cumulative cost of all those things summed together pales into complete insignificance in the general scheme of global environment costs.

Basically, what I’m saying is the “sustainability” aspect here boils down to nothing more than a gesture. If it makes some people feel better, that’s their prerogative, but there’s little point kidding yourself into thinking that it will make any material difference.

On the other hand, easy transport of the monitor is very important to myself, personally, so my vote is for the plastic handle.

8 Likes

Plastic handle is a waste, after the monitor has been delivered and you put it upstairs where you will unpack it will be useless after that

3 Likes

Agreed. How often do you put your monitor inside a box? I would keep the boxes for moving purposes. I always keep all device boxes in the attic! Does anyone have another useful use case of the box with the handle?

2 Likes