From the Designer's Desk: Cupcake Box


Billy's Bakery in NYC is the type of bakery you would expect to see in an Andy Griffith Show rerun with homemade pies cooling in the windows. You won’t find trendy flavor profiles du jour here.  What you will find are the tried and true recipes that we have all grown up with; brownies, cupcakes, bundt cakes, and lemon squares to name a few.

When Billy's came to DPI to work on their packaging, I thought "FREE CUPCAKES!"  Unfortunately for me, the cupcakes didn't survive the trip in the mail, not to mention the 120º Arizona heat.  Our packaging concept started as a box for people who purchased a single cupcake to take to the office to enjoy at their desks. Initially the cupcakes were put in bags or small boxes, but when you would arrive at your office there was more frosting on the inside of the bag/box than on your cupcake. We were facing an uphill battle to keep the union of cake and frosting as it was intended by nature.

This cupcake box needed to be easy to store, easy to fulfill, and convey the nostalgia of Billy's Bakery all the way to your final cupcake feasting destination.  After many rounds of concepts we developed a collapsible cupcake briefcase!

I’m sure when you open this little box the scene is a carbon copy of when Jules opened the briefcase in Pulp Fiction.  Except this time you know what's inside... and you want some.

We posted images of the creative process on our Flickr page where the community can view our latest ideas and get our input on revamping their own packaging program.

The Flickr community’s response to the Billy’s Bakery box was amazing.

Within just a few days, each image of this box received more than 300 views or downloads.  The concept also initiated dialogue between several groups of how designers can push the world of folding board packaging with innovative design.

Packaging programs are puzzles that, to solve, each piece must be looked at from every angle.  Every piece brings you one step closer to completion, but the final image can’t be seen until every last piece is in its place.  

…and, it took a trip across country and a personal visit to Billy’s Bakery in the city for me to finally get my hands on one of their cupcakes!







Is there, by any chance, a downloadable vector file of the box?

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Downloadable vector file? I don't think they even made a vector file to begin with, JP. I don't see anything that would use that, to be honest.


we'll post vector dielines on flickr, the sketches are to show process, thought, structural and functional.

Anne Nielsen

Do you have a link to the vector dielines? would really love to use this in a school project :)

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Thank you for the tips. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into.

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