Neenah® Folding Board helps to take redesign of Jack Daniel's gift box to a new level

August 26, 2019
Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye

Kate Stites, Senior Graphic Designer at Brown-Forman, was charged with elevating the premium shelf presence of a Jack Daniel’s gift box. While contemplating the redesign, Stites had an epiphany and knew she was on the path to taking the boxes to a new level.

"My eureka moment was sparked by a Neenah promotion in Epic Black I saw in an issue of GDUSA. I literally ripped it out and did a dance."- Kate Stites, Senior Graphic Designer, Brown-Forman

Stites was excited by the idea of a dyed-through board. Because the new package design incorporated full bleeds inside and out, and because these boxes were to be produced with SBS (solid bleached sulfate), there were white edges along the cut lines that Stites was looking to eliminate.

Eliminating those white edges meant moving away from SBS, a product so entrenched in the spirits packaging industry that using anything else was unheard of.

Determined, Stites and her team worked with Chattanooga-based Textile Printing Company (TPC) to source a new folding carton product. Stites says Neenah® Folding Board performed better than the rest. Its characteristics are particularly suited for the larger and heavier cartons needed for the Jack Daniel’s products, and it was receptive to the decorative techniques that Stites wanted to employ: silkscreen, thermography, foil stamping, emboss, and deboss.

A 26pt. solid black Neenah® Folding Board in Matte finish was selected as the new folding carton for the Jack Daniel’s gift sets, with the rigidity and durability that meets the brand’s requirements. Stites refers to the board as “solid as a rock.”

Ultimately, what began as a small project to redo the gift sets became a strategic move across the whole family of Jack Daniel’s brands — and possibly started an industry movement away from SBS.

The new packaging has received several packaging awards for design, innovation, and sustainability. The move has also garnered nods from other spirits brands; the industry is now watching and taking cues from Stites and her team.

I have a great appreciation for the importance of packaging substrates. It is exciting and inspiring to cast a beautiful substrate in the role of significant design element, rather than just a blank surface that needs to be covered up."

Kate Stites, Senior Graphic Designer at Brown-Forman

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