The desired outcome is always the same: create a box that protects the product inside, makes the product more appealing, and does it in an economical way.
For Danijela, our graphic designer, it's an exercise in visual thinking. "I'm not looking at Hexiwear," she says, "I'm looking at the empty space around it. For example, imagine the empty space inside a glove. It is shaped like a hand, bordered by the inner lining of the glove. But turn the glove inside out, the inner lining now shapes the space of the whole world around it, the five fingers piercing the void. It sounds strange, but it's just a shift in perspective that helps me visualize the shape and layout of the cardboard, foam, or any other material I pick for the occasion."
Danijela's desk is covered with stacks of samples of various cardboards. Some of them are indistinguishable to the untrained eye or fingertip. But Danijela meticulously judges each one before picking a favorite. Then she proceeds to manually cut and glue a prototype box. "Of course, one can do a 3D render," she says, "but there is no substitute to having the real thing in your hand, experiencing the unboxing for yourself."
Occasionally, promising concepts get discarded once a handmade prototype is assembled – because it turns out it's difficult to replicate Danijela's craftsmanship for serial production. "Practical trumps elaborate," Danijela says. "I also have to think about my colleagues who will fold and fill thousands and thousands of boxes. It has to work for everyone."
"Once I have such a design, I start thinking about Hexiwear itself, to figure out the artwork to convey its personality. My goal is to make packaging that provokes a reaction from whoever is holding it. To make that person want to open it immediately, and to enjoy every moment of the unboxing experience."
Early bird Hexiwears start shipping later this month. Other backers in May.