A sustainable production location
Renovations spring 2022
Several renovations are scheduled for our production location in Poland this year. For example, the current incinerator will be replaced after 20 years and a silo will be installed. Krepel has been working completely gas-free for years now and these renovations enable us to work even more environmentally friendly and we meet the most stringent standards.
We have been using wood waste as heating fuel for years. “In the past, it was only possible to burn solid wood. The new incinerator, which will be installed in the spring of 2022, can also burn other wood-based materials, such as plywood or MDF. This means we can really use all our residual materials for heating purposes”, says Sławomir Ćwikła (Managing Director at Krepel in Poland).
More power and more environmentally friendly
Apart from the fact that there is even less residual waste, we provide the paint department with process heat and we can make the process even more environmentally friendly. The modern incinerator with a capacity of 600KW is not only stronger compared to the old model, but also much more efficient. “Our storage and production areas have been expanded by a few thousand square metres in recent years. We currently need to heat approximately 4,200m2, including our offices. The new system takes care of the entire heating”, Sławomir explains.
By applying a higher combustion temperature, a longer process and a modern filtration system, it is possible to reduce the emission of harmful substances by more than 90%. Thanks to an automatic emission measurement in the incinerator, we don’t exceed the applicable EU standards either. In fact, we meet the most stringent standards.
“Whereas until now employees filled, stored and transported bags with ash and sawdust by hand to the incinerator, this will soon be fully automated. It makes the process much more efficient. The new silo has a capacity of 300m3. This ensures waste materials can be stored in a single safe place. In addition, a fully automatic supply of wood fuel (ash and sawdust) to the incinerator is made possible thanks to the installation of an ash transport system that runs directly from the sawdust extractor to the silo. The installation of a wood chipper also improves the process”, says Sławomir.
Packaging for 23-year-old genever
The great collaboration with Hooghoudt
It all started in 1888, in a small cellar at Oosterstraat, a street in the very centre of Groningen. Currently the fifth generation is working at Hooghoudt, which can still proudly call itself a family business. The collaboration between Krepel and Hooghoudt sprang from a special project: developing the packaging for a 23-year-old genever. This genever is the result of barrels that at the time were filled by Hero Jan Hooghoudt (third generation).
At Hooghoudt they offer something for everyone, which means that genever has different target groups. Genever can take on the flavour of a gin, or you can let it mature which makes it more like a whiskey. “We can dress our genevers with botanicals, which has a strong impact on flavour,” Michiel Brandsma, product manager at Hooghoudt explains. “For example, hops, iris root, liquorice and orange peel have been added to the unique 23-year-old genever that is now on the market. We continue to enrich people’s taste palettes.”
Export to US and Chinese markets
In addition to a barrel that is bottled for the Dutch market, barrels are reserved for export to America and China. “For some time now, we’ve been working together with a number of other genever brands to put genever back on the map in America,” Michiel says. “In the US, genever is gradually growing in popularity. You can tell that the whole gin hype over there is a bit past it. Bartenders, for example, are looking for something unique again. The broad taste palette of genever offers a solution here, also for applications in cocktails. There is a need for special products for the Chinese market, as the market for these is huge. The Sweet Spiced Genever, which includes candy, cinnamon and vanilla, is our regular genever for the Chinese market. This is a sultry genever that makes for a perfect serve with ginger ale and lime and tastes like a fresh summer cocktail. With the 23-year-old genever, we are also bringing something completely different to the market in China.”
Unique packaging for a unique product
A unique product like the 23-year-old genever deserves unique packaging. Packaging that accentuates quality and authenticity. The apparently basic wooden packaging fits in well with the philosophy of the Hooghoudt brand and creates an attractive unit with the bottle thanks to the choice of materials and elements that have been applied. Oak has been used, which is the same type of wood from which the genever barrels are made. “In total there will be five generations of packaging, each symbolising the Hooghoudt generations. The bottles that come in the packaging are all unique. For example, the wax stamps are never identical and each label bears the relevant barrel and bottle number. The icons we use in the wax stamps also appear on the wooden packaging and can be traced back to the ingredients of the genever and the history of the family brand,” Michiel explains.
The packaging is open, so the bottle is central in its overall presentation. The engraved icons, for example, show the Groningen stamp, the year of creation, a still, juniper berries, a royal crown and a ‘hoogholtje’. The latter is a high wooden bridge typical for the north of the Netherlands and from which the Hooghoudt family name originates. The icons seem to be placed randomly, but their positioning has been thought through in detail.
Collaboration with a stylish result
“We had an idea for the packaging and an image of what it more or less should look like. Our question was specific, but there were also some vital details that still had to be thought out and we very much enjoyed working with Krepel in doing just that. And with a stylish result!”, Michiel says. “For example, the bottle had to be easily removable, yet remain secured in the packaging when held at an angle,” explains Antoon Pelgrim. He is a sales manager at Krepel and worked closely with Michiel. “The solution turned out to be a subtle wooden insert that keeps the shape of the packaging intact. This insert stays in place thanks to a magnet of exactly the right strength. We’ve placed foam on the inside to protect the wax cap of the bottle against any possible damage. Everything revolves around the presentation of the bottle, but the bottle must also be pristine once out of the packaging. In addition, we’ve looked at how we can develop the most appealing packaging for each market whilst still working with an identical basis. For example, the stamps for the Chinese market have not been moulded, but printed with gold foil.”
Unique tea box for Quooker
Sjoerd Vroonland (Studio Vroonland) is a designer who loves wood just as much as we do. He allows functions of existing products to merge into stylish new designs. This also applies to the tea chest he designed for Quooker and that he produced in collaboration with Krepel.
Simplicity is not easy
The way in which Sjoerd so aptly applies the power of simplicity in his design fits in perfectly with Quooker products. “Quooker supplies the best tap for boiling water currently available in the world. It looks like any other tap, but the smart part is hidden inside. I wanted to use that design feature in the tea chest. I couldn’t just make a tea chest that opens and closes and that’s it. It had to be something that takes you by surprise, like a discovery within stylish simplicity. But once you start talking about simplicity, it’s actually getting more complicated. The ring on top looks simple, but you can only do these things together with parties who can perform this to perfection. And the simpler it gets, the more perfect it has to be,” Sjoerd explains.
After talking to multiple parties, Sjoerd ultimately came to Krepel for the production of the tea chest and that turned out to be a good match: “The collaboration is magic. I dare call this the ultimate collaboration. The tea chest has something of me, the ingenuity of Quooker and the rock-solid quality of Krepel. The first samples were very good straight away. We only had to put the icing on the cake. You can produce a single tea chest to perfection, but if you produce it in large quantities, the quality has to be constant and Krepel lives up to that.”
“It was a joy having Sjoerd so closely involved in the production process,” Antoon (Sales Manager at Krepel) says. “As a designer, he has the exact end result in mind. And besides clear sketches, it does also involve the necessary instinct. Creating a sample and fine-tuning it until the result is perfect are all part of this process. And the best thing is that this collaboration has led to a follow-up assignment. We are originally a producer of wooden cigar boxes. Sjoerd is working on a new type of cigar packaging, in which Krepel can make a difference as well. It’s wonderful to see how new ideas arise and take shape when you work so closely together.”
Sjoerd doesn’t hide his enthusiasm either. “My father smokes cigars as do I sometimes. So I know the standard cigar boxes and cigar cases inside out. This collaboration with Krepel and their rich history have inspired me to develop cigar packaging that is going to be quite different from the standard. It’ll be an altogether new product.”
How product and packaging become one
Simplistic and stylish: packaging for Plivio
The wooden packaging should always perfectly match the product we are packing, that is one of our starting principles. But for Plivio, we went a step further. The wooden packaging became part of the product.
Every detail is right
“For Plivio, we made a sleek and very minimalist box. It is a simple design, but in combination with the product it creates a beautiful look in which every detail is just right,” explains Antoon Pelgrim, sales manager at Krepel. Plivio produces 'imagineering sets.' Unique boxes containing 3D construction sets with aluminium tubes, twistable figures and handy, modular connections. Krepel has made boxes for two different versions: the entry-level model 'the box' and 'the master box' for advanced users.
Packaging for playful design
Plivio is a so-called playful design that challenges adults to rediscover their innate playfulness. The design is minimalistic and sleek but offers a host of options for making all kinds of constructions and connections. “The development of the 3D construction sets has taken several years. It was not easy to find the right suppliers who could offer the required quality within the correct tolerances. In addition, we were constantly optimising and improving the constructions and the required components,” says Hein Wille, founder of Plivio. By perfecting and listening to feedback from the market, they developed a smaller version alongside 'the master box', the entry-level model 'the box'.
The wooden box is part of a creative construction
Plivio is a product in which spatial insight, imagination and creativity come together. “We call it 'imagineering', one word that says it all,” explains Hein Wille. “We are also indirectly saying that the possibilities are endless, so we wanted to make it possible to involve the packaging in the constructions. In order to build solid and stylish constructions, the manufacturing of the packaging required precise craftsmanship from Krepel. The tolerances necessary to achieve the right clamping between clamping parts and the edge of 'the box' involved tenths of millimetres.”
Part of the development process
The small figures that are part of the 'imagineering' sets can also be clicked precisely onto the edge of 'the box'. For the smaller version, no partition walls were used, which further emphasises the simplicity of the design. “We find it important that the contents of the boxes always stay in place, which is why we now use tubes that can only fit into the box in one particular way. Having Krepel as part of the development process, was a real must. Thanks to the excellent collaboration, we were able to create a box where everything is right, down to the last detail. The figures and some parts click flawlessly onto the edge and the appearance of the box embodies what Plivio is all about. The boxes may seem minimalistic, but they are beautiful in their simplicity,” says Hein Wille. “Besides that, working together with Antoon was very pleasant. He contributed ideas and was very clear about what is possible and what is not. I had no previous experience with wooden boxes, so his support and advice was incredibly important to me in the development phase."
The Plivio imagineering sets will be available in such places as design shops, museum shops and the better bookshops.
The world loves wood
The raw materials market has been in turmoil for some time now. Due to the global crisis as a result of Covid 19, sawmills have not been operating at full capacity and, therefore, wood has become increasingly scarce, mainly because so many DIYers have now finally found time to work on their houses. The world surely loves wood. The worldwide wood shortage affects private individuals as well as all sectors where wood is used. A good relationship with suppliers is therefore essential.
A good relationship with suppliers
Krepel is a family business that likes to invest in a good relationship with both customers and suppliers. This is something we have always done. It ensures that you can rely on each other. We like to go the extra mile for our customers, and our suppliers do the same for us. Despite the enormous shortage, we still get the wood we need for the production of our wooden packaging.
We are making every effort to continue to guarantee the availability of wood. “We're lucky to have such a good relationship with our suppliers, so that we can still get the wood we need. As prices are currently going through the roof, we try to keep the costs as manageable as possible to maintain a reasonable selling price. For example, in consultation with our customers, we look for less expensive alternatives, whilst guaranteeing the quality of our products. We can still deliver, but the longer delivery times and rising purchase prices do create some challenges for us. We regret that our delivery times are now longer than usual,” says Bernhard Krepel, Managing Director of Krepel.
We keep in close contact with our clients and we will, of course, personally update you on developments relevant to your situation.
Next level at home dining
The perfect packaging for an exquisite dining experience
If there is one wooden packaging that says 2020, it’s the box for the Okura at Home concept! What started as a service product for loyal customers of the Amsterdam branch of the international hotel chain, is now a resounding success. It really turned out to be the next level in home food delivery.
“It was quite a step for us to start delivering our dinners to our guests’ homes. But it was a conscious decision to start doing so nonetheless. The Okura concept is all about quality, perfection and a sublime dining experience. If we were going to offer home delivery, we wanted to do it the Okura way,” according to Tim Maathuis, Assistant F&B Director at Hotel Okura Amsterdam.
Unique dinner box
When you place an order at Hotel Okura Amsterdam, you can expect a dinner that is unique in both taste and experience. The box is not delivered in a simple paper bag, but wrapped in an authentic Japanese muslin cloth. Maathuis: “The dishes are delivered in a custom-made wooden box. The idea is based on the Japanese bento box, and the dimensions of the box ensure that it displays the dishes in the best possible way.”
A great service product
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, loyal guests of Hotel Okura Amsterdam are no longer able to visit their favourite restaurant. “We wanted to offer our guests a fine dining experience at home. The Okura at Home box was developed as a service product. We wanted to take our guests along on a journey of discovery of the world of our chefs. Everything is prepared right down to the finest detail. By offering a clear concept and explanatory videos, everyone can serve up our famous dishes,” says Maathuis.
With the holidays coming up, Okura is meeting the need for fine dining at home with a small group of guests. To make it a really exquisite experience, guests can enjoy delicious restaurant food at home, combined with the atmospheric Okura play list. “We were not surprised to see the Okura at Home concept become such a tremendous success! The way in which Okura is bringing home delivery and at home dining to the next level is just amazing. Every detail is correct,” according to Antoon Pelgrim, Sales Manager at Krepel. “It is great to work with clients that share our love for unique packaging.”
The great reviews and extensive social media exposure have boosted the sales of the Okura at Home box. “The decision to start home deliveries was triggered by the COVID-19 measures imposed, but it does not mean that this will be a temporary concept. We paid a lot of attention to perfecting the concept. All the details have been worked out, from the explanatory videos to the packaging. We expect home dining to remain popular in the future, especially with the luxury of a hotel dinner, and we want to meet that need with Okura at Home. We see the collaboration with Krepel, who provides the packaging, as a true partnership. Krepel has the same ideas about quality as Okura. They are very critical about the entire process, are flexible and understand how important packaging is. It is the only way to develop the perfect product together.”
A look behind the scenes
An interview with the seventh and eighth generations
Jan Richard Krepel was the seventh generation to run the company, managing the family business from 1984. His son Bernhard took over in 2012. Krepel now celebrates its 150th anniversary, a good moment to look back with the two of them.
All previous generations of the Krepel family lived and worked on the Klarenbeek Estate. It seems only natural that the current generation would also live and work here.
JR: It wasn't the obvious thing to do. I've always told Bernhard to see a bit of the world first. And that's what he did. However, from a fairly young age, he already knew that he wanted to play a role in our family business.
B: Yes, that's right. I never felt I was expected to take over the company, but I grew up in it and I've always liked it. For example, we used to go to the Hanover Stock Exchange with the family, which I saw more as a family outing. We often stayed over the weekend as well. That's quite an adventure for a child. I also went frequently to the factory, and every now and then my father took me with him when he went to see a customer. At primary school I already knew that I wanted to work in the family business someday. The commercial aspect attracted me most.
JR: I, on the other hand, spent most of my time at the factory. I remember it all quite well. Having finished secondary school, I was drafted for military service. When I came out of military service on 31 December, I almost immediately joined the family business on 2 January. I didn't follow any training for that, but learned in practice. At the end of my first day working at the machine, my coat was full of wood splinters. The next day I was given my father's dust jacket to wear. I'm really a doer, so I was mainly to be found in the factory, although I did some calculation work from time to time.
B: You were more the technical man. I'm a doer, too, but I don’t like working at a machine. I spend a lot of time at the factory, but mainly to see how something is made, or to get ideas. We are constantly working on further improving processes and quality.
JR: In the olden days a lot of the work was still done by hand. Where, at the time, 25 operations were performed to complete the work, we now only need six. Now it's all done mechanically. Back in those days you could choose between a number of wood species and models. We knew the product that needed to be packed. We measured a few things and then made a model, which was subsequently sent to the customer. Sometimes three or four new versions of the model had to be made.
B: You can hardly imagine now how labour-intensive and time-consuming it all was. It still happens that you have to make several samples, but you can prevent many problems by using good drawings and good designs.
Entrepreneurship and the will to keep innovating and developing is in the Krepel family's DNA. That's also reflected in what each of you has been able to achieve.
JR: The world is constantly changing, so you go with the flow. You need to learn to adapt if you want to be able to keep answering your customers' questions.
B: You have over 50 years of experience, I've only been doing this job for 15 years. For you, the biggest step was to start a company in Poland for the production of wooden packaging. That was a very good step for the family business.
JR: The people in Poland were inventive, they still are. That was quite a difference with how things were going in the Netherlands at the time. Here, we made good cigar boxes, but there were few people who could meet more complex production demands. While in Poland they made the most beautiful things. That really surpassed our expectations!
B: You managed to start a business in a country where you knew nothing and nobody. You needed premises, suppliers and machines. You built everything from scratch. Considering that there is now a group of highly skilled craftsmen who only work on wooden boxes, I find that very admirable.
JR: Together with my wife I went to Poland at the time, it was by the end of October. I saw many small businesses, old and primitive. I thought the trip was going to be a total waste of time. But then we came to a small town where we stumbled on a kitchen factory which housed a number of small machines. The owner, who was a craftsman himself, wanted to get rid of the factory. So we took over his company and started with 10 people. Within two years, we had approximately 100 people working for us.
B: The big difference between my father and me? My father made and developed things, which were then sold. That's how it was done at the time. Now we look more at what's happening in the market and what the target group wants and what we can come up with next. So we really look from the perspective of the market. My father looked more at the materials and what could be made from them.
JR: Bernhard is very good at connecting with people, with customers. I used to maintain contact with one or two customers. Bernhard knows most of our customers, which is also important to keep customers on board. He does that very well.
Developments are evolving at a rapid pace, so there must be a lot happening in the family business.
B: Every year we come up with new things. New printing techniques, painting techniques, you name it. For example, we are now working on beautiful packaging in which we combine wood and cardboard. Recently, we have also tapped into new markets. In your time, dad, cigar boxes constituted 100% of our production, that's now about 25%. It was also our intention not to be dependent on a specific market, but we didn't expect it to take such a flight.
JR: And the quality level is very high. Even the simplest of boxes get a chic look. The great thing about a family business is that I'm able to keep up to speed with what goes on in it.
B: My dad has always been involved. Every other month, for example, there is a board meeting, at which he is also present. The company results and large-scale plans and investments are discussed at this meeting. My father has a wealth of experience, it's a great pleasure to discuss and exchange ideas with him.
JR: It's a family business, so you're always involved. Although I must say times have changed. However, if you see what's possible now…
Krepel 150 Years
A brief company history
This year the family-owned Krepel company celebrates its 150th anniversary. The company is now managed by the eighth generation of the Krepel family. The company has a rich history in which inventiveness and entrepreneurial spirit have played an important role. It all began with the construction of a copper mill in 1732. A few years later, this copper mill was taken over by Austria-born Johann Richarti Gröpel (whose name was quickly changed to Krepel). He was the founder of the family business.
From copper mill to sawmill
With the advent of the steam engine in the 19th century, copper mills became redundant, and the demand for copper also decreased considerably. The Krepel family was forced to focus on another core business in order to keep the 40 employees in work. They set up a saw mill/cigar factory powered by steam and hydropower. This turned out to be a good choice. Soon the first forest stock - which could be purchased locally - was fully processed and Krepel had to look for other wood suppliers.
But what was the best way to get the timber to the factory? In 1882, the fourth generation of Krepels made sure that a train station was built in Klarenbeek, the village where the family business was located. The railway was given a branch to the Krepel estate for the transport of timber. This enabled the Krepel sawmill to run at full speed.
From cigar boxes to luxury gift packaging
The high quality of Dutch cigars caused an enormous growth of the cigar industry and this sped up the production of cigar boxes. Unfortunately, the tide turned when new anti-smoking legislation was introduced. Krepel saw the turnover from cigar boxes decrease considerably between 1995 and 2000. The share of cigar boxes in production decreased and Krepel was once again faced with the challenge of developing new products and tapping into new markets. Now they began to focus on products such as tea, chocolate and exclusive drinks. This turned out to be a hit. It is an industry in which creativity, craftsmanship and quality are essential, which suits the family business perfectly.
A factory in Poland
As the capacity of the factory in the Netherlands was no longer sufficient and production costs were too high, Jan Richard Krepel (seventh generation) began to look for opportunities across the border. In 1995, he came across a manufacturer of wooden kitchens in Poland. Not only was the production hall perfect, Krepel was also able to work with experienced craftsmen here. The labour costs were lower than in the Netherlands and large stocks of the right type of wood were available locally.
Krepel makes a name for itself in the luxury segment
After the first steps in the luxury segment of wooden gift packaging, Krepel quickly made a name for itself. Mainly thanks to years of experience in fine woodworking, extensive craftsmanship and unlimited creativity. Developments in the market and within the family business occur at an ever-increasing pace. Recently, for example, it became possible to combine wood and cardboard in a creative manner. In this way, Krepel is once again able to reach a broader target group and remain true to its core business: making distinctive packaging with added value for the brand equity of its customers.
A brand new and unique packaging solution
Product innovation at Krepel
Big news! From 2020, Krepel will be offering even more possibilities in the field of luxury packaging. "We're going to be combining wood with cardboard. With this, we’ll be offering a brand new solution in the packaging sector," says Bernhard Krepel, Managing Director of the Krepel Group. "It's all still in its infancy, but the possibilities are very promising. We can support our customers even more in creating distinctive luxury packaging."
Delivering added value
"Offering cardboard solutions will be an addition to our current services. The way in which we’ll combine wood and cardboard will be unique. We expect it to be of interest to both existing and new customers," says Sławomir Ćwikła, Managing Director of Krepel's production site in Poland. He explains that the benefit to customers is twofold: "On the one hand we’re offering a very attractive product and on the other, it will be interesting from a cost point of view. Customers come to us for a unique luxury packaging that perfectly matches their brand identity. The arrival of cardboard solutions makes this option more accessible to a wider target group, while remaining true to our core business: creating packaging that adds value to our customers' brand equity."
Krepel now has a machine with which a cardboard substrate can be prepared for connection at an angle of exactly 45 degrees. The first samples and small series of packaging made of wood and cardboard are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2020. "As our customers have come to expect from us, we also offer a wide range of personalisation options for our new products
In the new year, we will of course let you know about the new possibilities in the field of luxury packaging.
Another profession, the same love for wood
Oak is the connecting factor
Whisky lover or not: when you talk to Gerard Velthuis you are immediately infected by his enthusiasm. He is the founder of a distillery, Stokerij Sculte in Twente, where they work exclusively with wooden barrels of Dutch origin. The barrels impart beautiful characteristic flavours to their whiskies which have been awarded with international prizes. These quality products come with a packaging that presents the whisky in an authentic and powerful way.
"I just want to create things," says Velthuis. With a background in the world of advertising, that's not really a surprise. "In Austria, I came into contact with the distillation of fruit. What a beautiful and pure process! That inspired me to create something pure, based on what nature gives. Don't add anything and make a wonderful drink.” After distilling fruit spirits, an authentic whisky emerged. "It took some time, but now we have a number of beautiful whiskies to our name", Velthuis adds.
It’s a puzzle
Stokerij Sculte's distillates mature in barrels made of local wood, i.e. Twenthe wood. Velthuis: "That's quite a puzzle. I wanted a whiskey with its own character, matured in its own barrels. It's a process that will always keep you busy. Of course, it's a little absurd how meticulous we are about the wood, but it's a lot of fun for me. Besides that, the work and testing wasn't all for nothing, because we've managed to create some award-winning whiskies.”
Velthuis pre-selects the wood that is used to make the barrels: "Every year, we buy an oak tree that's about 250 years old. As soon as we've made the pre-selection of the wood to be used, it is shipped to Austria. That's where the cooperage I work with is located and where they continue the selection process with the wood. The barrels are then virtually made by hand. Part of the waste wood from the same tree is used to burn out the barrels. There is no gas burner involved! 70 to 80% of the taste of the whisky is determined by the wood. For me, it makes sense to be so diligent with the wood. I'm proud to be the first in the world to use Dutch wood and that it also gives it such a fantastic characteristic taste...”
Working with people with passion
When you work on something so passionately, you only want to work with people who have the same passion for their own profession. Velthuis, for example, chose a small cooperage for a good reason: "It's almost like a museum, a real pleasure to visit. Our barrels are made by a father and his two sons. The process we use is far too cumbersome for a large company, but we don't have to worry about that. Our cooperage doesn't look at how much the barrels cost, but at how they can get the best aromas. Everyone I work with is passionate about what they do, whatever their role in the process.
"The packaging is very important to us," says Velthuis. "I think the bottle should sit on wood. The holders containing the bottles of whisky are made of oak, just like our barrels. This particular wood is very important. In addition, it was a deliberate choice, for example, to burn the logo into the wooden packaging, as a link to our burnt-out barrels. It made sense to me to include wood in the packaging, to choose the material that is close to our product. I would never have chosen plastic packaging.”
Collaboration with Krepel
Velthuis knew Krepel from the time he worked in advertising: "I am impressed by how they make their products. When you sit around the table with Krepel you notice their love for wooden packaging. That suits us exactly. Their passion is as great as ours. This means that you can inspire each other and make beautiful things together, where oak is the connecting factor.”
Limited edition painter's box
Royal Talens celebrates the Year of Rembrandt
2019 is the year of Rembrandt. He died exactly 350 years ago and is now remembered as the greatest master of the Golden Age. There are many initiatives to mark the Year of Rembrandt. For Royal Talens, 2019 is extra special: 120 years ago they introduced the Rembrandt painters' brand. So it's a double anniversary. To celebrate this, Royal Talens, in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, has launched a unique limited-edition painter's box that is jointly dedicated to the artist and the Rembrandt paint brand.
Everything about the box is special
Even at first glance, the box is quite impressive. But when you take a closer look and understand the meaning of all the unique elements and details, you’ll agree with us that this box is truly a collector's item. Only 120 copies were produced, most of which were sold within a day.
The icing on the cake
"Everything has a meaning. In the box, you’ll find 120 colours, which refers to the anniversary of the Rembrandt paint brand. As well as the fact that only 120 boxes have been produced, all with a unique number. Namely, the years from 1899 to 2019", says Willemijn Brinkman - International Brand Manager at Royal Talens. "The box had to be really special. It was decided, therefore, that the Rembrandt 'R' on top of the box would be made of real gold. This was the icing on the cake!" The box is highly detailed. ‘Something really needs to happen when you open the box’, was part of the brief for designer Bas van den Hurk. And indeed it does!
The Rembrandt brand from Royal Talens is very traditional, but also very contemporary. Young talented artists from all over the world work with this paint. The dark classic box fits nicely with the traditional aspect of the brand. Yet the sleek design and the bright orange artwork in combination with the golden R makes the whole thing very contemporary.
Sold out in a day and a half
Willemijn: "We thought it was all very exciting. We hadn't done anything like this before, with a price tag of € 3,500, they are pretty expensive boxes. The first box was quickly sold by one of our sales people to a customer in Asia. "This customer bought the box based on its special story, the design and their trusted association. The orders just kept flying in after that. All the boxes were sold out within a day and a half! What's more bizarre, the box hadn't even been made at that point." The box was officially launched at the Frankfurt trade fair in January, for which, one box was made.
"Krepel was the perfect match for this unique box. They contributed some great ideas and were very flexible. They never said anything was impossible, and fully lived up to that promise. A small compartment was milled out for each and every tube of paint. The 'R' on the front of the drawers were also carefully milled out, one by one. It all looks so pristine. The colour of the circle came out exactly the same as in the design. I was very anxious to see how that would turn out. Thankfully, it turned out to be just as beautiful and impressive as we had hoped," says Willemijn.