self-saucing ginger, date & walnut pudding

serves 12

Hellooo – crikey I know it’s been a while but I’m baaaaack! (I haven’t literally been away, but y’know). So today’s recipe is just in time for a weekend when the evening air has a bit of a nip, and we can start to justify some good, calorie-laden sweet and sticky pud – in this case ginger, date self-saucing pudding studded with nubbly walnuts – the addition of the spicy ginger and texture from the nuts is such a bloody pleasing combination. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream (and for my Dad, pouring cream) and enjoy. (This is a recipe I first put together and shot for the good people at Dish magazine last year – a total classic).

OK – so where have I been? Erm just working and, most unlike me, taking things a bit more quietly during the day for a change. Usually I work at such a frenetic pace, it has been something of a revelation – and has made me feel ready to put my foot on the accelerator again. My evenings have been contrastingly super busy and fun (not in the blokey-dating department – hello gorgeous, tall, intelligent, funny men and unicorns – where are you guys?), but with pub quiz, Spanish lessons, movies and dinners with friends. One notable outing was to Al Brown’s Burning Lamb which was amazing – the most Kiwi thing I have ever been to, with Dick Frizzel painting, Dave Dobbyn performing and Al presiding over lamb and salmon cooked over fires…seriously if they do the event again, I’ll definitely be back (thanks Claire for taking me along!)

The darling men/boys are all well – the intrepid Henry is getting organised for his woofing trip to Italy (organic farming stays) and will be here for a pit-stop before he heads away in April. I can’t wait to see him, and just hang out for a bit, I know that Will and I will be following his adventures avidly while he is away. Meanwhile Rich has started his final year at Vic after working hard through most of the uni break – as always with a keen eye on local (and international) politics and the environment. I am so bloody lucky to have their contributions in my life, I value their opinions (and fabulous music suggestions), outlook, humour and questions equally – thank God for Facebook messenger allowing me to still feel like a mum-from-a-distance. One of the most exciting things I have ever done is plan (poorly let’s face it – I f*cked up the dates monumentally to start with) a trip in Europe with the boys in July. Hoob and I are going to meet Pog in London and jump on a flight to Croatia. We’ll spend time in Hvar and Dubrovnik before farewelling Henry back to London while Rich and I carry on to Florence and Rome. I can’t quite believe it is actually happening, even though it is locked and loaded…no doubt it will seem more real as the time approaches. (Any hot tips or brilliant advice for things to do/see/eat in those places would be hugely appreciated!)

Right thats it from me – woah too much to say today – make the pud, you won’t be sorry…

from Stuck in the kitchen

This Range of Spirits Come With a Nice Old-Timey Feeling


CF Napa Brand Design created this wonderful packaging for Sonoma Brothers Distilling. Typography takes center stage on this design and allows for an old-timey feeling to radiate from the overall package.


“The project was to redesign the logo and packaging to convey the unique, small batch quality of the product, the brothers/partners (firefighter and police officer by day) and its humble Sonoma roots. Their target audience were craft spirits enthusiasts seeking highly credible, locally sourced and distilled spirits. The design leverages a nostalgic, turn-of-the-century feel that includes a new icon of the two brothers’ silhouettes reinforces the real men behind the brand.”



Designed By: CF Napa Brand Design
Art Director: Antonio Rivera
Creative Director: Kevin Reeves
Creative Principal: David Schuemann
Designer: Antonio Rivera
Client: Sonoma Brothers Distilling
Location: Napa, California

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

20 Mesmerizing Holographic and Iridescent Packaging Designs

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Move over Millennial Pink because there’s another favorite in town. Holographic foil and all things iridescent are becoming mainstream and packaging is starting to embrace this trend whole-heartedly. Be still our shiny hearts, we’ve picked out 20 mesmerizing holographic and iridescent packaging designs.  

1. We Love The Holographic Elements of Black & Bone



2. Fenty Beauty Galaxy



3. Oil by Tom Dixon

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4. Kola Premium Cannabis Capsules



5. Christopher Kane x NARS Collection



6. Lime Crime Hi Lite







8. Anthurium Candle


9. Material Art Fair




10. Monki Cosmetics



11. We Dig these Far Out Designs for Foam Factory




12. K11 Mooncakes



13. Aura




14. Laneige BB Cushion



15. MAC Lightful



16. Hungry Jack’s The Pack That Scares Gulls




17. Stellar is Magical Makeup Inspired by the Cosmos



18. Milk Makeup



19. Boreálica

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20. Frank Body Shimmer Scrub


from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

This Exclusive Yemeni Coffee Radiates Luxury


Manual designed this luxurious packaging for Port of Mokha, an extremely high-end coffee that comes from Yemen. The design’s color palette strays away from those typically seen in the luxury sector but the delicate typography and play with texture allows for a solution that is unmistakably elegant.


“Port of Mokha is the rarest, most critically acclaimed, and expensive Yemen coffee in the world.”

Port of Mokha believes that the very best coffee does more than provide an incredible experience of drinking it. It creates ripples of positive impact that can improve lives, lift economies, and revitalize cultures. Drinking Port of Mokha supports a worthy cause, and it just happens to be the best coffee in the world.”


“The founder of port of Mokha made international news in in 2015 when he escaped war-torn Yemen in a speed-boat with his rare coffee samples. The coffee went on to receive the highest ratings in blind cuppings worldwide.

The Yemen Trilogy box set introduces three varieties of Port of Mokha coffees in 4 oz boxes for sale in specialty coffee retail and direct to consumer.”


“The outer rigid box is wrapped in textured canvas paper with branding foiled in copper.

Upon opening the box, one side of base automatically drops flat, providing a thoughtful welcome to the user and allowing for each box to be removed effortlessly.

Each 4 oz box is wrapped in custom vat-dyed paper which is then blind embossed with a custom water ripple pattern that provides a luxurious and tactile feel.”



Designed By: Manual
Manufacturer: Uneka
Client: Port of Mokha
Location: San Francisco, California

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

The Dieline Conference: Early Bird Ends Today!


Today is the last day for Early Bird End Rate. Don’t miss out on getting focused on the future of packaging and branding. At The Dieline Conference we’re not just highlighting pretty packaging projects; instead, how can packaging become a vehicle for change? Learn from our Speakers and take a week of inspiration in Boston!







Join Us & Register Today



from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Design and the 4th Industrial Revolution – Re-Imagining Brands in a Waste-Free World


By: Nick Dorman

In conversation with a biologist working at leading CPG businesses recently, I was amazed to hear him say, “In theory, we can make everything we sell from everything we throw away.”

As a designer, innovator and brand strategist, I’ve spent years working with clients at Echo to make their brands and packaging more sustainable. Careful choice of materials, light-weighting, and concentration being the main approaches available to us.  

The reality is, with just 10% of plastics being recycled, we are making very little headway. Tinkering around the edges of a supply chain that is fundamentally flawed from an environmental standpoint isn’t cutting it.

We need a revolution.

This biologist’s approach involved producing everything from detergents to bottles, from genetically modified microbes fed from the sugars in waste materials. Even more interesting was that this could happen in homes rather than factories. Our minds were reeling with possibilities. We could reduce our reliance on oil and cut down our transportation carbon footprint, all the while providing new consumer benefits through personalization and customization.

A few weeks later I attended the Global Innovation Forum in London where discussions explored the 4th Industrial Revolution – the convergence of physical, digital and biological technologies. The name was first coined by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF). One of his main points is that this revolution will happen quickly and it will be accelerated by the need for environmental and economic change, all while being facilitated by the speed of digital technologies.

While the WEF is concerned with a whole host of issues, we are particularly focused on how it will affect the world of design, branding, and packaging. How can we as designers influence and take full advantage this new revolution?

Packaging is a consequence of our current, mass production system. It’s needed to contain, transport and dispense product while acting as a billboard for branding and communication. But what if that system becomes redundant? Arup has already designed and built a house that produces its own bio-fuel. Philip’s world famous design department is drafting up kitchens that are powered from household waste.  New startup Memphis Meats are growing animal proteins from stem cells in the lab, so how soon will it be when consumers start doing this at home instead?


If a centralized factory system is replaced by localized production systems facilitated by ‘growing’ materials and 3D printing of products, what role does packaging play, if any?  If it’s not needed to transport or protect goods, and the selling job will be done elsewhere, then the role of branding will need to be performed by different touch points.

In all likelihood, conventional retail stores will also disappear with the acceleration of e-commerce along with ‘at source’ manufacturing. So what is the role of brands in this new dynamic? The big upside to all of this is the dramatic reduction in carbon footprint, huge declines in disposable products and plastic, and self-contained energy systems.

This is not looking like the best of news for packaging manufacturers but what of packaging designers? How can brand design help drive reappraisal of new kinds of ingredients, a new kind of provenance through the creation of new visual aesthetics?

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Change is coming and it will come fast so designers need to find where the newest business opportunities lie.  Companies like Splosh and Replenish are already designing durable refillable dispensers for the home. The systems will change but we will still need to hold and dispense product, as well as branding in some form. Packaging will most likely be more durable, intelligent, linked to digital services, and defined by the user and their environment. It will work with a highly compact supply chain with packaging that could be potentially 3D printed at the point of consumer need. Two Dutch designers  Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros, intend to open a network of local ‘bakeries’ making everything from shampoo bottles to tableware from organic materials using 3D printing.    

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Fresh challenges and opportunities abound.  In the same way the 4th industrial Revolution needs the confluence of the physical, digital and biological worlds, the design of this bright future will require the coming together of creatives, technologists, scientists, logisticians and many more. As designers, we should all look forward to playing our part.

Nick Dorman

He’s been an engineer, a product designer, an innovator and a strategist. For Nick, everything is born out of a passion for expressing purpose. It’s an infectious passion he passes on to our people and clients when leading Echo’s strategy and innovation team in London.

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

MIA Chocolate is Where Deliciousness Meets Purpose

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Dynamo Agency partnered with Madagascan company Kuanza to create a premium, contemporary chocolate brand, with a purpose.

The idea behind producing MIA Chocolate, is that each and every single element of the product is created and manufactured by local communities in Africa. This heroes end-to-end manufacturing, from bean to bar. With this in mind, Dynamo’s brief was to package ‘amazing food that does good’. This became our internal mantra.


We wanted our design to encapsulate the fair trade purpose behind the brand but also needed its artisan quality to compete against market leaders and luxury brands alike. It needed to be crafted but a polished, fashionable, contemporary craft. Conveying modern Africa and it’s cultural richness.

This is where the meaning behind the name came from – MIA stands for ‘Made in Africa’ but also stems from the latin for My, empowering all involved in this end-to-end collaboration. ‘My’ also represents the end consumer, giving them a range of distinct flavour profiles to choose from and experience.


Multi-sensory enjoyment was key – the quality, flavour appeal and ritual of enjoying chocolate is celebrated in our tactile, premium packaging. From bean to bar made and designed in partnership with the Kuanza team. We created a suite of bespoke patterns and iconography that celebrated the community and contemporary craft but avoided the clichés.

Our mascot the Sankofa bird, represents ‘learning from the past to create for our future’ and this weaves throughout our brand communications as brand iconography. This ethos will extend in to new product ranges and innovations in the community in the future, as MIA and it’s good work grows and grows.

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Agency: Dynamo Agency
Art Director: Jamie Helly
Designers: Derek McGrath, Aisling Walsh, Emma Kate Horsefield
Illustrator: Sheena Flynn
Manufacturer: Kuanza
Client: Brett Beach
Account Managers: Roisín Ní Raighne, Katy Connell
Copywriter: Alan Pollock
Location: Dublin, Ireland

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Playball Comes With a Bold Sexy Look


Supperstudio designed the bold packaging for Playball, an adult themed game kit that needed a look to match it’s seductive nature.

“Playball is playfulness, fun and passion. That is the idea for this sexual kit for Loving Lola. The product was created as a new kind of amenities for hotels.”


“The experience starts with the box’s packaging and like a door, the design invites those to cross it and discover what is hidden. As its name says, that kit includes a unexpected black ball full of sexual games that are the key to having a good time: condoms, lubricant, sex dice, a vibrating ring…

Playball is the new adult game in black and magenta. Two colors are enough for the search for sex and success.”




Designed By: Supperstudio
Art Director: Paco Adín
Client: Loving Lola
Location: Spain

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

This Packaging For Nike Air Vapormax is a Show-Stopping Take On The Shoebox


Hovercraft Studio designed this show-stopping holographic packaging for Nike Air Vapormax’s global launch. The design of the box takes a more complex approach with the structure of the packaging catapulting this solution to be way more than your average shoe box.



“For the global launch of the Nike Air Vapormax, Nike’s new full-foot air technology, we developed a special package to match the unexpected ingenuity of the product. Our concept was to create an out of the ordinary box that bent the rules of form and finish. The box features 23 sides and an origami inspired articulated opening. The exterior graphics are a mix of product branding, campaign tagline and product inspired tessellation graphics, and is finished with a holographic foil with white over-print. The interior features a conceptual photo of the Vapormax sole, and is finished with a full silver foil wrap with black overprint to create the image. The boxes, and its contents – a pair of Vapormax Platinum and a special note from Nike – were distributed to all of the brands athletes, industry influencers and other key individuals to create a buzz prior to the global retail launch of the product.”






Designed By: Hovercraft Studio
Client: Nike
Location: Portland, Oregon

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

WuDu Liquor Plays With the Idea of Allowing Packaging To Transcend Its Original Purpose


We love this super elegant and luxurious packaging for WuDu Liquor which was designed by Chinese agency ShenZhen Lingyun Creative. The packaging solution plays with the idea of packaging transcending its original purpose in order to create a sustainable solution as well.


“Usually, after a product is used up, its container will be discarded. Regarding this, we start to think about how to cyclically utilize the container in an aesthetic way. The product is a Chinese white spirit bottled in a porcelain container that delivers the charm of oriental culture. The container is additionally matched with a porcelain coaster that bears weight and also better decorates the product. We put a twig of dried flowers and a user manual in the package to tell users the best way of secondarily using the container. In this way, when the product is used up, the container can still be placed as an ornament in our life space.”




“In addition, the outer packing box of the product is not sealed so that consumers can keep the box intact, instead of tearing it apart, when they open the package and take the product out. Consumers will be also informed of preserving the full package, including the outer packing box, the porcelain container and the twig of dried flowers, when they buy the product. Because next time they buy the same product, they will be granted a discount as long as they return the full package to the seller. The amount of the discount equals the cost of packaging. For the manufacturer, they only need to refill the container and put it into the packing box with the dried flowers to again sell it on the market. This method is beneficial to all: the cycle use of the product package is heightened, consumers get rewards, and the manufacturer saves the cost of packaging.”





Agency: ShenZhen Lingyun creative packaging design Co.,Ltd.
Designers: XiongBo Deng, Yao Xu
Location: China

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Check Out The Beautiful Packaging for Clicquot Arrow


One of the most famous luxury champagne brands, Veuve Cliquot is no stranger to creating unique editions of their products that come in highly covetable packaging solutions. We’ve seen them do this with their Clicquot Mail Collection, Clicquot Fridge, Fashionably Clicquot, and now with Clicquot Arrow. SERVAIRE&CO was the agency responsible for bringing this wonderful arrow-shaped collector’s edition packaging to life.


“Turning a simple package into a collector’s item!

The opportunity to transform a simple packaging into a memory box, a decorating reminder collector, user-adjustable.

Champagne packaging is a key factor in the identification and the imagination of the brand.”



“To pay tribute this year again to the exceptional Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin story, since its foundation in 1772, especially marked by great expeditions throughout the world and its spirit of adventure, and in order to enhance the brand visibility, the agency has imagined a new specific and audacious yet elegant packaging offer, part of the new program ‘Clicquot Journey’, inspired by the traditional road signs:

The Clicquot Arrow can point the way

The Clicquot Arrow metal case, with a sliding lid, contains one 75cl bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut.

A collection of 29 global destinations, from Tokyo to Los Angeles, Rome to Paris will be available, for the markets to create their own itinerary, throughout the year, by gathering cases of six cans, according to thematic journeys such as music, fashion, design, summer or according to their own inventiveness.”



“The packaging, often used as a gift, embodies a strong imaginary for the one that receives it. A clever way to get a little closer to the emblematic city of Reims, the historic site of the Veuve Clicquot House, wherever one is.”




Designed By: SERVAIRE&CO
Art Directors: Sébastien Servaire, Candido de Barros
Photographer: Arnaud Guffon
Client: Veuve Cliquot
Location: France

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Explorers Welcome: How a Custom Welcome Box Increased Enrollment At the University of the Ozarks


When a small private college in rural Arkansas needed to increase enrollment numbers they knew they needed to forget the traditional approach of sending out a printed publication or formal letter to prospective students.

The University of the Ozarks had to think outside the box about what made the school stand out. Given their location, they needed to play upon the strengths of all the great amenities that came with being a university in a rural setting. The university turned to CNP, a marketing agency in the heart of Florida, to help them create an amazing welcome experience for new students.

Creating a custom box was a new experience for both the university and incoming students. CNP partnered with Packlane to create custom packaging that showcased the school’s marketing message in a new way.


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Leading the design on the project was Martin Corbin from CNP with help from his team: Victoria Gauthier, copywriter; Katrina Hill, account executive; Bobbi Zagrocki, print coordinator; and Shannon Viox, production designer.

The university was looking to use the theme “Explorers Welcome” in some of their marketing activities and their welcome box felt like a natural extension. As Corbin explained, “The concept really resonated with us, especially in terms of an admissions package”.

“By focusing on informative content,’ Corbin said, “an outdoor-themed design and the idea of a student starter kit we were able to appeal to the experience they would have at the university.”

“The results so far have shown a 29 percent year-over-year increase in student yield which shows that this appeal truly did resonate with the students.”



CNP’s research leading up to the project meant surveying current students to find common themes about concerns incoming freshmen had. It helped them craft a message that spoke to new students in an authentic tone. One key goal of the project was to find more “right-fit” students for the school. That meant CNP needed to pique their interest in not only the tight-knit community of a small, rural campus, but also play up the student’s interests in outdoor activities like rock climbing, camping, and kayaking.

The university saw an increase in student yield for the 2017-2018 enrollment cycle and Corbin attributes that to the quality of the communication in their box.

Using an enrollment tool like a custom mailer box created an immersive experience that left a memorable first impression for accepted students.

The box was really able to showcase the one-on-one attention and focus that students receive at the University of the Ozarks.

Corbin said students were excited about the box and CNP received a lot of great feedback from students. They found the entire package useful and were excited to show it off to their friends. A lot of former students and parents also said they were jealous that their acceptance package wasn’t this cool. It was an awesome surprise to receive a box in the mail instead of a packet or form letter. The unboxing experience for students was what really made the university stand out as the school they wanted to attend.

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Inside each box were several branded items student could use in their UofO adventures: a canteen shaped water bottle for the classroom or on the train; a custom buff which can be used as a scarf or headband; and buttons commemorating some local must-see spots.

To go along with the custom box, CNP also created a 32-page Scout Book that helps students make their final decision. The Scout Book talks about campus life, financial aid, and sports and recreation. It’s an essential guide to help students prepare to make the final decision to enroll.

Corbin and his team were thrilled with the finished product. He said working with Packlane to create the box was an overall positive experience. He knew he wanted a vendor that was easy to work with, provided incredible value, and flexible when it came to production. Luckily, CNP found the right partner in Packlane.


As a designer, Corbin encourages others to consider the user experience when creating a custom mailer box like the one CNP created for the University of the Ozarks. It’s all about creating something unique that positions the user to be excited and amazed when it comes time for the unboxing experience.

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News