Working During the Virus Outbreak, 2020

Well here we are then.

Early May 2020 – the sun has been shining and the Country is on lockdown. The only shops operating are those selling essential products. Schools are closed and the roads are empty.

There is a meme circulating on Facebook (I’m sure you’ve all seen it) detailing the conditions we’re all living in, from queues at Supermarkets through home schooling. It aims to remind people in the future of how the UK and Europe is coping (or not!) here in early 2020. Perhaps this blog post can serve the same function.

Government guidelines issued in March specified that anyone who can work at home should work at home, and quite sensibly so. Unfortunately for us at GWD the manufacture of presentation and promotional packaging is NOT something one can do in the front room! This beast below (for example) was built in 1908 – and is not something you could put under your arm and pop in the garage.

Manufacturing industry during lockdown
Manufacturing industry during lockdown

And for us, of course, we work on projects that are often not realised until a long way in the future. For example we are already working on packaging for next Christmas – and although none of us can be certain – we have to be optimistic that the lockdown regulations will be lifted by then!

The uncertainty is obviously a problem, but the wheels of business continue to turn and at some point we will return to some semblance of normality. Orders are coming in, slowly, and indeed, we’ve been fortunate enough to have picked up one or two new clients even during this current period.

So how have we coped?  Well unfortunately we have had to take advantages of various government schemes and ‘furlough’ (strange how that word has entered our vocabulary this year, isn’t it?) a number of members of staff. Obviously this is unfortunate, but at least they’ll remain on 80% of their wages. Staff in our industry have very specific skills, often learnt over years and it’s important not to lose them.

Additionally, we are following strict social distancing regulations in our warehouse and offices and staff have been working at home whenever possible. The safety of our staff is our primary concern and we have had to adapt our production methods to enable social distancing, but we have managed.

Interestingly, a number of our existing clients have moved a larger proportion of their business on-line – adapting to the current conditions. Bettys of Harrogate have always done a good trade with their ‘Birthday Boxes’ (see below), a large round hamper box (one of our specialities), but in the current conditions when people can’t be with each other on their birthdays, a lovely box of treats is the next best thing! They have just placed another order for more, such has been the demand!  Since they have been obliged to close their shops and café’s they have had a new onus on pushing their online sales and we have been producing an increasing number of these boxes. Similarly the Simply Delicious Cake Company are launching a new Birthday Cake presented in one of our beautiful boxes to meet the demand for online gifts.

As always, please take a moment or two to visit our clients’ websites if you have a moment. Your taste buds will thank you even if your waistline doesn’t!

And remember – stay safe!

 – Noel.

Boxes for chocolatiers and patissiers
Boxes for chocolatiers and patissiers

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

A Luxury Advent Calendar for ‘Lush’

We realise it’s only September and this might seem a little early to be talking about Advent calendars, but for the brands creating them for the festive season this is probably a bit late in the year!

Advent calendars have evolved and changed over the past decade. Being of a err, certain age, it’s easy to remember the examples we were given back in the 70s and 80s: tiny little things, poorly manufactured with cheap glittery ‘windows’ which always broke off and contained one mysterious lump of cheap chocolate.

Advent calendars are no longer just a gift for children. Nowadays, couples buy each other advent calendars containing miniatures of craft gin, whiskeys and even beauty products! A case in point is this stunning 24 day creation made for the high street brand ‘Lush

Luxury packaging for Christmas
Luxury packaging for Christmas

We have worked with Lush on several occasions before as detailed in this blog. Lush, as you may well know are an environmentally friendly company, who invest only in organic produce. They are carbon neutral and against animal testing. They were, not surprisingly, insistent that the packaging for their advent calendar met with their strict environmental policies (which was certainly not an issue with us). This meant that the product was entirely biodegradable and even forbade the use of magnetic closures – a recyclable, UK produced ribbon was sourced and used in their stead.

Please take a look at the video below – shot by Lush at our factory in Harlow, Essex, which shows some of the techniques we used in the construction of the packaging.

Advent Calendar

GWD Ltd are one of a very few companies in the UK who can carry out this standard of work. This project was in development for several months. Whilst the idea was conceived by Lush, it was GWD who developed it through a number of sampling phases. Taking their design and concept, GWD created a final product that not only looks fabulous, but works in a practical sense too.

One of the objectives was to create a product that could have a additional function too. Once Christmas has passed and all 24 of the gifts have been opened, the customer is left with a beautiful and functional box which can be used to store keepsakes or beauty products. We have touched on this in our blog before, notably ‘Primary and Secondary Packaging Functions’ . The recipient of the advent calendar is unlikely to throw away such a stylish item, particularly as it was constructed so as the internal boxes and dividers could be easily removed, making it simple to re-use.

The fact that the item is hence displayed prominently in the customer’s household for a number of years, is a very subtle form of marketing – a reminder of the brand and the quality of their products.

Christmas packaging made in the UK
Christmas packaging made in the UK

Only 500 Lush 2019 Advent calendars were created. We’re unsure when they eventually sold out but after being launched online 92 were sold within the first 18minutes!!

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

New Presentation Box for Cornelia James

This blog has previously detailed work we’ve done with the wonderful Cornelia James, specifically here Cornelia James create exquisite, hand-stitched gloves and are holders of the Royal Warrant – granted to companies who have supplied HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales for at least five years. Cornelia James were granted a Royal Warrant in 1979 and have held it ever since. It is not a prize but rather a recognition of excellence consistently achieved – recognised the world over as a mark of quality and excellence which cannot be bought at any price.

Gloves from Cornelia James

Gloves from Cornelia James

This year has been a busy one for the Royal Family with two royal weddings, the biggest being Harry and Megan’s of course. We did ask Andrew Lawson (one of the owners of Cornelia James) whether Her Majesty was wearing a pair of their gloves at either event, but were met with a smiling: “I couldn’t possibly comment” response, so we’ll let readers make their own minds up. What is without doubt though is that it’s been a good year for Andrew and co-owner Genevieve, not only with the royal family being in the public view but with their stylish product featuring on a luxury goods e-portal in China. “Nothing happened at first,” said Andrew, “but then it suddenly took off and China is on fire and going wild for Cornelia James.”

Luxury brands don’t get where they are without being very particular and protective about their design, and specifically in this instance, their packaging. GWD Ltd have been producing the presentation boxes for Cornelia James since 2013, but earlier this year it was decided that the old box should be redesigned into something that made more of a statement about the quality of the product. Specifically, the colour of the box was to be changed to what was described as ‘light cockpit green’. There’s a story in this…

Embossed paper with linen texture

Embossed paper with linen texture

During WWII the cockpits of Hurricanes and Spitfires were painted in a particular shade of light green. After the war large reserves of this paint was left over, so much so that Land Rover bought up a vast amount of it and used it on many of their post-war models. As such the colour has become synonymous with ‘Britishness’ and a ‘golden’ period in our history. Given that in 2016 an estimated 70% of all Series Land Rovers and Defenders ever made – 2,016,933 vehicles – were still on the road the colour has also become synonymous with reliability, quality and craftsmanship. In that regard there’s an obvious synergy with Cornelia James’ products. Similarly, the first Landrover was manufactured in 1948 and Cornelia James was established in 1946. In that period everything was rationed or in short supply – hence the making use of the available light cockpit green paint and the popularity of gloves as a way of sprucing up an outfit for fashionable ladies without using up too many precious ration coupons.

Glovemakers to HRH the Queen

Glovemakers to HRH the Queen

Finding the exact colour did not prove to be simple. Having an example of the paint is one thing, finding the exact PMS (pantone matching system) colour equivalent that works in print is quite another. However, we are nothing if not resourceful here at GWD, and the correct hue was eventually arrived at. The style of box was also changed from a simple box and lid, to a more elegant hinged lid box that closes with ribbon ties. The paper used to cover it has a linen texture, this gives the packaging a tactile quality which oozes class.

High quality presentation box for high quality products

High quality presentation box for high quality products

We are particularly pleased to continue working with Andrew and the team at Cornelia James and look forward to continuing the relationship over the years to come.

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

Promotional Packaging for Printers (and Anyone Else!)

It is well detailed in this blog and elsewhere that we like to consider ourselves experts in the field of presentation packaging, For example the packaging we created with the creative agency Fluid for EA Sport’s FIFA18 videogame. We speak less of our work in ‘promotional packaging’ –specialty promotional or corporate packaging that is often used for business-to-business (B2B) promotions, used to launch products and/or for PR, marketing and advertising.

Earlier this year we were approached by Anna Sedgbeer of Prontaprint Bishop’s Stortford an independent print and design company who service Herts, Essex and London. Anna was looking for a box that she (and other former Prontaprint franchisees) could use as a marketing tool for their clients.

Promotional Packaging for B2B

Promotional packaging for B2B

Promotional Packaging in Essex

Promotional packaging in Essex

Anna chose the contents for the box, in this case a branded pen, a box of mints and a ‘Little Book of Print’– a booklet highlighting their work and what they can offer their clients. Our job was to create a box to present these items in a professional and stylish way, creating a ‘wow factor’ when the box was opened. We created an internal platform and inserts to hold the contents in place as you can see in the images. They went with a fairly basic square box and lid, which was printed with the Prontaprint branding (on the lid) and the details of the different individual Prontaprint businesses on the bottom.

While this is not a particularly complicate project for GWD, it does highlight how we can help businesses present themselves to clients or customers. Sometimes a little ‘old-fashioned’ marketing can be very effective and promote your brand or company extremely well.

Cardboard Manufacturers In The UK

Cardboard manufacturers in the UK

Promotional items can for a very important part of a corporate campaign and our presentation packaging design department will rise to any challenge that your idea or promotional product might present. We are happy to work with any concept or item, and we’ll work with you – within your time frame and budget to create the best results. So, if we can help you or your clients with any promotional or presentation packaging requirements, please do get in touch.

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging. You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website:www.gwd.ltd.uk

It’s Hot Out There!

This blog post is being written at the end of July 2018, in the midst of a heat-wave with temperatures at 31C, and set to go even higher! It’s so difficult to recall how cold last winter was in heat like this.

Work, of course continues at pace here at GWD, regardless of the weather, and the design team and cardboard engineers remain extremely busy, including working on this years Christmas products!

Thinking of the heat though we were reminded of a particular piece of packaging that was designed to be kept in a fridge (for a limited time at least)!

Packaging for vials and test tubes

Packaging for vials and test tubes

We were commissioned by Bio-Rad Laboratories to create a small box to hold 24 small test tubes or vials that would be suitable to be stored in a fridge. Bio-Rad is an international company but we deal with the German office, and in particular with the R + D team, Custom Antibodies, Life Science Group.

It is important to note that cardboard is NOT suitable to be stored in very cold conditions indefinitely but it was suitable for the client’s purposes in this instance, as they were to be used to send samples to their clients and needed to be stored temporarily before they are despatched, kept refrigerated in transportation and then for a short while after arrival.

Specialist packaging for medical companies

Specialist packaging for medical companies

As you can see the box has a magnetic closure and is wrapped in laminated paper. This is crucial if the box is to survive in refrigerated conditions.

Practical packaging solutions

Practical packaging solutions

The two part foam inserts are made from Stratocell, an expanded polyethylene, which acts as an insulator and is suitable for use in refrigerated conditions, and has the added advantage of being recyclable (in a bottle bank). GWD have made these boxes for Bio-Rad Laboratories on at least three occasions – changing the original Velcro closure to a magnetic one after the first run.

Box makers. Essex

Box makers. Essex

We have done a few jobs for companies in the scientific sector and it’s an area where we believe our particular expertise in this kind of packaging has much potential.

If we can help you or your clients with any promotional or presentation packaging requirements, please do get in touch.

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

Packaging for Sporting Promotions and Events

So here we go again – another World Cup and another sporting summer:-)

We are writing this on the day of the opening ceremony in Russia 2018, and we are looking forward to five weeks of international football, as well as five test matches against India and, of course, the All England Tennis Championships at Wimbledon.

Over the past few years GWD Limited have been involved in a number of presentation packaging products for sporting launches and other events. In April we wrote in our blog concerning a packaging product we were commissioned to create for EA sports  for their FIFA18 video game – this style of packaging, a hinged lid box with a magnetic closure, is one of our specialities.

packaging for sporting promotions

Packaging for sporting promotions

Similarly, last June we were commissioned by Mercieca Ltd to create packaging for Mitre – who were re-launching their Mitre Delta football for last seasons Sky Bet Championship and the Scottish premiership – you can read more in our blog here

packaging for footballs and football clubs

Packaging for footballs and football clubs

In the past we have manufactured other examples of sport-related packaging. For example below are two other boxes of different construction, commissioned for the promotion Liverpool FC and the European Championships of 2012 respectively.

specialist boxes for football clubs

Specialist boxes for football clubs

The Liverpool box had a foam insert and contained a Liverpool FC badge which was being sent to the clubs official sponsors and partners. The Euro 2012 box again contained a foam insert with promotional items in it, such as tickets, lanyard and USB sticks.

It’s not just soccer that we’re involved in. The two round boxes below were made for De Rosier Chocolates for Wimbledon this year. Designed in purple (Wimbledon’s branded colour) they featured images of Dorothea Lambert Chambers (who won the Wimbledon singles title 7 times and a gold medal at the 1908), and of course, Fred Perry who won 10 Grand Slams, including 3 Wimbledon Singles titles. The boxes were designed to hold 6 chocolates.

Round boxes are one of our specialities – we are one of a very few companies who can manufacture round ‘Hat’ boxes here in the UK. Naturally, round boxes are especially appropriate for ball sports events and promotions.

 

promotional packaging for Wimbledon and other sporting events

Promotional packaging for Wimbledon and other sporting events

If we can help you or your clients with any promotional or presentation packaging requirements, please do get in touch.


Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416 093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

 

A Royal Wedding and Our Royal Connections

You can’t have failed to notice that there’s another Royal wedding in the offing, and we at GWD are very pleased to offer our congratulations to Harry and Meghan in advance of their special day. We have always had something of a connection to royalty, with some of our best clients being holders of the Royal Warrant- a recognition of the consistent excellence of companies which have provided goods or services to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh or the Prince of Wales for more than five years.

bespoke gift boxes for premier gifts

Bespoke gift boxes for premier gifts

Cornelia James, for example, have held the Warrant since 1979 – nearly forty years. Cornelia James are glovers of distinction, making the gloves that the Queen herself wears, having made their first pair for her when she was still Princess Elizabeth and was marrying Philip. Cornelia James have expressed delight at the wedding, and also the American connection, as they do a lot of business there, although they couldn’t possibly comment as to whether Her Majesty will be getting a new pair for the occasion!

boxes for floral presentations

Boxes for floral presentations

We have also made flower boxes for Taylors of Holbeach, Bulb Growers To Her Majesty The Queen, as well as spoon boxes the cutlery manufacturer, the DJH Group of Consett who supply Buckingham Palace, Windsor and Holyrood, and have just supplied an order for five thousand boxes over the three locations. We have also worked with Prestat, who make chocolate that is literally fit for a Queen.

presentation packaging for spoon sets

Presentation packaging for spoon sets

Our specialty is luxurious presentation packaging, and you don’t need Royal blood to take advantage of our services! Whether you want a single box for a special gift or a bulk order, we have a solution for you. We’ve made boxes for hats, flowers, candles- you name it, we can make a box for it. Corporate and promotional packaging is also no problem. We have been manufacturing excellent presentation packaging for over thirty years, and are experts in our field.

design gift packaging UK

Design gift packaging UK

We are proud to create the majority of our packaging right here in Harlow, Essex, although if volumes require and lead times allow, we also have the option of a Far East manufacturing facility. We have an in-house design team who can create a box from scratch for you, or we can work alongside your designers if you already have a concept in mind. Drawers, magnetic closures, heart-shaped boxes – we can provide them all according to your wishes. As the majority of work is done in-house, we have quicker delivery, time-effective sampling and, perhaps most importantly for those wishing to surprise their loved ones, no minimum order requirement.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

And again, congratulations to the happy couple!

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416 093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

 

FIFA 18 Game Packaging

With the FIFA World Cup about to kick off this June, we thought that there would be no better time to talk about the packaging we created for EA Sport’s FIFA 18 videogame  in September last year. We often create packaging for launch and press events which are very exciting, as it gives us the opportunity to work with our client on creating something truly unique and distinctive.

We worked with the creative agency Fluid in order to deliver some truly outstanding packaging for their client’s launch event. Fluid were the designers in this process; they developed an innovative design which we, as cardboard engineers, had to make into a reality. Creative agencies such as Fluid are great contacts for us at GWD as we pride ourselves at being adept at turning their creative designs into beautiful packaging.

The FIFA 18 game used technology which is said to be “the biggest step in gameplay innovation”. Due to this, the team really wanted the experience to start as soon as the box was picked up by the media/influencer recipients.

The new game

The new game

Playing on a gold and white colour palette, the boxes were wrapped in metallic gold paper. As with any companies branding, a logo should always stand out. With this in mind gold foil was employed and the logos were embossed on the front and sides.

The product box, complete with glossy outer sleeve

The product box, complete with glossy outer sleeve

The final product took the form of a deluxe presentation box which contained the game and a range of FIFA/PlayStation content and merchandise; which was displayed to great effect using a bespoke white foam fitment which held each piece inside the box perfectly and securely. It was finished off with a magnetic closure.

The main box with magnetic closure

The main box with magnetic closure

Open box displaying foam fitment

Open box displaying foam fitment

Open box displaying foam fitment

For this job we worked closely with Fluid throughout. They had the idea and concept, and it was our job to engineer it and make it work commercially. If you have an idea for packaging, then please bring it to us here at GWD!

 

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotionalpackaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416 093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

 

 

 

 

Egg-cellent packaging for Easter!

Egg-cellent packaging for Easter!

For many, Easter means time off school, overdue family time, beautiful daffodils starting to head in the gardens and not to mention… eating copious amounts of delicious chocolate! We have all been there; sitting on the sofa with the ‘Christmas dinner feeling’ after successfully demolishing your final chocolate egg.

Easter is the number one chocolate-selling period of the year and quite astoundingly, the first Easter egg went on sale in Sainsbury’s in JANUARY this year! According to The Telegraph, us Brits eat 11kg of chocolate each year, so it’s no wonder why Easter is celebrated by the masses.

Easter boxes by GWD for Rococo Chocolates

Easter boxes by GWD for Rococo Chocolates

Easter boxes by GWD for Rococo Chocolates

Easter boxes by GWD for Rococo Chocolates

For us, Easter is a fantastic marketing platform for gift & confectionery companies to show off! The pastel colours, the cute bunnies, the gold ribbon… it WORKS. Both B2B & B2C business can benefit from this holiday. Think about wowing your valued customers and suppliers with beautifully packaged edibles to show them how much you appreciate their support.

Be sure to consider your corporate clan in the Easter excitement as our cardboard engineers can create marvellous, bespoke and branded confectionery and gift packaging to meet your requirements.

Grown Up Easter egg boxes by GWD

Grown Up Easter egg boxes by GWD

Grown Up Easter egg boxes by GWD

Grown Up Easter egg boxes by GWD

In this day in age, a healthy conscience is being embedded into our brains by the TV, media, industry leaders and even our own family! Instead of gifting a traditional chocolate egg, more and more people are opting for Easter gifts (which last A LOT longer than chocolate!).

Even though the Easter gifts that are sent to us, to create beautifully packaging for, are not always egg-shaped, they are always guaranteed to hatch a smile!

 

We have been honoured to work with some of the UKs best names in chocolate including Rococo, Bettys and The Grown Up Chocolate Company.

Bettys ‘Trio of Eggs’ box by GWD

Bettys ‘Trio of Eggs’ box by GWD

Have a fantastic Easter!

 

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotionalpackaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416 093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

 

COMPANY FOCUS: Harry Specters

COMPANY FOCUS: Harry Specters

Award-winning flavours and positive social change – that’s Harry Specters. Mona, Shaz and their son Ash, who has autism, are behind this social enterprise. While visiting a chocolate shop on a holiday in Scotland in 2011, Mona discovered a perfect way of combining her passion for creating positive change for people with autism with her love for chocolate. Ash came up with the name and a year later, Harry Specters was born – dedicated to crafting the most delicious chocolates that create employment for young people with autism. 

Harry Specters, based in Ely>

We received a call back in 2015 when Harry Specters were ready to take their business to the next level. After their graphic designer had established their branding, colour scheme and logo, the next step was perfecting the packaging. They had an idea of what they wanted their packaging to look like, and it was our job to turn that vision into reality.

They wanted their packaging to exude quality and excellence whilst still being attractive to people of all ages and backgrounds. From our previous experience with food brands, we had a very good idea on what would work and what wouldn’t work in terms of size, shape and thickness. Our team of ‘cardboard engineers’ were able to create a whole range of options for Harry Specters to choose from.

The Desire Chocolate Box

The Desire Chocolate Box

The Allure Chocolate Box

The Allure Chocolate Box

As mentioned previously, Harry Specters was established for creating paid employment opportunities for young people and creating a product which everyone can enjoy! This cause is unique and is supported by us at GWD.

Harry Specters staff & work experience students

Harry Specters staff & work experience students

As well as the traditional selection boxes, Harry Specters wanted to be able to sell their chocolates in different quantities so they can fulfil different requirements. We created boxes which were made to hold their ‘Tasty Two’, ‘Finest Four’ and ‘Fine Nine’.

 

Finest Four

Finest Four

If you are looking for an award-winning sweet treat then Harry Specters have an online shop which you can visit here. Both Harry Specters and the GWD team are very pleased with our packaging creations thus far and we very much look forward to working with them again this year!


GWD Ltd are designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.
You can reach them on (01279) 416 093 or at the company’s website:
www.gwd.ltd.uk