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How to create award-winning luxury packaging

Toby Wilson, director of luxury packaging at GPA Luxury, talks about the processes involved in creating award-winning luxury packaging, ahead of Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London 2019

Toby Wilson GPA Luxury

Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London is set to return to the London Olympia on 11 and 12 September 2019, with a host of exhibitors showcasing the latest and greatest packaging technologies and innovations. 

Here, Toby Wilson, Director of Luxury Packaging at GPA Luxury (Formerly MW Luxury), which will be exhibiting at the show, talks about the processes involved in creating award-winning luxury packaging.

Q. What sets GPA Luxury apart from other brands on show at Luxury Packaging London 2019? 

We feel we have a real point of difference within the industry. Our fully integrated packaging solutions encompass all of the design, manufacturing and logistics functions required to deliver award-winning packaging. Our global reach allows us to manufacture out of Asia, Europe and the US,and our client base is spread even wider, capturing opportunities within the luxury spirits, drinks, cosmetics, home entertainment, advanced point of sale and consumer electronics sectors. Our fresh and technical problem-solving approach, with a focus on a brand’s core assets, allows for an integrated and efficient route to the final solutions.Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Q. What is the creative process and can you explain how you begin creating a packaging concept?

At the heart of GPA Luxury there is a deep understanding of the luxury sector. This is an essential ethos by which we live. The word ‘luxury’ is highly overused and increasingly co-opted by brands wishing to elevate the consumer’s immediate perception of their goods. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as just stating that you are a ‘luxury’ brand – luxury must be an integral part of your processes, approach and brand essence. The experience that the consumer has from using or owning products developed by these brands is the true test of a successful luxury brand.

We are lucky enough to work with some highly prestigious brands that operate successfully within the luxury arena. Our approach is simple:understand the brand and what it stands for, and apply this knowledge to every stage of the packaging process, from initial creative ideation or feedback, through to the development process, manufacturing and quality expectations.

Q. What will you be showcasing at Luxury Packaging London 2019?

This year we’ll be displaying a wide range of our well-known, award-winning packs that showcase our expertise and experience. There will also be some exciting new packs that we’ve developed and delivered over the past year since Luxury Packaging London 2018.

Q. Are there any trends that you’ve noticed in drinks packaging lately?

Isolating any one trend within drinks packaging would be very difficult. An overarching theme that has recently been strongly represented across the spirits sector is craft. The consumer is now becoming more discerning, and paying close attention to the product, its provenance and how it is made. All of this can be delivered by an intelligent and honest approach to the brand message, design and packaging. The use of carefully selected labelling substrates, print techniques, and secondary packaging which integrates with the bottle, will complete the consumer experience.

Collaboration is also a big buzzword within the spirits sector. Endorsements from recognised and qualified individuals, brands or organisations adds gravitas and builds consumer confidence. It’s also a point of difference for the consumer to buy into. 

Q. Over the years you’ve worked with a lot of brands, including Johnnie Walker and Jack Daniels. What has been your most memorable collaboration?

Two collaborations from the last few years come to mind.

The first was Johnnie Walker Blue’s collaboration with Alfred Dunhill. We developed and manufactured a gift pack that celebrated the iconic Alfred Dunhill material pattern in the premium paper cover; the inside was evocative of the complex layers of flavour in the whisky and contours from the origins of the brand. The collaboration didn’t stop there as it extended into a wealth of other presentation cases and bespoke travel luggage.Bombay Sapphire – GPA Luxury

The second collaboration was with Bombay Sapphire and the famous jeweller Garrard, for Bombay Sapphire’s 250th Anniversary Limited Edition pack. Garrard created a beautiful jewelled stopper and a dual colour, hand-blown and handcrafted crystal glass bottle with the recipe’s botanicals etched into the sides. The collaboration signified the bringing together of two highly crafted elements:the liquid recipe and the unrivalled, oldest jeweller’s skill.

Registration is now open and you can sign up for your free pass today. For further information, please visit the Packaging Innovation and Luxury Packaging London websites or contact the show team on +44 (0) 2088 438 800 or

24 June 2019