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Packaging // Speck


As the digital device case market matured, the requirements for a packaged case to be successful at retail evolved. By 2014, Speck was an established leader, but much cheaper cases were easy to come by. There was not enough cost margin for elaborate luxury packages. Still, we were able to combine “floating” case-as-hero with real estate given for both their deceptively serious protection and any differentiating functional features.

Many Speck cases have nifty features built into their industrial design that set them apart from the many other cases on the market. This package format allowed a fair amount of front-facing “violator” real estate to communicate these sorts of features while not fighting with the branding, product, or brand blocking at retail.

Both the front and back of these packages balance the many sorts of information that might make a shopper choose a Speck case in a way that retains a premium branded feel. I derived insights on case shopping behavior from in-store observation and interviewing.

I designed a “Military Grade Drop=Testing” badge that put the brand’s protection story first, a lifetime warranty “Long Live the Machines Promise” bug, and an authenticity badge to help stem the counterfeit market – and made sure each has its space without feeling too cramped.


When Speck cases were selected by AT&T to be featured in their stores, they informed us of a policy that we had to provide samples to a sizeable list of executives and managers. We were just beginning to establish ourselves as a brand embracing underdog-levity (the logo was, after all an asterisk inside parentheses_ and balancing a wink with great product design, and took the opportunity to make a memorable first impression with our fresh, orange brand.

Inside the box the cases were protected by the sort of foam netting that fancy fruit comes in, and a lightly branded reusable bag stood in for an orange. Small type in several places made winky jokes.

There are two amusing anecdotes about the success of this launch kit. I modeled the shipping box realistically enough on a produce box that the postal service returned one for insufficient labeling of agricultural goods. And, three years into Speck’s successful partnership with AT&T, a coworker in the sales team reported that they saw this kit on the shelf at a AT&T VP’s office.