Well, here it is, the Grantham Gingerbread packaging, ready to send Grantham Gingerbread l around the world. Its origins began with a chat over the phone in August 2011, when Alastair asked me to see him at his office. There we sketched out a rudimentary idea for the front panel after which I set to work producing a half-sized mock up. This gave us a basis to work on, so a full-sized visual was made. This is when ideas really began to spark, and soon we had a wish list of things that we wanted the packaging to have and a good idea of how individual we wanted the whole thing to be. Some of these concepts proved superfluous or unnecessary but bit by bit Alastair and I refined the design until we had something that looked like the packaging you see today. Up until now, these developmental pieces had been produced the old fashioned way, by hand. Such mock ups proved useful as it helped to work out the cardboard engineering that makes the carton work, like how the crash back base will operate properly for example. We now set about producing the final digital version. Of course, all the hand-drawn elements had to be created first, like the words ‘Grantham’ and ‘Gingerbread’ along with all the illustration that you see on some of the panels. Our little Gingerbread Man was the most important thing to get right, as he was going to literally be the front man of the packaging design. He is drawn in pen & ink and coloured with pencil crayon. The smooth colour is made by shaving several crayon nibs into small piles of different coloured powder. These are mixed together to made a satisfactory shade. Then, using a well-worn piece of tissue paper (one that’s been in a pocket for about a week is best) the powder is gently rubbed into the body of the black and white illustration. Once the residue is blown away, the result is a bit of a mess, but with a chemical eraser, it’s possible to tidy up the edges and even use the corner of the eraser to lift the highlights which give a three dimensional look to our little ginger chap. Do the same to the other pictures then scan them into the computer, and we’re ready to make a full sized proof. There is a lot of tweaking at this point as some final good ideas emerge. In the end though, we look at what we’ve got and say, ‘That’s it!’ The packaging you see today had been born from our imaginations and crafted with skill and talent, just like the delicious gingerbreads that you can’t get enough of today.
Designer, Richard Coppin