Promoting The Luxury of Tomorrow - Walpole

Walpole is the official sector body for UK luxury. Founded in 1992 as a not-for-profit organisation, it represents over 270 of the UK's finest brands and cultural institutions - a sector worth £48 billion to the British economy.

IPL Packaging is an international producer of premium, secondary packaging, with offices in Scotland and England.

We speak to Jenni Rayner (Head of Content) at Walpole and Jason Roberts (New Business Development Manager, IPL Packaging UK) to learn more about Walpole and discuss IPL’s positioning as a strategic sponsor of the organisation.

Walpole UK luxury branding and packaging

What represents a strategic sponsor?

Jenni: These top-tier companies share Walpole's aims to promote British luxury around the world, have a credible British presence, and are seen as trusted brands by the membership. As the voice of British luxury, Walpole’s purpose is to promote, protect and develop the vital luxury market sector. Strategic sponsors are therefore those brands and businesses that Walpole believes can support members in taking their brands to the next level.

Explain the reasoning behind IPL’s decision to become a strategic sponsor of Walpole?

Jason: It was always going to be a natural fit. IPL has an established history of making premium, secondary packaging for some of Britain’s finest luxury brands, many of whom are already Walpole members. We take pride in delivering exemplary service and products and we’re always eager to share this knowledge to help further elevate and amplify those luxury brands that subscribe to the highest standards of detail and design.

Being able to offer our advice and expertise in packaging to Walpole’s members (amongst them Burberry, Dunhill, Harrods, Glenmorangie, Manolo Blahnik, Rolls Royce and Wedgwood) is a role we’re thoroughly enjoying. Within this role, we’re able to provide advice on suitable structures, materials, finishings, value-engineering, production and logistics and, in particular, with participation in Walpole’s Sustainability Focus Groups, IPL has also provided thought leadership in the increasingly key areas of sustainability and corporate and social responsibility in packaging manufacture.

Jenni: In working with sponsors such as IPL, who’re aligned to Walpole’s core values, particularly those around sustainability, diversity and inclusion, we’re enabling other Walpole members to make informed choices around balancing their packaging needs with environmental concerns. They’re also able to gain key insights into the luxury packaging drivers and trends of the future.

What is IPL's view of packaging within British luxury as a whole?

Jason: We believe that packaging for luxury British goods is a vital element of the overall brand experience. There’s an international expectation that British brands lead the way with respect to luxury – it’s in the very essence of their heritage and tradition. Advancement of packaging designs and technologies will only help luxury brands to improve and enhance their overall customer experience and innovations in premium packaging will also help luxury brands to both retain and garner new brand loyal customers.

Is luxury packaging in the UK changing? How is IPL adapting to this?

Jason: The past 18 months have seen a dramatic upshift in demand for sustainable packaging in all retail sectors and it’s no different in the luxury market. Brands that aren’t already pro-active in this regard are being forced to adapt by consumers who still want to buy their product, but who also want the packaging to be either recyclable or made of sustainable materials. They’re after positive change.

For some time now, we’ve been rethinking and reimagining packaging. Change is coming thick and fast – and the challenge for brands now is to deliver against future thinking in order to meet consumer expectation. That means making massive leaps in finding innovative-yet-practical solutions to our clients’ needs, balancing the requirements of future-fit sustainability with the desire to keep packaging high-end and luxurious.

What does Walpole’s Sustainability Manifesto mean to UK brands?

Jenni: Launched this year, Walpole’s ambitious and comprehensive Sustainability Manifesto aims to support the British luxury sector in becoming a world leader in sustainability.

With over 50 British luxury brands now signatories of the Manifesto, IPL is able to support Walpole (and the British luxury sector as a whole) by contributing key insights and solutions as we tackle pillar 1 of the Sustainability Manifesto – a pledge to ‘lead the transition towards a circular economy’ by eradicating plastic packaging and implementing circularity initiatives to extend product life and waste reduction.

The 4 principles of the manifesto are to:

  • Lead the transition towards a circular economy
  • Safeguard the environment and natural resources
  • Guide partners + suppliers towards sustainable practices
  • Advocate equal and respectful working conditions

Walpole, in partnership with McKinsey & Company, has also developed 12 sustainability aspirations under these 4 pillars. Acknowledging the diversity of the membership community, the aspirations are not hard targets but rather a set of ambitious guidelines to outline where the greatest impact can be achieved across the luxury sector.

Walpole’s inaugural Festival of Luxury Marketing (September) was a week-long, virtual exploration of the post-pandemic luxury market. Over 5 days and 15 sessions, expert speakers shared insights with over 500 guests.

What were some of the key take-outs for luxury brands to address in a post-pandemic world?

Jenni: Focused on addressing the most pressing topics affecting Britain’s luxury brands in the ‘post-Covid’ world examining, topics addressed:

  • The changing mindset and priorities of the discerning luxury consumer - what they desire and ‘expect’ from luxury brands.
  • How to effectively reach these customers - now and in the future.
  • The new ‘language of luxury’; communicating with the luxury consumer.
  • The importance of brand storytelling and right tone of voice.
  • Enabling e-commerce to provide as rich an experience for the luxury customer as traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ have historically done.
  • The new ‘digital marketing playbook’ and latest innovations in virtual luxury - with lessons from the experts in online retail and marketing, digital events and experiences.
  • How to capitalise on the increasingly important Asian surge (by 2025, China will account for almost 50% of the global luxury goods market) with input from relevant experts.
  • Brand purpose, meaning and authenticity – appealing to the new socially and environmentally conscious consumer.

Find out more:

IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and manage the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to get an insight into the latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our News section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.

Highland (Double) Gold for Tullibardine

For Tullibardine’s 15-Year-Old, recently awarded a Double Gold medal at the prestigious 2020 International Spirits Challenge, IPL produced a packaging solution as beguiling as the expression itself. 

The unfeigned simplicity of the paper-wrapped rigid board pack is enhanced by the varnish printed graphic depicting the beautiful, agricultural Scottish landscape. 

A striking paper-wrapped rigid board buck-lock closure (complete with gold foil brand detailing) holds the double-door pack front closed. Upon opening these, one reveals the UV varnish and gold foil brand details on the inner doors and the splendid single malt contained within.

Tullibardine 15 year old single malt

This remarkable whisky, distilled after the reopening of the distillery in 2003, is as full-flavoured and rich in character as the history of the location itself.

Named after the nearby village of Tullibardine, the distillery originally began as a brewery back in the 15th Century or earlier, and supplied the beer for the 15-year-old King James IV’s coronation feast in 1488. It continued as a brewery through the centuries, passing through many hands, but was re-built in 1947 as a distillery by the Welsh architect William Delme Evans. The site was later closed for many years before finally being reopened in 2003. 

Tullibardine is now one of the few distilleries in Scotland to distill, mature and bottle on site, in the age-old, handcrafted way, giving it complete control over the whisky making process.


IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and manage the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to get an insight into the latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our News section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.

The VR (very real) benefits of VR in packaging

The benefits of VR in packaging

Virtual reality (VR) is fast becoming a global trend that now offers exciting opportunities and transformative benefits for the packaging industry. At IPL, we've been exploring the real-world possibilities of VR when it comes to packaging design and prototyping, all as part of leveraging improved sustainability and cost benefits for our clients.

This three-dimensional digital representation, sometimes referred to as an augmented world, is no longer the exclusive domain of video games and futuristic movies. VR is being applied to a range of industries. In the packaging sector, it is being used as a powerful tool for visualising designs and prototypes. VR is enabling brands to ‘see’ their packaging and interact with it as if it was a three-dimensional object. These sorts of technological innovations will drive the industry in the post-COVID-19 era.

What is VR and how will it impact packaging?

In simple terms, VR is a digital way to project objects and spaces in three-dimensions via goggles worn over the head. As the viewer looks around, the digital world in front of them moves in a realistic manner. Therefore, VR has the ability to create interactive virtual experiences for viewers wearing the goggles.

Users can be placed inside simulated worlds that provide a far greater sense of immersion and engagement than can be typically experienced through flat screens. Users can also walk around and interact with objects in this virtual environment. Recent advancements in VR technology have made it more accessible, affordable and higher in quality than before. These are sentiments shared with IPL Packaging’s head of design, LB Odendaal.

“Thanks to a proliferation of high-resolution and inexpensive screens developed for smartphones and tablets, along with vast improvements in computer graphics cards, VR is becoming increasingly more advanced and accessible,” says Odendaal. He explains that VR offers customers a unique way to interact with digital content and can redefine and enliven the packaging design process.

The benefits of VR in packaging

VR and the future of business

The world has changed in the wake of COVID-19. With less travel and more virtual business interactions, all companies have had to shift their way of doing business. VR is now an even more powerful tool as it allows companies to show their clients designs and products in an augmented three-dimensional space. This is achieved before any money is spent on actually creating physical prototypes.

“Leveraging virtual and augmented reality for proofing and visualisation of packaging offers some of the same benefits of a physical prototype, but in a more immediate digital format,” explains Odendaal. “When clients are able to see a concept in 3D, instead of an abstract dieline, the product and accompanying package become a ‘vision of the future’ instead of a 2D spatial intelligence test,” he adds.

IPL is currently exploring the possibilities of VR and its uses in the industry. Odendaal explains how the company has created a virtual showroom that allows customers to interact with packaging concepts and, through VR, bring packaging designs to life. “The interactive environment we created allowed them to visualise the packaging solutions at proper scale and, ultimately, in whatever intended environment they chose,” says Odendaal.

More value for less investment

When it comes to packaging, VR offers customers more value for their money, without having to invest in prototyping and sampling. Design teams are able to go beyond the mock-up stage of the process and create an accurate representation of how the packaging will look in a certain environment. This includes various lighting situations and in-store display cases.

“And, when you place a product in a VR environment, you can also see whether, for example, the chosen colours make the package ‘pop’ on the shelf or merely blend into the surrounding competition. Clients can then also easily request changes - like colour and shape - without running up additional material costs,” explains Odendaal.

This way, VR is able to simplify the packaging value chain and save the customer time and money. It allows designers and clients to pick out possible problems early on in the process. VR also facilitates better feedback from the customer and can lead to more effective design changes before they become costly to incorporate.

The benefits of VR in packaging

VR is good for sustainability

As if VR wasn’t beneficial enough, it also holds significant potential in terms of environmental sustainability. “With VR you’re saving on printing, materials, labour and transport – and ultimately reducing your carbon footprint,” says Odendaal. It allows companies like IPL to create products and refine their designs without having to use real materials, such as board, wood and glass.

“At IPL, we see the future of packaging design moving away from 2D screens and tablets and ultimately becoming fully immersive. With the help of virtual environments and a host of immersive three-dimensional concepts we’re currently testing, we hope to soon be standing around a virtual table with our teammates in offices around the world, drawing and engineering in 3D and making decisions on production and tooling as changes are made to 3D models in real-time,” he explains.

IPL is excited to be stepping into the world of VR at an early stage. It will certainly allow us to improve our agility, efficiency and turnaround times. “It is true, we are still at relatively early stages but it’s an exciting and important time to be engaging and developing the virtual world,” concludes Odendaal. This technology is certainly beneficial in the packaging industry and is likely to become the new norm in the future.


IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and manage the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to get an insight into our latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our News section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.


As part of IPL’s ongoing explorations into different packaging mediums we continue to see glass as an interesting packaging option for both today's products and tomorrow's renewable needs.



Aiming to explore new design directions and to illustrate how a medium such as glass can add weight and quality to secondary packaging in new and exciting ways, the IPL Design and Innovations team embarked on the development of a luxury tempered glass watch/jewelry box. 


“Much of the motivation behind this NPD project was inspired by the all-natural, alluring qualities of glass,” says LB Odendaal, IPL’s Head of Design.  “We also understood that, as a packaging material, tempered and toughened glass has exceptional strength, is scratch-resistant and able to be laser engraved. It also lends itself to several printing and finish options.”



“In our development of the metal-framed glass display box we tested several treatments,” he explains. “Graphic digital screen printing was applied to the inner/ reverse side of the glass doors. We then employed a vacuum metallising (PVD) finishing treatment to the outer face of the glass in order to provide a luxurious sheen,” says Odendaal. “A laser-engraved logo applied to the outer face served to further enhance the premium feel of the box.”


“The pack’s custom-designed sliding opening mechanism was based on a steel ‘sliding runner’ system set into a wooden base frame, with the doors of the box held shut with an inlaid magnetic closure, pocketed directly into the glass panels to provide seamless finish,” he says. “Upon opening the sliding glass doors, the suede-wrapped EVA product fitment and booklet holders are revealed.” 



“As with all our packaging solutions, here we looked to successfully combine innovation, functional minimalism and design to help heighten the user experience,” comments Odendaal. “This elegant gift box demonstrates just one of the unique ways in which we’re able to use glass packaging to tell the story of a brand, create glass packaging designs that stand out on the shelf and, simultaneously, help brands meet sustainability goals.”


“When you look at glass enhancement processes such as etching, silk screening, enameling, frosting, polishing, staining and lamination… to name but a few, you realise the options for the creation of impactful, versatile and beautiful glass packaging are endless!”


Purveyors of what it calls ‘The world's most exclusive spirits collection', Last Drop Distillers specialise in developing top quality and unique spirits, complete with packaging that befits its rare and remarkable content.



Amongst the company’s founders are James Espey, Tom Jago and Peter Fleck, veritable titans of the spirits industry who played a role in developing some of the most iconic brands in the world of liquor including Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Chivas Regal, J&B and Bailey's Irish Cream.


After working with these renowned brands their whole lives, the trio chose to focus their efforts on creating the very best of the very best – and so, the purpose of The Last Drop Distillers was, and remains to this day: ‘To find, and bottle, for the delectation of friends and connoisseurs alike, the world’s finest, rarest and most exclusive spirits.’ 


Packaging for each bottle in the exclusive range comes complete with a 50ml miniature containing the same liquid, allowing purchasers to taste the spirit without opening the full bottle.


As a proud packaging supplier to the brand, IPL has supplied several high-quality blended leather-wrapped boxes in differing colours. Box lids feature an embossed gold foil logo with a matching logo on the box base. Metal hinges to echo the coloration of the logo. 


The inner lid of each box houses two removable suede-lined trays (one containing the miniature and the other a tasting book) finished with two pull-ribbons, allowing you to retain a complete-looking leather finished box housing your special release long after you have enjoyed the miniature. 


Aiming to cultivate a clientele that trusts its judgment enough to know any of its releases will be truly special and worth buying on reputation, Last Drop Distillers reinforce this by packaging each rare spirit in a way that offers collectors ultimate pride of ownership.


At IPL Packaging we consistently champion new ideas and innovation, which is why we challenged the third year students at The Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography with a somewhat unusual fictional design and packaging project. 



Led by Caylin van Der Walt of the IPL Design Team, students were encouraged to develop a unique upmarket brand identity and packaging solution for the sex toy industry. The students were co-supervised by lecturer Cashandra Willemse.


Intrigued to see how the students would utilise their own unique lens to introduce luxury cues to an industry sector not typically associated with ‘luxury’, the IPL team anticipated some innovative and unexpected premium packaging solutions to emerge. 


They weren’t disappointed! 




By undertaking the project, structured to include a competitive element, students gained a wider insight into challenges of packaging design and the interaction of the multiple disciplines required in the industry.


1st, 2nd and 3rd place were determined based on Concept, Development and Final Execution. Key factors of consideration included visual impact and shelf presence, interesting forms, closures and openings and, of course, appeal to the target market!


“What ultimately defined the ‘Top 3’ student finalists was their commitment to tackling the multiple layers of the project,” explains van der Walt. “Each of their presentations reflected imagination, sound research, well-considered material choices and a thorough development of the concept, branding and structure design.” 



Winning student, Emma Fourie, delivered a product that displayed cohesive design and ‘fluidity’ of all elements, along with a sense of purpose and placement that showed a significant amount of research and consideration had gone into quality and innovation. Second and Third place, Gemma Brown and Natalie Hoal, also answered the brief exceptionally well, employing creative shapes and vibrancy and encouraging consumer interaction.


“The luxury packaging market is, all too often, flooded with predictability,” she says. “So, looking across industries and areas for design cues and inspiration is something the IPL Packaging Design & Innovations team regularly engages in, particularly when it comes to the development of sustainable materials and groundbreaking, eco-effective ideas. 


“For our team it’s often not enough to simply look at the progress being made when in it comes to new ideas. We also look to other sectors where talent and inspiration is rich and deep. We can’t wait for the next inspiring student project to kick off!”


Packaging a Dynamic Supply Network

Ensuring a supply chain is responsive, agile and adaptable is vital for packaging suppliers operating in today’s disrupted global economy. Christiana Delahaye, IPL Packaging Senior Purchasing Manager Europe, advises on protocols and pitfalls in establishing new procurement options. 


“Firstly, our approach to manufacturing operations ties-in with the concept that the next generation supply chains are, in fact, not chains at all,” says Delahaye. “Rather we see a fluid and dynamic network of equal partners, coalescing around the customer’s needs,” she says. “It’s an ecosystem that facilitates the forging of new relationships to innovate and deliver new products and services to the market rapidly; and then monitor and iterate as necessary to hone design, production, delivery and service for an optimal customer experience.”


“Whilst our Chinese manufacturing operations and supply base (with their deep-rooted expertise) will continue to remain key to our ability to produce quality products on time and in budget; having a network of strategically positioned suppliers is a real advantage and something we’re consistently exploring in order to improve efficiency and enhance our responsiveness to our clients.”


One of my core focus areas is analysing Easter European supply and below are broad areas I view as important:


Background factors to consider:


  • History and tradition play an important role when it comes to considering the suitability of potential supply sources in European markets. Some countries boast centuries-long traditions in the high-end production of specific mediums and materials: i.e glass in Poland & Czech Republic, printing in Bulgaria, woodcarving and crafts in the Balkan countries. A long-established track record at any given facility generally provides a solid indication of reliability and quality. 
  • Ultimately, it goes back to a simple question: What is the region’s/supplier’s core area of expertise and how does this tie in with clients’ needs and requirements?
  • It’s also important to analyse any country-specific trends, policies and investments in given sectors. These could involve increased investment in state-of-the-art papermaking, prototyping and printing facilities or production facilities, or in those facilities that produce other quality packaging materials such as MDF, wood and rigid board.  Trend analysis is a good indicator of longer-term manufacturing sustainability.
  • Similarly, of course, it’s always worthwhile to investigate if a potential partner has invested in new machinery and/ or new technologies, updated existing equipment or engaged in training or upskilling of personnel. 


Analysing and Qualifying suppliers:


  • After establishing and implementing various background checks there are several significant factors that come into play when testing a supplier’s suitability as a potential ‘partner’.  Extensive audit checklists will determine an “audit score” based on a variety of factors and only suppliers achieving the minimum required will then be considered for the next phase.
  • Sampling, of course, becomes an integral part of the selection process. White samples, for example, typically form a crucial part of the initial validation process. This should be followed by fully printed sample series of a few hundred/s to validate the production process and to ensure the development phase isable to be accomplished under real-life industrial conditions. 
  • The best place to start once a supplier is qualified is with small volume POs that test their capabilities, responsiveness and motivation and are based on low-risk outcomes. Providing a supplier with a project well suited to their expertise and knowledge is also key. 
  • Analysing the supplier’s quality control process is paramount. At IPL we generally use third party verification such as SGS in addition to our own QC staff. In this regard, clarifying expected and acceptable production and quality parameters with the supplier upfront is imperative.
  • Of course, it goes without saying that establishing commercial competitiveness is vital before embarking on the above processes. In considering the commercial viability of the supplier, one must study upfront the labor and overhead costs, which vary greatly in different markets and can greatly influence potential manufacturing costs.




  • The world may be shrinking when it comes to digital connectivity and the ability to communicate globally but, ultimately, distance remains a challenge when it comes to analysing and sourcing suppliers.
  • Not having a presence on-site sometimes makes it harder to evaluate a potential supplier and remain fully ‘in the loop’ when dealing with different geographical markets. It is therefore important that, from the very outset of the collaboration, your business goals are well communicated and well matched.  The ideal objective is to conduct onsite inspections before the process is commenced and, ultimately, having feet on the ground during production is best practice.
  • One of the biggest challenges is to find the ‘right’ supplier who is truly keen to progress as a solid partnership such that, should any issues arise, they are motivated to find solutions, share responsibility and communicate effectively.  A factory that is highly qualified but demonstrates a poor attitude is not a good fit!
  • In exploring new markets, language and cultural barriers can often present real challenges in terms of interaction between supplier and manufacturer. These barriers can lead to opportunities missed or misinterpreted and so an ability to speak several European languages other than English is a key advantage. From an IPL perspective, it’s vital that the potential supplier is able to communicate fairly well in written English.
  • Professionally qualified suppliers will generally already have existing customer commitments.  It’s therefore important to be aware of spare factory capacity as well as peak seasons in a supplier’s production schedule over which one may have less control.




  • Identify the opportunities and risks posed by global environmental and social trends (i.e. sustainability, reducing carbon footprint, elimination of single-use plastic and the move towards increased safety measures in light of the global pandemic) and take these into consideration when making sourcing decisions. These are increasingly important to the consumer.
  • It is also important to communicate the subtleties, practices and procedures relating to various client industries upfront to the supplier so that there is no misunderstanding further down the line.
  • Pilot programmes provide a good way to establish trust and build a base for bigger and broader partnership initiatives. Eastern European suppliers are generally content, once trust has been established, to work on small series high-end production runs that involves considerable engineering and a well-considered, thought-out different approach, as well as of course the bigger production runs too.
  • The proximity and ease of transport (via rail and sea) in European markets mustn’t be overlooked. The prospect of shortened delivery times is undoubtedly a big positive in dealing with these markets. Taking logistics into account will help in the development of a strategically based network of supply.


Creating opportunity:


  • Finally, continually reviewing existing production facilities and investigating opportunities with well-tested current suppliers is vital to addressing needs around budget, materials, transportation etc. and developing new innovative approaches.
  • Finding and creating opportunity means not relying solely on suppliers to be at the forefront of technology and sustainable strategy! Continue to research key areas independently and, where necessary, share information and work with ‘partner suppliers’ to innovate together.


In conclusion, at IPL we are continually looking to identify and explore new markets through strategic sourcing initiatives. Whilst we are very proud of the supply chain we currently have in place; continual evaluation will only enhance our ability as a global packaging supplier to respond rapidly to procuring and developing products in this fast changing world.

Source of Inspiration – Arran 21 YO

Isle of Arran Distillers has created a contemporary new identity for its core whisky range, complete with updated packaging and the launch of two new single malts.


Packaging for the Arran 21 Year Old Single Malt, produced by IPL Packaging, allows the bottle to stand resplendent in its new paper-wrapped rigid board pack. 


The pack features a wraparound lid complete with a magnetic closure and is embellished with foiled and embossed branding details. Lettering in braille also features on both the embossed lid and the bottle label. The Arran logo is repeated in deboss on side of pack.


Created by London Design Agency Stranger & Stranger, the new labels and outer design packaging for the distillery’s core range (including the 21 YO Single Malt) incorporate an icon in the shape of Arran, a pair of the island’s native eagles, which nest in the beautiful village of Lochranza where the distillery was built in 1995, and ripples to reflect the distillery’s water source and island’s mountain waterfalls. 


A debossed paper-wrapped cover sheet on the inside of the pack echoes the rippled effect of water, with its ridge detailing adding an interesting textural element.  The Single Malt’s new-look bottle, with its warm ochre-y coloured contents, is held in place by an EVA fitment and extracted with the help of a grosgrain ribbon bottle release.


Arran’s ‘fresh’ new look follows the recent opening of Isle of Arran Distillers’ second distillery at Lagg, on the south of the Scottish island. James MacTaggart, distillery manager at Arran, situated at Lochranza on the north coast, states, ‘With the opening of our second distillery at Lagg it felt like the right time to make the clear distinction between the unique and very different spirits produced at each of our island homes.’


‘We’ve taken inspiration from the elements that make Lochranza so special to produce a unique and beautiful new pack, which does justice to the liquid it contains.’

Michael De Carvalho: A New Era for Luxury Packaging

“The luxury goods sector typically thrives under the most stressful of conditions but, even in these uncertain times, the ability to tackle challenges and opportunities is what will ultimately set brands apart from competitors and enable them to maintain and strengthen their market positions,” says Michael De Carvalho, newly appointed Senior Business Development Director for IPL. 

Based in New York, De Carvalho brings to his new role at IPL Packaging a wealth of experience that will help to develop and strengthen the company’s unique position as an international supplier of exceptional end-to-end packaging solutions. Highly motivated, De Carvalho has wide range of industry expertise across luxury goods, cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, hair care, spirits and sportswear industries among others. 

“There’s no denying we’re operating in an era of  ‘business as unusual’, with an even more unexpected recovery period thereafter,” explains De Carvalho. “It’s therefore more essential than ever for brands to tap into how consumers’ needs and purchase habits are changing and to ensure these are well met when we come out on the other side,” he says. “In the same way, continuing to produce packaging solutions that deliver product originality, quality and sales performance will provide immense support to these brands as they navigate a new way in these unprecedented times.”

“I believe that several key trends and technologies will shape the packaging industry over the years to come,” he says. “Since Covid lockdowns across the world, air is cleaner, water is cleaner, cities as a whole are cleaner… but it’s a false pretense of what you see front-end and I’m curious about the long term,” he explains. “Now safety factors in packaging will need to dovetail ever more with sustainable qualities, e-commerce will undoubtedly see ever more substantial growth, and brands and businesses will need to focus on all these factors as part of addressing their needs growing forward.”

“Post Covid lockdowns I also see luxury packaging potentially being even more impactful Companies will need to more than ever reach their customer base and bring them back in or to simply thank them for being loyal during this difficult time.  From hotels and resorts to airlines and the sports industry… and so many other segments, a packaging solution that stands out above from your competitors in my opinion will never have been more important.”  

Having already enjoyed considerable success in the industries of Wine & Spirits and Fragrance & Beauty, Technology, Jewellery and Numismatics, IPL Packaging is fast establishing and developing new partnerships with luxury brand owners across further luxury categories and De Carvalho looks forward to helping the company explore further partnership opportunities.

“IPL Packaging works with some of the world’s largest companies and most recognized luxury brands,” continues De Carvalho, “with a global footprint and a significant sales presence in both the United Kingdom and on West coast of the USA, I am immensely excited to be able help expand verticals for the company on the East Coast of the USA and further across North America, and provide strategic direction to past and future clients ” he says. 

One thing is certain, De Carvalho has developed a passion for his work. 

“Twenty years ago, right out of college I found my first job out of an ad in the NY Times, working as a sales rep for a Japanese Packaging company (The Pack Corp). I recall that my initial thinking was ‘I’ll do this for a short time until I find my passion,’“ he says. “Now, two decades and several incredible companies later, I’ve discovered it IS my passion, and I couldn’t be more excited for what is ahead at IPL!”

SMWS Packs - A Matter of Taste

The latest evolution of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Membership pack marks the 5th iteration of the pack’s design and development in partnership with IPL Packaging over its several years of affiliation with the world’s leading whisky club. 


“We’re understandably proud to have, once again, designed and developed a structural packaging solution for the SMWS Tasting Pack, creating a robust MDF box containing rigid board drawers, to which we applied the client’s branding,” comments LB Odendaal, Head of Design at IPL.


“As with previous configurations of the pack, we looked to combine innovation, functional minimalism and design to help heighten the user experience,” says Odendaal. “Designing a complete unveiling process that begins with mapping out the layers of engagement; including first contact, reveal, product extraction and post extraction, resulting in a memorable and tactile interface which enhances the final product and delivers a memorable user experience.”



The outer pack is wrapped in soft-touch paper and features gold foil and spot-varnished brand details to provide a luxurious, contrasting look. A PU leather carry-handle at top of the pack allows for ease of transport.


The box inner features suede lining on the main body, flocked EVA product fitments and silk ribbon pull-tabs.


In the first drawer sits a paper-wrapped product card with detailed brand information and a membership booklet that conceals three 10cl whisky taster bottles located in flocked EVA fitments


The second drawer of the pack contains flocked EVA fitments designed to hold two tasting glasses and a water jug.


“IPL Packaging has a unique perspective and a proven process for generating fresh design concepts in luxury packaging. The innovation behind these concepts is often based on longstanding relationships developed over many years of being trusted creative and manufacturing partners to our clients and developing a deeper understanding of their brands,” says Odendaal.