Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Le15 Box.

I have a confession to make: I am addicted to stationery and packaging. I'm a hoarder when it comes to them. My mother is so fed up with all the 'junk' I keep collecting that last year when I was away for Diwali she actually decided it was time to de-clutter my room and give away things.

When I was studying in Switzerland, there was this tiny shop filled with random things that you would never need and I loved it! I would spend so much time looking at the antique tin boxes, the beautiful hand-made paper boxes, the little notebooks, scented candles and gorgeous fairy lights. I moved to Paris and every single street seemed to have such a shop! I started collecting postcards, boxes, laces, paper, ribbons and more.

With Pratish at the Le15 Central kitchen.
I still remember my first meeting with Pratish Mepani, Creative Director at Starting Monday.  He was going to help me with the Le15 logo, branding and packaging. At our first meeting I started describing what a Le15 box should feel like when someone holds it and that just the sight of the box should make you happy. It should feel like christmas morning every single time you get a Le15 box. Pratish looked at me like I was crazy. He asked me if I was sure I knew I was opening a patisserie and not a fashion store. We started discussing the logo. I was clear I wanted it to be black and white. Again, Pratish looked at me like I was crazy. He argued that it was a food brand and people associate food with colour. We disagreed on everything. We didn't like the same colours, we hated the fonts the other liked and we challenged every decision. That's when I realized what a great team we made. You don't want someone agreeing with everything you say. You need someone to step up and say 'I think your idea sucks' and if you can defend your idea and convince the other person to see your perspective, that's when you have a winner.

The first box we ever created!
When we started designing our boxes (three years ago) no one really cared about packaging (for baked goods). I remember sitting with our printer and having a conversation with him where he asked me very seriously if spending all this money on a box was worth it. I told him he wouldn't understand it, but these boxes are an essential part of the customer experience.
I spent hours at the printing press learning everything I could about paper: density, quality, origin, price and weight. Pratish thought it was important for me to learn how everything is done from scratch.


The First Collection!

Our Box of 12 and Carry bag <3


Boxes for Special Occasions
Cupcake box

Diwali Special

Carry Box


Each box that we've produced at Le15 has been through a lengthy process before reaching your hands: Meetings, mood boards, dummies, arguments, chai, passionfruit macarons and hours spent with the pantone book! I absolutely love the process and can't explain the happiness when I'm at Raghuvanshi or Phoenix Mills and see people walking around with one of our boxes.


Chai + Macaron = Perfect Brainstorming Session!


So, what's next? We like challenging ourselves and surprising people. Let's just say we have some amazing stuff up our sleeves that we can only reveal in a few months. At the start of every design meet I tell Pratish, ''Let's take it up a notch''. This time, I think we are going up five! More on that...soon!


9 comments:

  1. Wow pooja u rock...keep going

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  2. So much goes into packaging and marketing!And personal involvement at every level makes the effort totally worth,and the results truly satisfying.Not to mention,your love for collecting knick-knacks-that's what I do on my travels to quaint places in India.They are inspirational,I agree.Looking forward to more from Le 15.

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  3. I totally get what ur saying here! My sister , a creative designer, just gave me a long talk on how important branding and packaging is!

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  4. I'm so glad le 15 gives so much thought to packaging. I was bored of eating out of drab brown looking boxes that were available at most bake stores. Thanks so much for making the cupcake and macaroon eating experience so complete..!!

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  5. One of the things that draws me to your products is the packaging! And it makes a difference...I am tired of confectioners and bakers who use substandard packaging and the goods end up getting crumbled and smushed. Thanks for sharing a little inspiration with us! PS- I too, am a sucker for notebooks, stationery and the like!

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  6. I can so totally relate with you,Puja!! I have stationery hoarding genes in me :-p My dad is a stationery addict (especially German knick knacks) and he & my sister "collect" pens! I am a paper crafter and along with my supplies, I hoard on all sorts of boxes! I never throw away a box till I have found good use for it... My mom got me a box of Le 15 macarons yesterday and I am already thinking where the box will go :) Dad and I keep everything from Altoids tins to biscuit tins to chocolate boxes (I know he has one at his place that he has been hiding from me! :-p). If anyone in my in-laws family gets something in a decent'ish box (cardboard or tin), they save it for me :D I never buy plastic boxes for my craft supplies, I reuse from my treasure trove! :)

    I also love your bags and I am planning to repurpose the latest one that I have :)

    Would love to have you check out my blog and comment too:)

    Hugs,
    Smita

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  7. I don't have your email id so I am writing in here... ;-)
    I do wish you get your tin boxes soon :) Then I will ask everyone to gift me macarons in those boxes :-p
    But this being India, well, all the best!! :-p We didn't even get scrapbooking supplies till recently and even now local stationers stare at your face wondering what crazy planet you are from if you ask for something small like a Brad! :D

    Hugs,
    Smita

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