You are here: News. interpack Magazine. Trends & Design.
A Teddy Bear between Traditional and Modern
Just how something created in 1908 can be so topical, is proved by the new brand presentation from Steiff. The new folding box packaging combines the traditional with the modern - just like its contents: for decades it has been impossible to imagine hardly any children’s room around the world without the cuddly, plush animals with "button in ear".
Conveying the unmistakable character of the Steiff cuddly toys with a packing solution which is just as unmistakable was certainly one of the greatest challenges in the development of the newly designed premium packaging from STI for the Steiff brand so rich in tradition. The brand is to be positioned in accordance with the claim made by company founder, Margarete Steiff, "For children only the best is good enough".
Steiff’s animal life
Margarete Steiff is born on 24 July, 1847 in Giengen. At the age of one and a half she contracts polio and is immediately confined to a wheelchair, but despite her serious disability, with a great deal of courage and strong will, she succeeds in founding a company with worldwide success. In December 1879 she is said to have found instructions in a magazine for making a "plush toy elephant", which her fingers - now accustomed to cutting - quickly made a reality. However, she chose felt instead of the recommended cotton – and the first ancestor of all teddies and "Meckis" was born.
In 1883 the "felt children's toys" appear in a first mail-order catalogue: elephants with colourful saddles in five different sizes. The cuddly plush animals quickly won children's hearts, who up to then had only known toys mainly made of wood, metal and porcelain. In 1880 eight elephants are produced, three years later 103, and in 1886, believe it or not, no less than 5,066. The elephants were soon joined by monkeys, donkeys, horses, camels, dogs, cats and hares. In 1893 the company is entered in the commercial register and is already producing more than 30 different types of animals. In 1897 annual turnover is 90,000 Marks and Richard Steiff, a nephew of Margarete Steiff, joins the company. Up to her death in 1909 the entrepreneur had filled all the key company positions with family members. That was the beginning of toy manufacturing and today's world company. As early as 1899, the first products were exported to England, then to be followed by Italy and the Netherlands. A short time later, Steiff animals were also available in France, Russia and America. Today, the export share is over 40 percent.
As is the case today, even in those days the name Steiff was already synonymous with the best quality of all materials and an extremely long product life. Many of childhood’s famous plush animals with button in ear also still have a sentimental place of honour for adults. In the meantime numerous quality symbols along with the Steiff "Reinheitsgebot" (purity requirement) confirm this claim. And what began in a small German village, has today spread to children's rooms all over the world. In addition to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the key export markets are in particular the UK, USA, Russia, Japan and China.
Unmistakeable brand presentation
"The traditional brand Steiff has a great responsibility - it stands for orientation and values in children's lives all over the world. We are called upon to fulfil this responsibility through all channels and particularly our market presentation", explains Martin Fechen, Executive Director, Margarete Steiff GmbH. "Steiff is a brand, whose horizon extends well beyond teddy bears and soft cuddly toys. It stands for trust, tradition, aesthetics – values, which are becoming clearly evident in the new communication and which lend the brand the international status it deserves." The fundamental brand components are poetry, individuality, high-quality, creativity and long life.
Packaging combines the traditional and modern
In this connection, in the development of the new packaging for the toys which are loved worldwide, the STI Group was faced with the challenge of conveying the absolute premium character of the product with an equally high-quality packaging solution. The central element, which extends through the entire brand presentation, is the pattern: a draft pattern which is based on the original drawings by Paul Steiff, another nephew of the company founder, from 1908. Used in various design components, it also makes the brand unmistakable in the area of packaging - in the children's room as on the store shelves. Packaging in high-quality finishing, which already tells a story as a decorative element, ensures the brand’s exclusive presentation at the Point of Sale clearly distinguishing it from its competitors.
The nostalgic gift packaging is available in seven different sizes and has been combined with different finishing effects. These include the bi-colour offset-print along with UV paint, matt paste and special-effect coat. As a result, the packaging has a pinstripe relief effect, while the combination of matt paste and UV paint coupled with the trend colour white is designed to enhance the product’s premium claim even further.