Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA
Collector's Edition (2017)
When we received the contract for this game, it was the largest brand we had ever worked on. For the collector's edition, we wanted to do something really special. I was lucky enough to be the designer assigned to this project! Because the budget for this project was larger than any previous one, I was able to work on some packaging that I had never had the chance to work on before. As you can see in the full 3D above, this was quite a large set. It contained a premium collector's box - a type of box we called a "double" neck box - and a Steelbook, in addition to the other standard items like the soundtrack jewel case and art books.
Spot Varnish and Multi-Layer Printing
The final box features a light blue colored map design, which became my theme for the packaging. I took the map from the large leather bound art book we made, and used it to capitalize on the idea of "adventure." The light blue color was sampled from the main female character's hair - the titular "DANA," a new character to this 8 game series. This map motif and blue coloring can be seen on the Steelbook as well as the soundtrack. These map patterns and cool colors really unify the set! The shapes surrounding the main logo on the front were taken directly from the in-game treasure chests and colored with metallic silver PANTONE ink, which reminds customers how special this set really is.
Spot varnish was applied to the written title and "Limited Edition" text, as well as the logo on top of the box, and a thicker "raised spot varnish" outline applied to the main logo on the front in lieu of a custom sculpted embossed logo. Additional spot varnish was applied to the front and sides without matching CMYK elements underneath, creating a sort of magic / invisible ink effect.
Inside, the large character art was given the spot varnish treatment, supplemented by a background pattern of magic text from the game. This magic text was also given the invisible ink treatment. Finally, the roman numeral VIII was varnished onto the sides and the entire box given a soft touch coating to increase the contrast between the matte and glossy portions, and give the box a premium feel.
The Ys VIII "Double" Neck Box
The collector's box was a new and exciting experiment for me and the operations department. When I began thinking about the box, I spoke with other members of the design team and researched other collector's edition boxes to compare box shapes and functionality. We even purchased a few collector's editions to compare! Eventually we settled on the double neck box, a variation of the type of box you might buy a high-end watch in.
I then drafted up my dream box - a box which had simple art on the outside but opened up to reveal the main characters, large and colorful. I added custom embossing, metallic PANTONE colors, and spot varnish, as well as die-cuts - all on a box with soft touch coating. Unfortunately we weren't able to accommodate the custom embossing or die-cut within our budget, but the end result is still very close to my original design! A near-final box can be seen in the GIF to the left, which I created as a proof of concept to show our licensors.
Box designs for retail
In addition to designing the packaging for the collector's edition, I also created the back of the box for the standard edition, which would be seen on shelves at retailers.
My job was to include the screenshots and sales points given to me by the marketing team, as well as communicate a sense of adventure and showcase the main character - who fans would be able to recognize from the previous seven games in the series.
In designing this "back of [the] box," I combined several elements from parts of the collector's edition to maintain a sense of unity between everything. I created a torn paper background based on the pages of the large Codex art book, and used a selection of handwritten typefaces from the art book, Codex and collector's box. I was also able to use a large image of Adol, the protagonist, which provided a large focal point.
This packaging can be seen in the US, Australia, and across Europe!