4 Sept 2008
Finishing Touches(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2008)
Decorations & Accessories
Gifts dressed up with attractive extras from Hong Kong will surely catch the eye and win the heart
Packaging is very much about adding appeal, and decorations and accessories such as the wrapping paper and ribbons that often give gifts and premiums that all-important finishing touch.
A good example is the range of eye-catching metallic and holographic wrapping paper, available in rolls or sheets, from Truth Honour Trading Ltd.
"We focus on metallic and holographic wrapping paper because there is less competition in these categories as their production requires tremendous investment in advanced machinery," says spokeswoman Ellen Chow.
"For example, our factory is equipped with such advanced machinery as printing, plating, holographic, laminating, slitting and rewinding machines," she notes. "They enable us to achieve complicated printing patterns of good quality."
The company used to supply only to producers of gift bags and boxes until 2006, when it started to ship to importers in Switzerland and Denmark as well. "Our major customers, though, are manufacturers on the Chinese mainland," Ms Chow adds.
Truth Honour works mostly with designs provided by its customers, although it can also provide creative ideas when necessary by working with local designers.
Design is also the forte of Max Fortune Industrial Ltd, which creates a kaleidoscope of patterns for its wrapping paper, gift tags, stickers and gift boxes.
"Our design team comes up with 800-1000 new ideas each year, depending on market trends and demand," enthuses Assistant Marketing Manager Chris Man.
Selling mainly to the UK, the US and Canada, the enterprise keeps track of changing product trends in these countries.
"Even for festive products, different icons become hot each year," Mr Man advises. "It is usually the snowman that takes centre stage for Christmas, although sometimes the penguin may take over just because there has been a film featuring it. So we put a premium on monitoring trends."
To cater to the latest tastes in the UK, for example, Max Fortune's design team is creating more "upbeat" styles specifically for that market.
"The combination of red and green for Christmas is too conventional for today's UK consumers," he explains, "and they are now after such fashionable combinations as gold and purple or pale blue."
Creativity is likewise a core competence for Complacent Industrial Co Ltd, which releases new designs for ribbon and other packaging accessories in April and October each year, to tie in with important trade shows.
"One of our latest innovations is a nylon satin/grosgrain ribbon with scalloped edges," says Merchandiser Dawn Li. "It is a double-sided ribbon made by gluing nylon satin and grosgrain together and then finishing it with a die-cutting process along the edges."
Buyers can opt for a combination of their own. "They may, for example, order a polyester satin/grosgrain combination," she adds. "Yet, so far, the nylon satin/grosgrain version has been the most popular in the US market."
Complacent Industrial puts great emphasis on participating in major trade fairs, and claims the events have been instrumental in building its name in the field. "In fact, we were among the first group of Hong Kong ribbon manufacturers to take part in trade shows," Ms Li claims.
"Furthermore, thanks to our attractive designs and reliable workmanship, especially in screen printing, we are quite well known among buyers. We are also producing ribbons with printed logos for many well-known fashion brands," she adds.
Equally industrious in generating new delightful styles is New Faith Hi Tech Printing (Int'l) Ltd, a manufacturer of wrapping paper, gift tags and stickers.
"In addition to creating new patterns for all-year-round and seasonal purposes," says Chief Designer Aily Kwok, "we also explore fresh ways to jazz up our products, such as embossing effects and glitzy powder, with the latest being print-on effects with a velvety texture."
Aware of preferences in major markets such as the US and the UK, the company differentiates its designs accordingly. "Our creations for the UK are more feminine and retro, characterised by light, tranquil colours," she says. "Those for the US have more vibrant colours, usually with cute characters or themes tailored for kids."
Noting that in the UK it is common for a family to decorate gifts together, Ms Kwok advises that the firm is offering DIY kits with gift tags, stickers and wrapping paper. "For the US, we have a new 30x30cm booklet of wrapping paper in different designs for consumers who look for variations," she adds.
With Hong Kong suppliers thinking out of the box to create such a wide, exquisite range of packaging decorations and accessories, buyers are happily spoilt for choice.
Text by Winnie Hui