Creative ways to package your mail-outs

Your beautifully designed and printed brochure or other mail-out will be ruined if you shove it in a grubby envelope. Here, Simon Tilbrook gives advice on how to creatively package your documents.

After all that time, effort and money you’ve spent on brochure printing, don’t let it go to waste by sending your prized creation off in a standard envelope. With a little extra thought, creativity and forward planning, your brochure can make a real impact before it’s even been opened with a creative envelope design. Here are some ideas of ways in which you can make that all-important, positive first impression.

01. Stamps, stickers and seals

Are We Designer's ‘From Cologne with love’ is a set of stamps, stickers, packaging tape, address labels, etc, to add a bit of personality to a plain envelope

An easy and cost-effective way in which you can give your envelopes and packages the personal touch and let your company branding really shine is to use stamps, stickers or seals, not only for your brochures, but for all your mail-outs.

Using simple seals and stickers works to give these envelopes a touch of style and reinforce company branding. Designed by Christian Vögtlin for BERG restaurant

This approach allows you to personalise the brochure packaging for each client and can be easily repurposed and adapted for different audiences and for other products.

02. Colour

Ariel Di Lisio has used colour, large typography and unusual use of space to make this envelope really stand out - the heart inside the flap adds a nice touch too

Even a plain envelope takes on a different persona when it’s brightly coloured or patterned. If you talk to your brochure printing professional at the start of the project, they may well be able to offer you a combined price for brochures and envelopes. If you’d rather customise the packaging yourself with labels or stickers, they may still be able to run you off some envelopes in your company colours so that when your brochure arrives on the doormat, it stands out and makes a striking first impression.

03. Boxes

If your brochure is heavy or case bound, sending it out in a box will provide extra protection and also give it an air of importance and presence. But rather than using a standard brown cardboard box, why not do something a bit different? There are all manner of different box options, from cylinders to pyramids to folding, origami-type boxes. Think about what best suits your brochure and your message and ask your brochure printing professional for advice and guidance.

Created by pajka studio in Poland, this project for PRWiG shows how a simple box sleeve can add a touch of elegance to your brochure and needn’t be expensive

Another idea is to include a slide-on sleeve, either as the box itself or within the package. The sleeve will mean that your client will be able to keep the brochure clean and scuff-free and rather than being thrown away, it might earn a place on the bookshelf or coffee table.

04. Material

Who said you had to use paper or card for packaging brochures? Think about the type of material that would suit your company ethos and the statement you’re trying to make. Perhaps you could use shiny foil packaging, plastic or even fabric. You will need to consider price, environment impact, production, protection, rigidity, strength and aesthetics before making a decision.

This bubble wrap design by Linus Bronge is eye-catching, protects the contents, and references the neonatal care of the client, Stiftelsen Tummeliten

Whilst it is usually more expensive to use an unusual material (unless it’s a trendy up-cycled product), it’s certainly something that creates an impression and could be something that you reserve for your top clients.

05. Size, shape and texture

Atypical envelopes, whether they are different in size, shape, colour or material, are more likely to be noticed first and opened immediately. If your brochure is an unusual size or shape, give it an envelope to match. Talk to your brochure printing professional about different paper and card stocks and make sure you’ve seen and felt samples before choosing what’s best for your project. If you want to add a feeling of luxury to your brochure, using an envelope that is soft or smooth to the touch will make your client feel special and give the impression that no expense has been spared. On the other hand, if your brochure is more modern and edgy, something rougher or textured might work better.

This piece by Davide Vignes ( consists of a brochure, personal portfolio and business cards, in a pared-down, effortlessly stylish long sleeve

Don’t forget too that you can use die cutting or folding areas of your envelopes in the same way as you could for the brochure itself. Sometimes the use of windows or shaped envelopes can be very effective.

06. Small packages

Even if your brochure isn’t large or heavy, it can still be beautifully packaged, and simplicity is often the key to success. Folding or integrated brochure/package designs can work well at smaller sizes, assuming you keep the overall shape simple, as can ribbon or elastic ties. As always, just make sure that the message that your packaging gives is consistent with the tone of your branding and the contents of your brochure.

This atmosphere corporate brochure was designed by Magesh LP, and features stylish fold-out envelope-style packaging

Hopefully the above ideas have given you a little inspiration as to how you can give your brochure printing project that finishing touch. In following your designs right through to the packaging, your clients will be able to see that you care about the small details too. And if you get your packaging right and the brochure itself is well designed and engaging, they will be eagerly anticipating your next mailing.

Words: Simon Tilbrook

Simon Tilbrook is the owner of Swallowtail Print, a premium brochure printing and design firm focused on delivering maximum value to their clients. Further bio on Simon can be found here, and for more design and printing tips connect on Google+.

Liked this? Read these!

Have you seen a great example of brochure printing and design? Let us know in the comments below!