We know Apple puts a lot of effort into its product packaging to ensure it’s almost as beautiful as the product within, but you may be surprised to hear that an entire room within the Cupertino company’s headquarters is dedicated to testing different variants of product packaging.
The story comes from an advance copy of Adam Lashinsky’s Inside Apple book, provided to NetworkWorld, which provides us with a fascinating look into what goes on within Apple’s headquarters. It’s no surprise that the company puts a tremendous amount of effort into its product packaging, so much so that it has an entire packaging room in which it can sweat over every little detail.
Lashinsky recounts a time when the packaging room was filled with hundreds of iPod box prototypes so that the company could determine which box was best suited to its product, and which would be best suited to the users opening them up.
One after another, the designer created and tested an endless series of arrows, colors, and tapes for a tiny tab designed to show the consumer where to pull back the invisible, full-bleed sticker adhered to the top of the clear iPod box. Getting it just right was this particular designer’s obsession.
What’s more, it wasn’t just about one box. The tabs were placed so that when Apple’s factory packed multiple boxes for shipping to retail stores, there was a natural negative space between the boxes that protected and preserved the tab.
NetworkWorld notes that Apple’s approach to product packaging has also been picked up by its rivals. For example, Samsung’s product packaging for its Galaxy Tab tablet is almost identical to that of the iPad.
Walter Isaacson, the author behind Steve Jobs’s authorized biography, revealed that Steve and Jonathan Ive put a lot of effort into product packaging in a bid to create a perfect “theatre” for its products:
“Steve and I spend a lot of time on the packaging,” said Ive. “I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theater, it can create a story.”
So next time you purchase a MacBook, iPhone, or iPad, just think about how much effort went into its packaging before you tear it off and throw it straight into the trash.