Designing the Brand Brilliance gift boxes


Well hello there! Today I thought it would be fun to explore the design process behind the gift boxes for the launch of Brand Brilliance. As you'll know, preorders are a really important part of a book's life. I wrote a little more on it here. And for the launch of Brand Brilliance I wanted to do something a little special. Something that would elevate that whole experience of receiving a book and really celebrate what we'd achieved.

The initial plan was pretty simple. Gift boxes that would contain all the elements you needed to get started with Brand Brilliance. So the book, a sketchbook and a printed copy of the Brand Clarity workbook were my initial starting points.

From there I added the Absolute Essentials of Colour Psychology mini-book which I'm so often asked about and also decided to giftwrap the books.

The initial inspiration

I'm not a seasoned packaging designer but I've always admired the experience of receiving great stuff in the mail. Hush do this particularly well - their stylish simplicity always feels great and looks wonderful and I wanted to create that sort of experience.

I pulled together a selection of inspirations  on Pinterest. This board is packed with serious packaging eye-candy so enjoy! I really, really loved that blind embossing effect and so picked up a bespoke punch really quite cost efficiently and then spent an absolute fortune having wafer seals sent over from the States. All the ones I could find here seemed to be a horrid starburst shape which was definitely not the look I was going for.

I was very lucky to work with a phenomenal packaging designer, Sarah Thorne, who took my overwhelm of inspiration and streamlined things down to a very stylish and simple finished product. Sarah was really captivated by the fact we were hand-wrapping everything and didn't want tons of 'stuff' to detract from that.

And so in the end it was pretty simple. A postcard - which you can just see was blind embossed (bottom left corner in the pic above), the Brand Clarity workbook and Absolute Essentials. The sketchbook, which I already had, and then some gorgeous wrap.

We designed five different marble wraps for the books to be gift wrapped in which we then tied with a simple black cord and added a white embossed seal. My daughter has done an incredible job of wrapping all of these beautifully. Her attention to detail and patience has been second to none and I'm so excited about how they look.

The postal wrap was quite the revelation. I'd initially planned for the goodies to be sent out in corrugated card boxes, but Sarah persuaded me to think again and I adore the bespoke wrap she's created. It looks and feels like paper, to the touch, but it's actually a plastic and it's incredible! We have translucent wrap for the luxe gift boxes and opaque for the limited edition ones. FE Burman printed these for me and I'm so happy with how they turned out.

Can we just talk about the Brand Clarity Workbooks for a moment? Century Studios created these for me and I love them. Initially Wayne had suggested foil on black and whilst I totally knew where he was coming from, it just didn't feel right. Too heavy I guess. Then we explored GF Smith's Vellum as a cover with the same copper foil, but again, it just didn't feel right.

It's amazing what Pinterest can do for the blocked of mind isn't it?  A quick skootch around there while I was looking for inspiration for the cover totally changed the way I was thinking. As this is all about clarity it suddenly made sense - white felt right. It would give it the freshness and the lightness I was looking for.

Adding a blind emboss (the way the letters are raised up) and using a gorgeously thick GF Smith stock ensured that the whole thing felt luxe but light and easy. I want this to be a really empowering and inspirational document and I think the finished article totally does that.

Oh and one more tiny but super important detail: the copper staples. Aren't they just gorgeous?

When Katie came to do the shoot, the boxes weren't back and her photography looks so beautiful I'm loathe to shoot my own as it'll stand out a mile against these lovely pictures. Instead, I'll do another shoot with her when we have a moment to breathe and I'll share the finished box.

I'm so happy with how they've turned out. It's been a lot of work. Both the sourcing of everything and also the signing, wrapping, packing, boxing, wrapping and logistics of mailing. There have been a lot of late nights, my house is in total overwhelm and there's a lot to think about. But they look amazing and I can't think of a better way to celebrate the first run of what I hope is going to be a very much loved book.

You're starting to share your boxes on Instagram, so do take a look at the tag #brandbrilliancebook to see more and also to share your own copies - gift boxed or not! I'd love to know what you think.

And whilst it may have been hard work, starting work to this lovely email made it all worthwhile

Oh my goodness... I have never taken so long to unwrap a parcel and then a box, ever It's beyond beautiful and brilliant!!!!!! The attention to detail in the wrapping is insane. I love the gift wrap, embossing and that thank you card I've only flicked through the book but the content, story telling and imagery and just beautiful You must be so thrilled I cannot wait to read it...

Sara Wolverson

Side notes

The gift boxes are, I'm afraid, sold out. We sold out a couple of weeks ago. You can order/ preorder your copy of Brand Brilliance through Amazon, or, for a really, really limited site, on my website. Links on the book page.

The Brand Clarity Workbook will be available to download from Friday.

Enjoy! xx