Thursday, December 13, 2012

Murphy's Law...

Packaging design may be the single most annoying factor in running your own goods based business.  It's tedious and deceivingly difficult.  Just when you think you have it all worked out, a monkey wrench comes flying in out of nowhere....usually after you've spent money on labels, boxes, tags, bells and whistles - rendering your business bank account smoking, with no progress or final end result.  Inevitably, something doesn't work out.  The labels are too big, the boxes are too small, it's not cost effective...on and on.  It's really enough to drive me to alcoholism.  MINIMUM, a righteous bender.

I've had the same packaging for years.  I didn't even like it to begin with, but went with it because it did what it needed to do at the time, and I just got lazy and simultaneously too busy to deal with it.  I'm not a Kraft/country aesthetic kinda person, yet that's what I had going on. Makes perfect sense. 

This past week I have suspended making product and focused my energy on creating a sleeker, more upscale look to my product line.  How freaking hard can that be?  I'm computer savvy.  I can work a label program decently, most times.  I designed a new logo & new labels with a new black and silver color scheme.  Not just for my soap, but all my B&B goods and even tucked away ideas for a future candle line, as well.  That means ordering new labels.  Many shapes and sizes. Many made of differen't material depending on application.  I ordered new boxes.  I figured out it was just as effective to order business cards online as it was for me to burn through ink to print them myself, so I bought those too.  Of course, new labels created more issues.  Now I needed to change containers on a couple of things too, in keeping with my new look.  There's another whole new ball of wax....
Then there's embellishments.  Ribbons, baubles, assorted accessorizing ideas...all of which end up scaled back because my soap would need to be sold for about $45 a bar to offset the cost.   *creativity squelched*.

Now the boxes don't work.  They look good and all, but are just large enough to make what I can fit in a flat rate envelope, far less than what my customers are used to getting for that price.  CURSES!  Also Microsoft Word is for chumps.  I hate that program.  Ever try to center an image in a template?  Maddening.  Screw you, Bill Gates.

You smell what I'm cookin' now, don'tcha?  *sigh*  It all seemed so simple in my head.

At any rate, I have moved on to Plan J now, purchased even more stuff to rework things, and still have no end product.  Nor have I made anything new for the actual shop, while fielding countless emails and Facebook posts about where the hell their favorite soap is. 

This time would have been much more well spent swirling a paper umbrella in a fruity chick drink in the tropical sun somewhere. 

Look for new the 2067 line!


  1. Awww Lori, I am so sorry, I know how that feels, believe me. First of all, stop MS Word, you will end up with a concussion from butting your head against the wall. MSPowerpoint is a little better, but only just. It is worthwhile to consider either getting them done professionslly, yes for money, but your nervous system might just live. Or learn it yourself. Adobe makes good stuff, lots of tutorials on YT but also on This also costs a little money, but those are proper tutorials, tou can larns lots of software applications. I would get some quotes from agencies, just to get an idea of the costs and what they can do. Also do not try snd do all at once, limit the amount of different shapes snd dizes, at leat for now.... Or you might end up getting an intervention. Hope this helps. Dont stress out do much, nake some soap! Love, Rebekka

    1. Thanks, Rebekka! I did order some things instead of making them myself. Today is a new day! :)

  2. Sorry about the spelling, early morning....

  3. I know how frustrating all packaging issues can be,but your post was so fun to read,it made me laugh few times (MS Word & Bill G.,as well the last line). You put in one post so much feelings,anger,passion,all spiced up with great dose of humour.
    I'm sure you will figure it out sooner than 2067! Sorry for not being helpful,I still don't have professional-like labels,so I suppose this is what I'll be passing through,too (maybe with more cursing ,lol)!

  4. Oh Lori, don't be so hard on yourself! Your customers adore your soap, and tha packaging you had was just fine. I understand though, your desire to freshen up design and make it consisten with the whole line. May I suggest that you sell the boxes and everything else you are positive it won't work? Put it up on etsy or ebay, someone will buy them and you'll at least get some money back. And then, taake it easy, step by step. Make labels for soap this month and the next one candles/butters/everything else. Cheers!

    1. Thank you, Ksenja! I have sold the boxes already so yes....I recouped the expense at least. :) Taking some time off from production helped and I think I'm ready to roll here soon. :)

  5. Oh yes, one more thing, if you're interested in taking professional help, I can give you the contact of the girl who did my logo for a really reasonable price and super fast.

  6. We used Microsoft Word for about 9.5 years and it drove us batty. Finally I said to my sister I couldn't take it any more and we switched to a new program. The centering on Word is so time consuming. Then there was the fact that the labels never printed in line with the templates so we ended up wasting so many labels in the process. We are in the mist of switching packaging for our soaps and it is a big job. Hopefully a rest over the holidays will leave you refreshed for the New Year. Look forward to seeing your new packaging.

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