• Consumer & Luxury
  • Article

Thinking outside of a (square) box

When Icelandic visual artist Andrea Maack needed a sustainable packaging solution for her range of fragrances, she turned to Billerud and their team of packaging experts with over 20 years of experience from packaging optimization. They were briefed and tasked to perfect the secondary packaging for a chamfered black lava-glass bottle in a way that could harmonize with the contents and resonate with the target audience, enabling a premium unboxing experience.


Using a traditional approach to the fragrance packaging was never up for discussion. Andrea Maack had already ruled it out for relying on things like a plastic seal and filler material to provide sufficient protection. Logistically as well as aesthetically, that was incompatible with brand and product alike, which is why Billerud’s team started to look for the best possible way of optimizing the secondary packaging.


Lightweighting is a practice that enables the reduction of packaging weight without compromising performance – enabling you to lightweight your entire supply chain. It is typically done by using a stronger lighter multi-ply cartonboard technology with fiber blends optimized to provide higher strength at lower weights. In this particular instance, there was an additional benefit to be gained from minimizing both weight and the size, as it made for lower distribution costs and greater accessibility for the recipient – the resulting e-commerce package could easily fit into most mail slots or mailboxes.

The challenge was to finalize the packaging design in a way that adhered to the iconic shape of the chamfered bottle. It was also important to craft the solution in a way that allowed for a smooth production line with a minimum of manual steps. The end result is a particularly snug secondary packaging that needs no additional material inside in order to absorb impact in transportation or handling. In fact, the stability and protection of the packaging itself was so exhaustively tested that not a single bottle has broken in transit nor any box needed replacement.

To collaborate on this level with someone who not only embodies the brand but who actually is the brand, that was a very exciting and rewarding journey for us.
Lisa Furingsten, Billerud


The collaboration between Andrea Maack and Billerud resulted in a 100% paper-based construction solution to assure the end user that they were holding an unopened, untampered package:
a small, ingenious perforation that packs a premium punch. This secondary packaging in turn was wrapped in
a thin sheet of silk paper and inserted into a specifically designed e-commerce package that bridged the final gap from producer to recipient. It added yet another layer of protection and panache to a truly lean unboxing experience, and was very well received.

A high quality packaging material lends a level of prestige to the product it carries – thanks to effects like embossing and high-gloss varnish. The protective quality of the varnish also means the secondary packaging can take a lot of punishment and still look pristine.

“It feels really good that we were able to extend the premium feel of the chamfered lava-glass bottle through the packaging,” says Lisa Furingsten, Packaging designer and R&D engineer at Billerud. “It ties everything together and unifies the artistic vision with print runnability and a sustainability focus.”

For the brown e-commerce transport package, a tear strip enables easy opening without tearing or using a tool. The stability comes from a tailor-made construction, amply protecting the product without the need for additional filling material or oversizing. The inner part of the packaging slides out, elegantly presenting the product inside. Also worth noting are the stop tabs that prevent the two parts of the package separating.

The unboxing experience proves that you need not choose between premium feel and climate smart: with proper planning and know-how, you can have both.

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Carton Solutions is a team of specialists who provide a range of expert services to make your packaging solution functional, sustainable, cost effective, inspiring, and appealing.

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