Packaging Case Study

Makies Gift Box Packaging

Client: Selfridges, Brand: Makies, Tools: Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator.
Makies packaging visual revealing the inside of the box.

Project Scope:

To create on the shelf packaging for Selfridges Oxford Street, selling an online experience at


To create concepts, cutter guides & print ready designs for a Makies gift set whilst working closely with Riikka Haro (Brand Designer) & Chris Catton (Director of Product).

"How do we sell something in store that begins as a digital experience before becoming a physical product?”. 

A tech start up based in Shoreditch London, Makies are a customisable 3D printed toy that is designed by you. The idea is that you design your unique toy online from thousands of possible outcomes, and Makies will then 3D print and ship it directly to you. It was such a forward thinking idea that Selfridges wanted to sell it in their flagship Oxford Street store in time for christmas. This presented a unique problem - how do you sell a toy that doesn’t yet physically exist?

Early concept sketch.

Photoshoot of various Makie options for marketing material.

Initially we knew the only way we could sell this product was in the form of a redeemable code that worked with the Makie website. Our first challenge was working out how this would sit on a shelf. Although we were completely customising our own retail space, gift cards have to be hung from walls and there was no way to integrate a store gift card with the Makie website. So we simplified the cards to work like scratch cards with randomly generated numbers covered by a silver foil strip. This itself generated its own problems with security and theft, and with no way of tracking which codes were being sold, we realised the gift card would have to be exchanged after a sale.

Early cover and logo concept with overplayed vector artwork.

Printed packaging sleeve ready for die-cut.

With the gift card problems resolved we began to look at packaging solutions. As I was already designing packaging for other Makie products it made sense to keep all of the box shapes similar. This one differed slightly with it having to have a gift card placed into it after sales, so we developed a sleeve to fit over the box which we refined for a snug fit. For the packaging artwork we looked at the existing brand which involved some really cool monochrome illustrations. Although we wanted this product to honour the same look, we also wanted this to be brighter and more appealing to children. I also felt it would be good for the artwork to show a variety of Makie combinations, so a photo shoot was organised and the circle of dolls became a perfect fit for the cover and new logo. The messaging was also really important here too, as this was the first time the product would be seen in a large retailer. After several iterations we settled on "You Create It • We Make It • Worldwide Shipping", which we also repeated throughout the store. The final piece of the puzzle was how the gift card would fit in the box after sale, which is where we developed what we nicknamed "The Wobbler". Inside the box was a small spring with a card circle attached that the sales assistant could clip the gift card into once the product had been purchased.

Makies packaging visual of box open.

To date this project is still a personal favourite of mine - working with a talented team who had different skill sets and solving a problem so unique that Ive not seen before or since. The project on the whole was a great success as Makies were only supposed to be in Selfridges for the 3 month Christmas period, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it was all still in there 18 months later.

Makies packaging visual of box closed.


"Oli was an extremely creative and hard working member of the Makielab team, bringing a steady stream of high class designs and solutions to some really difficult briefs resulting in a range of very exciting new product lines. He was a pleasure to work with and I have continued to work with him on several other projects since." - Chris Catton, Head of Product @ MakieLab.

Selfridges & Co:

If you would like to talk more about about how I can help you create a packaging solution for your project, then I'd love to hear from you!