For this self-directed project, I designed a seasonal gift box for VIPs of the Royal Opera House, in London. As this was to promote a specific theatre season, I focused on the Japanese heritage of Kabuki for the overall box and collateral design.
I created a modified traditional Japanese trick box where the lid is attached to the box, but due to a trick hinge is able to be opened in opposite directions, revealing different compartments depending on which direction the lid is opened.
The box is covered in two kinds of traditional Japanese mulberry paper, which is very strong and ensures the longevity of the box, and is wrapped with a band of rice paper to keep the pack closed and create branding for the ROH. This band is intended and designed to be removed so the recipient can continue to use the box as decorative storage.
One side contains an A3 size booklet featuring information about the ROH and a brief overview of the history and significant aspects of Kabuki theatre. For a cohesive look, I created the booklet from the same mulberry paper (cover) and rice paper (interior pages) as the box. I bound this with traditional Japanese stab binding, using orange hemp to echo the orange sash of the actor on the cover.
The other side of the box contains a letter of welcome and appreciation presented as a scroll. I handcrafted a replica of an Edo-era wooden Kabuki theatre ticket as a collectible item which also enables the VIP to receive a complimentary glass of wine/sake (or similar) at the ROH wine bar when presented throughout the theatre season. I also handcrafted a traditional Japanese kanzashi flower lapel pin/brooch, exclusive to this VIP pack, and created with the traditional black/green/persimmon colors of a Kabuki theatre curtain.
The size and materials of this box give it a wonderfully textured and exclusive feel, and the trick hinge is a bit of surprising fun!