Upcoming book “Inside Apple” by Adam Lashinsky reveals that Apple HQ has a secret room dedicated for product packaging design and testing. The revelation isn’t too surprising considering how elegantly packaged Apple products have been, but it confirms what lengths Apple goes to achieve that.
The book reveals that the room is located in a walled-off section inside Apple’s main marketing building and requires a special badge in order to enter or exit the room. The packaging designers inside are said to open hundreds of prototype packaging in trying to achieve the perfect unboxing experience.
“How a customer opens a box must be one of the last things a typical product designer would consider,” wrote Lashinsky. “Yet for Apple, the inexpensive box merits as much attention as the high-margin electronic device inside.”
One after another, the designer created and tested an endless series of arrows, colors, and tapes for a tiny tab designed to show the consumer where to pull back the invisible, full-bleed sticker adhered to the top of the clear iPod box. Getting it just right was this particular designer’s obsession.
What’s more, it wasn’t just about one box. The tabs were placed so that when Apple’s factory packed multiple boxes for shipping to retail stores, there was a natural negative space between the boxes that protected and preserved the tab.
It truly illustrates the obsessive attention to detail at Apple, something Steve Jobs was well known for. Jobs was said to have gone through more than 2,000 shades of beige to find the perfect one for the Apple II and even insisted that engineers make the circuit board inside the Mac look great although consumers wouldn’t be able to see it.