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YardCraft Packaging: Destined for Costco

Elevated Garden planters packed and ready for shipment

Sequel to “Garden Bed Photography in December”

In October 2015, Matt and Roy met with an energized Sam from YardCraft to discuss YardCraft’s plans to sell raised-garden beds in Costco stores. Could Rosewood help design a box meeting Costco’s specific and detailed requirements?

To get an initial feel for what those requirements might be, Matt and Roy went to browse the aisles of the Lancaster Costco Wholesale. (Lesson: Don’t try sneaking in without a membership card—a lady there will stop you!)

Sam shared with Matt and Roy the values the design needed to communicate: self-sustaining gardening for those who want to grow their own food, healthy lifestyle, social responsibility, and environmental awareness. The packaging also needed to emphasize the ease with which the garden beds could be assembled. Sam made it clear that Rosewood’s job was to sell the product to Costco shoppers with an attractive and effective package design.

Matt’s goal was to produce a clean design while highlighting the product’s solidity and appealing to middle-class hobby gardeners. After conducting research and merging Sam’s ideas with his own, Matt chose the color scheme and fonts, staying true to the YardCraft brand.

Designing for 3-D is a different ball game than designing two-dimensional printed materials. The designer needs to be intentional about how one panel interacts with the adjoining panels. He also needs to consider how the packages will appear when stacked on top of each other.

To begin the layout, Matt sketched a scaled-down version on paper. After copying the design onto the computer, he printed and assembled a three-dimensional mock-up. With a YardCraft deadline looming, Matt incorporated the new product photos shot by Rosewood and emailed digital files for evaluation at a YardCraft admin meeting.

A computer screen does not do justice to a three-dimensional design, so Matt created a full-size prototype. Personally delivering it to YardCraft, he surprised them in the middle of their meeting. It was well worth the drive—Sam was thrilled!

The prototype that Matt delivered to the YardCraft meeting

As the design entered the refining stage, Matt continued to collaborate with Sam and his partners, measuring the garden beds to include dimensions and the bed’s capacity, and sending all copy to translators. Gary helped Matt with last-minute edits and inserted the Spanish and French translations. Upon gaining approval from YardCraft, Costco, and the packaging company, the label design was dispatched to the printer!

In December, it was time to create packaging for another YardCraft product—the Elevated Garden Planter. The goal was to craft a design recognizable as part of the same series as the Raised Garden Bed, but not mistaken for it. Matt and Gary decided to keep the same basic layout and fonts, but to change the colors. An added twist was the different size of this box. Roy, Sam, and Gary went over some of the basics. With a looming deadline, it was time to get busy!

Gary adjusted the design, added in the lovely new photos of tomato plants in December, collected the dimensions and capacity, and fired the verbiage off to the translators. The Spanish and French translations needed to be inserted exactly as the translators provided them.

After receiving the nod from YardCraft, Gary submitted the design to Costco for approval. This time we were taken on a bit of a journey. Multiple proofs were required, mostly due to changes to the UPC size and number of UPCs shown. We rejoiced when we finally gained Costco USA approval, but we weren’t finished yet—we were disappointed to learn Costco Canada had additional requirements. The icons needed to be translated too. At long last, we got a Canadian thumbs-up and were DONE!

Although unforeseen delays caused the project to fall behind schedule, Sam was impressed with the results. And we gained invaluable experience in working for a product manufacturer, packaging company, label printer, and corporate distributor all at once. Thank you, YardCraft, for your patience and for the opportunity to work on this project!

The packaging was printed, it arrived at YardCraft, the products were manufactured, and the boxes were packed and shipped. If you shop at Costco this spring, watch for the Raised and Elevated Garden Beds in their attractive, colorful packaging. Or check out the YardCraft website right now.

Here are pictures of the product ready to go.

  • A warehouse full of garden beds destined for Costco
  • Raised Garden beds ready for shipment
  • Elevated Garden planters packed and ready for shipment
  • Matt's mockup of the raised garden bed box