Printing and Packaging Resources

Packaging design is a huge opportunity to speak to your target audience, establish credibility, and encourage sales. Retailers have told us that product packaging design is so important that often it doesn’t matter what the product inside is!

Here at Aeolidia, not only do we specialize in product packaging design, but we also believe in the importance of packaging when it comes to our client’s experience. Our clients live all over the world, and we want to be able to bring a personal touch to our work. Each of our clients receive a welcome kit in the mail.

Sourcing printers and packaging suppliers

In this guide, I would like to share our design process, and tell you more about which printers and manufacturers we worked with to produce our marketing materials and packaging. Scroll down for our full list of recommended printers and packaging resources!

Below the list of recommended printers and packaging companies, I am also going to tell you about:

  • any problems I had with printers
  • how we saved money when we could
  • where and why we splurged.
  • what I learned through the process (there were some mistakes!),
  • what I would do differently

People are always asking us for print and packaging sources, so we thought we should share this with you!

For luxury custom work:

For good quality and lots of products/options and great reliability:

  • Jakprints – go-to digital printer
  • Smartpress – inexpensive and great quality. lots of options

Business cards, can do multiple backs/fronts on one run:

Low print runs:

Customizable packaging materials:

Foil stickers:

Trade show swag / products to add your logo to:

Embossing Tools:

  • Custom Embosser Pro – choose standard or heavy duty depending on paper stock to be embossed



Temporary tattoos:

Masking + Washi tape:

Chocolate coins:


Enamel Pins:


Labels for Bath + Body products:

Packaging and mailing supplies

Resource for eco-friendly packaging

What’s in Aeolidia’s own welcome kit




For each kit, I pull together a set of “trading cards” of the team that will be working on the project. I hand write a note, and put together some branded gifts. This package is fun to get, and it sets the tone. It also gives clients an idea of what we can do for them and their brand identity. We designed some clever things that our clients often tell us they’re inspired by.

The heart of our welcome kit is in a folder, like you would get a special wedding invitation in. The folder is stamped with a golden merman seal and wrapped with a belly band in our wave pattern. Inside, you find our frame-worthy manifesto and a set of informative cards to prepare you for our process and your project.

On top of the folder, I pack a sweet little bag of treasure, which includes a book of post-its, custom pens, and our trading cards.

The box matches our brand colors, and has an embossed gold seal on it. We decided to put the box into a plastic sleeve, to protect it from postmarks, stamps, or scuffing. We wanted it to be worthy of keeping, if our client chooses.

At the close of each project, I send a smaller matching box, with a handwritten note and a custom metal merman lapel pin as a thank you gift.

sourcing printers and packaging

Project #1: Merman lapel pins

Merman pin on thank you card, sent to our clients after launch.

Merman pin on thank you card, sent to our clients after launch.

Metal merman badges:

These are wonderful and I love them. We ordered these from Quality Lapel Pins and they live up to their name – the quality is perfect. If I had to do it again, I think I’d upgrade the pin back to something nicer – I just went with the regular clasp. These come individually wrapped in tiny plastic bags. We asked about having no bags, to decrease waste, but they said they were needed to keep the pins from scuffing each other in the mail. Quality Lapel Pins also sells colored enamel pins, which have come back from the 80s as a trend again!

Die cut gold foil letterpressed cards:

We worked with Mama’s Sauce on almost all of our custom printing. They can do all kinds of special details, and always have advice on where money could be saved or projects could be improved.

For our brand, we wanted to cut off the corners of most of our cards. Since this isn’t a regular rectangular shape, we needed to have a die made to cut out each product.

“Die cut” means that your printer will create a metal die for you (picture a cookie cutter) to cut out all of your paper products in the same custom shape. This adds a one time fee to your project. If you think you will reprint in that shape, you should check to see how long your printer will hold onto your die, or even arrange to have them mail it to you for safekeeping.

We saved money on the pin back cards by making them the same size and same die cut as our business cards. This way, we didn’t have to pay to have another die made. We had a great experience with Mama’s Sauce with all the print work. Since everything’s custom and made to order, there was a lot of email back and forth, so it took some time to do, but our print work is beautiful and outstanding.

Project #2: Promotional gifts: tattoos & chocolate coins

All the bits of our Christmas package

Temporary tattoos - we even got to customize the back

Every year, we design a Christmas-y card to send out to our clients. You can get your logo printed on almost anything, and most of what’s out there is cheap, tacky, or just unnecessary clutter in your recipient’s life. We have put a lot of thought into designing promotional products for Aeolidia that are fun to receive, and aren’t immediately tossed in the garbage. The holiday gift has 6 components, sourced from these places:

Christmas cards:

Jakprints is our go-to printer when we want a job done quickly, inexpensively, and well. We went for the 34 pt. uncoated card stock, which is super nice and thick.

My only complaint is that the dark plaid from the back of the cards has “ghosted” a bit on the light cream area on the front of the cards. You can see a vague plaid on the front, which should be perfectly clean. I don’t know if this happened during printing, or if it happened while the cards were pressed together during mailing, but if I was to do these cards again, I’d troubleshoot with Jakprints. Something to ask your printer about if you’re planning a dark back and light front.

Jakprints offers lots of printed products, including stickers and apparel.

Temporary tattoos:

The process with the tattoos went perfectly! They arrived quickly, and they look just how we wanted them. Thanks, Tattoo Sales!

Tattoo Sales sells metallic, glitter, and glow in the dark tattoos, too!

Chocolate coins:

Here is where I got into all kinds of trouble! We originally chose the company Show Your Logo, to create these. We had questions about the artwork, and were concerned that the lines would be too fine and the type wouldn’t print legibly. Our customer service rep at Show Your Logo told us our files were going to work well and didn’t need any changes. We adjusted the file to have them deboss the negative space, meaning the text and the characters would stick up and be embossed in the chocolate. Again, we were assured that would be fine.

I got my huge heavy box of over a thousand coins in the mail, and was so disappointed to see that not only was the deboss/emboss reversed, but that the text was illegible, and in some places, completely missing. Our merman was missing his entire face and all of his fine details, as well. I knew we couldn’t send these out, and started a long process of getting help from Show Your Logo.

Their customer service was not great. And their return policy was not overly friendly. Our rep, the same one who assured us that our files were great, now claimed to not see any problems with the order, and dodged my questions about the embossing. It took many emails, explanations, and (sadly) threats to contact my credit card company to get my money back. I don’t recommend this company!

We ran over to Foiled Again’s website as soon as we saw that the first coins weren’t good, and ordered there, with rush shipping. Their website was clear and helpful, and I contacted customer support with adjusted files and my questions from before about line/detail and embossing. I got the helpful information that the detail and quality would be much better if our designs were debossed into the chocolate, instead of the other way around. I made my order, and was thrilled when I received it. Every detail is crisp, and they taste better. They offered three chocolate flavors (milk, dark, and mint).

First, bad coins:

Second, good coins:

When you work with a company, such as Show Your Logo, that will print your logo on anything, of course they are using third party vendors. The problem with that is that the more vendors they work with, the less information they’re going to have at the start about preparing your files, and the less control they’ll have over the final product. It may also be harder to lodge a complaint or request a refund. Not only did they already pay their vendor, but they’re probably not going to have as much pride in their chocolates as a full-time chocolate-maker is going to.

Foiled Again offers custom chocolate coins in many colors, and also casino chips.

Sinamay drawstring bags:

We needed a little bag to put the coins into, and Mariah found these sinamay bags online. These are eco-friendly and made of natural plant fibers. The bags were much stiffer than I was expecting! They look great, but my fingers felt a bit rope burnt after cinching and tying over a hundred of these bags. Nashville Wraps offers bags, boxes, tissue, ribbon – lots of products for packaging!

Boxes and envelopes:

We chose envelopes in the pool color we use for our client welcome kits, and went with the shimmery option for a little holiday sparkle. For the boxes, we went with a shimmery snowy white. You’ll need a wholesale account to shop with Do It With More Options. They offer envelopes, paper, labels, boxes, magnets, seals, mailers, and more.

Tissue and labels:

I left the decision about packaging for mailing until the last minute, and picked up some sparkly tissue at a department store, as well as printable mailing labels. I got the large kind of mailing label, and printed our return address on the top of it, and handwrote the addresses.

Project #3: Business cards (trading cards)

Aeolidia team trading cards

Aeolidia team trading cards

Aeolidia team trading cards – The front has our photo and job description. The back has our bio.

When you work with Aeolidia, you have a whole team on your side. There’s me, who pops in for strategy sessions and decision making as needed, Sam, who manages the project (helping gather content, organizing tasks and keeping everything tightly on schedule), your graphic designer, your web developer, website quality assurance gal, and often, our copywriter, photographer, and marketing consultant.

That’s a lot of people to suddenly have on your team! As part of the welcome kit, I send a pack of “trading cards” to help you get to know your new team. These are held together with a turquoise belly band, and tucked into your bag of treasures.

Business cards:

Jakprints is our go-to printer when we want a job done quickly, inexpensively, and well. However, we can only take on so many clients at a year, so we don’t need hundreds of cards for everyone. I wanted a place where I could print with a low minimum, and Mariah, our designer, pointed me to StationeryHQ. They’ve raised their minimum to 25, but it used to be 10! So if you truly just need 25 of a card, they will cost more per card to do this way. But ordering 100 cards and throwing away 75 is more costly.

It was great to be able to get just a handful of each card. One thing that bummed me out about StationeryHQ is that once I went for a re-order and they’d changed their paper stock. So when I send a group of cards together, they have slightly different weights. I also noticed that the colors were inconsistent. Sometimes the black would be blue-ish. I asked them about this, and they gave me this tip:

“Unfortunately slight color variation is typical with digital printing, especially when cards are printed at different times. The grays are a particularly tricky color (along with tans) because any shift of the calibrated CMYK colors could easily cause it to “swing” purple, blue, or brown. So sorry about this!

The best way to avoid this for future orders is to make the gray color a screen of black, or grayscale, instead of a rich build of black. In other words, you would be making the cyan, magenta, and yellow values 0.”

Here you can see the print quality between Jakprints (left) and StationeryHQ (right).

Here you can see the print quality between Jakprints (left) and StationeryHQ (right).

I liked the quality at Jakprints better, and I’m considering doing all reorders for those cards there, and just stockpiling them for years!

For our main Aeolidia business cards, we went all out on quality and had them custom-printed at Mama’s Sauce, which I’d highly recommend for any mission-critical print work. My article here explains why: Why You Should Splurge on Business Card Printing.

Business card printers:

  • Jakprints offers lots of printed products, including stickers and apparel.
  • StationeryHQ also have a big selection, with low minimums.
  • Mama’s Sauce are the best of the best, and can make your wildest ideas come true!

Project #4: Custom mailing boxes & embosser

People are always asking me for print and packaging sources, and this is proving to be a popular series! I'm writing monthly throughout 2016 about each part of our packages in detail.

Aeolidia mailing boxes

We wanted our clients to feel delighted the moment they saw our welcome kit in the mail, and we decided to do that with color.

At the start, we considered a custom foil-printed keepsake box. We were going to protect it by tucking it into a cardboard outer mailer, and tie it to that mailer, like so:

Photo of example box mailer from Do It With More Options

Photo of example box mailer from Do It With More Options

We found out that Mama’s Sauce couldn’t print gold foil on boxes without crushing the boxes, so looked into having custom boxes created. These would be printed while flat, then assembled. The order minimums didn’t make sense for us, as a service based business with an exclusive group of clientele each year. We couldn’t order enough to get the price down, and I didn’t want that many boxes in my house!

I decided to go much simpler on the boxes, and we ended up choosing boxes in one of our brand colors, and adding an embossed foil stamp to them. I was worried this would look cheap or tacky, but we tested the stickers out on boxes and notebooks around our houses, and were delighted by the look.

Now I own a custom embossing tool and I just love it! Not only do I emboss my stickers, but I emboss our seal onto the flaps of our thank you envelopes, and I’ve embossed the first page of printed handouts I use when teaching at conferences and other creative business events.

My trusty embosser and roll of matte gold stickers

My trusty embosser and roll of matte gold stickers

This process takes a bit of elbow grease

This process takes a bit of elbow grease

Et voila!

Et voila!

Once the boxes are all pretty and packed with goodies, I slide them into a plastic bag, and put the mailing labels and stamps on the outside. This way, nothing gets messy or ruined in transit, and our client can continue to use the box, if they like.

The mailing boxes have 6 components, sourced from these places:

Embossing tool:

I love my embossing tool! I had no problems with ordering, and it’s great quality. If I was going to do one thing over, I’d pay attention to where they talk about paper thicknesses, because I think my stickers may be a bit too thick for my embosser – it takes a lot of muscle, and I worry I’m wearing my embosser out or something. They say:

“It is very important that you tell us what thickness of stock you will be embossing so we can cut the dies for the specific application. If we cut a custom die for thick stock, it will tear lighter stocks. If cut for lighter stocks, it will not be deep enough for heavier stocks. What is on the image will be a big factor on how the embosser will work. It is best to talk to one of our representatives about the image if there are questions.”

Custom address labels:

We ordered labels along with everything else we were printing for business stationery from Mama’s Sauce. We were able to save money on the die cut blank mailing labels by making them the exact same size as our business cards. One die for two projects is a thrifty way to go (and keeps everything consistent with your brand!).

The return address labels were designed so we could fold them over the back of an envelope or corner of a box and say, “hello, friend!” to our client.


We order these wholesale from Do It With More Options. They also have a retail site at Envelopper, but I’d recommend setting up a wholesale account if you’ll be ordering a lot of these.

If you want truly custom boxes, printed with your logo, rather than colored boxes, here are some places to try:

Note that I can’t recommend any of these companies, because I haven’t worked with them. French Paper are very well known, and from the graphic, it looks like they might be able to make you some boxes, and possibly coordinate with a printer on getting them finished.

Paper Source also sells box mailers, and they have a wholesale company, Waste Not Paper, if you’d like to order from them.

Transparent bags:

I’m happy with my bags, but I hate to generate plastic! Next time, I’ll order eco-friendly ones. Clear Bags support were great about walking through what size I should order based on the size of my box. Remember that your box has a depth, too, not just a width and height, so if your box is 4″x6″, you can’t order that size bag and call it a day.

Project #5: Thank you cards & envelope liners

Aeolidia thank you cards. Silk screened, die cut, duplexed paper, gold foil

Aeolidia thank you cards. Silk screened, die cut, duplexed paper, gold foil

Envelope liner, screen printed with our custom waves pattern and die cut to envelope shape.

Envelope liner, screen printed with our custom waves pattern and die cut to envelope shape.

Here is the card with the envelope. Swoon!

Here is the card with the envelope. Swoon!

Remember my embosser? I also use it to emboss the flaps of the envelopes with our merman.

Remember my embosser? I also use it to emboss the flaps of the envelopes with our merman.

We made every effort to impress with Aeolidia’s custom business stationery. Our thank you cards are an example of how to design business stationery without cutting corners (except for the corners of the cards, which are quite literally cut). We send these cards out to clients at the close of projects, with a personal note about their project. These have 6 components, sourced from these places:

Thank you cards:

The thank you cards are special, and very similar to our business cards. They are die cut to have the corners chopped at an angle. Instead of printing black on white paper, we have two kinds of paper duplexed together: a charcoal grey and a cream. The charcoal side is gold foil stamped with our “thank you” crown, and the cream side is silk screened with our waves pattern.

The paper is a delight to write on, and everyone who holds these are impressed by how sturdy and luxurious they are.


The charcoal envelopes were sourced by Mama’s Sauce, and all dark printing was designed to color match the envelopes. They created a die to make an envelope liner for us, to fit our envelopes. I affix the liners to the envelopes with my trusty tape glider.

We had a snafu with the envelopes. An early envelope was returned to me in the mail and I saw that the silk screened ink had been pressed in the USPS machinery and had rubbed off on the cards, leaving a grey smudgey impression:

Oh no! Dirty waves on the cards!

I did a bunch of tests at home to try to duplicate the problem, and so did Mama’s Sauce. The ink seemed to stay put just fine, no matter what pressure we put on it, even rubbing the liner right on the card. I mailed myself another card and it came back in smudgey condition again, so we decided the postal service must have a serious mail crusher that was causing this.

Mama’s Sauce went above and beyond, hiring a local print company on their dime to have a batch of liners offset printed for me (instead of screened). I use the silkscreened liners when I’m mailing a thank you card in one of our aqua-colored boxes. I use the offset ones when sending an envelope directly in the mail.

Something to keep in mind if you’re  planning screen printing and mailing!

Project #6: Custom ballpoint pens & packaging

Aeolidia custom logo pens, printed in metallic gold

Aeolidia custom logo pens, printed in metallic gold

Manifesto bookmarks, gold foil, die cut, screen printed pattern

Manifesto bookmarks, gold foil, die cut, screen printed pattern

Close up of the designs

Close up of the designs

Here they are all packed up and ready to send. The sticker has our crowned A character on the front

Here they are all packed up and ready to send. The sticker has our crowned A character on the front

We wanted an unexpected but useful thank you gift for our design clients, and we decided to put together a set of Aeolidia-branded ballpoint pens with our logo, our merman mascot, and a seahorse. With three pens, we couldn’t resist doing three colors, so our blue pen writes blue, our black pen writes black, and Mr. Merman assists you with all your red pen needs.

We wanted to design nice packaging that wasn’t an instant throwaway, so we made the paper backing into a lovely gold foil die cut design with a quote from our manifesto, to be used as a bookmark (or taped to your inspiration board!). This project has 5 components, sourced from these places:

Ballpoint pens:

These Bic pens have golden metal for the clip, ring, and clicker. We printed our logo and illustrations in metallic gold. They’re not a super luxury pen, but they’re a great little ballpoint to have on hand. We went with a single color for each pen, but Quality Logo Products will also let you mix and match the colors for the cap and the barrel.

We had so much trouble with these darn pens, but most of it was trouble that we caused ourselves! We originally chose metallic silver as the third pen color, with the metallic gold printing. Quality Logo Products had a pen printed for us, halted production, and told us that the contrast between the gold and silver wasn’t great, and they sent us a picture and asked if we still wanted to go ahead. The picture looked kind of okay, and we told them to go ahead. Lesson #1: when your printer tells you it doesn’t look great, believe them! The pens arrived and they did not look great.

So we changed colors and ordered again, which gave us an opportunity to change the design as well. Our first design had some small text that didn’t look so great, either.

Then, since we had changed our minds on the pen color and design, I ended up with colors in the wrong pens. That is a long story that I can’t remember the particular details of, but something about changing the color meant I ended up sitting in front of the TV one night, unscrewing every single black pen and every single blue pen to switch their inks. Those little springs were flying all over the place, let me tell you.

So, lesson #2 for this one is: be decisive! Oh dear.

I was very careful with my design mocks and instructions, and somehow the first set of pens we got had our merman printed sideways, so he was wrapping around the pen. I was able to go back and show my instructions, and the company was great about refunding my money and reordering the correct ones.

We were able to donate the sideways merman pens and the hard to read silver pens to our kids’ school, so that was good.

Quality Logo Products were helpful the whole way through, refunded when the error was ours, and tried to stop us from making our own mistake, so they seem like a recommendable company, though the only project I’ve done with them is these pens.

They will imprint a ton of different stuff with your logo (they have five pages of different mugs, for instance) – things you have never considered! It might be fun to browse their products and dream about where your logo could end up.


Mama’s Sauce had been printing our thank you cards, business cards, manifesto, and more, so of course we had them create our bookmark. These lovelies have a gold foil quote from our manifesto (“A good idea becomes a great idea when you let it out”) on one side and the wave pattern Mariah designed for us on the other.

I saved money on this project by clipping the corners off myself with scissors, instead of having them die cut. Another good Netflix and snip project.


I didn’t want to go to all the trouble and expense of making a lovely bookmark only to have people consider it packaging and chuck it, so we designed a little wraparound sticker for the package. I also wanted people to know that the pens were different colors. The stickers say, “tame to-dos. write well. writing & editing set plus a bookmark.”

We designed a fine hairline on the stickers so I’d easily be able to fold them exactly the same each time.

StationeryHQ is a nice cost effective option. Their work isn’t the absolute best, but I knew the stickers were being thrown out as packaging, so cost was more important to me than quality in this case.


I contacted customer support at Clearbags to tell them exactly the size of the bookmark and that there would be three pens included. I didn’t want to end up with bags that were too tight to accommodate the pens. They gave me good advice and my bags have room without being too baggy. Please note that we got this advice before printing the bookmarks, so we would be able to adjust the bookmark size if there wasn’t going to be a bag size that fit well.

These bags have a sticky flap that I fold over and seal on the back. Next time I’ll see if I can order biodegradable bags in this size.

Glue dots:

Not much to say about glue dots except they’re that gummy boogery stuff that you can peel off of paper without wrecking it. I first experimented with the glue dot dispenser, but was still kind of guessing at where the glue dot would land, so I ended up just buying a plain roll of glue dots and sticking them more manually. The dispenser isn’t much of a help.

Our clients love these pens, and they’re so fun to package and send!

Project #7: Silkscreened muslin swag bags and post-it note books

Aeolidia custom-printed sticky book, metallic gold ink

Aeolidia custom-printed sticky book, metallic gold ink

Everything that goes in the bag

Everything that goes in the bag

A second unexpected but useful thank you gift for our design clients is our post-it notebooks. I hadn’t seen these before, but they’re a classy little hardback book with neatly organized sticky notes in different sizes and colors. We create a swag bag of custom-branded gifts for our clients by packaging these up with the ballpoint pens (from the previous section), and our designer trading cards, tucked in a silkscreened drawstring muslin bag.

This swag bag project has two components, sourced from these places:

Sticky books:

These are cute, and I’ve gotten great feedback about them! We really wanted our welcome kit to be, well, welcome! Not a bunch of stuff that people would instantly throw away. It’s nice to have a bunch of sticky notes on your desk, and kids love them, too. “Play with the sticky notes, dear, mommy needs to add some products to her website.”

These went well. We didn’t want any trouble with legibility, so we bumped our logo size up quite a bit. I didn’t want it to look gauche, but I also wanted to be sure the tagline was readable, so this is a nice compromise.

Muslin bags:

Silkscreening is a nice tactile way to get your design onto paper or fabric. The ink ends up slightly raised, and it’s a really nice look.

I felt a bit excited and impatient, so we used the gold ink that Chris happened to have on hand. I think it’s too orange-y for the Aeolidia brand, so when I get to the bottom of my stack o’ bags I’m going to buy a new metallic ink. I think we also put the little crown on the bags too low. It looks great when the bag is empty, but once filled, the contents kind of sit on the crown graphic and you can’t see it (as evidenced in the above picture). So, if you’re designing graphics for a bag, think about how they will look when the bag is stuffed!

Mariah designed the graphic. We ordered the bags, and planned to silkscreen them ourselves. My husband, Chris, and I have done quite a bit of DIY silkscreening in the past and have all the tools and supplies needed. I wish I had taken photos of the work in process or the silk screen itself! These came out wonderfully, and I took the time to iron each bag, both to set the ink and to get them perfectly flat and nice.

If you want to make a small amount of bags, you might want to silkscreen them yourself. It is pretty fun, and not that complicated, particularly if you get someone else to make the screen for you. Chris and I burned our own screens – this is a process where you print your design on a transparent sheet, load the screen with the emulsion, let it dry, burn the image under some bright lights, then wash out the design. It’s quite a process!

I recently discovered a new company that will create a custom silk screen for you – how cool is that? It’s Lumi, and they also offer a whole bunch of other great custom branded products (and have the best website I’ve ever seen for a supplier of this type – about time someone stepped up the game there).

Rather than explaining exactly how silkscreening works, I’m going to go let you look at the simple little video explanation on Lumi’s site:

Custom silk screen kit

Ordinarily, the silk fabric is fitted tightly into a wooden frame (similar to how screen door netting is fitted tightly into your screen door frame). I do think that trying to keep a floppy piece of screen totally flat and ready to go from one print to the next is going to be hard to achieve with this kit as-is. Especially on fabric.

Ideally you want the silk to be completely taut. I would want to get myself a frame that would fit the screen and set it up that way, for ease of use multiple times. Great product and great price, though!

If the silkscreening seems too messy but you still like the idea of doing it yourself, Lumi also offers a fabric transfer, which will cost more per print:

Fabric transfer

If you’d just like someone else to silk screen your bags or shirts of posters or what have you, there are printers that will take care of the whole thing. You might find someone local, or search online. For example, Jakprints offers many silkscreening services.

It’s so fun to pack and ship these little bags of goodies!

Project #8: Pocket folder with die cut gold foil print

Pocket folder with die cut gold foil print

What could be in this sweet little package?

Our gold foil manifesto print, easily removed to save and display. On the right, a set of cards that prepares our client for the Aeolidia experience. That's our business card there, tucked in the front.

Our gold foil manifesto print, easily removed to save and display. On the right, a set of cards that prepares our client for the Aeolidia experience. That’s our business card there, tucked in the front.

Pocket folder with die cut gold foil print

Here are the cards and folder before I put it together.

Rubber stamp to stamp on the outside of the envelope, mounting corners to add the manifesto, tape gun to affix the belly band tightly to itself around the whole envelope.

Have I shown off our manifesto lately? Here it is in all its gold foil glory.

Have I shown off our manifesto lately? Here it is in all its gold foil glory.

This one is the most important part of the welcome kit that we send to our clients. It is a pocket folder that includes our gold foil print manifesto for clients to hang, display, or pin to their inspiration board. It has a set of cards that explain what we’re about and how things will work. It’s all perfectly packed up and branded, and is a great example of what the branding work we do for our clients can be used to accomplish.

This project has seven components, sourced from these places:

Pocket folders:

We knew from the start that we were going to do pocket folders, so we had Mama’s Sauce match our other paper to this existing charcoal color. Our business cards and other envelopes match perfectly!


This is our showstopper! I worked and worked on ideas for the manifesto itself and Natalia did that wonderful thing she does with words to give us this manifesto that we’ve stood by for two years:

We believe…

Products don’t speak to people.
The stories behind them do.

suc·cess — noun, \sək-ˈses\:
{insert your own definition here}

A good idea becomes a great
idea when you let it out.

Small business + big ideas
= limitless possibilities.

Opportunity happens when you
do less waiting and more creating.

We believe…
you are so ready for this!

This thing is on beautiful paper, is gold foil printed, and has our die cut corners. We debated over how to affix it to the pocket. I wanted to be sure that people understood it was a gift to remove and display, and I ended up using these big clear sticky-back mounting corners. They don’t detract from the design, but they make it obvious that it can be easily removed.

Informational cards for pocket:

Mama’s Sauce die cut these to lop off the corners on an angle, like we do for our manifesto, business cards, and thank you cards. To save money, they used one die, then cut each successive card shorter.

We designed these to be the same width as our business cards, so a business card tucks in perfectly in front of these.

Business cards:

I wrote a whole blog post about these two Augusts ago, with photos that compare them to a more standard business card printing situation. Read that here: Why You Should Splurge on Business Card Printing

Rubber stamp:

Every business should have a rubber stamp! Our favorite rubber stamp business now is Felicette, one of our mighty “big little” branding clients! She loves partnering with other small businesses to stamp up their brands, and you can check Lauren’s site out here: Felicette.

I use this awesome metallic ink from Stazon – if you use a quick, light, and firm touch, it’s gorgeously glimmery instead of gloppy.

Folder belly band:

Belly bands just finish things up so nicely. I think in the future I’ll just print these out myself using my home printer and nice paper. This is our repeating waves pattern.

View more of our product packaging projects:

Bosq packaging design for a mom gift box subscription

Bosq packaging design by Aeolidia for a mom gift box subscription.

Muddy's Bake Shop Package design for Memphis bakery

Muddy’s Bake Shop coffee cup package design for Memphis bakery

1302 packaging design for a leather watch company

1302 packaging design for a leather watch company

Bonblissity packaging design for a bath and body line

Bonblissity packaging design for a bath and body line

Domi and Frisk packaging design for cat tree company by Aeolidia

Packaging tape design for cat tree company Domi and Frisk by Aeolidia

View more packaging design projects in our portfolio »

Could your brand use some love?

If it’s time to work on the way you present your brand to your customer, we would love to help by designing some standout marketing materials, product packaging, or business stationery for you. Contact us to get started!

P.S. Was this guide useful? We’d love it if you’d share this resource with your small biz colleagues!