Surface Tablet and Accessories Featuring Windows 8

"Packaging for Surface Tablet and Accessories featuring Windows 8 Creating a new brand of hardware, Surface was our opportunity to show the magic and experience of Windows 8.

Previously, Microsoft had never manufactured computers or computing devices. The product and the packaging system were designed for customers intending to purchase a new tablet with Windows 8. It was critical to establish this new brand and communicate the quality, value and simplicity of the product. It involved developing packaging for an entire new brand and several products within including the Surface device, Keyboards/Covers and additional Accessories (AV Cables, Power Supplies) to support the complete line of products."



"We developed an entire line of packaged products, that embodied the principles outlined by the new Microsoft corporate design principles (Simple, Clear, Direct, Alive, Expressive and Dynamic) as well as the design language established by Windows 8.

The result for Surface packaging is a simple and direct packaging system with minimal use of materials, yet providing a complete tactile, visual and great out of box experience for the end-user.

It was developed using an entire modular ecosystem, sharing components that would serve in any configuration, whether it is the Surface device bundled with a keyboard, the device shipped alone or the keyboard as a separate stand-alone accessory, as well as an entire accessory line to support the products.

We also focused on creating one global system. The structural components are used globally, only differentiated by the graphics on the packaging for that particular market

The design makes tremendous use of minimalistic elements and materials, as well as graphics on the packaging. It is very sleek and simple, providing a unique experience to the end-user. It, like Windows 8, is a truly immersive and simplified experience and relies heavily upon tactile experience and gestures within the packaging.

Our entire system is mostly paper based materials. The cartons are paperboard and the interior components are either paperboard or molded paper pulp.

The outer sleeve on the stand-alone keyboards is PET to provide visibility to the colors of the different keyboards and the layouts of the keyboards. It is exposed on the front and the back to allow total visibility. The frame that holds the keyboards is entirely fabricated from die-cut layers of paperboard.

The Surface device cartons require multi-step production processes. Initially most of the cartons were assembled by hand. That process has now been automated. It consists of a blackboard paper core with a litho sheet laminated. It is a rigid set-up box with a hinged lid. The litho sheet is printed and laminated to the structure for both the base carton and outer sleeves. Use of matte and “soft touch” surface treatments and spot varnishes enhance the tactile and visual qualities.

For the stand-alone keyboard/covers, the frames are constructed of black board sheets die cut into several layers and then glued together by hand. The Accessories packages are die-cut SBS, direct printed. The inserts are also die-cut SBS, unprinted."

Designed by David Dunham for Microsoft as a Packaging Program Manager - Hardware Division