The Luxury Packaging Awards 2017 – A Win for MW Luxury Packaging
The MW team have some exciting news: we’ve been presented with a top industry honour at this year’s Luxury Packaging Awards.
The winning pack came top in the Cosmetics category and was manufactured earlier this year as part of a beauty collaboration between Victoria Beckham and Estée Lauder. The Victoria Beckham Collection Daylight Edition is styled as an oversized beauty compact and houses a selection of desirable make-up items.
Our award-winning pack was crafted using an MDF substructure and is housed in a protective black tertiary carton. Its elegant black and gold design features padded black PU leather and electroplated gold frames running around the edges.
For ease of opening, the case has been fitted with a sleek gold clasp; inside, the make-up items lie in a black suede fitment opposite a light-up mirror. Feedback from the awards judges drew attention to the pack’s “sleek design” and “good use of materials”.
Though this was our only win of the evening, the MW team were also praised for our work on another Estée Lauder pack: Aerin Rose de Glasse d’Or. To house this elegant fragrance, we manufactured a delicate, floral box and leather fitment; this pack was highly commended in the Perfume category (coming in second to Penhaligon’s) and praised for its “premium materials”.
The Luxury Packaging Awards are a huge industry event for the MW team, and something that we look forward to every year. We’re honoured to have been recognised for our work on these two special packs, particularly considering the quality of the competition.
MW’s Top Five “Musts” for Luxury Spirits Packaging
Creating the perfect piece of packaging isn’t easy at the best of times – but when the product inside is a bottle of limited edition liquor it can be even harder. The pack should be a feast for the senses, represent the brand, denote a superior level of quality and, at the same time, never overshadow its precious contents.
The team from MW Luxury Packaging has spent many years manufacturing packaging for luxury products, and in their time they’ve learnt a thing or two about how the perfect pack is executed. We sat down with them to get their advice on creating luxury spirits packaging.
Tell a Story
In the experience of MW Senior Development Manager Nikki Gooderham, incorporating a story into a pack during the design stage is essential.
Maybe the pack information delves into the distillery’s history, or perhaps the imagery comes together to evoke a particular moment in time – whatever the case, building a pack around a story is one of things that helps elevate it to the category of luxury. In Gooderham’s words, storytelling is a way of “enhancing the consumer’s perception of quality, exclusivity and uniqueness”.
Engage the Senses
The MW team believe that the best luxury packs have appeal on a multi-sensory level. Gooderham has described how “the cold metallic feel of a still embodied in a bold metal band, or a heavily embossed weave across paper” can help draw the consumer into the story, connecting them with both the product and the brand.
MW COO Toby Wilson, meanwhile, has talked about the unique importance of the sensorial experience – the click of a metal clasp opening, or the soft knock of wood sliding against wood (as we saw in the unique pack MW manufactured for Roe & Co whiskey).
Taking the consumer on a sensory journey is all well and good but – as Managing Director of the Americas Dustin Wills will tell you – it’s all for nothing if the pack doesn’t function on a practical level.
Packaging for luxury spirits has to protect its precious contents, and using the right materials is key. EVA high-density foam is one great way of ensuring that glass bottles stay snug and safe within the container. Removable fitments are another big plus on the functionality front; allowing the pack to be adapted for display, transit or storage allows – in the words of Wills – “a secondary use and life for the consumer”.
Focus on the Details
In 2015, the MW team manufactured the packaging for seven of Diageo’s nine Special Release Single Malt Whiskies. The key to the success of these packs, according to Toby Wilson, was the attention to detail in both the design and the final execution. Subtle touches like crafted typography, debossing and spot gloss varnish added visual and textural appeal, whilst showing what made each whisky so unique.
Convey Status & Value
When buying a luxury product, the expectation on the consumer’s part is that the item carries unique status. This expectation can be met through endorsement or personalisation from a respected individual – with MW’s pack for Johnnie Walker & Sons’ Mastery of Oak, the signature of Diageo’s Master Blender was incorporated into the design, significantly boosting its value.
Another fantastic way of instilling value is to include product numbering; knowing that you possess one of only 1000 limited editions packs gives it an exclusive, collectible element.
The last piece of advice MW had for us? To always be pushing the boundaries and experimenting with innovative new manufacturing techniques and materials. A little bit of ingenuity can make all the difference.
Luxury Packaging Awards 2017. MW shortlisted in four categories.
Having examined a high number of top quality entries for September’s Luxury Packaging Awards, the judges have decided on the shortlists.
We are pleased to announce that our entries were shortlisted in the following Luxury categories:
- Perfume Pack, Aerin
- Cosmetics Pack - Victoria Beckham & Estee Lauder
- Personal Care Pack - La Mer and Re-Nutriv Estee Lauder
- Special Edition Pack - Johnnie Walker Private Collection 2017 and Victoria Beckham & Estee Lauder.
The awards ceremony will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on Wednesday 13 September 2017.
MW wins two Golds at the 2017 PAC Awards
As the longest established event of its type in North America, the PAC Packaging Competition, organised by the Toronto-based not-for-profit corporation Packaging Consortium, is a prestigious industry award. PAC has over 2,100 members from across the packaging industry, who see the Global Leadership Awards as an opportunity to praise and recognise excellence and innovation across packaging design, graphics, branding, technical development and sustainability.
MW Luxury Packaging was awarded Gold in the Brand Marketing - Brand Revitalisation, Luxury category for Johnnie Walker & Sons Private Collection, and Gold in the Brand Marketing - New Brand, Luxury category for Victoria Beckham Daylight Edition for Estée Lauder.
As the company enters its 21st year, the two Gold PAC awards further establish MW Luxury Packaging's position as an industry leader and creator of innovative, high quality packaging.
The WorldStar Awards 2017: Celebrating Our Sinatra Century Win
Every year, packaging designers and manufacturers from around the globe gather for the WorldStar Awards. The annual event, hosted by the World Packaging Organisation, was launched in 1970 to celebrate skill and innovation in the packaging industry.
Last year, MW Luxury Packaging attended to pick up an award for our Sonos Blue Note carry case, which won in the Luxury category for 2016. This year, we were on the guest list once again, this time to collect an Award for Packaging Excellence for our Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century case.
Created to celebrate the centenary of Frank Sinatra, the pack for this limited edition whiskey is comprised of a leather-lined, midnight blue wooden case with a gold handle. The case is fronted with a solid, hinged door and opens to reveal the bottle of Sinatra Century, along with a hardback book and a replica tiepin containing a recording of Sinatra performing in Las Vegas.
The clean, classic lines of the case were designed with Sinatra’s iconic style in mind, and the sturdy build ensures that the precious bottle remains protected from dust and damage.
Having heard of our win at the end of last year, it was a joy for the MW team to finally get our hands on this prestigious award.
Designing Luxury Packaging by Telling a Story.
Many things go into the running of a successful business, and the most important is an in-depth understanding of the purpose their packaging serves. Standard packaging is designed to protect its contents, provide information, and convey an idea of price range. But with luxury packaging, it’s a different story.
A pack must do everything described above and, at the same time, go beyond; it needs to not only perform aesthetically and practically, but take the consumer on a journey. As MW Luxury Packaging COO Toby Wilson puts it, “In the world of luxury packaging, a pack has to perform on a far higher level—engaging, enticing and absorbing the consumer into the brand, its provenance, its beliefs and what it stands for.”
The question is: how does a company achieve such an ambitious goal? Often, it comes down to something as simple as telling a story.
Take, for example, the unique presentation box for La Mer beauty brand’s Hydrating Serum. While you might expect inspiration for such a pack to come from luxury materials, the real source was surprisingly humble: a children’s pop-up book. Using a hinged box for the exterior of the pack, an accordion of illustrated pages explaining the product was constructed, which itself lay nestled at the base of the box surrounded by watercolour imagery.
It’s a design that ensures a sensory experience, shaping your understanding of both product and brand before you’ve even opened the bottle. Without realising it, you’ve been told a story.
Designers can achieve sensorial experiences on many levels. Different textures can be created using special substrates, raised varnishes or embossing. Strong magnets on a door give a pleasing, audible click to show that the door has engaged. Even scent can be introduced into a pack to draw in the consumer and set them off on their journey.
Sometimes, a pack tells its story in a more tangible way, through the items it contains. The Jägermeister VIP Founders Kit drew on the old world in its design and manufacture, incorporating hunting-themed gifts and aged copper detailing. A similar theme was channelled in MW’s carry case for Buchanan's Red Seal; the pack contained two spun steel cups, a bespoke hipflask and a cup holder, allowing its lucky owner to enjoy a dram with a friend wherever they may be. It’s not about freebies; it’s about giving the consumer another way to engage with the brand and experience it in the manner envisaged by the brand owner. Accessories or relevant items serve to enhance not only the brand ethos but the consumer’s understanding of the product.
The most powerful of stories, however, are evoked through the materials used—something which gives the consumer a true understanding of where the product has come from. In the world of whisky, the barrels in which the liquor is kept play a huge part in its unique story. Once used these could be utilizes and form a part of the packaging or become a discovered detail which enhances the story.
A wonderful example of this is the Ledaig 42 Limited Edition which tells the story of the old stills in which it came to life. Now retired, the stills is which this precious whisky was distilled even made their way into the pack itself in the form of an individually numbered copper card. It’s a pack that MW Senior Development Manager Nikki Gooderham feels particularly proud to be associated with: “A project such as Ledaig 42 really shows how designers and manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of luxury packaging and creating pieces that almost stand alone. Each part told its own story.”
Ultimately, a luxury pack that tells a story has the power to exceed your consumer’s expectations. Wilson is of the opinion that “if the journey is inspired and engaging, you not only get the consumer to purchase the product but they are very likely to also become ambassadors of the brand.”
Of course, while the crafting of such innovative packs poses its own set of unique challenges, it’s also the kind of work that really stimulates packaging experts. So it looks like a storytelling philosophy might just be the key to packaging success.
Packaging Manufacturer of the Year Award for MW Luxury Packaging
MW Luxury Packaging has been awarded the Packaging Manufacturer of the Year during this year’s Luxury Packaging Awards ceremony in London last week. The judges commented that they are a great company with great service and wide variety of well executed packaging solutions.
Their latest packaging project was for Brown Forman, in celebration of what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday, have created one of the companies most prestigious and expensive whiskies ever. Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century is an extremely limited release drawn from just 100 barrels, “handpicked by master distiller Jeff Arnett”. The product was bottled at 100 proof and featured a specially designed bottle and bespoke luxury collector’s gift box inspired by Sinatra’s signature style.
In honour of Frank’s nickname, Ol’ Blue Eyes and to the classic piano that accompanied his legendary voice, each individually numbered bottle comes in an exquisite midnight blue lacquered wooden box. The box was designed to be a collectable keepsake and is lined with black leather. Inside the pack there is a hardbound tribute book about the man, the music and the whiskey. There is also a replica of Frank’s tie clip that contains a digital, never-before-released complete concert recording of him at his best at The Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in 1966.”
MW Luxury Packaging Continues on Winning Streak at the WorldStar Awards
For the past 46 years, the World Packaging Organisation has been honouring the efforts of packaging designers and manufacturers from across the globe. This year at WPO's annual WorldStar Awards, UK company MW Luxury Packaging walked away with an Award for Packaging Excellence for their stunning limited edition Sonos carry case. Other winners of WPO’s elegant blue trophy in the prestigious "Luxury" category include UK-based Mondelēz International, Thai company Siam Craft Industry and Swiss brand Victorinox.
The winning Sonos pack was developed by MW as part of a promotional strategy for the audio-digital brand’s PLAY:1 Blue Note speaker, which was created to commemorate the 75th anniversary of jazz record label Blue Note. Crafted from wood and wrapped in dark blue PU leather, hand-stitched in colour-contrasting thread, the accompanying carry case was modelled with nostalgia in mind, and evokes the look and feel of a traditional vinyl record case. A leather handle embossed with the Sonos logo allows for easy opening of the case, and inside, the stunning interior boasts electric blue side panels and a luxurious velvet tray, which snugly holds the two Sonos speakers. Also contained in the pack are a limited edition hardback book and an audio disc, telling the fascinating story of the Blue Note jazz label.
The win of this elegant pack – which also bagged a Starpack Industry Award in 2015 – marks another fine achievement for MW Luxury Packaging in a year of successes. The company triumphed last year when they won the coveted award for Luxury Packaging Manufacturer of the Year at the 2015 Luxury Packaging Awards. They were also recently honoured by drinks giant Diageo, who selected MW to design the packs for seven of their limited edition Special Release Single Malt Whiskies. With another win under their belts, and talks of expansion in the works, it looks as though we’re set to see more great things from MW Luxury Packaging. In the meantime, we congratulate them for their richly-deserved win.
Christian Louboutin Nail Polish Gift Set
This is the most luxurious and sensational nail polish gift set I have ever seen, hands down (pun intended). Christian Louboutin has packaged up some of their show-stopping nail polish bottles into a gift set featuring three striking shades with three different limited edition package designs. Pink developed the design, and MW Luxury Packaging used double thickness rigid board to manufacture each special box.
As if the unique nail polish bottles weren’t enough, the three colorful gift sets certainly tempt buyers into collecting all three. Each one seems to have its own mood, from sensuous and mysterious to eclectic and bold. Boxes open easily with a ribbon pull-tab, and each polish is displayed in its own window, like sculptures in a museum.
“The first design is a vividly coloured yellow pack, embossed with a blue and yellow paint spot effect on top of a leatherwork pattern. The other two packs feature a printed Hawaiian design, with red and orange hibiscus flowers growing among tropical ferns. This design is available with either a clean white or striking black background.”
“Each nail polish sits within its own arch with a multi-level EVA fitment, lined with a mirror finish top card. The walls and arches of the pack are customised to match the colours of the nail polish contained within. The hinged doors are opened with colour matched ribbon, and are held shut with magnets, with the inside of each door featuring the signature Louboutin logo.”
MW Luxury Packaging recognised for Jack Daniel’s and Johnnie Walker designs
The luxury packaging agency was awarded Silver at the PAC Global Leadership Awards in a brand marketing category for Jack Daniel’s Sinatra, a limited edition whisky created to celebrate Frank Sinatra’s centenary year and his special relationship with Jack Daniel’s.
Each bottle is individually numbered and presented in an elegant, leather lined, midnight blue wooden box.
The second silver award, in the same category, was received for the Johnnie Walker Blue Gift Pack.
The outer packaging consists of rigid board, lined with premium paper that has been dyed and embossed, while the windows on the front and rear allow light to illuminate the whisky inside.
The inner packaging contains an injection moulded, mirror finished fitment, which suspends the bottle.
The reflective surface causes the light passing through the whisky to be projected onto the bottle and box interior. The pack is held shut using a magnetic clip, featuring the famous Johnnie Walker ‘Striding Man’ logo, attached to the side of the pack.
These redesigns were carried out last year.
MW Luxury Packaging attends risk management course in China
Hosted by UK company Intertek, the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (or FMEA) course is designed to analyse and evaluate risk in the manufacture of products and packaging.
Intertek tailored the course specifically for MW’s luxury packaging products, with its design engineers, process engineers, quality professionals, and project managers attending.
MW’s Asia team members learnt how to collect data and spot potential risks and failures in the production process, and received training on working with hazardous substances.
MW Luxury Packaging won the Luxury Packaging Manufacturer of the Year title at the Luxury Packaging Awards 2015, and working with Diageo to produce packs for seven out of nine of their Special Release Single Malt Whiskies for 2016.
The company said investing in this training is part of MW’s desire to build upon its drive for service excellence, and sets a precedent for other packaging manufacturers in this highly competitive global industry.