We love to see new and creative ways to use a box. Plenty of inspired packaging innovations come through our shop, representing the best of what custom-made boxes can be. We’ve made boxes for products, services, and promotions from almost every industry. But we like to think that a box can be more than just packaging.
This month, we’re taking a look at a project where the box is the product itself.
Dwelling Boxes Inc. began as a spontaneous New Year’s Eve ritual when founder Jenn Vonhagen and her family decided to reflect on everything they were grateful for in 2018 and eliminate everything they weren’t. They gathered around their firepit and shared their thanks, written on sticky notes. They also wrote down what they wanted to let go of, but that information wasn’t shared. Instead, they tossed their troubles into the fire and left them in the year behind.
After brainstorming with her husband, Justin, Jenn realized she was on to something. She brought the idea to her business partner Greg Wineman, and with a little research and development, Dwelling Boxes were born.
The set of two boxes is made to be filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, feelings, quotes, doodles, or any other personal expressions worth jotting down. Just like the aforementioned New Year’s ritual, you write what you’re grateful for, what’s driving you nuts, or anything in between, and you drop it into a box.
The catch is, only one of the boxes has a removable lid. The other has its lid glued firmly shut. You store up all your gratitude in one box while trapping your woes in another. When the time is right (New Year’s Eve or otherwise), you crack open your Positive Box for reflection and ceremoniously bid farewell to the Negative Box. But we’ll get back to that in a minute. Right now, let’s talk design.
Dwelling Boxes are wrapped in gorgeous Exposé cover material from Ecological Fibers, providing a luminous white appearance to the boxes and making them a pleasure to touch. The custom-made boxes are meant to be used repeatedly, and a rich cover material like Exposé goes miles to make handling the boxes feel special. This pure white wrap also serves another purpose.
Customization is welcome, and the blank paper material is an ideal canvas for personal designs. (You’ve got some crayons lying around, don’t you?) But, if you’re the minimalist type, you’ll be delighted with the clean appearance and quality construction of the Dwelling Boxes as they are.
Die-cut slits at the top of each box indicate the purpose of Dwelling Boxes with an ingenious structural feature. As we mentioned, two boxes are included in this set: The Positive Box and The Negative Box. But rather than decorating the custom-made boxes with print or foil, die-cutting is used to distinguish between the twin boxes.
The Positive Box is outfitted with a positive symbol, and, you guessed it, The Negative Box has a negative symbol die-cut into the lid. It’s a seriously clever blend of function and features that provides crystal-clear instruction as to which box is meant for your good vibes and which is meant for the bad.
Together, the Positive and Negative boxes are held in an outer Base and Lid box featuring crisp screen-printed graphics courtesy of our friends at Scofield Printing. The bulk of messaging and the written copy is committed to this outer box. Elegant serif typeface curves around the box’s corners, blending the font with the + and – symbols endemic to the brand.
It’s not always easy to sort out your feelings; often, we forget all the positives in our lives while excessively dwelling on the negatives. But with a bit of help from Dwelling Boxes, staying focused on the positive and letting go of the negative can become a lasting habit for you and your loved ones. And right now, we could all use some of that.
Watch the Box Talks Video on the Dwelling Box