Most people don’t know that there are three kinds of shipping boxes. This is, in part, because it isn’t an official designation, but one based off of observation. I still like to say that the theory stands, though. So the three kinds of shipping boxes would be: casual, serious, and professional. Below, I will explain in greater detail the characteristics that make each of these categories distinct from one another.
Casual: something that is done without much thought, effort, or concern. Now, when it comes to shipping boxes this doesn’t mean that you don’t care if what you are sending gets lost, or gets ruined along the way. If you cared that little you probably wouldn’t even be investing in sending something to begin with. It just means that you aren’t trying to make any kind of impression with your packaging supplies. You can take an old diaper box and wrap it in paper grocery bag and write on it with sharpie. You can let your kids cover it in stickers and scribble on it with crayons. More than likely this is something you would be sending to a close friend or family member.
Serious: involving or deserving a lot of thought, attention, or work. If you were going to send off your manuscript to an editor or publishing company, odds are that you wouldn’t be sending it like the first group that we mentioned. If a serious person doing a serious job were to come across a sparkly pink package they would probably assume that the sender had no place in that community. If you want your manuscript to be taken seriously, than you should be sending it in a plain cardboard box or envelope mailer, with tape that didn’t clash and addresses written neatly.
Professional: exhibiting a conscientious and generally businesslike manner. This is where an individual or organization takes extra care that their product is being correctly represented right from the get go. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, that packaging is someone’s first impression (well, after the website or phone call or whatever that led them to sending away for something). Usually you have some nice, clean, sturdy boxes. Usually you have tape that has your company’s logo printed on it. Usually you have shipping labels with printed addresses on it. I don’t think it would be very impressive to buy something from a business and receive that had your name and address hand-written on it.