Cardboard Box Design for Board Games

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Imagine this scenario: you've spent months developing your board game, writing the rules, constructing miniatures and choosing an artist that can portray your vision, your game goes to print and you feel an overwhelming sense of relief. However, when you receive the completed product, the box is too large, the colour scheme is wrong, and at a glance, your game looks just like every other independent board game on the shelves.

First impressions are everything. It's easy to find manufacturers that can produce professional game components – cards, dice, game tiles – but none of this matters without a top quality, eye catching box design. If you want to stand a chance in this highly competitive industry, follow these tips:

Make Some Blueprints

Experiment with different box shapes and sizes. Think about the components of the game and how they will fit into the design in order to prevent slipping and sliding during transportation. Try to stick to squares and rectangle boxes, rather than triangle, rounded or hexagonal boxes. If you're manufacturing in bulk, odd shapes can cost more to transport as they will often require more space.

Test Your Design

Make a handmade mock design of your box using illustration board. Add spacers to stop cards or miniatures from spilling around inside. Everything should slot in place like a jigsaw puzzle. When you've created a mockup, ask fellow gamers for feedback.

Brand The Box

The cardboard container design should match the style of the game components in order to add a uniform sense of branding. Make sure the colour schemes, typography and logos are the same across all components. Don't forget to put graphics on the side of the box as well as the front. Your board game box should be something that players will proudly display on their shelves – a single, ugly bar code won't cut the mustard!

Test the Colours

Before you manufacture an entire batch of board games, order a single copy – this could save your entire game. Not only does this give you an opportunity to assess the look, feel and ergonomics of the design, it will also allow you to perform a side-by-side comparison of the colours. Your board game box will be made from cardboard, but your game components may use plastic or have glossy coatings. The material can effect the shade of the colour, even if it shares exactly the same values.

Taking these final preparations will ensure your board game is ready for the shelves. Don't skip corners or settle for anything short of excellence. Mechanics cannot compensate for poor cardboard container design. If you truly want to succeed, your box needs to be just as good as the game.  

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30 March 2016

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