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Custom Printed Subscription Boxes Design Guide

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The best set of subscription boxes is customized. For your subscription box business to thrive, your subscription boxes design must be one of a kind and they must entice your customers. When your customers see your subscription box, they should be encapsulated with awe and be eager to open it just to see what further pleasure they will derive from what is inside.

Your subscription box printing should be different from your competitors’. It should be personalized, reflect your brand’s identity, and most importantly, capture people’s attention.

In this post, we’ve prepared a guide for you on how to have the best custom subscription box printing that will make you stand out amongst your competitors and boost your subscription box business growth.

Decide what is in Your Subscription Boxes

Perfume products
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The first stage in custom subscription boxes design has to do with what you intend to put inside your subscription boxes. It’s either you are starting a subscription box business and you will be putting your own products in the boxes. It could also be that you will be curating products from different suppliers.

If the products that will be contained in the boxes are yours, then you already know their shapes, sizes, weights, and every detail about them. You will also have known the benefits they can offer to customers and how best they can be packaged.

On the other hand, if the products that will be put in the subscription boxes will be sourced from different suppliers, you will need to do your research about them, and build a relationship with them to know all the information about their products, even to the littlest detail.

Having all the information about the products that will be put in the subscription boxes is essential because that’s how you will know how your subscription boxes will be designed.

The shape, size, and weight of the products must be ascertained to know how the boxes will be configured as well as the materials that will be used. For instance, if the products are quite heavy, you could design wood boxes and if they are quite light, you could design plastic boxes or even design cardboard boxes.

Contact a Box Packaging Manufacturer

Find a box packaging manufacturer who will help you to design your custom subscription box printing. The box packaging manufacturer should be one that listens to instructions and pays attention to every detail. Explain everything you need to the manufacturer, including how you want the boxes to be shaped, how your brand’s slogan and logo should be printed on them, and other information needed.

The manufacturer should be one of the experts and experienced subscription boxes companies that are proficient in designing private label subscription boxes without any flaw. The packaging and manufacturing company should prioritize meeting your creative goals.

No matter the track record of the manufacturer, ensure you explain your specifications as any design that is contrary to your business standards, processes, and guidelines might be disastrous and could create different views for your customers. While the manufacturer might be a custom subscription boxes design expert, you are the expert of your business, and whatever you put out to the public influences how your subscribers will react. Also, your box packaging manufacturer should be one that is compliant with deadlines and is able to perform effectively with your budget.

Get many manufacturers and screen them to choose the one that is best for your business.

Determine the Box Size and Weight

The size and weight of your custom subscription boxes are mainly dependent on the types of products that will be put inside. After deciding what will be in your subscription boxes and you’ve contacted a competent box packaging manufacturer, then you are to check the dimensions and volume of the products that will be put in the boxes to know how they will be designed.

Another method of determining your box size and weight is taking ideas from existing businesses. Check for businesses that package the same product(s) you intend to start packaging and note how their boxes are dimensioned. This gives you an insight into the measurement you will use for your subscription boxes.

One other important factor to consider when determining the size and weight of your subscription boxes is the shipping rate. The size and weight of boxes greatly have an impact on the charges you will pay for shipment. If you use small boxes that don’t weigh much, you will pay a less amount of money as shipment fee, but if you use large boxes that have weight, you will pay an increased amount of money as shipment fee.

However, you must note that small boxes have limits to what they can contain; they limit the size of products that can be included, thereby restricting you from giving your subscribers all that you intend to give them. Whereas, large boxes are big enough to contain as many things as possible; you can also package various sizes of products in them.

Add Ideas of Box Fillers and Inserts

This is a common idea that is incorporated in subscription boxes design; in fact, it’s used in almost every packaged box business.

Because of the complex geometry that some products have, subscription boxes tend to conform to their irregular shapes, thereby not giving the boxes the perfect look they should have. To curb this, you can put fillers and inserts in the walls of the boxes to make them look great with a conformed shape.

Fillers and inserts also make the boxes easy to carry and have a smooth shape, which makes shipping easy. If your subscription boxes don’t have a regular shape, they will take more space, meaning that your shipping fee will be on the high side.

You will also be needing fillers and inserts if your boxes are filled with fragile items. Because of the turbulence that might occur when transporting the boxes, it is ideal that you put fillers in the boxes to support the products and ensure that they remain firm.

Generally, fillers can be used to make your subscription boxes seem full while still protecting the products inside. Also, inserts can expand on the contents in your subscription boxes while providing an experiential element to your monthly theme.

Draft Subscription Box Design

After you’ve carried out all the steps above, the next thing you need to do is to draft your subscription boxes design.

This stage is very critical as anything you decide on here will reflect on the final piece that your manufacturer will make, so you must take your time to come up with a top-notch design that will be effective. There are several factors to be examined while drafting your custom subscription boxes. Some of them are the colors, call to action (CTA), and the overall branding.

When drafting your subscription box design, you shouldn’t use more than 3 colors. Too much of colors could be clashing and confusing to the eye. You need to make your subscription box simple to behold and understand.

Another very important factor to include when drafting your subscription box design is the “call to action (CTA).” When subscribers receive subscription boxes, they are fond of posting videos of their unboxing experience on social media. Through this, other people get to know you. It is imperative that you take advantage of this opportunity to the maximum by printing a CTA on the box. It could be your business phone number or your social media handles. This is done to ensure that your prospective customers have a way to reach you.

The overall branding deals with all other details like your brand name, logo, and slogan that will be printed on your subscription box. If you’ve been in business before, you should continue with your brand name, but if you are just starting a business, you need to come up with a strong and unique brand name. You should also use this name for all your social media accounts. Your logo and slogan should also be unique and they should be drafted alongside your brand name.

Select the Right Subscription Box Printing Methods

Once you’ve finished drafting your subscription box design, you should choose the subscription box printing method you prefer.

Digital printing is rapidly growing to be the most preferred subscription box printing method. With this method, the color of the inks that will be used will be poured into the printer, mixed, and directly applied to give a colorful design on your subscription box. The beauty of this method is that it can be used by startup businesses as it’s not very much expensive.

The other printing methods that can be used are stamps, stickers, or labels. These methods are very cheap when compared to the digital printing method. These methods are in most cases applied manually and they consume quite some time, especially if you have a large number of boxes to attach them on.

Prototype Your Custom Printed Subscription Boxes

After you’ve selected the right subscription box printing method to use, you are set for box printing and manufacturing. However, before you kick off with that, tell your manufacturer to make a prototype of the custom subscription box printing for sample purposes. You need to get this sample before you start bulk production; it will help you know if there’s any changes needed to be made.

You will have to confirm the size and weight by putting your products in it. This is to verify the box’s reliability and to know if it will be able to protect the products inside. It’s also a good chance to know your shipping fee as the total dimension of all the boxes can be calculated from this.

Before you ask, some manufacturers might even send you a prototype for free to confirm if the dimensions and design are according to what you requested. Although this prototype might not come in the standard material that you want, it could come in a hard paperboard, but can be used to test the functionality of the custom subscription boxes.

Subscription Box Printing and Manufacturing

This is the final stage of your custom printed subscription boxes design. It has to do with the manufacturing and printing of your subscription boxes. Most of the work here is done by your manufacturer. Commitment and quality assurance are very essential at every turn. There should be a Standard Operating Procedure that will ensure that every box that is made conforms to the agreed plan; there should be no variation whatsoever.

This is a very critical and delicate stage as there is no going back from here. The manufacturer should print your business name, slogan, logo, and CTA boldly on the box for easy visibility. Also, the materials that will be used should be strong enough to withstand turbulence and abrasion.

After manufacturing is done and it’s been confirmed that all the subscription boxes are properly produced, you can begin to use them. Fill them with your products and make use of inserts and fillers to guarantee a tight grip within the boxes.

NOTE: If you have a running business and you have an existing packaging box that can contain your products, it is advised that you stick to that. The goal is to stay consistent with your branding and further build on consumers’ recognition. Switching from what consumers already know and creating a double face for your business could be detrimental.


Before people see what is inside subscription boxes, they are first welcomed by the exterior of the boxes. Apart from the print of your business information that’s on your subscription box, the box plays other roles like giving a pleasant welcome and arousing the anxiety of your customers. This means that you have to make your subscription boxes design beautiful so that your customers will be anxious to open it to see what you have for them.
With the steps on how to make custom subscription boxes that we’ve discussed in this guide, you can easily create your unique subscription boxes that will reveal your brand identity and also encapsulate your customers with satisfaction and happiness. Contact Hongyi to design and create your private brand subscription boxes.

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