The secret behind Apple’s elegant packaging desgins

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Featured, News

From the type of wood used on the displays at Apple retail stores to the exact shade of white chosen for the iPhone, Apple’s attention to detail is obsessive, and indeed, is a huge factor in the company’s ongoing success.

Apple arguably doesn’t just sell consumer electronic products. Rather, their mission is much broader.

They sell a complete user experience meant to imbue an emotional response when customers, for example, walk through an Apple retail store and even, believe it or not, when they open up a box containing the latest iPhone or iPod.

NetworkWorld highlights Apple’s obsessive attention to detail by pointing out an excerpt from Adam Lashinsky’s new book, Inside Apple, which describes the degree to which Apple takes packaging design as seriously as the product itself.

To fully grasp how seriously Apple executives sweat the small stuff, consider this: For months, a packaging designer was holed up in this room performing the most mundane of tasks – opening boxes.

One after another, the designer created and tested an endless series of arrows, colors, and tapes for a tiny tab designed to show the consumer where to pull back the invisible, full-bleed sticker adhered to the top of the clear iPod box. Getting it just right was this particular designer’s obsession.

What’s more, it wasn’t just about one box. The tabs were placed so that when Apple’s factory packed multiple boxes for shipping to retail stores, there was a natural negative space between the boxes that protected and preserved the tab.

What for many is an ostensibly small detail, for Apple, is a huge part of the user experience. For Apple, the iPhone, or more broadly speaking the smartphone, is anything but a commodity. They view it as a work of art, and they treat it accordingly.



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