Butlers Packaging

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The purpose of this project is to create an art period inspired packaging design for Butlers Chocolates. A design will be made for both a box of chocolates & a 100g bar of chocolate.

It is my intention to create packaging for a new “Vintage Range” of chocolate based on the period of Art Deco Style, with the design linking all products within the range.

You can also view this finished project on Behance

Research on Butlers Chocolates

Butlers chocolates was founded in Dublin’s Lad Lane in 1932 when Ms.Marion Butler finally realised her ambition to create “Little moments of happiness”.  In 1959 Mr Sheamus Sorenson bought the company which continues to be run as a family producer of fine chocolates.

Today Butlers is located in a purpose built premises and while it has outlets in countries around the world they all supply chocolate that has come from this one location.

As a supplier of luxurious chocolate butlers has a limited number of direct competitors. Rather than the likes of Cadburys or Nestle who produce mainstream chocolate bars & snacks, Butlers main competitors would include the likes of Lily O’Briens, Lindt, Lir, Skelligs & Chez Emily who all produce for the luxury personal & corporate gift markets.

Butlers produce very fine luxury chocolate & have positioned themselves to be seen as the only choice for gifts either personal or corporate.

I have completed a design brief for this project which can be found here – Butlers Design Brief.

This brief is intended as a guidance to my research & design, I will be referring to it regularly but it may very well change during the process.

Research on Chocolate Products on Display

I had a close look at a number of displays where other brands had similar sized products to see how they were marketed. I found a number that were very similar in size & also in design to Butlers. Most were displayed in upright format to conserve space on the shelf. They almost all used bright colours that screamed “Pick Me”, and most of them also had some kind of gold or silver foiling on the wrapper.

I thought that the need to make the packaging more “BLING” lessened the perceived value of the product. For this reason I decided not to use foiling of any kind.

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Market research

Is there a story behind the product.? Yes, this product has its origins in Dublin at a time when the country was really becoming aware of the world around it and the styles of that time. Dublin in the early 1930’s was starting to bustle with the styles of the UK, Europe & the USA & the Art Deco movement was gaining momentum in many areas of design.

Why was the product created. The founder of the company, Ms. Bailey-Butler believed there was a market for a luxury confectionery.

What message do I want to give Shoppers.? I want their first instant impression to be one of quality & style.

In 3 words, how does this package make me feel.? Quality. Mystique. Desire.

Why would someone buy this product.? As an indulgent treat, a deserved extravagance.

Main differences between this products & others on the market.? Remains true to the original ideals of the founder. Locally produced luxury product. Unique traditional recipe.

Target Market.? 25 year old demographic. Corporate & personal gifting market.


  1. Lilly O’Briens
  2. Lir Chocolates,
  3. The Irish Chocolate Company,
  4. Celtic Chocolates,
  5. Chocca Mocca,
  6. Skelligs Chocolates,
  7. Torc Truffles,
  8. Druid Chocolates.
  9. Ferrero Rocher

5 Claims. Traditional recipe. Irish made for Irish tastes. Locally made. Supports local employment. Wholly Irish product. Irish style & mystique. Butlers Chocolate – Its good for the soul.



Choosing my Art Period Style.

I looked at a number of styles from which to take my inspiration for my designs. They included Art Nouveau, Art Deco & Swiss International style. However, as my intention was to create a design that would communicate quality I felt that I could achieve a more effective result using inspiration from the Art Deco period.

The Swiss Style, being very structured & considered, speaks to a more logical side of the brain. However, I don’t believe it is the logical side of the brain that convinces us to buy chocolates even though we know we probably shouldn’t. Its the more aspirational & creative side that convinces us & says “Go on, you know you want to…”.

The Swiss Style just wasn’t suitable for selling a luxury confectionery.

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I looked at different types of die cut layouts for my box & settled on an existing box from Butlers. I measured each dimension & created my own die cut layout. I also took the measurements from the 100g bar packaging to layout my design for my bar.

Other options for chocolate box.








When first discussing Die Cuts, we printed one of a simple box, cut it out & assembled it to get a feel for how they worked & see what kinds of things need to be considered when working with them.

Practice Die Cut box.
Practice Die Cut box.



20160107_145025We also practiced creating textures & frames for use on this project. While I didn’t end up using any of these they did get me thinking about using patterns in my design & sourcing them from different places.


Some of the patterns created using tools like a roller, brush, wire, comb,bubble wrap & other bits & pieces.

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Some of the colour pallets & patterns I took my inspiration from.

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In choosing the colour palette for this project I decided to stay close to a traditional colour such as brown. The clients logo is often reproduced in a yellow/gold colour & I felt the brown would compliment this nicely. Also, a rich brown has a feeling of comfort or luxury.




Early Design Concepts.

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I looked at alternative design concepts for my packaging, including the use of some Art Deco elements such as the Shell. I also looked at using thick borders or bars as used in both Art Deco & Swiss International style. The borders & the geometric shapes are also suggestive of the Swiss Style.

I also looked at the use of fruit on my design but felt this was an element which has been used in packaging too frequently & I wanted to make my packaging stand out for its differences rather than blend in for its similarities.





I did try different colour schemes on my first design, the 100g bar, and while some of them look really nice & might work well as a range, I felt that they wouldn’t work as well on the box. As this project was to create a Vintage Range including both the box & the bar I decided to stick with the one unified colour & design theme for both.

The different colour options for the 100g bar.

My inspiration for the design came from the art deco period as referenced in the images in the slide show above. The darker richer colours combined with the dynamic, almost Swiss like lines creating pattern & leading lines. Also, the use of Art Deco elements such as the Shell & the Sun Burst gave a very Art Deco look to the design.

I chose the typeface Bifur for the sub logo, placed below the main logo. I don’t think there is another typeface that says Art Deco more than this one.


When putting the box together I found it quite difficult trimming to a clean edge. I also found that the paper the design was printed on was very light weight which didn’t stand up to very much handling at all. It also wouldn’t keep it’s shape.

I overcame this problem by laminating a second sheet under the design before trimming, then when it was cut out the design held its shape much better. I was able to get a much cleaner & stronger fold where needed, resulting in a much cleaner looking finished product.

Product Shoot.

Once the packaging had been assembled I set up a small light tent & 2 lights. I placed a roll of white paper inside the light tent to create a type of rollarama which would give a very clean look to the backdrop, so no lines at the back of the products to be edited out.

I shot in raw format & edited the images for exposure & colour balance, though I didn’t have very much that needed to be done to them as I managed to get them very close to how I wanted them to look in camera. I find this is always the best approach as it cuts down on the amount of editing time post shoot.

I shot a number of images, some just very straight up pack shot style, another with a lot of room around the product with the intention of using them in an advertisement as I will show on my presentation board.

100g Bar Back
Box, Back
Box, Front
100g Bar, Front







Final Presentation Display.

Here I have laid out a presentation board containing each of the 2 final designs, along with the font & colour palette used.

I have also placed the images in the format of a possible advertisement to give the viewer an idea of how they might look in use.



Presentation Layout
Final Design Presentation & Advert.

Presentation Layout Low Res-2Two possible uses for the packaging in advertisements.

Butlers Add 2 Low
100g Bar Advert.
Butlers Add 1 Low
Chocolate Box Advert.






Critical Review.

I think the packaging design does communicate a sense of quality & style, but the end product is perhaps a little flat in its final look. Its possible that the colour scheme is a little too dark, however, the use of a Pantone gold in the Butlers logo would certainly lift the look & visual quality of the product.

I am also aware that the majority (Not all) of Butlers packaging tends to have a ribbon or bow on it, I made the conscious decision not to put one on my design as I felt it would take away from the finished look.



Writing a design brief. David Airey http://www.davidairey.com/how-do-you-write-a-graphic-design-brief/

Packaging Die Lines https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IW58wmrWVY

Bar code Generator http://www.terryburton.co.uk/barcodewriter/generator/

Halftone Printing http://creativepro.com/how-to-make-amazing-halftone-effects-with-photoshop/

Popular Packaging fonts http://www.thedieline.com/blog/2009/5/12/top-15-fonts-for-packaging-design.html

The Guardian on Art Deco in Britain.



Independent.ie – The design work is very important because, as Bord Bia research has shown, imaging and packaging are vital in the luxury chocolate sector. “Consumers need to feel that what they are buying is special and exclusive,” she said.






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