Designing packaging matter??

Subject: Designing packaging matter??
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 12:54:05 -0400

Ann Waterhouse wonders <<... if there are any 'guidelines' for designing
packaging matter? Our software and documentation will soon be packaged in a
cardboard box similar to the Adobe Acrobat, FrameMaker and Microsoft
packages and we are a little unsure of what exactly should belong on the

I'm not aware of any formal guidelines, but then again, I'm not a box
designer. <g> Given that you already have a box design in mind, why not have
a look at the three packages you mentioned and use them as your guide?
Surely two companies as big as Adobe and Microsoft have long since resolved
what they consider to be practically and legally necessary. Since you're
writing from Quebec, any design you choose will have to accomodate the
province's mandatory French labeling provisions. It may prove to be much
easier to pick a single design that works everywhere than to develop a
separate English and French design.

Don't forget to consider the usability of the box. Play with the boxes for
the products you've purchased and find out which features really annoy you.
Don't implement those features. <g> For example, I love boxes that have a
little drawer that slides out and lets me remove the manual (very handy),
and hate boxes with a slipcover: can't tell you how many times I've been
left holding the slip case as the rest of the box demonstrated why it's
called a "slip" case and landed on my toes.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

Tarzan's rule of data processing: Never let go of
one vine until you have a solid hold of the next.--Anon.


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