Clarke Rubicon Packaging Warehouse


Since its inception six years ago I have attended and exhibited at the annual London edition of the Easyfairs’ Packaging Innovations Exhibition. Every year my overwhelming impression has been of how visitors are increasingly asking about and exploring the option of sourcing once again from a UK manufacturer, as opposed to their current Far Eastern supplier. This is a process that is commonly known as “On Shoring”.

Furthermore, the vast majority of new start-up companies also seem to be seeking to source their presentation packaging from the UK, as they can see the advantages of greater flexibility and a reduced carbon footprint that locally-sourced packaging can bring.

It was a similar picture at this year’s show, with many visitors with whom I spoke detailing their current specs in order for us to provide both UK pricing and indicative UK lead-times.

I think more and more clients are realising that for a complete picture of purchasing, they must not only take into account price per unit, but also overall lead-times, inventory levels, flexibility in supply, reduced carbon footprint and consistency in price without pound/dollar exchange rate fluctuations. And as well as these practical considerations, there is “the elephant in the room” issue of quality, with several clients relating stories of placing orders, paying up front for the goods, and then waiting 12-15 weeks only to receive substandard products, with no time for investigation, correction or replacement, and no financial compensation.

It appears I am not alone in my observations on “On Shoring”. Recent articles in Printweek (“Briefing; Packaging Innovations”) and Digital Print (“Boxing Clever”) have both confirmed similar trends while at the same time also discussing the “premiumisation” of luxury packaging in general.

If the Smithers Pira forecast that the Luxury Packaging market will globally increase by $0.5bn per annum is correct, and this On Shoring trend continues, then clearly all UK luxury packaging manufacturers had better be prepared for a busy time ahead.

David Warren

Luxury Advent Calendar


BBC Radio Leicester interviews David Warren, Business Development Manager at Clarke Rubicon about the growing demand for luxury advent calendars. Click on the movie file to listen to the interview and view our latest Advent Calendar packs.

Bespoke presentation pack for leading cosmetics company Charlotte Tilbury Beauty


Clarke Rubicon, part of the Pollard Boxes group, has designed and produced a bespoke presentation pack for leading cosmetics company Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Ltd for the launch of its latest perfume.

The high quality box was created to introduce the new fragrance to the company’s key targets of retail buyers, specifiers and influencers. As such, it needed to reflect the perfume’s premium positioning and showcase the attractive bottle design to its best advantage, while also containing relevant brand information and providing
effective protection for the product in transit.

The resulting metal-hinged rigid box features a leather-effect paper with intricate three-colour foil blocking. To further enhance its prestige appearance and feel, the lid also incorporates a thin foam pad, layered between the paper and cardboard. A bright silver finish on the inside is intricately foil blocked in two colours, while the bottle itself sits inside a high density foam fitment that features a suede effect, both of which generate a sense of excitement on opening and maintain the luxury image.

A great deal of consideration was given to maximising protection for the bottle. High density foam was considered the best option and water jet cutting was employed in order to ensure complete accuracy so that the bottle fits tightly and securely within the box.

Careful selection of materials was required so that the paper for the lid would accept the intricate foil blocking and adhere to the cardboard without stretching when wrapped over the foam pad. Clarke Rubicon also carried out in-depth testing of the suede effect finish for the high density foam to ensure this would withstand the cutting process.


The Growth of Book Box Sets

Nielsen Book Research recently published its latest findings into book sales and announced that sales of physical books rose by 7% in 2016, whilst sales of e-books fell by 4% in the same period. As the Publishers Association noted “Readers take pleasure in a physical book that does not translate on to digital”.

As part of the renascence of the physical book is the growth of the book box set, where a complete set of books are presented together, further adding to the pleasure of cherishing the complete set. We at C.R. have been supplying the book printing industry for a number of years now, having seen growth in sales year on year, supplying both the large volume producers and the smaller artisan publishers. As both book and rigid box manufacture methods are very similar, as well as common materials (paper and cardboard) it is quite easy to see how the 2 complement each other and why when put together create a desirable box set.

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of producing 2 x machine made slipcases for the publisher Wordsworth editions for their classic titles “The Complete Novels of Jane Austen” and “The Complete Illustrated Sherlock Holmes”. Upon receipt of their artworks for the 2 projects, we were blown away by their compliment of detailing C.R. within each slipcase’s artwork. Wordsworth – Thank You.

Book Box Set

With the range of Book Box Sets continuing to expand, along with all our favourite titles continuing to re-repeat, from our current experiences we foresee Nielsen Book Research reporting next year that 2017, again was a growth year for physical book sales.

Pollard Boxes NEC stand


Last month’s Packaging Innovations Exhibition has been hailed as a great success, by Visitors, Exhibitors and Organisers alike.

Whilst we at Clarke Rubicon have exhibited with Easyfairs at the NEC since the show’s inception, over 10 years ago, this year was our first experience of sharing a stand, with us teaming-up with Pollard Boxes, allowing us as a group to showcase a broader range of products and finishes.

Combining the exhibition’s great success with our own greater range of exhibits lead to a very busy stand and a very fruitful 2 days. To the many, many visitors to our stand, both new and old acquaintances alike, Thank You for your time and interest. We look forward to continuing to discuss, develop and servicing all your rigid packaging needs.

In keeping with our recent joining of The Pollard Boxes Group, we have, also, fully revamped our website, both to reflect our new corporate image and to show case recent projects developed and produced with you all, across our markets of Beauty, Entertainment, Gifts, Corporate and Advent (countdown) Calendars. As we continue our journey we will continue to update our site with details of new products/projects developed along the way. Please do browse at our new website and please feedback your thoughts.

See you all again soon,

Pollard Boxes


Rigid box specialist Pollard Boxes has announced that it has acquired the trading name, business and assets of Clarke Rubicon Ltd.

Based in Coalville, Leicestershire, Clarke Rubicon is a leading presentation packaging manufacturer supplying a wide range of products to both the retail and commercial sectors.  Pollard Boxes was founded in 1969 and is one of Europe’s top rigid box manufacturers, specialising in the design and production of innovative packs for the luxury drinks, beauty and personal care, gift, multi-media, publishing, and games markets. 

Clarke Rubicon will continue to trade under its name from its site in Stephenson Industrial Estate, Coalville, and retain its existing management team, while benefitting from the full resources and support of the Pollard Boxes group.

The combined operation makes Pollard Boxes the largest producer of rigid boxes in the UK as well as one of the largest throughout Europe.  The company’s manufacturing capabilities now comprise 13 fully automated box making lines along with a further four American box making lines.

“We are delighted to welcome Clarke Rubicon into the Pollard group,” comments Pollard Boxes managing director Mark Pollard.”

“The company has a deserved reputation for the quality of their products and services and, working together, we will be able to further enhance and develop our capabilities to provide our customers with unparalleled levels of technical excellence from a UK manufacturer.  We are especially pleased that Jim Burton and David Warren who were part of the old management team, are remaining with the business.”

“This offers additional opportunities for Clarke Rubicon and its employees,” adds Jim Burton, managing director, Clarke Rubicon. “We have long admired the Pollard business model, and look forward to playing our part in the successful development of the combined businesses”.   

“Our customers will continue to deal with our own sales people while at the same time having access to an even wider range of facilities and expertise to provide the highest quality packaging solutions.”