8 Oct 2007
Perfect Planners(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 04,2007)
Diaries & Organisers
A trendy line of organisers produced by Artech Int'l (Asia) Ltd under its own licensed brand Rouge Power features the fuzzy organiser (top) with pen
Today's fast-paced world demands functional yet stylish diaries and organisers to help manage hectic work and social schedules
Hong Kong manufacturers are doing their bit to ease the stresses and strains of modern life by producing a delightful variety of stylish diaries and organisers that no successful individual or business can do without.
For example, 1991-established Artech Int'l (Asia) Ltd, which claims to be one of the leading packaging and stationery products firms in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland, offers "one-stop-shop" services from printing and packaging through to design and distribution.
"OEM accounts for up to 80% of our business, with licensed products the remainder," says Sales Manager Dick Mui, adding that the firm is an approved supplier to leading importers and distributors of gifts and premiums in the US, Europe, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.
Building on its years of experience as a licensee for brands such as Disney, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox, Artech launched its own Rouge Power licensed brand four years ago.
Rouge Power is a trendy line created by French illustrator Didier Fayolle that features seven girl characters, each represented by a colour, and with a matching personality.
"Rouge Power is aimed at the 18-to-28-year-old female market, and now makes up about 15% of total sales," says Mr Mui, adding the brand has found fans in Hong Kong, Europe (especially Italy) and Japan. "They like the graphics and the price-point of our products."
Popular models include a black PVC-covered, six-ring binder organiser measuring 140x105x26mm embroidered with the Rouge Power trademark. Another popular style is a 194x147x30mm fuzzy organiser with pen, featuring a Rouge Power character printed on the 2mm-thick cardboard cover. "The paper is wood-free, sourced from Korea and Japan for better quality," says Mr Mui.
Normal delivery time is 45-60 days for 10,000-piece minimum orders that can also be tailor-made. "We can discuss prices with potential customers, but we are looking to grant the licence for Rouge Power to suitable clients," notes Mr Mui, adding that Artech's in-house design team in Hong Kong and the mainland keeps an eye on Europe and Japan for design leads.
Equally abreast of market trends is one-year-old A and G (HK) Ltd, whose varied clientele includes medium-sized garment firms, banks and promotion companies in Denmark, South Africa, Malaysia, Germany and Hong Kong.
"We focus on medium-sized customers that don't require a huge order quantity, because we are not a big operation either so we can solve our problems together," says Manager Amy Chan.
Minimum orders of about 1,000 pieces are normally delivered within 35 days from A and G's three factories in Guangdong Province on the mainland. Its portfolio line is produced at a subcontracted factory in the provincial capital of Guangzhou.
"We can tailor-make each item, and our client feedback is that our workmanship is good," says Ms Chan. "We constantly visit our factories to check on production and inspect the goods."
Among the firm's diary/organiser offerings is a classic, pocket-sized PVC organiser measuring 14x19x4cm with six-ring metal binder and magnetic closure.
Consisting of a diary, standard subject dividers and three inserts for name cards on the inside front cover, the item is unit-priced at US$3 FOB Guangzhou based on a 5,000-piece minimum order. A similar style, except with two tones and a flap closure, is available for US$2.80.
"Logos can be embossed, embroidered, laser- or screen-printed onto the cover," says Ms Chan, noting that screen-printing is the most popular because it is cheaper.
"We can do any colour requested, but dark colours like black, brown and navy blue are the most popular, since they are suitable for both men and women," she observes.
Also offering a huge variety is paper products specialist Eternal Printing (HK) Co Ltd, which has found that notebook-style, spiral-bound diaries with thick plastic covers are popular sellers in Italy, the UK and Sweden.
OEM comprises 90% of the business of the company, which was set up in 2004 as the Hong Kong-based sales and purchasing office for New Hung Shing Printing, a leading paper and premium products supplier on the mainland. Both are subsidiaries of the Wing Tai Woo Printing Group of Hong Kong.
"We have 19 factories on the mainland under our printing group for making advertising, blister and paper products," says Export Manager Ray Cheung. "We have the biggest printing machine in Shenzhen for offset printing of paper products, so we can offer good prices."
Diaries from Eternal Printing cost about US$7-8 each ex-factory, depending on the materials, size, thickness and order quantity. A typical model measures 18x17x2cm, is spiral-bound with a 0.75mm PP cover and has a simple elastic band closure. It contains 200 sheets of wood-free paper, three subject dividers, a plastic holder for keeping loose items like name cards and a 16cm ruler.
A minimum order is 1,000-2,000 diaries delivered within 30 days in peak seasons, or two weeks in low seasons. "We can use either screen-printing or UV printing on the cover, but UV printing is cheaper and more precise," advises Mr Cheung.
By offering consumers a wide choice of diaries and organisers, it seems Hong Kong manufacturers are instrumental in making sure important engagements are made and business targets met the world over.
TEXT BY HELEN WONG
Eternal Printing (HK) Co Ltd
Unit 1, 12/F, Block B
Hoi Luen Ind Centre
55 Hoi Yuen Road
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Tel: 852-2562 9215
Fax: 852-2562 9216
Every Best Printing & Paper Products Co
Rm 201U, Blks 1 & 2
Lai Cheong Fty Bldg
479-479A Castle Peak Rd
Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon
Lai Chak Mfg Co
Unit 22, 13/F, Blk 2
Nan Fung Ind City
18 Tin Hau Rd
Tuen Mun, New Territories