Print packaging is evolving at a fast pace. Many innovations are coming its way, and new perspectives will be needed to keep up, says Des King.[hr]
Des King recently wrote an extensive article at Packaging Today about the growth perspectives of print packaging. We really liked it, and we thought you might like it too; hence, we’re bringing you our key learnings, as well as some additional commentary.
Current trends in print packaging, begins King, “are driven by longer supermarket opening hours, continually enhanced print technologies and capabilities and demand to protect brands and increase recognition”. The challenge, he notes, divides itself into two paths: achieving a high status under a competitive market and doing so while not going through the roof.
King’s further forebodings could be summed up in five steps; which, in turn, are themselves the five stages that print packaging goes over today: quality, performance, digital thinking, detail, and, of course, innovation. Regarding quality, King writes about contributory linked flows that range from the brand owner to the end of the supply chain.:[quote style=”boxed”]“With the high probability of color variations occurring not only between different substrates, but also print processes (…) maintaining consistency can be a complex undertaking.”[/quote]
Jeff Stoffels, Marketing Director at Esko, detailed the process’ benefits:[quote style=”boxed”]“We [also] make it possible for the brand owner to ensure that the flow of data is secure and transparent, mistakes and errors can be picked up early or avoided altogether and the net result is to get products to market faster.”[/quote]
Consistency and control, in turn, go to affect performance, along with standards. As King states, “it’s not just improvement at the front-end that is raising quality and performance standards (…) speed on the press and consistency across substrates are key.”
The digital establishment, however, demands also for a change of mind, according to Paul Randall, Worldwide Brands Business Development Manager at HP:[quote style=”boxed”]“It’s breaking away from the mindset of packaging being the static bearer of logos and ingredients tables and using it as a media opportunity for consumer engagement to the benefit of the brand. The media landscape has changed.”[/quote]
After all, digital print packaging has been on the rise since 2008, as Smithers Pira noted on 2013, and will continue to be so. Randall also fled over customization, that is enhanced by “the combination of technological muscle and marketing inspiration.” But that’s not distinctiveness’ only way forward; King also points out to:[quote style=”boxed”]“Short-run, cost-effective special effects such as high gloss, glitter, metallic without recourse to hot-foil stamping and even Braille are also within the remit of next-generation digital post-press enhancement technology now establishing itself within the finishing sector.”[/quote]
The article ends in a look to the future, which, according to Gillian Garside-Wight, Branding Solutions Packaging Technology Director at Sun, will be marked by “the adoption of online-oriented technologies [that] is pointing the way towards next generation applications aimed at facilitating greater engagement between brand and consumer.” All in all, as Debbie Waldron-Hoines, EFIA Director concluded:[quote style=”boxed”]“Brand owners need a deeper understanding of the processes so that they can help make considered decisions on what is best suited for their brand. Both flexo and digital can work wonderfully together to enhance the brand.”[/quote]
Be sure to check King’s article at length at Packaging Today. It’s definitely worth a read.[hr]
Sponsored by Derprosa, leading brand in biaxially oriented polypropylene films for packaging.[hr]