Rough Trade Case Study

rough trade records custom printed mailers packaging

NATHAN CALVERT Jun 1, 2017 Case Studies

The now iconic Rough Trade is a group of independent record shops with sites in the UK and US. The first Rough Trade shop was opened in 1976 by Geoff Travis in the Ladbroke Grove district of west London. In 1978 the shop spawned the famous Rough Trade Records, which was to go on to be home to bands from The Smiths to The Libertines. In 1982 the two separated and the shop remains an independent entity from the label, although links between the two remain strong.

Calling all vinylphiles and music lovers – we thoroughly recommend checking out their extensive collection over at

The Challenge

With a brand as cool as Rough Trade we knew that we needed to pull out all the stops! They needed custom printed ecommerce packaging that was quick to fulfil, offered unparalleled protection and provided their customers with an improved unboxing experience with a strong brand presence.

The Solution

  • Lil packaging were able to provide Rough Trade with custom printed self sealing FLP flatpack vinyl mailers and C3 bukwrap book mailers. Utilising our “hot melt” peel and seal technology our mailers seal with 300% more tack than standard tape strips, we’re also the only company to use over hanging tape to considerably speed up assembly time.
  • Our stock mailers come with a red tear strip opening for a frustration free unboxing experience and a tamper evident seal for added security.
  • Over 98% of our orders are dispatched within 24 hours and combined with packaging that’s quick to assemble and pack has meant that Rough Trade can continue to provide their own speedy delivery service to their customer without the worry of running out of mailers.
  • As the mailers were chosen from our extensive range of stock products we are able to provide smaller regular deliveries to avoid the issues related to lack of warehouse space and we also have extensive stock holding facilities to act as a much needed buffer during peak seasons.
  • Rough Trade now have the added benefit of their own dedicated Account Manager at Lil Packaging that continues to be a consistent point of contact for packaging orders and any changing requirements.

The Outcome

“We approached Lil Packaging with the challenge of providing our customers with an improved unboxing experience and increased brand awareness. During the early stages of the project we were provided with sound advice as well as samples which not only met our requirements but also provided us with what we feel to be the best looking Vinyl and CD mailers on the market! Our new mailers also came with the added bonus of faster packing speeds (we were using a lot of tape at the time); improved strength and security; as well as providing our customers with frustration free tear cord seal which virtually eradicated the risk of damaging expensive vinyl records on opening (ie no scissor/knives required!). We’ve already had great feedback from our customers since the switch and zero returns due to failed packaging. As a custom printed e-commerce packaging provider, Lil Packaging comes highly recommended.”

Rough Trade, London

Just take a look at the pictures of the end product below – I hope you’ll agree they look awesome! Clever use of single sided, 1 colour flexo print saved on production costs but without compromising on the look. We love how the design incorporates some of the most iconic and well recognised band logos and record sleeves from the past 40 years – it really continues the experience you’d get from the Rough Trade website and their in-store design. This is a prime example of the power of e-commerce packaging to create unboxing experiences that drive brand exposure. As the final consumer touch point, the right packaging creates a lasting impression and in this case it’s definitely one that’s worth remembering.

Rough Trade - custom printed mailers

Interested in ordering Custom Printed Mailers?

If you’d like to talk to us about custom printing one of our stock items or producing something bespoke, feel free to drop us an email [email protected].