Christmas Presentation Packaging – Yo Ho Ho!

Annual events are massive for us at GWD Ltd as manufacturers of high-quality presentation and promotional packaging. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter are all huge – but it’s no surprise that Christmas is biggest of all. This year we began manufacturing advent calendars as early as April! As you can imagine our factory is always full of festive boxes and packaging – every day is Christmas Day at GWD

This year we’ve been heavily involved with the wonderful Bettys of Harrogate as they’ve been celebrating their centenary. Over the years we’ve created a lot of their Christmas packaging.

We remain one of the very few firms in the UK who can manufacture these circular or cylindrical boxes in-house, with the help of our very experienced cardboard engineers and bespoke machinery.

The image below shows three Christmas boxes we have made for Bettys this year, two hamper boxes, one square, one round and a flanged chocolate box with a foil blocked window to show the chocolates off to maximum effect:

Chocolate box packaging for Christmas
Chocolate box packaging for Christmas

All three of these have been printed with metallic ink (red and green) and then foil blocked in gold, giving a very luxurious appearance.

This next image shows a selection of chocolate boxes – round, oval and square – made for different independent chocolate shops. We are fortunate enough to work for a substantial number of independent chocolatiers and retailers, from big brands through to small companies. These boxes are finished off with ‘off the shelf’ Christmas giftwrap paper selected by the customer.

confectionary packaging for independent chocolate companies
Confectionary packaging for independent chocolate companies

Many of our client’s retail confectionary directly to the public or wholesale in the hotel or hospitality industry. We are always on the lookout for more, so if you require:

  • New packaging designed from scratch (either a rigid or folding box)
  • A rigid box (from our range of over 60 sizes) using pre-cut, off-the-shelf card that can be assembled and wrapped to your specifications

Please do not hesitate to get in touch for a quote!

Oh, and do try not to over-indulge on chocolates over Christmas!!!

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:

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:

Special ‘Centenary’ Packaging for Bettys of Harrogate

Here at GWD Ltd we’ve had a great relationship with the famous cake makers and chocolatiers, Bettys of Harrogate  for many years. Indeed, we have discussed our work with them in this blog on a number of occasions, notably here.

Rather fabulously, 2019 marks the centenary of Betty’s and their website details a fascinating and often dramatic history. To mark this auspicious date the company have had (and are continuing to have) a number of special events including lectures, classes, courses and tastings. They have also decided to release a special centenary teapot and recreate some of their historic packaging – which is where we come in!

Bettys centenary packaging
Bettys centenary packaging

The above image shows the final box for the teapot, which externally looks particularly classy with it’s gold foiling. In itself it appears quite a simple construct, the difficulty was internal, as you can see in the image below….

supporting trays in packaging
Supporting trays in packaging

The teapot, made in Stoke-On-Trent, is naturally very fragile, so we needed to create a sturdy internal ‘tray’ or ‘under platform’ with additional elastics to support it in transit. This was relatively complex but we like to boast about the skill and experience of the ‘cardboard engineers’ we have employed here, and for them, a problematic job like this is run of the mill. Thus far more than 500 of these boxes have been created.

commemorative gift boxes for special dates
Commemorative gift boxes for Special Dates

Furthermore, Bettys asked us to produce two other boxes based on originals – some of which can still be seen on display in Betty’s archives.

linen and foil retro packaging
Linen and Foil Retro Packaging

These new boxes were created to replicate the style of some of their earlier, pre WWII, ‘Golden Age’’, packaging, These ‘taster’ boxes created by GWD, were to mimic the originals for the special centenary launch and to be exhibited in their stores. They consist of a ‘cocoa bean’ shaped box and lid (above) and a hinged-lid box, wrapped in a linen paper, a printed fabric and gold braiding (below), both based closely on the originals. I think you’d agree that the replicas above, look incredibly convincing!

Retro Golden Age Packaging
Retro Golden Age Packaging

The longer box is to be used (in a simpler form) to present a special centenary collection of chocolates which will be available this Christmas on the website and in their retail outlets. We are delighted to have such a strong, constructive and friendly relationship with Betty’s with whom we have worked for many years.

Long may it continue!

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:

GWD Ltd and ‘The Apprentice’

Towards the end of last year we were very happy to be involved with BBC One’s successful television show ‘The Apprentice’. For those of you who have not seen the show (where have you been?!), 16 young entrepreneurs compete in a number of business-related challenges culminating with the winner being given the opportunity to work with Lord Alan Sugar.

Towards the end (episode 10 of 14) of the last series the contestants, now whittled down to six, were given the following task (and this is from the official BBC ‘teaser’: “…teams must produce and brand a new chocolate range to pitch to buyers. They are to concoct three unique chocolate flavours, come up with a brand name and design the packaging for their range.”

A chocolate company with whom we have worked for many years (creating all of their packaging) was chosen by the shows’ directors. Given the extremely quick turn around required – in this case 24 hours – the task could only be fulfilled with the help of GWD Ltd, due to proximity, knowledge of the chocolate company involved and our experience in manufacturing quality packaging for the confectionery industry.

The teams of contestants concocted their chocolate flavours, created the final products, came up with their branding and design and chose their box from the five or six options available (drawings of which we had provided the design agency in advance). The boxes were created that evening and packed by the chocolate company to be presented the following morning. As mentioned, the whole process took less than 24 hours. 25 boxes were created for each team.

chocolate boxes for the apprentice
Chocolate boxes for the apprentice

As you can see one of the boxes is acceptable…..

confectionery packaging essex and UK
Confectionery packaging essex and UK

Whilst the other is, er, perhaps less so, and was roundly castigated by Lord Sugar in the boardroom at the completion of the task….

packaging solutions or chocolates
Packaging solutions or chocolates

….and you can probably see why. The teams pitched their chocolates to retailers with the losing team receiving a fair amount of disdain and zero uptakes. The former however, had some successes including an order of 7000 units from the Co-op.

The whole experience was highly enjoyable and was a good indicator of how quickly we can work here at GWD and how well our systems work under extremely tight deadlines.

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:

Flowers, Chocolates and Quality Presentation Packaging

For good or ill the national obsession with chocolates and flowers continues – particularly at this time of the year.

According to recent figures – In the UK, 10% of all chocolate is consumed in the form of Eggs over Easter, with the country being the fourth largest consumer of chocolate (per head of capita) in the World, behind Switzerland, Germany and Austria. On average, each person in Britain eats approx. 9.5 kg of chocolate each year.  When it comes to flowers, according to a staggering 26% of ALL flowers are purchased from florists on Mother’s Day, surpassed only by Valentines Day.

Naturally as the UK’s premier manufacturer of presentation packaging this period is extremely important to us here at GWD Ltd .  Indeed we have a substantial number of florists and chocolatiers amongst our clients. Here are a few examples of products we have made over the past year.

Heart-shaped boxes made in the UK
Heart-shaped boxes made in the UK

This heart-shaped box with a window was manufactured here in Essex for flowers, specifically preserved flowers and rose heads. These have a life of 3 years or more and are used as table decorations, centrepieces and other ornamental uses. The packaging therefore, has to be robust as well as stylish.

Packaging for mother’s day gifts
Packaging for mother’s day gifts
Packaging for mother’s day gifts
Packaging for mother’s day gifts

The two photos above show round hatboxes that were produced for different flower growers/importers: Exprezzion and MM Flowers .  They were used in the sale of their flowers at two leading supermarket chains and for their online sales. Hat boxes, with or without lids, are widely recognised as a very up-market way of presenting flowers for that special gift or loved one, and GWD Ltd make them in a range of sizes, from 150mm diameter to 150mm high (and smaller if required) up to 300mm diameter x 300mm high (and bigger if required).

Packaging for chocolates and Easter eggs
Packaging for chocolates and Easter eggs

The Easter egg boxes in the picture above show two high-end, bespoke, rigid Easter egg boxes (with separate box and lid) that were made for The Secret Truffletier who create handmade champagne truffles, Swiss Chocolates and luxurious dark chocolate truffle gifts. At the other end of the scale the image also shows a small fold-up carton for a much smaller egg. This was personalised for Claridges , the luxury hotel in Mayfair. It is an equally high-end product.

Whatever product your have, you can be assured that GWD can help you with the perfect presentation packaging to help it sell, online or in the shops. We’ve been creating packaging for florists and chocolatiers for over 30 years. Please 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:

GWD, The Emirates FA Cup and Soccer AM

On Saturday January 5th Soccer AM, Sky1 and Sky Sports Football, featured presenter John Fendley discussing our presentation packaging on live television!

For licensing reasons we’re unable to show the clip here, but in true Soccer AM style, John and his co-presenters and guests discussed the launch of the new soccer ball for the Emirates FA Cup, complete with packaging designed by GWD Ltd! What was that quote again: ”Lovely box, great bit of design.” Thanks very much, John!

presentation box for Mitre football
Presentation box for Mitre football

So how did we come to be here? Well, you may recall from our blog that in March 2017 we were commissioned by Mercieca Ltd  a UK-based integrated agency, who wished us to create presentation packaging for Mitre  – who were re-launching their Mitre Delta football, in that instance for the Sky Bet Championship and the Scottish Premier League. This launch was for The Emirates FA Cup (from the third round onwards – which coincides with sides from the top two divisions entering the competition and was held over the weekend of the 4th – 7th of January) for Mitre to promote its partnership with The FA.

presentation packaging for soccer
Presentation packaging for soccer

Mercieca were briefed to come up with an integrated campaign to promote the launch. The packaging was an important part of this activity which culminated with a showcase of the ball on Soccer AM, It was also included in the BBC FA Cup opening titles and across all televised matches and Match of the Day.

highest quality gift boxes UK
Highest quality gift boxes UK

The clever structural design, which we first created two years ago for Mercieca, creates an angled plinth for the ball to rest in that also doubles up as a display plinth. This also creates a closure for the lid, which can be lifted off easily to reveal the ball in all its glory. This construct is ideal for presenting the product in its best possible light, creating a ‘wow’ factor amongst clients and audiences.

GWD created 75 of these boxes for the client. Chris Ward, Creative Services Manager at Mercieca said: “Another good job from you guys, the client is very happy with the boxes, they looked great.”
If you work for a design agency or have a prestige product that would benefit from the highest quality presentation packaging, please get in touch with GWD Ltd via the details below. It is possible to work alongside our designers to come up with a unique box that is perfectly tailored to your product. We are not wholesalers but a manufacturer of presentation and promotional packaging; you are at source when you come to GWD. We design and make the vast majority of our boxes here in the UK, meaning we have no minimum order requirement and total control over lead times.

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:

Chocolatiers, Christmas and GWD Limited

So Christmas is here once again and at GWD Towers we’re busier than a whole Grotto of Santa’s Elves! Some of the Christmas packaging we make for our clients is designed and manufactured by the end of Summer, but because we deal with so many different kinds of businesses we are also at full tilt, right up to the last moment.

Christmas packaging, Christmas hampers
Christmas packaging, Christmas hampers

Not that this is a ‘Bah Humbug’ type of post, far from it Christmas is, naturally, a hectic time for the packaging industry and we’ve been very busy indeed this year creating hamper boxes, advent calendars and special presentation/gift boxes for products, as well as more generic boxes such as those in the image above. These are more generic products that shops or outlets pack themselves, perhaps adding a ribbon or similar embellishment.

Hamper boxes
Hamper boxes

We have mentioned elsewhere in this blog that we are one of the very few companies in the UK that can produce round ‘hat’ boxes, and these are very popular with chocolatiers and hamper companies, particularly for this season. The boxes above are produced for Betty’s of Harrogate, one of the premier chocolatiers and gift food companies in the country. Most years, Betty’s will contact us with new ideas or designs and the packaging will be updated.

Presentation packaging for chocolatiers and chocolate boxes
Presentation packaging for chocolatiers and chocolate boxes

In the image above are some more boxes made for Betty’s further illustrating what we can do for chocolate companies. The rectangular box (top left) has a gold foil blocked clear window, allowing the chocolates to be viewed in their full glory. This is achieved with the use of a ‘cavity wall tray’, the gold frame, which sits inside the box, which is invisible until it’s opened. The smaller box in the photo is a generic, shouldered box made for Betty’s, that is turned into a Christmas box with the use of a sleeve. This is a great idea for companies who wish to brand their products for particular seasons or events – the box itself remains the same but the sleeve can be redesigned on demand.

Gift packaging suppliers UK
Gift packaging suppliers UK

We also supply smaller independent shops and outlets with our high-quality rigid boxes. These circular boxes (above), although quite complex to manufacture, can be produced in relatively small runs and are ideal for chocolates! If you would like us to help you present your chocolates (or indeed any other product) in it’s best possible light – please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

And Merry Christmas!!

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:

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:

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

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: