Chelsea-based advertising agency Flint and Steel came to us to consult about custom packaging for a promotion they were working on for their client, luxury spirits distiller William Grant & Sons.
“William Grant & Sons conducts periodic sales blitzes for their innovation brands, and contacted us to help develop an all-in-one kit to showcase four key innovation brands—Reyka Icelandic vodka, Flor de Caña rum, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, and Montelobos mezcal—that their sales people and distributors could take to on-premise and off premise locations,” said designer Marc Greengrass, COO of Flint and Steel.
The agency’s biggest challenge was figuring out a conceptual and creative solution that tied these four disparate brands together, and it came up with a promotion called, “The Story Behind the Bottles.”
Flint and Steel envisioned a package that would include a bar tool, a recipe booklet and 50 ml miniature bottles of the four premium spirits, and came to highresolution because “we needed more than a traditional printer could give us,” said Greengrass. “We needed someone who could think out of the box to find the best solution to bring our vision to life—and nobody is better at creative printing solutions than highresolution.”
We showed Flint and Steel three high end packaging productions we created for various clients over the past several months. Flint and Steel liked them all, so we put together pricing for each of them based on their criteria. We were able to agree on one of the options very quickly, because of our extensive experiences with luxury packaging productions.
highresolution believes that a working prototype leaves no question unanswered about the overall fit and feel of a packaging production, so we built a blank prototype for Flint and Steel to show William Grant & Sons. The “OK” was swift, and we immediately went into gear to print and assemble the promotion.
We originally chose an 18-point coated cover stock, but the prototype didn’t have the solid feel that I wanted. We recommended bumping it up to a 24-point coated cover—we used Tango coated on one side—and built another prototype, which was approved.
The unconstructed flat outer box took up most of a 26”x40” sheet, so we printed a double hit of black and PMS gray on a 40” Heidelberg Press.
Since the promotion would be sent to bartenders, we figured the bar might be wet, so the flat sheets were gloss film laminated to protect packaging integrity. As an added bonus, lamination gave the production a beautiful slick, glossy finish.
The flat sheets were then die cut to shape, hand folded and glued. We added two sets of magnets so the box would be held shut and make a satisfying “snap” sound when closed.
The interior platform was left for last, because we were waiting for the 50ml bottles to be fabricated and shipped to us. When they were in hand, we were able to adjust the wells to accommodate the various shapes of the bottles. Properly cradling the bottles in the wells ensured that they wouldn’t fall out and that they were well-cushioned and wouldn’t break.
After finalizing the fit of the wells where the bottles would be placed, we added two ¼” elastic bands to secure the specially-designed bar tool that included a bottle opener, magnifying glass, corkscrew and screwdriver above the bottles.
The eight-page recipe booklet, which showed bartenders new concoctions using various combinations of the spirits included in the promotion, was to be placed in the interior well on top of the bottles to help keep the bottles in place and provide additional cushioning. highresolution printed the recipes on a nice thick 80# cover stock and added a gloss UV coating to the books to provide the same protection as with the outer packaging.
The last step to finish this production was hand-placing the various components where they were supposed to go so that they fit snugly in place when the cover was closed. Finally, the boxes were individually shrink-wrapped to ensure they would not be damaged during shipping.
“The printing quality was wonderful and the box construction was beautiful. It all came together as well as we could have hoped,” said Greengrass. The initial order was 600 units, but the promotion was a hit and Flint and Steel quickly reordered 120 units. And we just received an order for 360 more units.
Images shot by New York-based photographer Bill Waltzer