The importance of product packaging and presentation

Like most people these days, I demand quality from the products I purchase. I want quality design, functionality, and I want them to be built from quality materials so they last. I demand it.

Some companies, like Apple, and Pad and Quill as I’ve come to find out, go the extra mile and also deliver quality packaging. The presentation is an added bonus1 that shows me that the company values its product and its customers. The customer experience doesn’t start when you begin using the product, it begins when you have the box in front of you.

I recently ordered The Messenger Bag from Pad and Quill. It fit my quality requirements, but I was really surprised when I opened the box to see how much time and effort they put into the presentation and packaging.

I am so impressed with Pad and Quills quality and attention to detail in every aspect of its products, that I’ve put The Field Bag on my list too. It will be perfect for smaller trips.

Value your customers and they will value you. Much respect to Kari and Brian, the owners of Pad and Quill, for giving a damn about their customers.






  1. It’s sad that we consider it “a bonus,” but for many companies packaging just doesn’t matter. 

  • brucej

    I see this at work all the time; we get computers in from Apple and HP and the difference is stark.

    Now if only Apple would realize that their nifty iMac packaging is a gorram ergonomic nightmare to open…I always end up trying to hold up a 27″ imac by it’s neck trying to dislodge the foam chunks they’ve jammed it into.

    Then removing the sticky plastic from the bottom, also while holding the thing up by it’s neck.

    It’s a wonder I haven’t dropped one and shattered the screen by now. It’s NO wonder that my damned right shoulder (thank you rotator cuff) aches the next day.

    • Prof. Peabody

      You just lower the side, and then pull the whole machine out with the two top pieces of styrofoam still on it. Then they slide off to the left and right.

      You have a point about the sticky stuff but it’s always been that way and I can’t see an alternative except leaving the base to get scratched.

    • MacsenMcBain

      In HP’s favor, the cloth bags they have used for packaging their printers in recent years make great shopping bags.

      As far as the iMacs go, consider yourself lucky. Back in my day (get off my lawn) I had to lug around PowerMac 5×00 LC demo models to various school districts, and set up classrooms full of ’em at a time. 45lbs on average, vs 21 or so for a 27″ iMac, and as far as I recall, no hand-holds.. Thank goodness I got out of that business before the G3 All-In-One shipped…

      • brucej

        Oh, ugh, I’ve had to deal with some of those older AIO Macs. The handles on the iMac and B&W G3’s were revelatory. At least until the Cheese grater G5’s…they just weight a ton and a half.

  • MacsenMcBain

    Credit is similarly due to the folks at Harry’s (harrys dot com), purveyors of really top-notch razors and shaving accessories. (Apologies to Mr. Dalrymple.) Not only are the handles and cartridges high quality / reasonably priced, but they’ve also put a decent amount of thought into presentation and packaging. (If interested, you can get $5 off your first order with coupon code “ricochet”)

  • Prof. Peabody

    I find it strange that you use Pad & Quill as an example of this as they actually commit the CARDINAL SIN of packaging and presentation, which is they ONLY make bags with their giant ugly logo directly centred on the bag. Literally thousands of their customers will go to another site or find another brand simply because of this “egotastic” choice of promoting themselves, instead of simply providing a pleasing bag experience to the end user. They won’t generally email the product maker and tell them so, they will just go somewhere else.

    If you are Coca-Cola or some other gigantic brand that sells products basically on the strength of the brand alone, then there is some “cache” in having the brand front and centre, but this is not the case with Pad & Quill, and not the case with 99.9% of all the other brands out there. This is one of the tackiest, and simplest mistakes you can make in packaging and here Pad & Quill have not only made it, they have kind of “doubled down” on it.

    Even Apple, which is one of the few companies that could actually get away with it, or perhaps even increase their sales by having their branding on the front and in your face like that, eschews the practice. This is because they know that people want to buy beautiful products, not brands, and the people that “buy for the brand,” are not the kind of customers you want anyway.

    • I assume, you have hard evidence of “thousands of customers” fleeing Pad & Quill to other’s because they commit the “cardinal sin” of putting their company name on their product.

      Every product in the world has their product name/logo on their product. The cheap Incase sleeve I have has either the company name or logo in 6 places on it.

      My MBP Retina has branding in the most prominent placement on the computer. A ballpoint pen on my desk has the company and model printed on it. The M&M’s I’m eating has branding not only on the packaging, but every single candy in the bag, THOSE BASTARDS!

      Have you seen any bag from premium providers? Name/Logo printed all over them.

      I would assume, if thousands of potential customers are fleeing to other bags, I’d guess it’s because of the price, not the branding. Pad & Quill are premium priced bags. Not everyone is going to own one.

  • Moeskido

    “Presentation” becomes an interesting issue to consider when you think about what designers must do to convince management of the right way to make the thing they’re selling in the first place. That job should extend outwards to every public-facing element of the company… unless management somehow has a cultural difficulty with trusting the expertise of the people it hired for supposedly expert-level work.

  • swedish chef

    It’s nice to have a pleasant unboxing experience, but I hate to see fancy materials and excessive amounts of packaging being used. This stuff is going to be discarded. I don’t want packaging that’s so nice I feel I ought to keep it. I don’t want to be wondering how much of the money I paid for the product was to cover the cost of the fancy packaging. Most of all, I want to be able to recycle the packaging. I don’t want to be holding up a canvas bag thinking: “what the hell do I do with this now?”

    Good packaging protects the product in transit. It should be easy to remove and as environmentally friendly as possible.

  • Jason

    That bag looks lovely, however “Huzzah” rubs me the wrong way for some reason and might even put me off from purchasing their product.