Hello, hello, community!
The updates just keep coming! Now that we’ve taken a closer look at the new V, its Pen, and its Keyboard, it’s time to safely package them for the upcoming journey to our eager customers. That, though, as we’ve seen with previous products, is no mean feat of engineering in and of itself. From concept to prototyping and ultimately production, we are taking the necessary steps to develop the V packaging. So, kick back, relax, and stay a while as we take you on a behind-the-scenes journey of developing the box.
The box for the V 2021 has some big shoes to fill, and very specific goals to meet, as our product manager @Rob describes below:
- Adequately protecting the product
- Looking awesome
- Providing a good unboxing experience
- Reducing environmental impact
- Being efficient to ship
- Making stock keeping easier
- Staying within budget
With those goals in mind, our lead designer @Joni drew up several concepts to open up discussion with our manufacturer, and a multi-piece box design was chosen to prototype.
After our conversation with the manufacturer, the first prototype was built for real-world assessment. For a hybrid of the concepts above, they went with a tiered insert approach, in which all accessories, the envelope (containing the quick start guide and goodies), and the V itself would be layered on top of one another.
The inner shell, with tiered insert designed to hold the charger and cable (in that box in the center), the envelope (in the middle rectangular cutout) and the V itself (in the largest rectangular cutout). The prototype was made from naturally-colored cardboard and then colored; you can see its original color in the scratched areas. Note - the latest prototype is made from black-colored cardboard.
A lateral view of the inner shell with a V 2021 laid in its space. Note that the edge of the insert can be seen showing the natural cardboard color. Also notice the improper fitment of the insert in the shell. Additionally, the V comes in contact with the outer shell directly.
After examining the initial prototype, Joni went back to the drawing board to develop additional insert options to spark a simpler implementation from our manufacturer.
Version 1 - multiple inserts in the inner shell of the box, the innermost insert having 2 options, with separated charger and cable or conjoined compartments. This concept, using option 1 for the insert, was chosen as the basis of the new prototype.
To achieve our goals, the new insert design was simplified to use less material than the multitiered approach, while retaining its protective features. It’s also both thinner and shorter, adding significant space for padding between the V and the shell.
In addition, rather than having a fully closed box for the charger, the prototype has compartments snugly holding the charger and cable in an open-box tray. This gives the user direct access to charger and cable. The envelope is placed over that tray, being the same shape, removing the need for a tier between the two layers.
A V housing laid on top of the envelope in the inner shell, with the outer shell next to it. The “bezels” of the entire shell have been reduced to just larger than the V, leading to a further decrease in material use. Also note the piece of foam in the outer shell - this will protect the contents by dampening impacts during shipping.
We’re in the process of fine tuning the the current prototype design to improve structure as well as add print and finish. Notably, our team will be on site for printing calibration. Our next round of packaging improvement explorations include:
- Optimize box structure according to device and accessories weight.
- Apply and compare two film types: anti-scratch vs. silky touch.
- Reinforce the inner box to retain its shape during accessories removal and disassembly.
- Source a black foam to replace the brown one.
- Replace the foam in 4) with paper if the latter provides enough protection.
- Produce all paper parts of a box in one go to minimize color difference throughout the packaging.
Who knew that a simple box could be so complicated? But you won’t settle for anything less, so neither will we.
Have a great weekend!