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In the box – rigid packaging

Packaging Professional magazine
14 May 2010
The Beatles Re-mastered Stereo Box Set

Drew Dixon, Sales Director at London Fancy Box, UK, describes recent design and innovation in rigid packaging.

A vital challenge facing companies in the packaging industry today is how producers can help their customers achieve volume sales growth. To accomplish this it is essential to possess new creative and design skills to build product differentiation at the point of purchase. In a crowded marketplace it is all about adding value and achieving instant shelf appeal.

In the drinks industry, value of an attractively packaged premium product is enormous. A beautifully printed and decorated rigid box has great aesthetic appeal and can enhance the overall shelf appearance of a high-status malt whisky or top-of-the-range liqueur.

Similarly, in the perfumery and cosmetics sector, presentation can be enhanced by a suitably printed and decorated box, which conveys quality to the consumer. In the entertainment sector, visual appeal is all important, excellently printed and decorated rigid boxes make a superb promotional tool for the latest blockbuster release, as well as ensuring the product inside is safely protected and undamaged. Publishers too expect excellence in the presentation and packaging of their high quality part-works, reference books, handbooks and similar publications.

Studying the case

Johnnie Walker’s Black Label portfolio pack – The customer sought a sophisticated gift box to present a deluxe whisky brand to corporate clients.

The solution was a one-piece rigid flat box which transforms in seconds into a presentation pack. The construction is based on a collapsible system involving premium covering materials and a hidden magnetic closure. It is complete with in-built wallet to hold a business card. The pack is shipped and stored in flat form to market for local rework, thereby reducing transport and storage costs.

The Beatles Re-mastered Stereo Box Set (17 Discs) – This box was nearly two years in development. The entire Beatles music collection had been untouched since the 1980s.The packaging needed to convey the idea of containing the best sounding Beatles music ever released. With its classic gloss black finish, this rigid box, with a wrap-around magnetically closed jacket, securely holds the disc in separate card wallets, each with its own booklet. A black satin length of ribbon in each compartment helps extricate the CD wallets. From a print viewpoint, the critical aspect was ensuring a deep consistent overall black and a clear, accurate, representation of the Apple Records logo.

Johnny Hallyday Tower Box Set – The client was Universal Music France for a collection of one of France’s biggest selling artists.

The packaging is a tower concept – four open sides hold the CD carton wallets, which sit in individual vacuum formed racks. The tower is covered by a high quality carton sleeve (open top and bottom) and each sleeve is individually numbered. The pack holds 250 CD singles plus a book.

The brief was to have the singles presented in chronological order and to have the titles visible on the tower packaging graphics, so you read the box to know which CD to extract to listen to. All four sides and book cavity had to be sealed, hence the sleeve, so that the CD wallets did not fall out in transit.

The complete pack, with components inside, weighed 13kg and comes with a weight hazard warning. Concept to production was nine month's work, involving design proposals, budget adjustments, transit tests, finalising singles and titles that were authorised to be released. Stringent quality controls and checkpoints were maintained throughout all stages of the project. In all, 9,800 box sets have been made and delivered.

Rigid packaging future

At times the rigid packaging market can be overlooked in the creative and design sense. This is unfortunate because it has some exciting innovations which are now coming to fruition. The industry has a lot to offer – attractive and prestigious packaging, high quality print and decoration, and a diverse range of products and services.

Further information: The London Fancy Box Co Ltd