Making a Difference Through Design

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On a recent visit to the doctor I was asked the question, “Do you take a multi-vitamin”? After I confirmed what he already knew, I received a lecture on the health benefits from a simple daily pill. A few days later I was in a convenience store when I remembered what the Doc had said. With my ignorance on the topic, I strolled to the vitamin aisle and was quickly overwhelmed. There in front of me was an entire aisle dedicated to vitamins containing what appeared to be every (healthy) element in the periodic table. There was vitamins A-Zinc, Fish Oil, Krill Oil and Gummies. There were gender specific vitamins as well as for a variety of age groups. My eyes were wondering from the bottom shelf, to the middle, to the top. I found products with only a label and those in paperboard cartons. There were vibrant colors, simplistic designs and a variety of bottle shapes. I knew that I wanted to go down the multi-vitamin route versus purchasing multiple bottles of single vitamins that would fill my cupboards. With such a large variety of products to choose from and no experience, I went with what “felt” the best. As I was leaving the store I realized that the product I chose had built more trust with me than the others. That was the simple reason as to why I bought that specific product. All based on packaging. Something about the look of the product made me believe that if I ingested the contents I would become a better, healthier me.

All of the components of packaging are deliberately designed to make a company’s product stand out. The size, shape, material, feel and graphic design are all thought out in great detail in an attempt to grasp a consumer’s attention. Every second that you hold your customers attention counts, when they are walking down an aisle saturated with products.

In a competitive retail setting, shelf space matters.

Because retailers limit the amount of available shelf space, the structure and design of packaging is paramount. With 72% of purchase decisions made in-store, finding the structural design that maximizes shelf presence is one essential component to capturing the customer’s attention. Printers need to take into consideration filling lines, production schedules, project budgets, opening tolerances, and end use (to name a few) to get you the most reliable and effective product possible. Many printers boast a large number of standing structures, forcing packaging purchasers to compromise their design wants/needs so they can meet lower costs. These standing structures may not be made to the specifications needed, causing potential fulfillment and functionality problems. A poor fit can lead to damaged products and unsatisfied customers; sometimes cutting corners doesn’t pay off.

Impressions Incorporated has a long history of manufacturing folding cartons. Like the printers described above we have a large variety of standing structures. The difference between those printers and us, is we do not shy away from designing new structures. Our CAD Engineers work to find the best fitting packaging to match not only your product, but manufacturing needs and shelf space as well. We make our cutting dies in house so that we can provide custom packaging to our customers and pass along the savings.

We send blank CAD samples for our customers to review the exact structure before we begin production. Once a structure has been approved by our customers, we send a die-line to customers or  to 1050 Design for the placement of art. Designing for packaging has its own unique skill set to make sure the printing process goes as smoothly as possible. Structure and graphic design need to work cohesively to draw the customer’s attention away from competitors. If a graphic designer knows what they are doing, the use of colors, coatings, and effects are used in certain ways to make an ordinary package look extraordinary. For us and our customers, the advantages of having an in-house design studio are too many to count. We know our customers benefit from our knowledge, capabilities and follow through during the project making it less stressful than relying on third parties to understand print shop processes.

At first glance, we may be considered just a printer, but we are truly making a difference through design.

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Author: Nicole Hannover

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