The client required a special-edition boxset that also functioned as an art piece. The deliberately loose brief allowed the design team to work on a range of ideas and budgets.
The album’s distinctive artwork was used as a starting point; three circles overlapping each other. The preferred approach to the design was based around using three coloured vinyl records to represent the circles. Initial ideas featured transparent materials because it was seen as important for the contents to be visible. Almost all boxsets we have seen before have printed matter in abundance, the team on this occasion thought differently and attempted to make the box as clean and uncluttered as possible, for example by printing text directly onto the transparent box.
The initial ideas included a clear vacuum-formed fitment with overlapping vinyl, an acrylic lift- off box with vinyl held on a central spindle, an acrylic box held together with magnets, and finally a box made from multiple levels that opens like a Pantone swatch book. Some of these designs were even wall-mountable.
The design team made technical specifications for two of the chosen designs and prototypes were ordered.
The lift-off lid box with spindle design was chosen for production. It was simple to manufacture and an extremely functional product because the contents were fully protected with buffer zones, the product was easy to use and understandable for the user, it required barely any printing of paper parts and the box itself looked contemporary, minimal and was almost indestructible
The client required a special packaging design to contain a range of audio and visual material to mark the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic expedition.
Intended to hold vinyl records and various printed material, the most important brief criteria was for the package to be ‘authentic’ and to engage the user in the story of the expedition. As usual the design team set about researching the story and picking out materials and objects that could provide inspiration for new ideas. One of the more prominent items was the distinctive Venesta case, which for the time was a technologically advanced, very robust crate made from plywood reinforced with tin. This was famously chosen by Shackleton for his expedition and, between the design team and client, it was deemed the most appropriate style for this bespoke packaging.
The Venesta box is now an obsolete form of packaging so the design team researched their construction and devised an equivalent that, whilst faithful to the original, could be batch produced today. Along with the case, the team presented ideas for holding the vinyl inside stitched kraft board sleeves in the style of old gramophone records.
After some rounds of prototyping and material sampling, we arrived at a solution that was loved by the client. A tin-framed plywood case with raised and textured print containing two cloth-wrapped books, gramophone record folder with stitched sleeves and a glass photographic plate wrapped in card. The specification for each item was made by the design team and directly soured using specialist manufacturers throughout the world, ensuring that everything would be made to the highest quality and fit perfectly when assembled in the UK
Presale renders were supplied to the client to pre-sell the product.
The team were briefed with designing unique packaging for ‘War Horse: The Story in Concert’, a ground breaking album following on from the hugely successful concert at Royal Albert Hall in 2007.
The key criteria of the brief called for an immersive packaging solution containing audio and visual material, with a total production run of 1000 units. The largely unrestrictive brief allowed the design team to devise a wide and varied range of ideas, mostly driven by research into the materials and kit used during WW1. Ammo crates, ration packs (including CDs being contained inside a sealed tin) and cavalry equipment formed the basis of the initial ideas. These ideas were presented to the client as photorealistic renders to assist decision making.
The cavalry bag idea was the preferred option and the final contents were decided - a 12" hardback media carrier book with quarter-bound bound spine, leather folio with art prints, dog tags, notebook and pencil.
Taking the contents into consideration, the design team developed the idea on a technical level by making specifications and diagrams for our manufacturers to use. Special attention was paid to the materials to ensure they were authentic and appropriate for the time War Horse was set; from the canvas used on the bag, the type of vulcanised fibre used for the dog tags, the look and feel of the paper stocks, avoiding plastic fixtures and fittings at all costs.
The design team’s final task was to create a series of 3D photorealistic renders for the client to use to pre-sell the product.