How Ella Paradis' Advent Box Design Transitions From the Holidays to Any Time of Year


The question “How do you keep things new and exciting?” isn’t just the focus of “adult toy” retailer Ella Paradis, it goes to the heart of any company that wants to provide creative packaging for multiple products without having to produce and store a wide assortment of boxes. And with its advent box, the company came up with a simple yet elegant way to “make it new” every time. The secret ingredient? Clever box design and that effective but underused touch: the bellyband. 

What Makes This Creative Packaging? 

Ella Paradis wanted to create an Advent-calendar-like box filled with 12 different products that could be used during the holidays, certainly, but also for other promotions throughout the year, all while keeping costs down. Commonwealth Packaging Co. ran with the idea by opting for an elegant white rigid box, the flip top of which folds over and closes gently with the soft plop of a magnetic closure. The lid itself boasts soft-touch lamination with the company logo subtly featured in a tone-on-tone holographic foil and two simple but on-brand words – “Give Pleasure” – rendered in silver foil. 

The masterstroke was the leaving of enough room between the words to fit an inexpensive bellyband printed on standard 450 gm  (300 lb.) card stock for whatever the current promotion is at the time. As Commonwealth Packaging points out, “The color of the box refers to no commitment of any season – all the color commitments are in the banding.”  

A Tetris Game of Surprises Inside 

With this challenge met, the company had another: How do you create mini-boxes for a variety of items that would: 

  1. Be appealing in and of themselves, and
  2.  All somehow fit in the larger package?

For the first part, the client provided a variety of different designs for each mini-box. Naturally a lot of planning went into determining the correct size of each so that all 12 would fit snuggly inside the larger one.  

Once the holidays were over, the large white box – sans mini-boxes – could be used for a variety of different promotions; all that needed to be changed was the bellyband!

Have an idea for creative packaging design of your own but don’t know where to begin? Start by downloading PaperSpec’s free Packaging Cheat Sheet. In it you will find information and illustrations that help you identify the most common packaging types, as well as the language necessary to communicate your needs to your printer. 

This article originally appeared on, an innovative online hub for brand owners and graphic designers who actively spec paper and print and refuse to be limited by short print runs or tight budgets.