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Upton Belts



Design Agency: Wedge & Lever
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Upton Belts
Location: Encinitas, California
Packaging Contents: Belt, punch tool, packaging booklet, travel case

Upton is an online-exclusive, American-made brand that specializes in made-to-order, custom belts. Being an e-commerce brand presents both a challenge and an opportunity for creating the brand’s physical manifestation; each touchpoint needed to thoroughly engage the customer in order to make up for the lack of a brick and mortar presence.

Upton’s packaging is the heart of its brand experience. Elegant and inviting, it leaves a lasting impression of aesthetic value. Its soft-touch finish contrasts its matte black protective sleeve, which interacts with the box to act as a decoder for the custom-cut Upton alphabet we created. Once opened, the belt is revealed within a black environment that frames it and its accouterments: a punch for sizing adjustments, a bag for storage, and a 14-page manuscript.



What's Unique?
We knew a unique means of communication would help foster a sense of familiarity and loyalty with our customers. Inspired by the 1930s radio show “Little Orphan Annie,” we created a secret alphabet and integrated a decoder system into the packaging. Messages and puzzles—which offer rewards— are decipherable only by those who purchase a belt. This builds curiosity, rewards repeat customers, and turns the unboxing experience into a moment of discovery. The customer’s initials are hand stamped in our secret alphabet on the back of each belt.

The packaging's soft-touch finish contrasts its matte black protective sleeve, which interacts with the box to act as a decoder for the custom-cut Upton alphabet, allowing customers to decipher our hidden messages. Once opened, the belt is revealed within a black environment that frames it and its accouterments: a punch for sizing adjustments, a bag for storage, and a 14-page manuscript.






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