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Archive for the ‘ Die Cutting ’ Category

It is safe to say that packaging is a category unto its own, mainly because of the planning that is involved during the life cycle of such a project. So many important requirements are clearly not recognized or can be overlooked, and without the consultation of a service provider, a project can easily become trash and a waste of money. So this post is to exemplify the intriguing process of package design and assembly.

This project started from a request we received on March 2nd, 2010:

“Project Description: We need an estimate on graphic design for a logo, brochures, a website, and a design for a custom packaging box.”

Step 1: LOGO DESIGN

We begin, first and foremost, with the logo. The logo is essentially the brand of a company. There are a lot of people that don’t mentally tie together brand and logo, but take for example the logo from Target department stores, and the brand/logo strategy becomes quite clear. In this case, the client understood the purpose of a logo, so that made this first step of the process easier to achieve. During this phase, it is important that a service provider maintain a solid consultative approach, so we always offer our clients this questionnaire for the best results:

1. Business name as you would like it to appear for the logo (include any L.L.C., Inc. or taglines if applicable). Business type? Do you have any preference as to if the logo appears with upper and lower case? All caps? One or more lines? Horizontal or vertical?

2. What type of company philosophy or mission do you have? Do you employ a corporate or casual environment?

3. Describe your company in 3 words or less.

4. How was the company formed? Is there a unique story to it’s formation or mission?

5. Who are your competitors? Please provide URLs. What do you feel makes you different/better?

6. How would you liked to be viewed within the market? Where do you see the company in 2 years?

7. Do you prefer a strong text designed logo or one with a graphic? Please provide samples of logos you really like or dislike and why.

8. Do you have preferences (or strong dislikes) for type styles (Serif fonts like Times New Roman, SanSerif Fonts like Arial, Scripts, or more creative fonts)?

9. Do you have any preferences or strong dislikes regarding colors?

10. How will you judge the success of this project?

After a few rounds of changes, we ended up with this:

Logo Design

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Step 2: DIE CUT DESIGN

At this phase, most people would naturally want to begin doing the graphic design for the box, but that is a huge mistake. The project actually needs to start at the end and work backwards. What is meant by that is that everyone (client, graphic designer, printer and die cutter) needs to understand what is going into the package. The client needs to provide the physical product, so the service provider can create rough drafts (drawings) on how the package will be laid out to accommodate the product. In this case, various wrist splints of different sizes, an instructional DVD and therapeutic putty were the items in question.

A graphic designer cannot typically come up with these particular rough draft drawings. You need an experienced die cutter to come up with the designs and measurements. Die cutters will often have some kind of experience in their past such as a drafting education, etc. It is crucial to work with a die cutter because if a measurement is one millimeter off, the project is dead. As an example, envision a box of Advil bought from the grocery store. Imagine how the tabs can be flipped open and the box can easily collapse, and vice versa. If a single measurement was incorrect, that box would not be able to close appropriately because it would not line up.

Here is a rough draft we agreed on:

Rough Draft Drawing

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Step 3: MODELING

Modeling is where you simply create physical samples of the die cut design. It may be obvious, but the reason for this is to make sure that the items fit in the package as they were meant to. If for some reason the items supplied by the client did not fit appropriately or the client simply did not like the item arrangement, the service provider would need to ‘go back to the drawing board’ so to speak, come up with a new approach and redesign accordingly.

This case is great example of redesign. At first we were given a set of items as described above (splint, putty, DVD). What no one (client nor provider) accounted for was the different sizes of splints that were tied to the different therapeutic options the client was offering to the consumer. Thus, we had to ‘go back to the drawing board’, and on the second round we decided to use the largest splint (wrapped tightly) in the redesign, knowing that the smaller splints would fit just fine.

Here are some snapshots of the modeling process:


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Step 4: PACKAGE GRAPHIC DESIGN

When the physical design of the package is approved, then we receive a dieline template (an unfolded drawing with measurements) from the die cutter:

Box Draft

The graphic designer will use this dieline to begin designing the artwork for the package. However, before the designing begins, a good service provider would repeat the process of the questionnaire in Step 1 to determine the types of designs they will venture into. There is a lot more to consider at this point of the graphic design phase, like logo placement, instructions, pictures, disclaimers, etc. With that comes a lot of revisions to perfect the vision of the project.

We ended up with this:

Box Design

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Step 5: PRINTING

Like at any other step, the project can go horribly wrong at this point. It is absolutely critical that the communication between customer service, the print department and the die cutter remains consistent and undying. Essentially, the die cutter is calling the shots- the kind of paper being used, what size the sheets need to be when they reach their facility, etc. So everything that the printing department plans to do has to be reviewed by the die cutter. Lack of review and one silly mistake will have the printing department re-running the job and losing money for the company.

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Step 6: DIE CUTTING

From this point, the project gets printed and is then sent to the die cutter. The die cutter will then cut, score, fold, glue (glue can be done by machine, but in this case it had to be done by hand) and pack the product (in flat form) into boxes for client delivery.

Written by Kak

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Here are some packing terms to be aware of:

STE: Straight Tuck End- The tucks of a tuck-end carton in which the end flaps are extensions of the same panels.

Straight Tuck End

Straight Tuck End

RTE: Reverse Tuck End – The tuck of a tuck-end carton in which the end flaps are extensions of the opposite panels. This design provides less scrap.

Reverse Tuck End

Reverse Tuck End

ABB: Automatic Bottom Box- A bottom on a folding carton that has been scored and glued so that it folds flat. This type of carton will automatically close the bottom when the carton is opened for filling.

Automatic Bottom Box

Automatic Bottom Box

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com or follow us at http://twitter.com/ProjectCenter.

A 1-2-3 Bottom Box in packaging terms refers to the bottom of a folding carton. These are often used as candy boxes. The carton is die-cut is such a way that, once assembled, the bottom easily folds on to itself. This makes the process of hand work much easier and efficient.

Unfolded, the 1-2-3 die-cut bottom looks like this:

123_bottom_boxes

Once folded, it looks something like this:

1-2-3 Bottom Folded

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com

Here we have some more terms referencing packaging. Just like any paper stock that printing would use, like C1S or Book or Text, packaging has some of it’s own stock- mainly Box Board Stock. This stock is pretty common in the packaging industry as is C1S. A great example of its usage would be cereal boxes.

This stock is monetarily efficient because it does not need to be printed internally (inside the box). The internal side is often called CCNB, or Clay Coated News Back, which is just a kaolin clay coated side of the Box Board. This coating gives packages strength against wetness, meaning a box won’t fall apart if it gets wet.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com.

A recent marketing tactic is to perforate print materials. As an example, you might receive a postcard or brochure in the mail that will have a coupon or business card placed within the artwork. The edge of those items are perforated so that you can keep it. The idea is to get information to a client or prospect that won’t fall apart before it reaches its destination, while the receiver can easily take away and keep that information.

These kind of materials are usually done on a cardstock for durability, and the perforations are most always done by a die-cutter after the printing is completed. I have had people ask if there is pre-perforated stock that could be printed over the perforations, but I have yet to find any.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com.

When making and printing packaging, such as display boxes, there are some certain terms that one needs to know. These terms are for the communication between the seller, a die-cutting firm and designer, and not so important to the print. A printer will simply print whatever is needed on to sheets of cardstock, that then gets turned over to a die-cutter that cuts, scores, glues and folds to spec. If the designer and the die-cutter do not communicate, and the specs are not exact (i.e. a measurement or the artwork is millimeters off target), the project will become waste. Once the package is assembled, it will become quite clear that something is not right (i.e. the design is not positioned correctly or the box is not geometrically sound).

Now for the first term- Pylocks. Unfortunately, a photo can not be supplied here. 

As an example, if you take a box of pain relievers off the shelf of a grocery store, look at the lid of the box.  Opening the lid, you will see that the lid has a lip. Between the lip and the “top” of the box, there are slits on either side. These slits are the Pylocks that allow the lid to naturally lock with the underlying flaps.

 

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com or follow us at http://twitter.com/ProjectCenter.

A Pillow Pack is a form of packaging that can be printed on and is often used in marketing scenarios and/or gift giving.

Pillow Pack Packaging

Pillow Pack Packaging

A Pillow Pack is very attractive in its style, and is very easy load and unload. Thus, it is often used by outfits that want to represent themselves as high quality establishments.

There are important items to note regarding the Pillow Pack: 1) Make sure the printer is setting up the job so the paper grain goes the length of the box once it is cut; 2) Make sure the printer is using or recommending the proper paper stock; 3) Make sure that, if the printer is not also the die cutter, that the both the printer and broker are in close communication with the die cutter, because a die cutter knows exactly what needs to be done in order for the job to be perfect.

Check out ProjectCenter at www.makepapereasy.com.