From the studio to the shelf – A beginners guide to packaging

The dust has now truly settled following the festive season and the January and February doldrums are upon us.  As we trudge through the cold and wet experiencing that unique comedown that only comes with the conclusion of Christmas, we could be forgiven for feeling a little bit sorry for ourselves. 

But let’s not get too bleak, picture this scenario: having had one of those days where it feels like you don’t see any daylight, you get home from the office and something catches your eye.  There is a box of chocolates in the kitchen cupboard, left over from the festoons of them in the house during the Christmas period.   Suddenly your mood lifts and you experience a lift.  You know that those chocolates have the power to make your evening that little bit better.  Resplendent in a glorious gift box tied with a red ribbon, they scream luxury and they shriek satisfaction.  All of a sudden the world doesn’t seem quite so bad anymore.

A complete GWD product, ready to be delivered to the customer

Of course, all sorts of scientific research has shown that chocolate contains certain things which are able to make you feel good.  But it’s not just that.  It’s this gift box.  This box, full of sartorial elegance gives you this warm feeling.  The ribbon reminds you of that great day you had on the 25th when you gave and received presents, conversation and laughter.  The box is luxurious, and gives you a feeling of being pampered.  It appears to be very sturdy and well designed.  The way that a product is packaged can have a massive effect on the way the product is perceived.  Would those fine Belgian chocolates be held in such high regard if they were presented to you in a carrier bag as opposed to this fine packaging?  Of course not.  For those of us who like to see how things are made, who like to experience the processes that go into creating things, I thought we would just briefly consider some of the things that contribute towards that moment; that buoyancy of emotion that comes with opening a fresh box of chocolates.

Let’s start at source.  At GWD, it all begins with a need.  GWD provides packaging for a myriad of products.  Sometimes the customer has a clear idea of what they want; at other times they are completely clueless.  If they have no clear idea of what sort of packaging they require then we are happy to provide guidance and suggestions for them, but if they have a good idea of what they want, this somewhat simplifies the process.

Let’s focus on the instances when the customer has got a rough idea what they require.  A customer will send through a brief detailing a description of the box and what it needs to be able to contain, as well as the relevant size and measurements.  These measurements go straight onto the design program KASEMAKE and a drawing of the layout of the box is constructed.

The computer program KASEMAKE - This is where the idea becomes reality
The computer program KASEMAKE – This is where the idea becomes reality

This layout will be transported onto board and then cut and following this our designer Darren will make a sample version of the required box which will then be couriered to the customer for their scrutiny and subsequent approval.

A sample box, ready to be made up and delivered.
A sample box, ready to be made up and delivered.

Once the box is approved, a quote is provided, indicating how much the box will cost to produce en masse.  Following this, cutting tools will be produced for use with our machinery and the box will go into production.

The machine used to cut out the sample box
The machine used to cut out the sample box

So that’s a whistle stop tour of just some of the processes that are necessary to go through in order to create a gift box.  The amount of work that goes into creating a stunning gift box goes somewhat under the radar, but quite often it can be the box that sells the product.  The customer doesn’t see the product, the customer sees the box, and therefore the packaging can be the difference between gaining and losing a sale.  When we think about it like this, it’s no wonder that GWD goes through such stringent processes in order to provide packaging that is going to aid the success of your business.  When we sit there with our box of chocolates we often don’t think of how they came to be nestling in our laps contributing to that warm feeling inside us.   But boxes and packaging are fundamental pieces of the jigsaw puzzle and knowing how fundamental an impact the packaging can have is imperative to the success of any packaged product you care to sell.

About the Author


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: