Rough Trade custom printed vinyl packaging

Rough Trade - Custom Postal Packaging for Vinyl Records - Case Study

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 - check out their extensive vinyl 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 postal packaging that is both quick to fulfil and offers solid protection. Providing their customers with an improved unboxing experience with a strong brand presence was top of their agenda.

The Solution

  • Lil packaging manufactured a custom printed, self sealing FLP flatpack vinyl mailer and C3 bukwrap book mailer
  • Our combo of hot-melt peal and seal, with easy peel release paper - led to them achieving record breaking dispatch times (whilst not breaking any records).
  • Our vinyl mailers come with a red tear strip opening for a frustration free unboxing experience and a tamper evident seal for added security. No knives or scissors needed, risking damage to the precious vinyl and sleeves inside.
  • Over 98% of our orders are dispatched within 24 hours, combined with packaging that's super fast, has meant that Rough Trade has been able to scale dispatches efficiently.
  • As the items were chosen from our stock range, we are able to provide smaller regular deliveries to work around the lack of warehouse space. 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. A consistent point of contact for packaging orders and any changing requirements is a bonus.

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 custom 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 of these custom mailers 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 touch point, getting your delivery experience right can create a lasting impression and in this case, it's definitely one that's worth remembering.


Rough Trade - custom printed packaging for vinyl records

Are you interested in ordering custom mailers or custom printed e-commerce packaging?

If you'd like to talk to us about custom printing one of our stock items or producing something bespoke, feel free to contact us today.

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