Cardboard Coffins – William, Managing Director, explains…
A little bit of history…
My father, Terry, first developed our cardboard coffin in 1989 and the first unit was produced in 1990. We have been selling them ever since. We were the first company in the UK to manufacture bespoke picture coffins.
Terry was a sign writer and a cardboard engineer and he would paint images onto our plain cardboard coffins. He also printed direct to the board for a ‘stock range’. These included Green, White, Woodgrain, Marble or any colour of the customers’ choice. Images would be digitally printed to the board, or self adhesive paper, for bespoke designs.
Our product was marketed as the ‘Greenfield Coffin’ when it was first sold as this was the name of Terrys Company. In the last few years I have changed the name to ‘Greenfield Creations’ as I felt it better reflected our complete range of products.
The design process has moved on since the early days…
Customer involvement is important and Greenfield Creations offers a range of design assistance. Our customers can simply submit their own photos or images or get their initial inspiration from our website. Sometimes they will give us a theme to work with, for example: ‘A menagerie of animals’. We would then put together design options using photos, drawings or website images.
We recently helped a family who gave us some personal photographs to work with, ‘special places where their Grandfather used to spend a lot of his time’. Our design team put together some options for the family to choose from and they were delighted with the result.
We get so much pleasure working with our customers with design ideas.
Both coffins are featured here…
In 2002 the National Science Museum exhibited our coffins alongside other death related objects from their historical collections. The purpose of the event was to demonstrate changing attitudes to death and how people were now seeking self expression in the manner of death and choice of funeral.
We were also honoured in 2004 when we were invited to exhibit our coffin at the Design Museum as part of the Conran Foundations Collection of ‘ingenious inventions’.
Over the last few years demand for ‘alternative’, and more cost effective, funerals has increased dramatically.
People wishing to really ‘personalise’ a funeral is a growing trend so our product and bespoke design service needs to take into account that people want variety of choice. It is important, in any industry, to be able to give people what they want.
With 20 years of manufacturing under our belts we feel, as a Company, although not huge, we have ‘made a difference’.
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