Remember all those terribly wrapped gifts you’ve received in the past? The packaging probably made the present inside seem less appealing before you even knew what it was. Bad wrapping puts a lot of pressure on the gift inside—it better be amazing and jaw-dropping to get the reaction you’re hoping for.

The same goes for a subscription box, no matter what type of product you’ll find inside. The trick to making a great subscription box isn’t just having a great product—it’s also about how you present it. Subscription box packaging has boomed in recent years just as the subscription box industry itself. It’s more important than ever to build custom, unique packaging for your members to give them the personalized look and feel that has become so popular in the industry.

If you’re looking to get into subscription boxes or already have one and want to upgrade your packaging, this blog will go into detail on the different types, styles, and designs available that can give your product the presentation it deserves.

Strategy and Design

Building the right subscription box for your members takes time, patience, and a well-planned strategy. Maybe you have a different set of products that would all have their own package needs or members who deeply care about the environmental impact of their monthly subscription. Whatever your unique challenge may be, there is a packaging solution for you.

Take into account what is most important to your members and your product, and keep that in mind when designing each package. The next most important thing is to showcase your brand with a well-designed logo that respects your vision but also suits the packaging. This may mean that you’ll need different logo styles for each type of package.

While it may seem obvious, we think it’s important enough to emphasize that your packaging should represent your product very well. This isn’t just about colors or logos; it’s also about how the packaging fits the product. Don’t use large boxes for small products or weaker materials for products that need extra protection. Imagine your individual shipments as one, cohesive unit, even if they were designed separately.

Aside from a holiday or special package, you want to stay on brand with colors. Use your brand’s most well-known colors in your packaging to match your logo and remind the recipient of your brand.

If you’re unsure where to start and need help in one or all design areas, hiring a third-party designer is the best way to go. Even if you feel that your design looks good, you still want that professional opinion of someone who’s well vetted in the industry to help you be confident in your decision.


Subscription boxes most commonly use a type of box called a mailer box. Mailer boxes are sturdier than cardboard and are generally more aesthetically appealing in their usual style before customization. They hold up well during shipping and provide more options to customize and place your logo than other types of boxes.

Shipping boxes are also popular, but they are usually larger and much heavier. These are a great option for a product that needs extra protection or for a large collection of products.  Like mailers, they can be customized with your brand’s colors and logo as needed.

Padded materials can always be added to the inside of the boxes as needed per your products specifications. Also, inserts for the packaging are just as important as the outside. The right inserts presents your product well so that it’s not just floating within the packaging, giving it the ‘wow’ factor customers are looking for. A third-party packaging provider can customize this for you as well.

Printing Options

The two most common options for printing your custom boxes is through lithographic (offset) or flexographic printing. Lithographic printing is known for its high-quality results and ability to produce a wide variety of colors, but is best for thinner substrate cardstock. It is widely available and a popular option, but can come at a high cost when used on boxes.

Flexographic printing does not have as high-quality results as lithographic, but it does have the ability to print on corrugated substrate, a much thicker material than average cardstock. It is compatible with both water-based and oil-based inks, and is popular with large run printing jobs because of its low cost.

Getting Started

Looking for a place to get started with your subscription box packaging strategy and design? We’re a full-service premium packaging solutions provider that handles design, production, and logistics for all of our clients. Start your project today at Zenpack and speak with one of our packaging experts. With years of experience in the industry and many happy clients, we’d love to help your packaging dreams become a reality.

If you want to know more about Zenpack’s services


Let our packaging consultants help you turn your idea into reality.

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