Apple's New Watch Packaging

With every new Apple release, we as designers are equally as excited to experience their incredible packaging as much as the product itself. The anticipation of their unique packaging design often rivals that of the product’s latest feature or newest component. 

Just like their products, Apple hides the final box and keeps it secretly under wraps until launch day, when designers like us get our first glimpse at the final design. Just look at the popularity of all the “unboxing” videos and reviews all over the web. Fans have covered unboxings for other competitors and products, but few have matched the excitement and beauty of what Apple delivers

Today, we get our first look at the Apple packaging for the Apple Sport and Apple Watch. Each product comes in it’s own unique design, sharing common themes but in a different shape. Although there is an emotional frenzy as you get to see the watch for the first time, Apple also puts a huge focus on the step-by-step cadence as you open each box.  They blend detailed innovation, rugged protection and subtle simplicity all in one design solution.

We start with the Apple Sport watch and it’s packaging. At first glance, I was overwhelmed with the sheer size of it; a long rectangular box that looked incredibly big for a small watch. Usually Apple is quite space efficient with their packaging, but this box is honestly not. The edges are almost seamless with crisp folds. On top, the apple logo and “WATCH” are debossed with razor sharp accuracy. The lid pulls away slowly, (like most Apple boxes, this is rumored to be designed on purpose to increase anticipation) and the plastic white case presents itself with a smooth finish just waiting for you to investigate more!

Inside the white case is a perfectly shaped vacuum formed insert, holding the watch flat. It’s quite a sight, especially with the Blue Sports Band I ordered, against the white insert. It’s absolutely beautiful. In typical Apple style, the watch is covered in an intricate plastic covering that peals away in one continuous motion. Under the case is a paper box with slide-out quick start guide and an alternative smaller wristband, integrated into a form fitting paper tray. Below the paper box are two cavities holding the magnetic charging cable and USB power adapter. 

Considering most of this package is solid white and paper-based, it’s evident the design team made painstaking efforts to make this look and feel beyond premium. What it lacks in actual graphics, it makes up for in pure elegance. The form is solid as a brick, with as much manufacturing discipline as the product inside. 

With the Apple Watch, you get a slightly more upscale packaging than the Sport. Same outside box material, but in a smaller, square format. The main difference is how the watch is presented. This time, the plastic white case opens to the watch, on its side, wrapped around a C-shaped band. The interior is lined with felt material with an indentation for the watch to rest on its side.

Apple continues to prove the great packaging matters! There’s universal value in packaging that oozes sophistication. I’m not sure if we have seen this level of design influence in any other line of packaging. I’m constantly asked by clients to make their packaging “like Apple products.” It just goes to show how much Apple has changed our industry for the better. Although we might never get the same budget, resources or technology that Apple has, we can’t help but be thoroughly inspired by their work and achieve something different.

 

Written & Photos by Nick Longo

Editor, The Dieline

Nick Longo is a highly regarded creative executive with over 20 years in the design and retail industry. Nick owns and operates a branding agency specializing in product launches, corporate identity, packaging and retail executions. Previously Nick co-managed Equity Marketing, a leading promotional products company in Los Angeles, overseeing custom retail product development for clients such as Kellogg's, Kohl's, Burger King, Macy's, Kraft Foods, DreamWorks and Starbucks. He has partnered with over 150 internationally known brands and licenses. His designs have been recognized by POPAI International Point of Purchase Organization, winning multiple Best in Industry awards.

In addition to his Longo Designs, Nick is a design instructor at California State University Northridge, teaching senior level students in graphic design, packaging and branding. Nick is also a cohost on the successful Deeply Graphic Design Cast, discussing all things graphics design for independent designers.

 

Photos by Scott Newlands

Partner at Scott Newlands Creative

Scott Newlands has been working in the creative industry for over ten years. He is a Partner in a boutique design agency in Toronto specializing in print, web & brand identity—all with an emphasis on marketing. He prides himself on client relationships and providing great creative to support their brands & businesses.