When I just got the iPhone 12, there was a "wow" sound in the office. The moment of curiosity about the new phone attracted the attention of several editors and colleagues. The right-angled edge design and feel of the iPhone 12 also gave rise to several different opinions.
However, people's focus soon shifted from the iPhone 12 to the mobile phone packaging box. Although it is expected that the mobile phone box will be smaller and thinner after removing the charger, it is still unexpected that it is almost half thinner.
The lightness and thinness did not affect the texture of the box. The combination of simple white and product pictures on the front, like a canvas, is still the same as usual. The whole process of unpacking is also very simple and comfortable. It can also be called the first echelon among many technology companies. Up.
Apple is very careful about packaging
The packaging box is the same as the mobile phone. It is a product under the balance of many aspects. It is necessary to pay attention to the quality of the packaging box and not to be too cheap. After all, the packaging can be said to be the face of the product, and it cannot be too extravagant. It may also be over-packaged by users.
In terms of packaging, Apple did spend a lot of thought and resources, even starting from the shipping box. Friends who have bought products on Apple's official website should have an impression.
Most of Apple's shipping boxes use a special corrugated paper folding design. Only the box can ensure that the box is hollow and will not damage the product due to bumps during transportation. At the same time, compared to the traditional inflatable bubble pillow packaging method, corrugated packaging is used There is also less plastic.
Another detail is that this special corrugated paper folding design will automatically push out the packaging box with a light push. Even the plastic film wrapping the packaging box is now adjusted so that all the plastic film can be torn off in one click.
Compared with the ordinary sealed box and plastic film, it is much more convenient to disassemble. In the past, if there is no knife in traditional packaging, it is more troublesome to remove the sealing tape and plastic film, so you can't just bite it open.
▲ The plastic film of iPhone 12 is easy to tear off. Picture from: Cnet
Including the iPhone, most of the packaging boxes used by Apple are of heaven and earth lid type. After tearing off the plastic film and gently lifting it, you can feel the slow separation of the box and lid.
This kind of finely setting the tolerance between the box cover and establishing a slow free fall damping can make the user clearly feel that it is to reduce the probability of breaking the product due to the box free falling too fast. After all, now the back cover of the mobile phone But most of them are glass.
Due to Apple’s obvious preference for white, the product image on the front of the box cover contrasts with the white, which is indeed a bit like a picture. This is also Apple’s consistent style. The product is displayed on the front with a minimalist white background, and the product image is partly general. There will also be protrusions, visual and tactile can be displayed intuitively and efficiently.
▲The slightly raised iPhone image on the box comes from FastComPany
At the same time, in order to improve the overall texture of the packaging box, Apple also made a special design for the box body. "Nikkei Design" once published an article introducing that the corners of the iPhone packaging box can achieve a high degree of right-angled edges. It is because of the V-cutting method commonly used in high-end jewelry packaging boxes.
When the packaging box is spliced and folded, because the splicing edge is V-shaped, it can fit better. Unlike ordinary folding splicing, there will be larger creases, and the edges of the box will appear rounded due to the creases.
▲ V-shaped stitching design. Picture from: Nikkei Technology Online
In addition, most of Apple's packaging boxes are consistent in their internal packaging. The lid, product body, accessories, and manuals are placed from top to bottom, from Mac to AirPods Pro to iPhone. For users who have bought iPhone or Apple products, the same structure is obviously easier to use when unpacking.
There are many such details in Apple-style packaging. From the shipping box to the packaging box, it is not just the texture of the box itself. Apple is also adjusting the unpacking experience with more sophisticated designs and product splicing tolerances, and unpacking the box itself. It becomes more and more simple and relaxed, and can be handled without the help of foreign objects.
Easier disassembly methods are bound to improve the user experience. After all, users have the highest enthusiasm for the product. The sooner you touch the product, the better. It can be said that Apple has designed the pleasure of opening the box.
Apple's changes and changes
Apple has been obsessed with packaging box design for a long time. It is mentioned in "The Biography of Steve Jobs" that Jobs and Ivey (John lve) attach great importance to packaging design, and both have spent a lot of time on packaging.
Influenced by his father, Jobs was obsessed with "the beauty of hidden parts", and sometimes even paid too much attention to the details of the packaging. He once mentioned:
When you open the iPhone or iPad box, we hope that the wonderful tactile experience can set the tone of the product in your mind.
To achieve Jobs's goal obviously requires a lot of experimentation. Alain Rossmann, a member of the Mac team, once recalled that they did it 50 times just for the color printing package of the Macintosh.
▲ Macintosh retail packaging. Picture from: CultofMac
The book "Inside Apple" also mentioned that Apple has a dedicated packaging design laboratory, and designers will even try hundreds of different packaging designs to find the right combination. High-quality packaging boxes obviously bring benefits to Apple's brand building, and this also allows some second-hand Apple collectibles to appreciate because of the complete packaging.
The emphasis on packaging design is also reflected in consistency. In addition to the deconstruction of product packaging described above, Apple’s obsession with white minimalism has also reached its extreme. According to 9To5Mac, it even requires third-party sales in the Apple Store. The product also uses a white packaging box, otherwise it cannot be sold.
In addition, there are requirements for the location of the trademark logo, a unified angle of product images, simplified fonts, and high-quality packaging materials.
Although the Apple Store will adopt different store formats due to different regions, the emphasis on minimalism, emphasis on display, and even the unified style of the products in the store promotes the consistency of the experience.
When it comes to the changes in Apple's packaging over the years, we still have to go back to the iPhone. As Apple's flagship product, its changes are the most obvious and representative. The most intuitive change for users is that there are fewer and fewer plastic products in the box.
If you are an iPhone user for many years, you should have an impression of the plastic earphone box, phone holder, and plastic fixing film of the charging cable in the Apple packaging box. They are either removed or replaced with paper packaging. The iPhone 12 started without the headset in the box.
▲ The charging cable uses a paper buckle design. Picture from: unsplash
The charging cable has also been changed to a paper buckle design, and it is quite tightly fitted, and it cannot be reassembled after it is basically disassembled. Therefore, some people regard the buckle shape in the box as an anti-counterfeiting design, but it is not recommended here. In this way, try to search for the serial number officially provided by Apple.
Remove plastic products, Apple’s consistent reason is for environmental protection, this trend is becoming more and more common in packaging design, more and more technology purchase companies began to make a fuss about packaging, Xiaomi once launched a new product in early 2020 The packaging design method "one carton".
Xiaomi claims that this packaging design only requires a piece of cardboard or corrugated paper to fold, no auxiliary materials, or even glue.
▲Comparison before and after folding of the "one carton" of the Mijia automatic mobile phone washing set. Picture from: Xiaomi
In terms of purpose, companies such as Apple and Xiaomi initially changed packaging materials and designs to promote environmental protection, but the actual effect is often beyond expectations. Compared with the previous transparent plastic boxes, the carton feels more pure. , The texture is better. Xiaomi's carton packaging method also saves a lot of costs, which is said to have reduced the cost by 40% compared with traditional packaging.
The persistence of product packaging consistency and the large-scale application of environmentally friendly materials have improved the packaging texture and strengthened the image of the product and even the brand through a consistent experience. After all, technology companies hope to create a brand with strong consistency and high reliability. Image.
The meaning of packaging, not just sales
For the retail industry, packaging is an unavoidable and very important field, it can even determine whether a brand can survive. The most typical application scenarios are supermarket shelves and convenience store shelves. As an important entry point for offline retail, they are one of the largest channels for consumers to contact products.
However, it is difficult for consumers to recognize all the products and brands in the supermarket. There will always be new brands and new products. Then the person who introduces the product to the consumer needs to rely on the product packaging to bear it. Packaging is not only for storing the product. tool.
The same are potato chips. On the supermarket shelves, you may choose products with brightly colored and lively packaging. The more delicious the pictures of potato chips on the package, the more attractive they are.
For electronic consumer products, the appearance is also extremely important. Although the iPhone or MacBook packaging box does not have bright and lively colors, the minimal vision composed of white background, large fonts, and product appearance drawings is exactly what electronic products need .
Whether it is a mobile phone or a computer, ease of use, efficiency, and consistency are an important part of the user experience, and the minimalist packaging can just give people a similar feeling.
▲ Picture from: Dieline
Dieline, one of the most viewed packaging design websites in the world, mentioned in the recently released 2021 annual trend report that bold and sans-serif fonts will still be popular trends, and technology companies such as Google and Spotify favor it The sans serif font is because it can instill a sense of consistency and trust in the sensory experience.
It is not unreasonable that technology companies prefer minimalism. In addition to Apple, many mobile phone companies use similar white packaging, bold fonts and product pictures as the main elements of product packaging, which also proves that minimalist packaging can promote Electronic product sales.
More importantly, Apple uses the packaging design to simplify the entire unpacking process. The lid, product, manual and accessories are opened sequentially from top to bottom. This gradual unpacking experience is actually guiding users to open the box.
When discussing in the product field, this is often referred to as a good design for ease of use.
The simple and rapid unpacking experience is actually a brand output. Just as Jobs said, he hopes to use packaging to set the tone for iPad and iPhone, that is, to create a simple and easy-to-use product image and even brand image in the minds of users.
Through minimalist packaging design, simplified unpacking steps, and gradual experience, Apple has designed the pleasure of unpacking, and at the same time has contributed to shaping the image of "simple and easy to use" products.
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