We’re Finalists! – Luxury Packaging Awards 2017
We’re thrilled to announce that IPL has been named as finalists in each of the categories entered at this year’s Luxury Packaging Awards, and shortlisted for the most competitive award on the night: Luxury Packaging Supplier of the Year.
We’ve been revealed as a finalist in the Special Edition Category for the luxury wine display case created for BV Rarity, the Technical Achievement Category for the magnification subscription case for the Royal Canadian Mint and the Gift Pack Category for the cylindrical display case created for Old Fashioned Copper bourbon.
We look forward to attending this year’s awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on 13 September 2017.
Our proud Luxury Packaging Awards 2017 Finalists:
O.F.C. display box – Gift Pack
A complex cylindrical MDF woodgrain paper-wrapped structure was created to house the first vintages of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s O.F.C. Bourbon Whiskey, a range of rare and collectable vintage-dated bourbons, solely available to nonprofits for fundraising purposes.
The O.F.C. name is borne on a copper plaque (held firmly in place by recessed magnets) and depicts the year in which the bourbon was distilled. Bottle fitment was produced using EVA material, wrapped in white PU leather. The top fitment features white flocked PS vac-form. Copper bands feature on the top and bottom of the revolving door, as well as a pull ribbon tag. A ribbon is included in the bottle recess.
The pack shows off a unique swivel closure and internal spinning mechanism to allow for striking on-shelf display. The rotation system runs on bearings for smooth as possible movement, and stops on a magnetic catch. Upon opening the revolving door on the oval box, the bottle displays on a small riser.
BV Rarity display case – Special Edition
A luxury single bottle display case was created for the iconic 1.5L of George De Latour Cabernet from the Beaulieu Vineyard private reserve, to be distributed to super-collectors in the Asian market.
The BV Rarity luxury wine box is made from MDF and paper-wrapped in black wood-grain. A copper metal lock with key, and a copper metal L-shaped handle open the box. Bottle and lid fitments are EVA trays wrapped in black felt. A surface card was produced using rigid board wrapped with red PU leather, finely stitched, and completed with a gold foil logo.
The box features copper metal hinges that allow a 90 degree opening to allow for a view of the product within and displays an elegantly executed laser engraved logo on the top of the box. Outer pack branding was designed as a gold electroformed decal.
Royal Canadian Mint – Technical Achievement
An intricate mixed medium coin display case was created to hold 4 limited edition, pure gold coins designed to ship as a gift or collector’s set. Four aspheric magnifying lenses inset into the black veneer MDF case lid provide 2X magnification at exactly 12mm focal length. The lenses are specially moulded into an acrylic panel with frosting that displays the iconic RCM logo.
The magnifying lenses allow the fine details of the coins within to be reviewed without opening the pack and risking harsh elements tarnishing the coins faster. The case is finished with gold electroplated metal hinges and a button latch) and features a felt lining on the base.
The 4 coins are placed in their coin capsules and then into a filled thermoformed flocked tray. A ribbon pull-tab on the coin tray allows the consumer to lift it to find a “secret” compartment underneath that houses the certifications for the coins.
Issued by: IPL Packaging
A closer look at an innovative and sustainable packaging material
Ah, cork! Who knew this renewable resource was good for so many things?
Whilst many of us are familiar with cork’s usage as a bottle stopper, this renewable resource is more recently being used for every purpose imaginable – whether it’s flooring, iPhone cases, handbags, furniture or even NASA employing it in the insulation of their space shuttles.
Whatever its formation, more and more industries are appreciating the versatile and eco-friendly qualities of cork, with the material’s growing popularity understandable when you consider it’s basic structure and attributes:
Cork’s unique honeycomb-like composition results in low thermal conductivity and good heat storage properties. Essentially, cork is a heat insulator, it’s also lightweight and attractive, fire-resistant, naturally waterproof yet breathable, highly abrasion-resistant – and it can be manipulated into a myriad shapes and sizes. Cork is also entirely biodegradable and it’s growth (like all trees) pulls CO2 from the atmosphere.
Interestingly, a piece of cork the size of a sugar cube contains around 60 million air-filled pockets. No other material can match that. This makes cork extremely elastic. Cork can be also pressed to 40% of its volume, but returns to its original size when released.
All these qualities make cork suitable for multiple applications and ultimately resulted in its usage in IPL’s newly developed, solid moulded cork packaging for Santa Maria Vineyards.
Says LB Odendaal, IPL Packaging Innovation and Design Manager, “Creating sustainable alternative packaging is one of the main drivers of innovation at IPL, which is why we initially investigated the use of cork in our product designs,” he explains. “Cork is 100% natural, responsibly grown and completely recyclable, furthermore it can be reworked back into raw material and reshaped into new products with very little waste.”
“In developing the solid mould cork packaging for the Santa Maria bottles, the moulding process allowed for a pack to be made out of a single material, thereby forgoing the need for adhesives, additional bottle fitments and even printed graphics due to the ability to laser engrave the branding onto the cork,” says LB.
“This cork moulding process requires pressure and heat, bonding the composite cork into any shape that complies with simple mould extraction principles. The result is not only visually attractive, it offers wonderful protection for wine and spirits against temperature variations as well as any possible negative effects from storage and transport conditions,” he says.
60% of global cork production is made into corks for wine and champagne.
Most of the world’s cork comes from just a few countries; Portugal 61%, Spain almost 30% and Italy less than 10%.
It takes 25-30 years for a cork oak tree to reach harvestable status (the first harvest, and sometime the second one, is of low-quality cork, and cork-cutters must wait another decade to cut that same tree again),
When a cork oak is ready it is harvested for its outer layers for the rest of its 200-250-year lifespan (about 12 harvests per tree).
The trees are not cut down; just their bark (which grows back) is removed.
This process actually takes 4-5 skilled labourers using hand-axes, and cannot be performed by a machine. The business is large enough that it annually employs about 30,000 people throughout Europe.
Issued by: IPL Packaging
The Glenlivet – Proud Craftsmanship
IPL was tasked with creating a distinguished packaging expression for The Glenlivet for its annual promotion with Costco. The Glenlivet is one of the highest selling single malt whiskies in the world, proud of its craftsmanship and its use of fine American oak casks. We needed to ensure that the cost effective solution provided did not compromise any of the values that this iconic brand stands for.
Two variants of the pack were required, a three bottle case containing the12YO Glenlivet, 15YO Glenlivet and Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve expressions, and a two bottle case containing the Glenlivet 12YO and Founder’s Reserve variants.
We used a bespoke oak wood grained effect paper stock to enhance the feel of craftsmanship. The Paper stock was printed with a CMYK print process and two spot colours, then finished with a matte laminate and anti-scratch UV varnish. It was wrapped onto a high gauge rigid board to provide a robust and distinguished look.
A fine wood grained embossed detail was used to provide the tactile sensation of touching real wood, which further enhances the impression of a solid wood box. An aged metal clasp on the front of the closure and embossed branding detail rounds off a simple yet elegant design. At the front of the case, the bottles were displayed through a high temperature resistant APET window, protected in transit by an outer film. The inside of the case was wrapped in a CCNB lining paper and the bottles were held in place with PS vac-form with pantone matched flocking.
The 2 bottle pack was complemented with four thick PU leather coasters, silkscreen printed and debossed, and glued and stitched with the edges coated to achieve an elegant keepsake.
An interesting project to work on involving our design and NPD teams as well of course as our production and logistics teams. We are very proud of the end result and of course with our continued association with this leading brand.
Issued By: IPL
Author: Faizal Kassim – Operations Director
Date: March 2017
Spot the Difference!
Being able to realistically visualize and replicate a product prior to its development is an irreplaceable tool for both NPD and Marketing teams. Many costly mistakes or problems can be avoided in this way. To spot the 5 key differences between the photograph and render above and for more information.
At the bottom of this article, we list the differences from render to photograph of the Glenmorangie 2016 Craftsman’s Cup gift set. This exercise was really created for a bit of fun but in reality proper 3D visualization continues to gain momentum, at its most extreme, in the current explosion of growth in virtual reality, opening up a whole new world of possibilities still to be explored.
Accurate product and artwork rendering can and does fill an important stop gap between concept design and physical samples. Precise product modelling can certainly highlight technical problems not envisaged when initial designs are conceived in a 2D environment and indeed lead to better product solutions prior to tooling and to commencing the sampling process.
In a world where product life cycles and deadlines are put under increasing pressure, the ability for customers to see products prior to making further purchase decisions allows for a much better review with marketing teams and consumer focus groups if needs be.
3D computer generated graphics (CG) are used widely in a variety of industries ranging from the movie industry to the medical industry. Of course the tools are as useful in designing front facing secondary packaging as in the many other areas.
It is important to note, that not all 3D design packages are created equal. To maintain momentum on a project the ideal package should allow for quick modelling, fast texturing and of course fast rendering time.
At IPL, we use Modo. Created by The Foundry, Modo is a leader in CG rendering in both the gaming and packaging design industries. Optimised direct modelling tool-sets allow us to visualize designs in the shortest possible time and with an ability to make colour and lighting decisions prior to the full render.
An extremely flexible texturing and shading workflow means that we can create surprisingly real materials and finishes that really come close to replicating what would be achieved in final manufacture.
Bottle outline on the render is reversed.
Text on the side of the pack is reversed.
The colour of the signet on the metal cups is darker in the render.
Craftsman’s Cup is spelt Cap, on the render.
The artwork line under “The Original” is different on the render.
The render does not have any light / gloss reflecting on the black strip.
Issued By: IPL
Author: LB Odendaal, Design and Innovations Manager
Date: March 2017
The Dramazing Laphroaig
Over the last two years, IPL have had the pleasure and privilege of developing not one, but three luxury wooden presentation boxes for the Laphroaig range, two of which have been limited editions. This was as part of a packaging restage with brand owners Beam Suntory and their in-house design agency, Proof Global.
Beam Suntory first tasked IPL to produce the wooden packaging for the celebratory 32YO and award-winning 30 and 25YO whiskies. All three boxes share the same trunk style structure and white-washed exterior which complements the natural grain of the ash wood.
The 32YO was the first developed and released to a range of global markets including the UK, USA and Asia as part of the distillery’s 200 year anniversary celebrations in 2015. The box is framed by recessed black bands that wrap around the top and bottom of the box. The brand information is presented as a black deboss with the significance of the “32” age statement lifted by the use of a rich copper ink fill which matches the metal closure and hinges on the side of the pack.
The 30YO and 25YO boxes were developed simultaneously and build on the initial design of the 32YO pack. The 30YO is similar to its older brother above but instead bears inset aged copper bands that wrap around the case, a die cast copper “30” age statement and matched ink filled signature in homage to John Campbell, the Laphroaig distillery manager.
The 25YO subtly moves away from the copper theme and instead proudly displays flush, Laphroaig green leather textured bands that wrap around the box. The same green leather grain is inset to lift the “25” age statement and the pack is finished with black metal hinges and closure. Internally the 32 and 30 YO have the bottle securely held in place with a magnetised yoke that slides into positions via two carved channels in the walls of the pack. The 25YO differs with flocked green fitments in the top and bottom of the pack. Inside the doors of the pack, lucky owners will find certificates held in place with ash wood for the 32YO or copper and black metal fitments for the 30 and 25YO.
Lastly, over the shoulder of the bottle an image of the distillery along with the brands tag line has been debossed in black ink for the final touch to complete the pack.
For IPL it has been an honour to be involved in this project from development to delivery, working closely with the Beam Suntory team to ultimately realise these stunning packs to their full potential.
Issued by: IPL
Date: August 2016
The Science of Testing
Last year we looked at Military Standards in quality testing and explored the efficacy of sampling plans versus 100% inspections. But the truth is, a sampling plan is only as good as the standards set to test against and indeed then how one tests these standards .
Deciding what acceptable quality levels (AQL) are for a particular product is one of the first steps in setting the testing process in motion.
While most brand owners will seek perfection, especially in the luxury brand environment, there is always the balancing act between brand perfection and commercial objectives. Whilst not a focus of this IPL in Brief, it is worth mentioning that some manufacturing processes may by their nature have a natural wastage element. The higher the AQL set, the higher the likely wastage and wastage cost. This normally would then follow through to higher manufacturing costs.
In this article, we simply want to begin highlighting that it is, of course, of vital importance to set AQL’s for a variety of aesthetic, structural and functional standards. Equally, it is vital to be able to test certain standards that may well look acceptable to the naked eye but in reality for one reason or another, can only be properly verified by bespoke equipment.
In certain instances, like with colour for example, not everybody sees each colour in exactly the same way. Only proper colour measuring equipment will remove any subjectivity from the testing and ensure aesthetic targets are being met.
In many other instances, it may seem standards are acceptable based on initial visual inspection. The problem is that products are normally exposed to a number of environmental and physical factors prior to getting to market. One needs to be sure that goods inspected in market will exhibit the same standards as the goods inspected on the factory floor. Verifying some physical attributes of products is necessary to ensure that the aesthetic attributes will not change over a reasonable time and through reasonable conditions.
Below is a list of equipment and procedures that should be as a minimum, available to quality teams when monitoring different luxury packaging boxes. (Over and above normal tools like callipers etc.)
Glossmeter – A gloss meter (also gloss meter) is an instrument which is used to measure specular reflection gloss of a surface. Glossiness and or mattness of a packaging surface is determined by projecting a beam of light at a fixed intensity and angle onto a surface and measuring the amount of reflected light at an equal but opposite angle.
Colorimeter – Colorimeters are tristimulus (three-filtered) devices that make use of red, green, and blue filters to emulate the response of the human eye to light and color. Colorimeters provide users the ability to emulate how a physical product will appear.
Light booth – In manufacturing and quality control across all industries, accurate color is important. When color does not meet specifications, the result is increased cost and time to market, with more rejects and rework. That’s why it is important to view color under controlled lighting conditions. Integrating the light booth into a color-critical workflow improves quality control
Magnification tester – Used for scrutinising print for any registration issues.
Environmental chamber– Goods are subjected to various climatic conditions in different locations around the world. We test packaging to stay true in these conditions, this chamber can control temperature (-30C ~ +100C) and humidity (0% ~ 100%).
Moisture tester – This is also handheld equipment used for measuring humidity / moisture of products.
Hardness test – Scratch test with Erichsen pen – measures the amount of force required to scratch the print off a substrate or painted surface.
Shore durometer – A handheld device used for determining hardness of soft material, e.g. rubber, plastic, EVA etc.
Gauss Meter– This is handheld equipment used for measuring the strength of magnets.
Tensile tester, is also known as tension tester, is a fundamental materials science tester used to determine the puling force a sample is subjected to until failure. The results from the test are commonly used to select a material for an application, for quality control, and to predict how a material will react under other types of forces.
Vibration tester – Vibration package testing intends to simulate a product’s voyage in transport and handling. ISTA, ASTM and ISO standards and procedures are most often used to define package testing requirements. Many MIL-STD tests are also referenced for the testing of packaged products traveling in various military theaters of operation. Government regulations for hazardous materials, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices establish specific requirements for the testing of those packaged products.
Burst tester – Test designated for measuring packaging paper or paperboard’s property of resistance to rupturing.
Edge Crushing Tester (ECT) – Used to measure the cross-direction crushing of a sample of corrugated board.
Rub tester – Designated for testing the print for scuffing issues.
Salt spray tester (fog tester) – Designated for testing for potential corrosion in metal components such as studs, hinges and closures
Issued By: IPL