Featured image for Kreatives' Year End Client Gift Highlights Its Innovative Thinking

Kreatives' Year End Client Gift Highlights Its Innovative Thinking

by Chloe Gordon on 03/29/2023 | 3 Minute Read

Inspired by the VHS cassette, Kreatives designed a year-end gift highlighting nostalgia's magic. The all-black initial packaging adds a sense of mysterious intrigue, but once the user opens the gift, there's an immediate splash of color, revealing even more brightness inside. As a year-end gift, this showcases the design agency's creative potential and highlights its innovative thinking.


The Solution / Project Description

Our annual end-of-year gifts have become a popular ritual and opportunity for us to send something unique to the clients and friends of our design strategy studio.


We started by exploring the theme of a physical VHS cassette– and the watchable experience it contains – as a printed product. To push the nostalgia buttons further, we built an unboxing experience combining retro design, early computer graphics, and the colors of TV test card patterns. We created and tested the whole dieline in-house, building the custom packaging from the ground up.

We designed our simple all-black packaging to bring mystery and elegance to the unboxing experience. We used embossing and a screen-printed varnish to embellish the outside packaging for the notebook, resembling details of a VHS through texture. Both techniques did not add color to the packaging, thus elevating the feeling emitted by touching the packaging.

When opening the packaging, you immediately get a peak of color, giving a hint of a more extraordinary experience. The classic TV broadcast test pattern inspired the colors used throughout the product. We applied the same color pattern along the side cut of the notebook to invoke a nostalgic and familiar feeling of early broadcasting entertainment.


The color side cut was intentionally the only part of the notebook with the color pattern, creating dynamic juxtaposition with the sleek black packaging. We also use the color pattern beneath the packaging tear strip to create a defined connection between the product and packaging and provide a way to see a hint of color when opened.

The phrase printed at the beginning of the notebook, “based on a true story,” gives way to the intention of the notebook. Details in the back of the book take the form of movie credits to acknowledge the “cast” of materials that went into making the product and the “crew,” our production partners.


The card adds a personal touch to the book, allowing us to include a handwritten note to the receiver. A QR code leads to a secret page on our website showcasing our end-of-year message and video reel. Connecting our print and digital experience.

For this project, we created a font called “Kreatives Sharpie,” enabling us to batch-produce shipping labels and mimic the idea of an old-school handwritten VHS label. We used no additional packaging to be as sustainable as possible; this also added an unpredictable component to the experience: every package arrived a little bit different, with their markings from shipping, evoking a feeling of usage and passing of time.


The paper used for both packaging and notebook cover is the very luxurious 400g Black Magic by Inapa because it was sturdy enough for shipping while also serving as the notebook cover. A Pantone silver was used for the text inside the notebook, visually alluding to the black and silver aesthetic of the classic 90’s VHS players. This elegant yet durable paper for packaging and notebook added cohesion to the unboxing experience.