Wrapping it all up.

As we watch the anticipation of Christmas build, with the attendant gift exchanges, we are reminded of the value of packaging. These elaborate packages, brightly and carefully wrapped hold the promise of wonderful things. Whatever is contained within MUST be special.

All of us seem to universally receptive to the allure of nice packaging. Packaging is clearly important to the process of the sale and how the merchandise is perceived. Look at the difference in how any type of luxury good is packaged versus the bargain model of the same object.

Packaging is a multi-billion dollar industry, and there are few fields that go to the lengths to employ spectacular packaging than jewelry. But why go to all this trouble and expense AFTER the sale is made? Why not just wrap it up in yesterday’s newspaper and send it out the door?

As artists and art collectors, we get to be on both sides of counter. As artists, we are careful to package our work to reinforce the perception that we are professionals and that the object in the package is special. We spend time and money on the images used to promote the work and to support our sales effort. Doing as much to help create the best possible “first impression” of the work seems prudent.

As collectors we have been surprised to learn that this view is not shared by some of our contemporaries. Having purchased pieces from many of the top names in the field, we have been shocked at the utter disregard with which some of the work is packaged. Many of these artists take great pride in the grooming of their professional image, yet come off as rank amateurs when the goods are delivered.

No, we don’t expect a gift-wrapped Christmas box. But we don’t expect a $2000 piece of jewelry to show up wrapped in newspaper either.

Ironically enough, the subject of packaging is given great care and attention in the much-maligned DIY/Indy movement. By definition the “Indy” movement is about being independent of galleries and representation. Now, no gallery we know of would ever let a piece walk out the door without proper packaging. Neither would most DIY artists.  This comes down to understanding the customer and how a brand image is formed, or in the case of some artists, destroyed.

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Great point, 2Roses. Packaging is an important part of what we do as artists. It's kind of a whole picture thing. Being part of such a great and thriving Indie scene means being creative in ALL aspects of my business. Why stop at the point of "finished product". For Twigs and Heather, we do incorporate a little of our personality in so much of what we do. It's in our packaging, the way we display our work at shows, our photography, and our web design.

 

There seems to be a want or need to be able to relate to the artist these days. You can find out so much on-line about peoples creative thinking, their process and even their silly thought (via twitter) and in my experience, it makes the customer feel connected to what they are buying. People want that connection, especially if they are purchasing on-line. It's these little touches that make you stand out. Going a little above and beyond also makes the customer feel as though their money is well spent.

 

 

 

 

I agree. I bought almost all of my small "memento" Christmas presents from Etsy (which, as we all know, gets a terribly sniffy reaction in some quarters) and without exception the pieces were beautifully presented, often very cheaply and simply, but with an attention to detail and material which set the work apart. I'm quite sure that there are many on Etsy who don't care about the packaging - rather as some don't care about the product they are offering - but it is telling that the makers of things like a £10 soft toy or a £1.50 pocket mirror view their craft seriously enough to package it well.

 

It has taken me ages to come up with packaging which I like, so I am aware of how difficult it is to be fresh and appropriate with it but bubble-wrap and newspaper are not enough. It really does need to be considered more. 

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