Packaging Advice

Bespoke packaging: The ultimate guide

7 mins

When it comes to packaging, many businesses find themselves in a similar situation. Whether your current packaging costs are too high, your brand needs better visual unification, or your product has simply changed and warrants a packaging re-design, bespoke packaging could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

That’s if all is done correctly of course.

Exploring bespoke packaging for your business can be daunting at first, but doesn’t have to cause headaches. Here, we explore everything you need to know about bespoke packaging to help make commissioning your next solution straight forward.

What is bespoke packaging?

Bespoke packaging is unique to your product/brand and can be utilised in several ways. From custom-printed tape, to personalised foam inserts and cartons, bespoke packaging is used to maximise both protection and brand perception. It’s an ideal way to showcase the quality of your product.

Importance of bespoke packaging

When dealing with unique products, bespoke packaging is essential for adequate protection. Take the pharmaceutical and medical industry for instance. As an important and equally complex industry, products are typically sensitive and often distinctive in shape and size. In this case, standard packaging products typically don’t suffice, leaving crucial pharmaceutical products exposed to damage during transit. With bespoke packaging, protection can be designed around the product to maximise safety and ensure end consumers are sufficiently protected.

Two ingredients of bespoke packaging: Functionality over style?

For an effective bespoke packaging solution, two key ingredients must be considered from the very beginning. These are the aesthetics and functions of your package. Let’s explore this further.


The aesthetics relate to the design of your package, and is responsible for attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. From ecommerce packaging to retail packaging, bespoke designs can make that all important difference.

Using brand coloured void fill, custom-printed tape, and logo imprinted cartons are great ways to achieve this. Even a printed, friendly message can have a direct impact on sales and your company’s overall appeal.



Although the aesthetics of your package are important, the functionality must be your number one priority. This involves how practical your package is, and how much protection it has to offer. Think about it, what good is a pretty package if the contents have been damaged during transit?

If adequate protection is missing from your package, damaged returns will harm your business – both in the sense of replacement costs and lost customers.

All in all, the functions of your package should be your main focus, but the aesthetics have a bigger impact on your business than you might have first imagined.

With that covered, let’s move on to the benefits bespoke packaging can bring to your business.

Benefits of bespoke packaging

Aside from the obvious “it gives better protection” what other benefits does bespoke packaging have to offer?

  1. Reduced transport and material costs – As bespoke packaging aims to offer maximum protection, compact designs are often favourable. Not only does this help maximise pallet space during delivery, but means less material is used - both contribute towards a more economical solution.
  2. Improved customer retention – As mentioned previously, the use of bespoke packaging can help engage customers with your brand. Adding custom design elements like a personal message or logo can create that all important buzz during the unboxing. This definitely shouldn’t be overlooked.
  3. Reduced damaged returns – A well thought through packaging solution will prevent products from being damaged during transit, even in harsh conditions. This will help minimise your damaged return rates, keeping your customers happy and your company’s finances in check.
  4. Improved productivity – With bespoke packaging, features like self-seal closures and automated machinery can be utilised for faster assembly. This helps speed up the packing process and increases productivity throughout your operation.
  5. Increased sustainability – There isn’t a better time to look at sustainability than when going through a packaging redesign. With the introduction of a new bespoke packaging solution, sustainable materials can be considered to help meet CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) expectations.

Bespoke packaging process

Now that we’ve explored what bespoke packaging is, the importance, and the benefits it can bring to a business, let’s take a look at the process involved when commissioning your bespoke packaging solution – at least how we do things here at Swiftpak.

Step 1: Understanding your packaging requirements and operational needs

To start things off, we’ll discuss the measurements and requirements of the product/s that need packaging. These can vary from product to product and from industry to industry. For example, pharmaceutical companies may require temperature controlled solutions for heat protection, whereas companies looking to ship electronic products may require ESD packaging for protection against Electrostatic Discharge. Not only are your product requirements considered, but the entire operational process. From packaging arrivals to handling and storage, the entire journey is analysed for maximum efficiency.

Whatever your requirements, we’ll work closely alongside you to ensure an effective and successful bespoke packaging solution is achieved. 

Step 2: Bespoke packaging design

Once the requirements are set and all is understood, we get to work on the packaging design. We look for ways to save on materials to cut costs, ensure sustainability, and maximise protection for your product/s.

We’re often supplied artwork for the packaging, which we can print samples of to show your ideas in situ, but have the capabilities to suggest a design that will work with our proposed solution.

Step 3: Producing your packaging sample

To ensure you’re 100% happy with the package, and that it works with your product, a plain batch can be ordered for testing. From here, your artwork can be printed and your final packaging solution is ready to be produced.

Step 4: Making amendments if necessary

This step isn’t needed for most, but in the circumstances that your packaging sample requires some changes, we will discuss with you and produce what’s required.

Step 5: Finalising and producing your bespoke packaging

Once you’re 100% happy with everything and your bespoke packaging solution is signed off, an order can be placed, and the manufacturing begins. All that’s left now is for you to receive your new packaging, integrate it with your operations, and watch as your business benefits!

Bespoke packaging examples from Swiftpak

With over 40 years’ experience in the packaging industry, we’ve worked on countless bespoke solutions. Here are just a few examples of bespoke packaging to give you an idea of what to expect.

Bespoke corrugated cardboard

Looking to ship an unusual sized product? Bespoke corrugated cardboard could be the ideal solution for you. Weather protection for a car bonnet, vulnerable hard-disk, or valuable machine is needed, a custom sized cardboard solution could add security and prevent over packing.

Bespoke stratocell inserts

If your product requires interior cushioning, bespoke stratocell inserts could be a cost-effective solution to your problems. From delicate vials to sensitive machinery, stratocell inserts are a great alternative to heavier polyurethanes and non-cushioning corrugated fitments.

Bespoke printed cartons

As mentioned throughout this guide, the design of your package has a huge impact on your business. Bespoke printed cartons can be used effectively to showcase your brand with a high-quality, professional finish.

Bespoke cardboard inserts

Carboard inserts can be used effectively to secure sensitive products in place. This ensures movement is limited within the package to retain the condition of the product throughout transport.

Bespoke film retention

With a similar objective to bespoke cardboard inserts, a tight film membrane is secured over your product for a secure package during transit. This can provide a great replacement for foam inserts to save weight and costs of material.

Bespoke packaging from the experts

At Swiftpak, our bespoke packaging solutions are designed using multi-materials for personalised protection. We aim to provide you with a solution that maximises protection while keeping costs to a minimum. If you’d like to see how Swiftpak could revolutionise your packaging solution, or want to find out more about our bespoke packaging process, contact our expert team today, we’d love to hear from you.