The Lost Art of the Opening Ceremony

Everyone remembers that special moment on Christmas morning tearing through the gift wrapping, or the simple moment of tearing the foil off a jar of coffee to get that first hit of aroma as the foil peels back. Nobody removes the sheet of paper inside the tin of Altoids. Why are these moments so important? These “opening ceremonies” are rarely included in client briefs to understand or enhance the consumer’s experience with the brand and product. I believe that these moments are fundamental in the interaction of our senses with the brand at a deeper level.

Today is a different world. A vast majority of all retail shopping happens online and, therefore, the typical in-store experience of handling the package is becoming eliminated. There is a new distance between the brand and consumer. And regulations such as tamper-evident packaging are having a significant impact on the kind of opening ceremony recalled above. For food and pharmaceutical products, this is seen as a real advantage when safety and ingredients are crucial. When thought through as part of the brand delivery, tamper-evident packaging can add significant value to the consumer opening ceremony.

A great recent example of this was the overwrap design solution for Orbit gum in the USA. The protective film was transformed into part of the opening ceremony from solely focused on brand messaging to a fashion statement with flavor cues. It’s also a must for shipping products where packaging is designed with security and chain-of-custody in mind, such as cell phones or other consumer electronics. Here’s an example; as a test I recently ordered my usual weekly commodity groceries and favorite comfort food cereals from an online shopping supplier. When the delivery arrived not only was my cereal incorrect, the boxes were damaged. The disappointment factor was immediate. This would not have happened in the store, especially due to the fact that cereal selection for me is such a delicate and particular process!

So how do brand owners bring back the ‘wow factor’ of un-boxing without adding a lot of expenses? It’s a mixed bag. There are a few common things that specifically Millennials look for in choosing brands and, by extension, packaging:

·      Millennials see their purchases as emblematic of themselves. In other words, they choose brands that say something about “me.”

·      What doesn’t play with Millennials is “Basic.” To call someone basic is essentially to call them boring. This demographic loves specialty product ingredients and they love packaging. They’ll gravitate toward custom packaging according to Supermarket News. “Think of Coca-Cola’s initiative to put people’s names on the bottles.’



·      Brands are everything to Millennials. Think Ugg Boots, Birkenstock, North Face and just about any craft beer. Are these luxury brands? Not really, but don’t say that to a Millennial. Same goes for packaging…perception is everything.

·      Social media is where today’s consumer lives. Creating buzz is key to packaging for Millennials, so include hash tags, QR codes, anything that invites interaction.

What’s in a package?

According to recent studies, the consumer shopping experience on Amazon leaves a lot to be desired. Granted the system in place is impressive. But as with many brands it only takes a few poor experiences for perceptions to change depending on how the brand responds? This too also changes the balance of the relationship between the shopper and the brand as a third party is now being introduced to the purchase cycle. When it works it delivers on the convenience but when it does not the blame shifts as does the experience. Let’s look at the typical merchant who’s selling on Amazon and their hosted storefront, Shopify. When a customer makes an order on Amazon, absolutely no part of a merchant’s brand is touching them. No website experience, no direct contact with the customer. What’s the point of having a brand if the customer is a) unaware of it and b) not experiencing it?



That’s where your branded packaging comes in. An unexpectedly branded package gets attention, provides brand awareness and leaves a lasting memory, which can result in additional purchases and positive on-line or person to person social relay. The very first thing your customer lays eyes on after ordering is the brand’s package that they were excited about in the first place. And remember, all the insides (tissue paper, bubble wrap, Styrofoam and tape) are fair game for branding or smile in the mind opportunity. Consider extending your brand’s assets to each. And consider surprise perks; like a handwritten note expressing either a “welcome” or “thanks” for the customer’s patronage. Small touch points like these can really add to the consumer experience and that Christmas morning excitement.

Ultimately, the unwrapping experience – if it’s good – will do more than anything to incent loyalty and ensure that you’ll never cause the customer to think, “That’s it? What a rip.” The role of the online delivery service has moved from supplier and delivery system to Father Christmas. 

Dyfed “Fred” Richards is Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner at Kaleidoscope. Richards plays an integral role in the growth and evolution of the firm’s strategic creative vision, client service processes and business development efforts.

With more than 20 years of experience in the branding and design industry at MLR Chicago, FutureBrand, Interbrand and most recently, The Brand Union, where he served as Worldwide Creative Director of Consumer Branding, Richards has proven to be a client-centric and strategic resource.

from The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design Home

Archie Rose Virgin Cane Spirit – Limited Release No. 1

Virgin Cane Spirit is the first Limited Release product from Archie Rose Distilling Co. in Sydney, inspired by French Colonial Rums of old. Unlike conventional un-aged rums that use molasses, Virgin Cane Spirit is made from freshly cut and pressed green sugar cane, which is fermented and then distilled. 

Designed by Squad Ink, this packaging celebrates the rare spirit-making tradition with a label design that offers customers a closer look at the journey from harvest to distillation. 

Archie Rose founder Will Edwards talks of the laborious process – “Locally-grown Australian green sugar cane is cut and pressed into fresh juice within 12 hours of harvest. Selected yeast strains are added immediately to kick off the fermentation process and the juice is transported to the distillery, already fermenting overnight. The fermented wash is then triple distilled in our copper pot stills.”




This grass roots approach to the distilling process is attributed to the seasonality of the raw ingredient and the laborious journey required to pull it off. Hence, Virgin Cane Spirit is a limited release of only 2,000 bottles, making it a very rare and boutique spirit. 

Our challenge was to deliver a design that reflects the relationship between these two characteristics.

The organic colour palette of soft tans and rich greens with a loose etching style illustration (thanks to LA-based artist Jamie Browne), captures the raw and hand made nature of the spirit. Whilst the gold foil with sharp geometric borders and indulgent solid panels elevates the product to a premium status. 

With the first Limited Release spirit out in the wild, we’re very keen to see what the fellas at Archie Rose are cooking up for their next release!

Studio: Squad Ink                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Client – Archie Rose Distilling Co. 
Creative Director – Matthew Squadrito
Designers – Ruby Grose, Cristie Stevens
Illustration – Jamie Browne 
Photography – Lucas Peng

from The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design Home

Noroest Beer

Abio Design Studio Lab worked with their client Noroest to design a down-to-earth beer that references a specific location. The name of the beer, Noroest actually translates to Northwest in Portuguese and along with the label design, adds to the overall feeling of wanting to explore the world around you.

“In the Northwest Beer project we propose communication across geographical coordinates indicated by degrees, minutes and seconds for the identification of the beer. The Northwest Pilsen Beer was illustrated with the set of numbers of the location of the city of Pilsen, in the Czech Republic, a place that gave the name to the clean and clear style and the standards of beer. The city coordinates are 49 ° 44 ’51˝ N, 13 ° 22′ 39˝ E.”

“As for the India Pale Ale, the geographical references are from the city that first used the term “IPA” – Sydney, Australia – with visual communication aiming to be extended to other subjects without losing its identity.”

“For each type of beer, a different typographic style has been applied by customizing the graphical spot on each label. The colors are also customized to follow the traditional expressions of the market. The logo alludes to a compass arrow in the “N”, which is pointing to the top left corner in your plane which indicates the relative Northwest.”

Studio: Abio Design Studio Lab

Designed by: Eduardo Vicente da Silveira e Lucas França

Country: Brazil

from The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design Home

Bareksten Spirits

Hail to the king of craft spirits.

Designed by KIND Norway, this series is one to look out for not only for its high-quality taste but exceptional packaging. A rich matte black is the star of this show with hints of color found on the bottle’s seal. A tree emerges in a glossy black and scales up the bottle framing the Bareksten logo. The cork is made of wood with the emblem printed onto the surface. A simple yet stunning design that incapsulates the brand’s history to a “T”.

It all started with a story…

“He is one of the world’s top distillers of craft spirits. He has won a host of prestigious awards along the way. Now, Stig Bareksten is launching his own brand – Bareksten – and he chose KIND to make it something truly special.

Dark, wild, breathtaking… 

Bareksten represents the essence of Norway – dark, wild, breathtaking, dramatic. Clean flavours inspired by ancient craft traditions are the soul of the brand’s ‘botanical wonders’.”

“Something this good needs to be shared, so Stig Bareksten will launch his unique range of craft spirits – gin, vodka, liqueur, brandy, whisky and aquavit – internationally.

Stig is known as the founder of Det Norske Brenneri (The Norwegian Distillery), where he developed brands such as Arvesølvet, Harahorn Gin and Eiktyrne (Norway’s first whisky). He is a former Norwegian champion bartender and the brands he has worked for include The Macallan Whisky and The Famous Grouse. Now, Stig is chief distiller and general manager for Oss Craft Distillery, Bergen, where he produces the Bareksten range.” 



The world waits…

“Stig held the launch of his new brand in Copenhagen, where the first batch of botanical gin was sold to the Danish market. Now the rest of the world waits to sample the delights of this master craftsman.

Internationally, he will be competing with big brands – but Stig knows that’s where Bareksten can play to its strengths. He says: ‘We plan to develop a loyal customer base all over the world by bringing something new to micro-distillery produced, handmade spirits. Bareksten will stand out in three areas: taste, design and transparency.

‘Our aim is to produce world-class products. To achieve this, we need to work with the best in the world, also when it comes to design and branding. KIND stands for uncompromising quality and represents the very best in Scandinavian design. This mirrors the approach of Bareksten, making KIND the only choice.’” – Says Stig Bareksten, CEO and Founder of Bareksten Spirits







Designed by KIND

Country: Norway

from The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design Home

Guld/rosa inspo och julklappstips till den som har allt




Hur har ni det? Klurar ni på julklappar redan eller är ni sådana som har allt klart redan?

Igår var ju vi ute på Åsby hem och trädgård och jag tänkte bara visa några bilder därifrån.

Hela den butiken är så trevlig eftersom allt är uppbyggt i olika miljöer. Vardagsrum, matsalar, sovrum osv. Den här miljön (den på bilden) var ett riktigt trevligt vardagsrum, rosa och grått och riktigt softish med puffar och kuddar och plädar och allt. En riktigt lovely grå sammetsdagbädd stod där också (förstår inte varför jag inte fotade den…?). Väggen tycks vara ungefär samma färg som den i Lillans rum och jag skulle gärna vilja ha lite av känslan i denna bild där inne.

Måste in med lite mässing, speglar och kanske något vinrött. Så blir det nog bättre med en grå sängkappa och en grå matta på golvet. Idag är de vita, och det är inte så snyggt.

Hittade en rolig och bra sak som jag bara måste visa.




Hur skojiga var inte de brandsläckarna? Ja men ketchupen eller olivoljan skulle ju bara passa så bra i köket vid vedspisen och Zebran eller kossan får gärna flytta in i vardagsrummet!

Ett julklappstips kanske?

Men vill man inte slå på så stort fanns en massa julgodis och olika drycker i fina förpackningar. Det tycker jag är bra julklappar!




Sätt in ett par hundringar på ett konto för välgörenhet, och köp en strut med karameller så är det klart!

Det är nog den allra bästa julklappen till oss som redan har precis allt.




Och om man mot förmodan inte kommer på något annat som känns vettigt kan man alltid stödja en miljöorganisation, och kanske rädda en isbjörn eller två!


Kram kram 




from Drömhus

Coda Brewing Co

Cheers to new beginnings and great beer. Designed by Varnish Studio, packaging for this beer series is out of this world. With vintage written all over it, Coda Brewing Co. takes pride in their long-lived tradition. Each style is bottled in a beautiful structure embellished with floral and botanical illustrations framed around gold. The metallic ink finds its way on the back of the label outlining the brand’s inspirational story. A signature of the founder “seals the deal” offering the consumer a sense of quality and certainty that this beer is where it’s at. 







Designed by Varnish Studio

Country: United States

from The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design Home

Thinking Tree Spirits


Hired Guns Creative created an interactive packaging experience for Thinking Tree Spirits. They took inspiration from the playful exuberance of storybooks and Rococo scrollwork, while successfully evoking the lush bounty of Oregon. 

“We designed the Thinking Tree brandmark for flexibility, personifying the brand as a contemplative woman collared and crowned with ornamental branches that either gently germinate or grow wild to fill the canvas, be it the small circular icon on the cap, or front and centre on the hangtag.” 

“For the illustrations, we were inspired by Late Baroque mirrors to create highly dimensional packaging, using the main label for deep background artwork, and layering over it a hangtag of duplexed card-stock with a pop of purple foil and, finally, a colorful ornate frame raised to its highest relief with sculptured embossment. Hidden throughout are local and mythological life, from Odin’s ravens thought and memory, to the polyphemus moth (whose eyespots are named after Homer’s cyclops) and its caterpillars, down to the great horned owl, whose face is composed of oak leaves.” 

On the hangtag’s verso, the line-work is reproduced by a letterpress, whose raised ink, along with the purple string that ties tag to neck, all add to the rich tactile experience. Here, one is invited to be creative, whether scribbling thoughts or verse, notes on a new infusion, or a kind gift-letter to a friend. 

Beneath the hangtag is a fable of our composition that sets down the brand’s folktale roots: 

“Once, there was a forester who planted a seed in the earth. When the seed grew into a great tree, the forester placed an egg at the top of the highest branch. When the egg hatched into a great owl, the forester returned with gifts. I have the gift of speech, said the forester, mand the gift of thought. The tree and the owl listened. I can give only one gift each, and each gift only once, the forester said. First, one of you will receive the gift of speech. Growing impatient, the owl asked who? And the Thinking Tree shook her leaves knowingly.”

Designed by Hired Guns Creative

Location: British Columbia, Canada

Client: Thinking Tree Spirits, Oregon

Printer: Twin Ravens Press, Oregon 

from The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design Home

Boodles Mulberry

If you’ve stuck with us long enough, you might remember our 2014 feature on Boodles. This year the 171-year-old gin maker has released a new concoction steeped with mulberries, raspberries, and currants. The “sweet and subtle” liqueur can be enjoyed both warm and cold. Packaged with the same love as their other flavors, the beautiful glass structure is fitted with a metal top and a label so intricate, you might be staring at it for hours. Made by the process of water marbling, the design has a color scheme of purple and blue. 

“Boodles Proper British Gin introduces Boodles Mulberry, the first-ever mulberry gin in America. Boodles Mulberry pays homage to the humble mulberry tree which has been a familiar sight in the English countryside for centuries. Inspired by the traditional sloe gin liqueur, Boodles Mulberry is a fresh interpretation of a British classic.”

“Traditional sloe gin – a product long steeped in British tradition – serves as the primary inspiration behind Boodles Mulberry. Made with mulberries, Boodles Gin and a blend of natural ingredients, Boodles Mulberry is a liqueur that is perfect for sipping both warm and cold over the holiday season.”

“The taste combines delicate mulberries with notes of raspberry and currant to create a sweet and subtle medley. Boodles Mulberry adds the perfect complement to Boodles British Gin’s unique botanicals of rosemary, nutmeg and sage, creating the proper balance and complexity of flavour.”


Via Boodles

Country: United Kingdom

from The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design Home

Badrummet från olika håll och planering på det



Go´kväll i stugorna


Mysig eftermiddag blev det med Lillan och mormor som sällskap. Vi botaniserade runt bland allt juligt på Åsby och så tog vi oss en smarrig fika på det.

När vi kom hem bakade Lillan och mellansystern pepparkakor och så hade den dagen gått. Jag är glad att jag tog en heldag ledigt idag. Det var så mysigt. Jag har jobbat undan en del så jag kände att jag kunde unna mig lite ledighet och kvalitetstid med Lillis och mormor. Imorgon är det Landstingsstyrelsen, så då gäller det att vara på tårna igen (jag jobbar deltid som politisk sekreterare för KD i Landstinget Västmanland för den som undrar).






Här kommer lite badrumsbilder igen.

Olyckligtvis blev det ännu ett stopp i bygget, men de räknar med att dra igång i mitten av nästa vecka igen. Efter det borde inget mer oförutsett ske…

Som ni ser är det snedtak på 2 av 4 väggar. De är väldigt branta, så man kan gå ganska nära utan att slå i huvudet, vilket är bra. Det är ganska lite golvyta som går bort under. I övrigt är det över 3 meter i takhöjd, vilket inte riktigt framgår på bilderna.

”Innanmätet” och golvet i duschhörnan ska få en mycket snygg glasmosaik (som ser ut som marmor), medan utsidan ska få samma vita kakel som resten av rummet.

Ovanför handfatet/komoden och toaletten, blir det en jättestor  spegel. Och ovanför den tänker jag mig en grå Bestlite lampa. Man ser det knappt på dessa bilder men snedtaken och kommoden (från Ikea) är gråmålade. Så jag tror det blir snyggt med en grå lampa. Ev blir det en grå med mässing och till det mässingsknoppar på kommoden. Vill gärna få in lite värme och då passar det bra med mässing tycker jag.

Takstolen vet jag ännu inte vad jag ska göra med… Antingen betsar vi den i någon brunaktig variant, kanske åt det svarta hållet, eller så målar vi den mörkare grå. Jag vet faktiskt inte… Vad tycker ni?


Kram kram




from Drömhus

Shakshuka with homemade cumin labneh

Morning all – for once, not from bed with my mug of tea (been there done that), it is 7:22am and I am tapping away at my keyboard in my office instead. Generally speaking I am not a fan of people who always arrive late, flapping about, gasping for air and talking about how busy they are – in a grumpy old lady kind of way I usually just wonder why they can’t get their sh*t together. As penance I have turned into that person. At this time of year magazine and newspaper deadlines are converging, I have a travel story for Dish to (re)write which I really want to be good, it’s my bollocking birthday on Saturday (lovely friends coming for mystery – in that I have no idea what it is yet – dinner), and stupidly timed dentist, dermatologist and mammogram appointments to fit in. (The end of the year is not an optimal time to start trying to be medically organised, surely this is a start of the year thing to do..?).
Anyhoo, I should stop fluffing, tell you about the recipe and keep going. So – this is shakshuka, eggs poached in a spicy, fragrant tomato sauce, served with toasted cumin-y Turkish bread and a smear (or blob) of cumin spiked labneh. The tomato sauce can easily be made in advance and just kept in the fridge, and the labneh is one of those dead-easy and moderately impressive things to serve, a quick home-made soft cheese. If you fancy, stir some fresh spinach through the hot sauce to wilt before adding the eggs, and if you have it in the cupboard, a sprinkling of dukkah would also be nice. As with any hearty breakfast recipe it is also great for lunch or dinner 🙂 Right, off to wrangle that story…

450g Greek yoghurt (I used Puhoi)
1 clove garlic, crushed
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds
Olive oil*

Wet a large piece of muslin and fold it in half. Lay it into a sieve placed inside a bowl, with enough space for liquid to pool in the bottom without touching the base of the sieve. Whisk the yoghurt with the garlic, lemon zest, salt and toasted cumin seeds. Pour it into the muslin and draw up the sides to enclose the yoghurt. Twirl the top into a loose knot, then put in the fridge to drain for at least 4 hours. I like my labneh soft, so only leave it for 4 hours, but for a firmer consistency, you can keep draining it for up to 8 or even 12 hours. Once it has reached your desired consistency, tip the cheese out and store it, covered in oil in a sealed container in the fridge. I used mine straight away so you will see no oil in the picture. Makes 1 1/2 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, cored and chopped
1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons caster sugar
800g crushed sieved tomatoes
400 grams tinned cherry tomatoes in juice
4-8 eggs (I used 6)
¼ cup coriander leaves, to garnish
Turkish bread, toasted to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 1 minute. Add the onion, capsicum, chilli and garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the coriander, caster sugar and tomatoes and their juices and cook a further 30-35 minutes until the sauce is rich and thick. Test the sauce for seasoning and add salt and pepper after 15 minutes. Make 4-8 shallow indentations in the hot sauce and drop a cracked egg into each one. Cook the shakshuka for 10-12 minutes until the eggs are cooked through. To speed up the setting of the whites you can pop a lid over the pan. To serve, break up some chunks of labneh and dot over the shakshuka and sprinkle with coriander. Serve with toasted Turish bread and extra labneh on the side. Serves 4

*If making the tomato sauce the day before, simply reheat it in a  frying pan, adding a little water if necessary to thin,  and continue with the above cooking method.

from From The Kitchen

Meet The Dieline Award Jury of 2017

The Dieline Awards gathers together the most esteemed international panel of industry professionals to judge submissions. With backgrounds in all facets of packaging design and branding, their expertise grants them a critical eye for each entry. Debbie Millman, President Emeritus of AIGA and President of Design at Sterling Brands, serves as chairwoman of the judges. 















Learn More about our jury

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