Mason America creates custom android devices for industry applications. Mason makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage a fleet of dedicated devices. This projects goal was to develop packaging for the “Wingtip” smartphone, an unlocked GSM smartphone marketed towards consumers wanting to free themselves from contract agreements. Mason America was founded in October 2015 and originally based in Detroit, Michigan. Since interning at Mason, the company has evolved through the Y-Combinator program. Twice a year, the Y-Combinator invests a small amount of money (120K) in a large number of start-ups. They are now located in Seattle, Washington.
In the beginning of the research phase, I thought about my own personal experience of receiving a smartphone. I recalled the interaction I had with a sales representative. The representative forgot to return the packaging to me, so I requested they search for it. It was a company phone and I wanted to return it in the same packaging when I was finished using it. When I was told it may be in the garbage, I checked the dumpster. Without finding it, I drove home. As I pulled into the driveway, I received a phone call from the employee saying it had been misplaced on the countertop. How could this situation have been avoided? If the packagings design had been interesting, then the employee would have made sure to include it in my bag.
During the development of the packaging, the Mason "Wingtip" smartphone was considered one of the lightest and thinnest Android smartphones on the market. The unlocked GSM smartphone boasted a 4.7" in screen and in-hand, felt as "light as a feather." The concept was to design the packaging to mirror features of the smartphone, providing the allusion that the phone will "take flight" out of the packaging.
12-15 different mock-ups were designed and constructed. Keeping in mind the presentation of the phone, accessories, and size of the box, the packaging was geared toward saving materials and reducing overall cost. The final mock-up was shipped to the Chinese Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), and a final CAD model was provided for reference.
To help the Chinese OEM understand how to assemble the packaging better, an instruction booklet was designed to guide them through the process. We communicated primarily through email, while my boss Jim translated any questions we had through Skype calls.
The Mason Team and I communicated with the manufacturer in order to work out details such as materials, finishes, color, text, fonts, and placement.
With careful consideration, color scheme for the phone case, volume, and the power button were chosen strategically with the user's needs in mind, while complimenting the brands packaging. Phone mockups were created for the logo placement, advertisements for the sales department, and mock-ups were created for stickers. The printing was sourced locally at a company in Detroit.
The Mason Wingtip was sold in stores at MicroCenter and online at Bestbuy and Amazon. Special thanks to Jim Xiao, Jeff Messano, Cam Herringshaw, Megan Marsac, Eleanor Meegoda, and everyone at Nexlink Communications. This was amazing team to work with that helped encourage creative freedom throughout the process.