Urban River and Durham Box Case Study

Durham Box is one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of corrugated cardboard packaging. Founded in 1989, Durham Box has grown to employ over 50 staff and manufactures over 20 million products a year from its Bishop Auckland base.

With so many people selling online, through eBay, Esty and other websites, Durham Box was looking to tap into this market and, rather than only mass produce cardboard boxes as they had done for many years, they were looking to also sell a few boxes at a time to sole traders.

Thanks to Urban River’s marketing and branding expertise and Design Network North’s funding through the European Regional Development Fund, The Happy Little Box Co was born to meet these customer needs.

Design Network North members, Urban River, have worked with Durham Box for a number of years and of the back of this they were asked to develop a new identity and ecommerce website in support of this new business venture.

From the outside, cardboard packaging doesn’t appear very interesting, but the business idea and potential market got Urban River thinking about creating a friendly character to invoke a sense of personality. Having created the overall brand, they set about creating a website which not only looks good, but which includes some pretty useful features. It allows prospective customers to log in and upload/discuss drawings for quotes, make payment through a fully secure SagePay integration and of course it is fully responsive, meaning it provides a fully developed mobile experience.

The outcome was a really functional, but a fun site to use which stands away from the competition.

“It’s always great to work with forward thinking businesses that are looking to grow and realise their potential online”, said Urban River MD, Carl Buckley. “As a real North East business success story, we’re proud of our ongoing relationship with Durham Box and look forward to helping them continue to grow”.

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Design Network North is part of RTC’s new programme called ‘Designing Better Business’ – launched in 2016 - which will provide support for north east businesses looking to continue to innovate and design better world leading products.
RTC was founded in 1989 with the sole purpose of helping businesses innovate and create new higher value products. Today, the business operates out of offices in Sunderland, Gateshead, Leeds and Daresbury and specialises in helping companies develop new products, embed new skills through training and access funding for innovation.
Designing Better Business’ is part funded by European Regional Development Fund.