Pretty packages all in a row
Packaging design could just be the single most challenging design discipline of all. Due to the small size of many products, a lot of thought and consideration needs to be given to all facets of the package design. And we mean a lot…
To start with, you’ve got to consider the physical form of the packaging, the product shape and the special printing requirements. And then you have to take into account legal mandatories, barcodes and the engineering of the material you’re going to be printing on to, which could be paper, card, plastic, metal or fabric.
And did we mention the need to set up the artwork files with up to eight colours? Or the added complication of providing recommendations for colour targets to the printer? Not forgetting the absolute necessity to produce exact knife-lines to the millimetre.
Yes siree, packaging design is a job for pros and is not something to be rushed, or passed on to well-meaning but inexperienced designers. Luckily we at thirdegreeº happen to be package design experts, so when you work with us you can kick a lot of the fear factor and uncertainty to the kerb.
Packaging design – the Thirdegree˚ approach
When you’ve been involved with as many packaging design projects as we have, the process becomes less mysterious, and much more process driven. And while that may not sound so exciting (we all love mysteries, don’t we?), it’ll help you achieve outstanding results.
Part 1 – thinking and research: Once we’ve had an initial meeting with you, we’ll go away and do some gentle market research so we can figure out what’s already out there, and what space in the landscape you want your brand to occupy.
Part 2 – ideas distillation: after research comes the fun part – the design process begins. We create some mood boards and start distilling the great ideas from the merely good. We figure out what can be achieved using the print method the client has budgeted for, and we’ll hold a pre-production with the client to make sure expectations are being met (if not exceeded).
Part 3 – forging bravely ahead: in the best-case scenario, the client will instantly love what they see and, after much high-fiving and team huddles, we can immediately race ahead towards project completion. At that point we always recommend the creation of a 3D render so the client can clearly see what the finished product should look like when sitting on the shelf. We can refine further if need be, but when we finally get the piece to a point where everyone is happy with the visuals, it’s time to build the first SKU…
The final countdown
Okay, so we’re in the zone and ready for action. But before we all get too excited, we run through our final quality control tests. At thirdegreeº, we never, ever roll out a design across multiple SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) without going through the following process first:
- Get the packaging finalised, the artwork built and approved; and files for the printer prepared.
- Refer back to the notes from the pre-production meeting, where all the necessary limitations, benefits or hurdles relating to the chosen print method were highlighted. Check the job for any of these issues.
- Run a colour accurate proof via a reputable pre-press house (we will sort this on your behalf). This is particularly important if you’re going to be using an offshore printer and will ensure there are no nasty surprises during final printing.
And that’s it. Job done. Great results. Everyone’s a winner.
If you want your package design experience to go as smoothly as this, please contact us today.