Magic Shipping Capsules
"Believe in yourself, go after your dreams, and don't let anyone put you in a box"
- Whoever wrote this obviously never received a Kuckian shipping box!
Our lipsticks jump with joy when they're packed up!
Our first generation of shipping capsules back in 2016 were so large we received emails giggling at how over-the-top they were.
At the time of our launch, that was the most important thing to us - first impressions. We invested heavily into our product, packaging and shipping experience. In fact, here’s a never-seen-before sneak peak of one of the prototypes of our first shipping capsule!
Quite similar to the box we actually used for the launch, although we removed our art and kept it simple, focusing on a balance between positive and negative space.
You can see our lipsticks flying around in an explosion of color - this is one of the underlying design themes of Kuckian's imagery.
We had a similar design decision with our 3 Piece Lip Collection Boxes! Kuckian painted a large-scale art piece we had the intention of using on the front, but we took a more simplistic approach instead which we still follow today. You can have a peek at it below!
One of our initial designs:
The painting in the background was created by CEO John, acrylic on card especially for the packaging. This is a low resolution version due to the design software, but here's a photo of the painting during its creating (still not finished!).
Proposed Art for packaging:
The Kuckian products you purchase represent less than 5% of the design journey it took us to get there. It’s the physical outcome of quite a long and vigorous design journey!
This is actually one of the reasons why I'm so excited about our new blog (what you're reading right now) - I can share some of the inner workings of an independent, internationally trading cosmetics brand with you! There is SO much we develop behind the scenes that gets buried in the design process and I would LOVE to share these details with you! (maybe you’re makeup obsessed like me and love the details!)
So we set out to finalize our shipping capsule with the factory we have a long working relationship with. Realistically we should print onto brown card like most brands do and keep it simple and inexpensive.
Of course, we got carried away (oops) and ended up finishing our shipping box with a thin layer of card bound to the cardboard, which was then CMYK printed with our design created in-house, then laminated with a similar compound to the one we use on our lipstick boxes (makes the card feel rubbery, very expensive feeling!).
We also used black ink on the inside of the box so when you open it, ,the products glow with their white accents against a complete flat-black backdrop. Monochromatic, and beautiful.
The advantage of these big square boxes is our Lip Collections could be stacked on top of one another, which creates an indulgent packaging experience when the user begins to dig inside their shipping capsule to reveal their latest additions, one by one.
The anticipation of "what's next" is something I am personally obsessed with! It's like digging into a box of chocolates - of which was actually one of the design inspirations for our pigment packaging!
We could not let our company logo to sink into the box design, so we spot-glossed over the logo and border to create a multi-dimensional piece (the same effect as on our lipstick boxes! When it catches the light, the logo glistens)
It’s really important our customers have an effortless interaction with us - from our website to our customer service, primary and secondary packaging, formulas, scents, and of course our shipping capsule. Every aspect of the Kuckian experience is carefully curated and should represent our values and the experience we wish to deliver to our customers.
In the end, the biggest expense for our fist gen shipping boxes was actually the shipping. We had to transport the collapsed boxes thousands of miles. Collapsed boxes are incredibly inefficient in terms of their use of space and we were charged based on ‘volumetric weight’ by our shipping carrier. We reached a breaking point where we had to decide if we were going to slow-ship them and miss them for the launch, or just pay the massive fee.
Only the latter was an option and we took the hit! In retrospect it was well worth the investment – we learnt our lesson as a new independent brand and our customers got an experience without any compromise. We set out what customers could expect from us from the beginning.
We are not about doing the bare minimum, we are about creating an experience of pure indulgence. Like biting into a bar of luxurious chocolate, feeling the flavors melt against your tongue... we want to bring this experience to cosmetics. Opening a package from us should bring excitement to the customer.
2018 came and it was time to move on - we wanted to create something more space-efficient; something to secure lower shipping rates that we could then pass on to our customers in savings. We are very happy to say we succeeded!
This box was both environmentally, ergonomically and economically efficient. It required NO tape for assembly, only the shipping label to seal the entire structure - saving plastic tape which is generally non-renewable and also saving time at the warehouse - a financial saving which was passed on to our customers.
This box was big enough to fit over 8 of our lipsticks and future products we have packaging finished for, but was also small enough for us to secure extremely desirable shipping rates which benefit our customers internationally.
Our second gen shipping box was smaller but better than the previous. We finished both the inside and outside with CMYK print - it's mostly black which is quite expensive, but we needed to do this in order to get the logo printed in white. We experimented with silver stamping the logo on black card (cheaper process) but it did not look as luxurious or as sharp as white print.
The inside of the capsule is black, with sharp white text bordered with horizontal blood red accents at the top and bottom of the interior. Much like the first gen boxes, we wanted the second gen boxes to create a sense of anticipation and tell a story. We created it in the format of a traditional book! Similar size, similar dimensions, and opened on the right vertical axis like a story book, revealing the cosmetics inside.
Alongside this, the interior dress-up of these new boxes is a whole different story! Seriously over the top, decorated with real crystal diamonds (not cheaper acrylic versions – ours feel and look amazing - we buy direct from a jewellery crystal manufacturer), our own in-house custom perfume which we imagined in Italy, and more beautiful design touches. Every single order is truly a work of art; gift wrapped with so much love, care and attention.
It’s been a long journey with ups and downs, but I am so happy with all we have learnt. Finding a balance between so many factors is challenging but so satisfying when you finally get it right. We completed this stage to the best possible standard, allowing us to now focus on the next steps. There is no denying Kuckian is moving slowly, but with this pace comes a prestigious degree of care and attention poured into every single aspect of the customers experience.
We could not have created such a fine tuned product experience if we had jumped into our products, I myself ascertained knowledge from my own fine artistry experiences; to create a true master piece, you must not only focus on the 'main body of thought' but also the fine details. It's really so essential.