This far into the 21st century, it's hard to escape the need for digital media delivery. Though digital downloads are the simplest and easiest solution, it doesn't free the photographer from the need to deliver a tangible archive to their clients that isn't dependent on an internet connection to access. Because of this, we have seen an explosion in the various kinds of USB flash drives that are available to the photography community. Along with that has come innumerable requests from our clients to provide them with custom boxwork that will house their drives in a beautiful way. This post will outline a couple options and examples of custom usb boxwork we've done in the past, and give you an idea of how to estimate prices even before we get started.
Under the Lid
This is our preferred method for digital delivery, as it tucks the drive out of the way of the prints while they are being enjoyed, which lessens the chance that careless clients will misplace the drive while looking at their prints. This is our standard method for use with our 'wafer-style' brushed aluminum drives, and can be done with almost any size rectangular drive. Keep in mind, though, that the thicker the drive, the more space that is required under the lid, so keep that in mind when deciding how deep you need your boxes to hold your prints. For example, a 250-print box with a 3/4" thick USB drive under the lid might only hold 230 print comfortably. The beauty of our thin cards, then, is that it allows you to add digital delivery to your package without affecting the number of prints you can deliver in a box.
On a Table
This is the most common method we see online and at other binderies. Here the USB drive is given it's own space next to the prints, and can be held in place with a ribbon tie, a recess, or both. This method works well for companies that like to focus on their USB delivery and want clients to as well.
We handle both custom lid and table configurations frequently, and would be happy to work with your drives to help you build the perfect print / digital delivery combination. We typically request a sample drive to work with, or at least to make a mold of before we send it back to you. Custom boxwork also typically requires a minimum order quantity of 10 boxes or more, because of the greater time spent in design and development of your idea. If your idea is something that we've done before with other photographers, the box minimum is just the standard five. Don't hesitate to reach out and let us know if you have questions about your own USB drive solution!