Leather straps and brass buttons and latches complement the wood box and provide durability for future travels. 

The Task
Create packaging for a family or kit of items, speaking to a specific target audience. 
The Solution
Much of our communication today is done digitally, which is cost effective and efficient. However, everyone loves to receive a letter, so Penman Stationers' To & From letter writing box encourages writers to take the time to write a letter to someone they care about, even if it's short. Many other stationery and letter-writing sets online have a more feminine, pastel aesthetic, so the To & From box goes the opposite direction: a masculine, analog approach puts the emphasis on materials and the tactile experience of writing a letter. 
The writing box contains letter writing paper, envelopes, a fountain pen with extra ink cartridges, a wax sealing kit, a set of letter writing prompt cards, postage stamps, a card for the owner's name and phone number, and a keepsakes box to hold letters and paraphernalia received. 

The To & From writing box logo is a combination of handwritten script and Hypatia Sans. A list of the box's contents follows, and the front label is concluded with the logo of Penman Stationers, a fictional stationery company. The angles of the octagon align with the angles of the box corners. 

The back label repeats the To & From and Penman logos, has a brief brand story, manufacturer's information, Forest Stewardship Council approval, and the barcode. 

The PS monogram on the side of the box adds contrast, and reinforces the Penman Stationers brand. 

The box also contains a handwritten letter to the writer from Penman Stationers, encouraging them to write a letter to someone—it doesn't have to be long, serious, or perfectly written, it just needs to be from the heart. 

The writing paper is initially bound with a single o-band, similar in shape to the band around the outside of the box. Leather straps at the corners fix the stack of papers to the board. 

The envelopes are packaged similarly to the paper. Minimal single-use packaging throughout the project is environmentally friendly and adds to the simple, classy feel of the box.

The box comes with a deck of cards containing prompts for writing letters. The card box clips onto the inside of the lid of the larger box with magnets. A leather strap and brass button keep the cards inside the box during travel.

The writing paper is secured to a writing board with leather straps and brass buttons (the buttons allow the straps to be adjusted tighter, so that a smaller stack of paper will be equally secure on the board). Adjustable straps on the back of the board provide the user with a stronger grip on the board by sliding their hand through the straps.

Refill ink cartridges are sold in a small folding carton, which slips in to the front of the box containing the fountain pen. The pen is held in in a leather sling with a strap.

The wax sealing kit contains matches in the angled section in the front of the box, a spoon for melting the wax, the stamp, and three sticks of wax with wicks. A leather sling cradles the spoon and stamp, and each stick of wax is held in the lid by an insert. The lid is hinged with three leather straps.

The board that holds the envelopes has three magnets to attach it to the lid of the larger box, and adjustable leather and brass button straps to hold the envelopes in place. 

Detail of the letter to writer, with handwriting that was scanned in and used for the letter exclusively.

Final logos for the To & From box, Penman Stationers, and a monogram for Penman Stationers. "To & From" is handwritten; "writing box" is in Hypatia Sans. "Penman" and the PS in the monogram are both set in Chapman Black, and "Stationers" is Hypatia Sans Semibold. The counter of the A in "Penman" is made into the shape of a nib of a fountain pen. 

Possible Point of Purchase display for the boxes. Only a handful would be displayed at a time, and refills for the paper, envelopes, ink cartridges and more would be displayed alongside. The PoP display itself is modeled after an old roll-top writing desk.

Personas for Penman's target audience. Overall, these people enjoy the tactile quality of writing a letter, spending time to create something to connect with someone they love. 

Process Work

Initial type studies for the Penman Stationers logo.

More refined type studies for the Penman Stationers logo, experimenting with turning the P into a quill and creating a monogram out of PS.

Experiments with writing "To & From" by hand with different pens.

Experiments with how to set "writing box" beneath "to & from."

Development of outer O-band around the box. A simple rectangle gave way to a shape influenced by the 45-degree angles on the corner of the box. 

Early sketch of what the O-band label on the outside of the box could look like. One idea was to have leather straps reaching all the way around the box, influenced by the aesthetics of vintage suitcases.

Inside of the box at the same stage as the photo at left. Utensils were all strapped in to the lid of the box (possibly with leather, canvas, or even an elastic band). The envelopes and paper were attached to boards, and the pen is on a stand with a strap. 

The corner-strap board for the envelopes made it to the next stage, and influenced the way the writing paper was stacked on it's own board. The pen is still on it's own stand, but the wax sealing utensils are in their own box. The letter prompts now have their own box. 

After the box was stained, the simple rectangular label seemed boring. Here is one experiment with a corner band concept, influenced by the angled corners of the box itself.

First print test of the rectangular label with the stained box looks better than expected (even though measurements were off, so it looks loose). 

The back of the same label as seen on the left. 

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