CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! …Luxury brands CAN balance consumer preferences AND brand needs through packaging.

Luxury consumers are today demanding products that help them adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle. However, these same consumers continue to seek the delight and added value that luxury packaging provides.

Navigating new courses

Demands on brands and businesses are growing as consumers pay more and more attention to the environmental effect of what they buy and how it is packaged. This awareness increased during national lockdowns as consumers had more time to contemplate the effects of their choices. Even before lockdowns, however, the ‘Greta Thunberg effect’ was driving individuals and businesses towards carbon offsetting and more climate-friendly choices.


Many luxury brands have therefore found themselves at a crossroads. They’re under increased pressure to use eco-friendly packaging, in large part due to greater consumer awareness around the environmental impact of the goods they purchase. A challenge forluxury brands is finding the balance between their aspirations to meet new sustainability demands with the need to retain their vital brand image.

Luxury packaging treading the tightrope between demands

”The route to these wins is not necessarily complicated,” says LB Odendaal, Head of Innovation and Design at IPL Packaging. “Luxury brands looking to ‘go green’ now have an increasing variety of sustainable packing solutions to choose from,” he says.


“Gucci, for example, has been using recycled cardboard for its boxes since 2010 without any perceived lowering of it’s brand status. Likewise Champagne producer Dom Perignon now uses recyclable, biodegradable cardboard packaging.”

“Many of these luxury brands traditionally used plastics and other luxurious (though not eco-friendly) packaging materials to convey the exclusive appearance or opulent feelings the products promise and promote,” he continues.

“Now, luxury brands are, instead, embracing the challenge of transitioning toward sustainable packaging,” says Odendaal. “For some, its positive incremental changes, for others more stringent targets are set. For example, PVH - owner of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and other famous brands - is working toward its goal of 100% sustainably and ethically sourced packaging by 2025.”

New innovations, new material choices


“At IPL, we are finding new technologies and efficiencies that will still allow for that premium feel, but with fully recyclable and plastic-free properties,’ he continues. “Molded pulp is adaptable and biodegradable and gaining traction with luxury brands. Many plant-based alternatives to leather, for example, do not diminish the luxury aesthetic at all.”


“As the move towards fully plastic-free gains momentum, we’re witnessing decreased demand for plastic fitments and vac trays, and have an expanding toolbox of recyclable and readily available materials.”

“ Micro-fibrillated cellulose - made of plant waste and stiffer yet lighter than carbon fiber or glass - makes packaging stronger and creates an oxygen and moisture barrier.

In addition to new and sustainable material sourcing, we‘re also increasingly utilising soy and water-based inks and glues, reducing and refining closures and fitments. This helps to eliminate the use of plastic fasteners or magnets.

Maximising Metal

“Many companies are now also maximising the use of metal in their products,” comments Odendaal.

“Metal's low carbon footprint is derived from its high recyclability rate. It has the potential to be recycled an infinite number of times without molecular degradation or loss of structural integrity. Metal and tin is a great option for many premium brands as it help to convey an exclusive look and feel.

Attaining Eco-Credibility

The green packaging industry is forecast to reach a value of more than $440 billion by 2025, according to consulting firm Research and Markets. “Both increased market demand as more brands adopt sustainability to meet consumer preferences — and a surge in innovative technologies and are materials fueling this growth,” says Odendaal.

“As brands become more and more aware of the social and environmental impact of their messaging and adapt to new demands, so this also requires thought and understanding in brand application and messaging from a packaging design point of view,” he says. “It’s an entirely holistic process.”

“One thing is certain,” he concludes. “As a luxury brand, sustainable packaging is an indispensable part of attracting customers and maintaining brand reputation."

"With the right approach, materials, and design and packaging partner it’s possible to create luxury packaging solutions that assist in meeting consumer desires, are environmentally responsible and make supply chains and shipping more economical.”



From a luxury packaging perspective, metal packaging, along with various decorative techniques and treatments, provides luxury brands the twin benefits of striking impact and eco-friendly appeal. Ultimately, metal or tin packaging enables the two factors to work together—forming part of a consistent, high-quality brand image.

DEWAR'S 12YO and 18YO

Recently produced by IPL Packaging for Dewar’s, packaging for the brand’s latest 12YO and 18YO blended Scotch whisky expressions epitomise these factors and demonstrate metal’s versatility as a one of today's modern and sustainable packaging solutions.

Identical in structure, yet differing in colour and design treatment, the Dewar’s 12YO and 28YO packs feature embossed and debossed design elements on the body and lids and the iconic Dewar’s ‘white label’ on the front of each tin. Both are gloss-varnish coated and feature printed spot matte varnish finishes.


Tin and metal are also the most commonly recycled of all household materials (almost three quarters of metal packaging is recycled in Europe). From a packaging design perspective metal can also be as economic or as luxurious as required – able to be moulded into several shapes and sizes, thereby promoting its use across diverse industry verticals.


For those brands looking to improve their sustainability credentials without losing the quality look and feel of their packs - metal, with all its versatility, is an ideal choice. Economical throughout the supply chain, it is efficient to process and ship, innovative in design and able to convey a distinctly premium feel.



cosmetic packaging

In the highly competitive cosmetics industry, no brand can afford to be complacent and take brand loyalty for granted. Not all products are 'hits' simply because they carry a specific name, or are heavily promoted through expensive media or brand advocates.

Product performance itself is, of course, critical, but a good percentage of people also judge beauty products on appearance and ‘speed up’ their decision-making based on their impression of the packaging.

Cosmetics packaging, as with most packaging in general, should function to protect, promote, inform and sell, though there’s also a great onus on the packaging to attract customers, stand out on crowded store shelves and and convey beauty in digital spaces.

But as a brand how do you accomplish that when, as the saying goes, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’?



We generally think of the graphic design aspects of packaging as the attractive elements but there’s a lot to be said for the overall structure.

Pack structure should be highly functional (enabling ease of use), sleek and also limit negative space.

A prominent logo, great brand detailing and a good surface treatment on packaging go a long way to selling a brand, but the right physical design complements the decorative effects with sleekness and precision.  Ultimately it’s important that everything should fit neatly, with limited negative space also indicating a level of attention to the product as a whole.


Decorative effects should elevate the brand and catch the consumer’s eye. These should also help the brand’s message to be communicated loudly and clearly - whether that message is to promote elegance, speak to sustainable efforts, or appeal to a particular demographic or target market.

But, there’s also balance to be achieved when it comes to decorative effects.  One of the worst packaging errors is ‘design overkill’, such as a dark coloured font over multiple colours or white font over a light, busy background. Just as it's important to push creative boundaries, so a degree of restraint is also key.

A strong design element can leave a stronger impression than several, especially when combined with the right choice of packaging material and/or surface treatment. This, combined with the trend towards natural, sustainable products and ingredients is one of the reasons many brands are moving to simple, more minimalistic designs.



Heavy investment in innovation for packaging products is an essential characteristic of the market. Alongside the demand for eco-friendly packaging materials and processes, the packaging of cosmetic products requires high-performance materials that function as a barrier to the outer environment.

As a global packaging supplier, we place great focus on the exploration and development of new packaging materials with sustainable qualities and the desired functionalities that help to drive market growth. Materials such as thermoformed paper pulp, bioplastics, cork and recycled papers.

The development of new materials that can fulfill desired functions could open new opportunities for brands, and for us in the packaging industry.  Ultimately too, changes in packaging can expand a customer base by capturing new market segments and influencing shopping behavior.



The packaging of a beauty product forms a huge part of building brand awareness. A combination of design elements speak to the specific brand, help differentiate products on crowded shelves and create a memorable identity.

Overall, it's often the packaging design that stays in people's minds up to the point of purchase - and then the actual product begins to shape brand recognition.

The most powerful aspect of cosmetic packaging is that it needs to communicate to consumers why a product is unique. It should instantly tell a target audience what the brand or product is about and what it means to them.

In this way the packaging is a vital way to retain loyal customers as well as inspire new ones.

It starts with having clear goals from the beginning - and working with an experienced packaging partner who can deliver a solution ideally suited to your brand.


With advances in eco-friendly packaging, luxury fragrance brands are now increasingly able to deliver positive impact through improved design, renewable energy usage, streamlined manufacturing processes and innovative ways of replenishing used resources.

At a time when so many perfume manufacturers are reviewing the methods and ingredients of fragrances themselves, so the containers and the layers of packaging of these fragrances are evolving to meet the changing sustainability requirements of the industry and consumers.

So what exactly makes a perfume sustainable?

Well, good fragrance eco-credentials typically entail some of the following:

  • All-natural, renewable, compostable or biodegradable ingredients
  • An ethical supply chain
  • Minimally polluting manufacturing processes
  • Refillable or recyclable bottles
  • Sustainable, eco-conscious packaging
  • A positive social impact


dynamic supply chain

When you consider all of the above, it is not surprising that, in many respects, the beauty and fragrance industries have encountered significant difficulties when trying to secure quantities of higher quality sustainable materials over the past few years. Factors such as cost-effectiveness and speed-to-market have made the development of fully sustainable packaging a daunting task for many brands. Consequently, L’Oreal and Loop industries signed a multi-year agreement to purchase PET resin manufactured from 100% recycled materials in order to satisfy its packaging needs over the next several years.

“There are many factors for these big-name brands to consider and, for smaller brands that are often focussed on creating wonderful fragrances, the design and manufacture of secondary packaging that can meet all of these criteria, is often a daunting task,” says Jason Roberts, Senior Business Development Manager at IPL Packaging.

“Ultimately though, most fragrance manufacturers seem to understand that its important to also look at sustainability as a whole rather than just assessing a finished product itself,” he says.  “In this way it’s often a good idea to turn to a packaging supplier that offers a full-service solution and that can address sustainability in all the key elements – taking into consideration packaging design, materials, manufacture, transportation, logistics – whilst maintaining their focus on the “3 R’s” – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle,” he continues. “Through our membership of The Fragrance Foundation UK, we’re able to work closely with brands that need advice on sustainable engineering, materials and CSR considerations, right through the supply chain.”


The concept of reuse has become a prominent one across the fragrance landscape in particular. Lancôme’s Idôle EDP made waves when it launched as the brand’s first refillable fragrance in 2019. Once the scent is used up, the empty glass container can be taken to a Lancôme counter to be replenished at a discounted price (there are at least 200 refill counters across the UK). Also offering refills are Thierry Mugler; Viktor & Rolf, Molton Brown (for its 100ml EDTs and EDPs) and Guerlain, as well as select Chanel and Armani fragrances - amongst a growing list of others.

fragrance packaging
@ Juliettehasagun

Refilling is certainly one way in which fragrance containers are living on. What's more, the great thing about perfume refills (aside from the obvious environmental benefits) is tthat the containers are often so beautiful. This means that, rather than manufacturing and buying the same bottle over and over, consumers get to keep their favourite perfume bottle – and also save on cost. Secondary packaging, such as luxury fragrance boxes, can support reuse when designed as a keepsake (along with removable inner fitments) or with an ornamental feel that looks to promote secondary use.

“The notion of incorporating a secondary function into package design can also deliver a significant added value component for the brand,” states Head of Design at IPL, LB Odendaal.  “By creating packaging for ‘reuse’ and giving it a purpose beyond the original, primary use we’re enabling the brand to live on beyond the point of purchase.”

As with other industries, fragrance brands need to look to create sustainable value throughout the value chain. “Whatever the sector, the approach to process and design in packaging should be built around efficiency, and the fragrance industry is no different,” continues Odendaal. “This means: simplify wherever possible; utilise the most effective, eco-friendly materials possible; minimise the impact on the environment; always strive to be true to the brand values; and never forget the benefit to the end-user.”

@ & IPL Packaging

“Similarly, when it comes to transport, attempt to optimise container utilisation by favouring flat-packaging or part assembly,” he says. “In this way, at IPL we can ship directly to any market in the world, produce closest to the destination and select the transport option with the smallest carbon footprint for each delivery.”

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!”