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How To Design The Perfect Board Game Packaging

If you’ve loved games for years and have seen the hobby transition from Catan to Gloomhaven, you may have come up with an idea for your own game. While a knack for developing thematic rules is one thing, many people don’t have the same eye for design. We can help by showing you how to design the perfect board game packaging.

How To Design the Perfect Board Game Packaging

Find the Perfect Size Box

We’ve all cracked open a game to discover that the components don’t justify its massive box. With a hobby as shelf-space-intensive as board gaming, designing tightly packed boxes is essential. To find the perfect box, you’ll need to consider a few factors, including:

  • The dimensions of the folded board
  • The size of the manual
  • Extra height to accommodate for the punchboard
  • Box inserts and organizers

Once you have this information, you’ll better understand your box’s minimum height, length, and width. Stay as close to these minimums as possible to avoid as much empty space as you can.


Make Your Design Reflect the Game

Some games lend themselves to beautiful, painterly artwork, while others work better with cartoony drawings. Think about your game’s rules, theme, and tone and plan designs accordingly. You can also check out games with similar mechanics or themes and see how those designers approached the art.

You’re probably not an artist, and that’s OK. Hundreds of artists post their work on Instagram and ArtStation, so browse some sites and contact a few people whose styles fit with your game.


Don’t Forget the Sides

While people put a lot of thought into the cover of their board game, many designers forget the importance of the sides. Most gamers store their boxes with the sides facing out, and most game stores do the same. The side of your game’s box could be the first thing a potential customer sees, so don’t neglect it!

This is also your opportunity to include key information about the game—player counts, age ranges, and average game duration. Many boxes leave this information out, requiring a passerby to check BoardGameGeek to see if the game suits their playgroup. These designers lose lots of sales because potential buyers don’t feel like pulling out their phones.


Prototype Your Ideas

This stage of the design process is fantastic because you don’t have to get things right on the first try. Experiment with different boxes and styles by prototyping your ideas. There are tons of reasons to prototype before you develop, but the biggest is that it allows you to hear audience feedback.

Now that you know how to design the perfect board game packaging, bring your ideas to life and let the world play your game!

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