FILED IN: Client & Corporate Gifts, Holiday & Seasonal
Posted By: Jamie Kutchman, Founder
I cannot believe it's already that time of year where we agonize over which projects are our favorites and therefore appear in our annual lineup. But as we all know, time flies and so here we are again. This year's list, much like last year's list, features a combination of holiday client gift boxes as well as year-round client appreciation gifts so let's get right to it...
MODERN ORGANIC HOLIDAY BOXES FOR PINTEREST
You may recall the custom client appreciation gift boxes we did for Pinterest last year around the holidays. We were honored to work with them again this year and certainly up for the challenge of finding unique ways to express their brand without repeating anything we did from their 2018 gift design! Last year, we did sleek black hat boxes and most everything was black, red, and white including black and white striped ribbon to finish off the outside. This year, we went in a different direction with an organic, natural look for the packaging and then added pops of bold, sophisticated color for contrast. It was a bit of a risk mixing these two vibes but we could not be more thrilled with how they turned out.
We chose natural pine boxes as a foundation for the design and went for quality over quality in terms of contents. We included luxury candles, sweet treats in brightly colored modern packaging, branded stone coasters featuring the iconic red Pinterest logo, along with gourmet nuts in a super elegant tin with gold foil print. We, of course, finished the gifts off with fragrant pine and pine cones to round out the holiday vibe. The gifts also featured logo gift tags and branded holiday notecards with a custom message from the company.
CALIFORNIA-INSPIRED CORPORATE HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR LA GALAXY
LA Galaxy is another client of ours who has hired us multiple times to create custom corporate holiday gifts to send out to their clients. This year was the third time working with LA Galaxy and talk about a challenge! We had to bring their brand to life in a completely new and different way and stay away from any concepts of themes we've previously done while also remaining true to their brand. Much like the Pinterest project we shared with you above, we were up for the challenge! And much like the Pinterest project, we went in a much more organic direction with this project after having done more clean and classic designs in the past.
We began with natural pine boxes and filled them with items you'd likely use while enjoying wine. With LA Galaxy being in California, we wanted elements of this locale in the gifts as well. For contents, we included wine snaps from Napa Cookie Co, branded wine tumblers, handmade bottle stoppers with the shape of California carved into top, a luxury candle in a gender neutral scent, gourmet small batch chocolate and branded coasters to accompany the tumblers. We created branded gift tags and notecards, also featuring the LA Galaxy logo, along with a heartfelt holiday message from the company. We used wood fill as a luxurious touch along with pine and pine cones.
SUSTAINABILITY-THEMED CLIENT GIFT BAGS FOR ARAMARK
Part of Aramark's corporate mission involves sustainability so when they came to us for help designing on-going year-round client gifts that would perfectly represent their brand beyond just slapping a logo on a box, we knew just the direction to take. We selected eco-friendly jute bags and filled them with environmentally friendly items such as Zero Waste cookbooks, reusable produce bags, stainless steel reusable straws, a high quality reusable coffee mug with lid, reusable and collapsable bowls, as well as reusable shopping bags. We still managed to keep the contents in line their branding colors and finished the gifts off with a logo gift tag and coordinating black ribbon.
BREAKFAST-THEMED GIFT BOXES FOR MERRILL LYNCH
Our client Merrill Lynch wanted to welcome their clients to the ML family with gifts that felt more personal and less corporate to reinforce their stable, trustworthy, family-oriented brand message. As a start, we intentionally limited the use of their logo to just the cookie to decrease the corporate swag feel. We then came up with the concept of ML sharing one of their favorite family traditions with their clients...a pancake breakfast! We curated contents around this theme and imagined the whole family gathering around the table to share in this tradition. We selected small batch pancake mix, handmade wood whisks, artisan maple syrup, small batch pecans and a logo cookie by Sugar Studio.
We purposely kept the logo off of the welcome letter inside each box (and the gift tag on the outside of each box) so it felt more like a note coming from a cherished friend. The note inside communicated the meaning behind the gift concept to connect the contents to our client's branding message. We didn't want to leave it to chance that recipients would automatically "get it". We wanted to make sure they interpreted in the way in which it was intended in order to achieve maximum impact.
NAPA-INSPIRED HOLIDAY CLIENT GIFT BOXES FOR ENSEMBLE HEALTH
We have worked with Ensemble Health on custom gifting on several other occasions so perhaps you recall these or even these. But now onto the present. For 2019's client holiday gifts, they wanted Napa-inspired gift boxes with more of a luxe organic vibe than in previous projects.
We began with natural pine boxes almost resembling that of a wine crate. We included half bottles sent to us by the client (a favorite of theirs that they'd already picked out!), gourmet Neuhaus truffles, branded wood coasters, as well as a branded bottle opener set. To finish them off, we included branded holiday notecards and logo gift tags as well as a small olive brand in lieu of traditional holiday greenery. It really helped to pull the whole winery vibe together. We also included a large turkish throw blanket on the outside of each box for an added touch of luxury.
BRANDED GIFT BOXES FOR MARTIN AQUATIC
We shared full details of this project with you a few months ago here but it's definitely appearing again in this lineup of our favorites and we think you'll see why! While it's not like us to put a company's logo on every single item in the gift box, there was a reason being doing so for this project and so we were fully on board! Martin Aquatic, a specialty engineering and design firm specializing in high end aquatic parks, has been in business for the last 30+ years and found themselves ready for a rebrand. Not just a new logo. They wanted to overhaul EVERYTHING including their business name. They kept this a secret from their entire client list and hired us to design boxes to announce the rebrand to their entire client list by sending out an individual gift box to each and every one of their clients.
We began with crisp white fold-over style boxes and had their brand new geometric logo in shades of blue printed on the top lids of the boxes. So, as soon as the recipients open the boxes, the new branding was right there catching their attention and wanting them to immediately find out more. We affixed rebrand announcement letters to inside lids of the boxes so recipients could immediately identify who the gifts were from and why they were receiving them. We wanted to create a celebratory vibe with the gifts while also really showing off the new logo so we began with absorbent stone coaster sets and added branded bourbon tumblers, and bourbon chilling rocks packaging in branded velvet pouches. For a fun, sweet treat so we had their logo hand-piped onto individually wrapped sugar cookies.
CLIENT GIFT BASKETS FOR TYLER WHITMORE INTERIORS
You may have already had a peek at these when we shared them here. These custom gift baskets were custom-designed for Tyler Whitmore Interiors, a luxury real estate staging business, as a way to express gratitude to her most loyal clients right around Thanksgiving! Our goal was to create a calm, cohesive vibe for these gifts, while also including items that could be reused or displayed in a beautiful home. This way, the gifts pulled triple duty as a thoughtful reminder of Tyler's brand for her clients, a way of expressing gratitude to clients and setting Tyler's customer experience above that of her competitors, and allowing the recipients to keep some of the interior contents (and the basket!) to use again and again in their own homes as a constant visual reminder of where the items came from.
We began with a reusable, hand-woven seagrass basket to establish the 'home' vibe that corresponds with Tyler's business model. We included custom notecards with a message of gratitude in keeping with that time of year. The notecards matched both the contents of the gift, as well as Tyler's branding colors. Other contents included a handmade wood trinket (or snack) bowl, small batch tea and shortbread, a turkish kitchen tea towel, and a luxury candle.
BOLD MODERN CLIENT GIFT BOXES FOR WEDDING PLANNING FIRM LEMON & LIME EVENT DESIGN
Armed with a fresh new branding look, Baltimore-based wedding planning firm Lemon & Lime wanted to fully re-design their existing client gifts that they send out to their couples upon the couples booking them. We began with modern black boxes and filled them with items to "stock the bar". Lemon & Lime is a fun brand and so we wanted their gifts to reflect this very same vibe.
We included their logo on matching cocktail tumblers to set the tone. We then included pops of color against the black box and basket fill with citrus-themed bottle openers, margarita Sugarfina gummies, eco-friendly stainless steel straws, and two matching bottles of limoncello. We finished these off with black and white striped ribbon and a black tag with their logo in all-white for a bold modern look.
NEW YEARS-INSPIRED GIFT BOXES FOR GOLD PR
And now for another celebratory brand, Gold PR. Last year, Gold PR worked with us on 'Better Together' themed client gifts and this year they wanted something more along the lines of a New Years gift. So, we came up with the concept 'All That Glitters is Gold' as a play on both New Years AND the name of their firm. And as you'll see, we took this gold theme and didn't hold back!
We began with crisp with gift boxes and gold and white combo basket fill and went to work curating not only gold items, but gold items that still functionally go together. From gold Swell tumblers to luxury Voluspa candles and gold wick trimmers and lighter, to a gold tin with white hot chocolate and Sugarfina rock candy sticks, and yes even gold pine cones! We finished the gifts off with logo gift tags and a branded notecard with a festive sentiment from the firm's owner.
SHAREABLE FOOD-CENTRIC GIFT BOXES FOR FORWARD FINANCING
Around the holidays, we sometimes get asked to design gift boxes that are meant to be shared by entire offices or departments within one office. This is the case with these holiday corporate gift boxes for Forward Financing. Their branding colors are green, black and white so we went to town curating snacks that were all considered both "shareable" and in-line with their branding color palette. With green being my favorite color, you can imagine how much fun I had with these!
We incorporated their brand by creating the obvious logo gift tag and branded holiday notecards but also worked it into the packaging of some of the snacks too. We included their logo on the Fatty Sundays pretzels as well as the Popsations popcorn. We didn't want to "over-brand" and so the remaining snacks were featured with their original non-customized brand packaging since, let's face it, most everyone enjoys discovering new snack brands upon opening a curated gift box, especially when they are brands they're never heard of before.
BRIGHT AND LIVELY HOLIDAY GIFT BOXES FOR iHIRE
We always preach that corporate gifting doesn't have to be boring but we're going to go a step further and say that holiday gifting doesn't have to be red and green either! Our client iHire gave us full creative freedom to bring their brand to life for their holiday gifts this year. We of course wanted something that stayed true to their blue and white color palette but that wasn't enough. We also wanted to express the fun, young, and upbeat vibe of their brand too.
We knew we wanted to brand a few items inside the gifts as well as having the logo custom printed on the outside of the boxes. We selected bright blue Corkcicle tumblers along with matching logo coasters. Beyond that, it was a selection of fun sweet treats all the way! We included toffee and caramel candies from Dylan's Candy Bar, shortbread cookies, as well as brightly colored rainbow sours from Sugarfina. We finished the gifts off with several mini ornaments to match the custom branded holiday notecards featuring the same. We also added some fragrant pine for a festive last touch!
EARTHY YET ELEGANT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER CLIENT GIFTS FOR THISTLE & WOOD
This project was out of a dream. The owner of Thistle & Wood came to us with fresh new branding that was to die for and allowed us to run with it. We took a peek at her Instagram to study her body of work. Her vibe is what I'd call "earthy elegant" and her couples seem to be nature lovers and full of adventure. Armed with this info, off we went!
FOOD-FOCUSED HOLIDAY GIFT BOXES FOR OCEANIA CRUISES
Fairly often at the holidays, clients come to us and request a tiered approach to their gifting. For example, they wish to create a higher price point gift for larger offices to be able to share and then a "tier two gift" that will go to much smaller offices or even just to one individual recipient. This project for Oceania Cruises is a great example. We kept the overall blue and white color palette and vibe the same for both tiers, just at two very different price points!
For the larger tier gifts, they included handmade snack bowls as well as larger sized packages of some of the same contents found in the tier two gifts. Regardless of tier, they all received custom accordian style holiday cards that unfold to a 2020 calendar with each month on its own page!
GENDER NEUTRAL NASHVILLE-INSPIRED CORPORATE HOLIDAY BOXES
These oversized gift boxes were designed for a large Nashville-based oral surgery practice to gift to their referring dentists. We wanted to include some nods to Nashville and did so with locally-sourced chocolate as well as small batch coffee. To accompany the coffee, with even included one of our favorite tech gadgets of this entire season...the temperature controlled Ember mug!
For packaging, we selected black boxes to allow the lime green of their brand to really pop but not TOO much. We wanted to keep these warm, sophisticated, and gender neutral. We finished them off with logo gift tags, custom branded holiday notecards, and fresh pine and pine cones.
LOCALLY SOURCED DC CORPORATE HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR SMART BRIEF
This last project for Smart Brief is proof that you don't need huge boxes overflowing with a million items inside to make a good impression. We used the black and blue of their brand and filled the boxes with locally sourced items from DC, Maryland, and Virginia where Smart Brief is based. The end result was gender neutral gift boxes that people can share amongst themselves within an office setting. We finished them off with custom logo gift tags on elegant black cardstock and matching branded holiday notecards. And, of course, fragrant pine and pine cones too!
So, that's it. That's the client appreciation lineup for 2019. What do you guys think? Which is your favorite? We're DYING to know. Drop us a comment on this post or you can even reach out here. We always love hearing from you.