5 Packaging Hacks for Sophisticated Marketers
Are you a consumer packaged goods marketer that loves working on packaging development projects and wants to become an advisor to your team? Get started on your journey with these 5 easy-to-understand package printing hacks.
I want to help you get inspired and achieve better results for your next package printing project.
These are 5 basic hacks worth knowing about:
1. Pressure-sensitive label adhesive facts:
It’s called adhesive (not glue) in packaging circles. A substance capable of holding materials together by surface attachment. There are as many adhesive types out there including basic categories such as removable, cold-temperature and permanent. When describing the application of your packaging needs to your printer, clearly articulate your adhesive behavioral needs during all stages of the product life from storage conditions and manufacturing to consumer use and end-of-life. If the label is applied to a product container in warm wet manufacturing conditions and stored during distribution at freezing temperature your printer needs to know. It’s “on you” to ensure your printer knows about all application and service conditions in advance of specification development. The risk of not sharing correct information is adhesive failure which would be costly to your brand.
TIP: To ensure the right specification, ask for a small-run sample of the label material sandwich (including coating and ink, label/adhesive/liner combination) and test it in all manufacturing, distribution and consumer-use temperature conditions before you go to final print.
2. Dies and Dielines:
In label printing, a traditional die is a cylinder with blades which cuts the material into a specific label shape and leaves space between each label on the press. Magnetic dies are flexible dies that operate on a shared cylinder and they save you money. Ask if magnetic dies can be used for your next print project.
TIP: Be sure to confirm the dieline BEFORE your designer begins designing the artwork. Your printer will supply the final dieline to you and your designer as dictated by the job, press and material specifications.
3. What is Extended Gamut Printing?:
In a nutshell, it’s defined as “Spotless Printing” where no spot colors are used. EG adds 2 inks to the color gamut to enable a wider range of printed colors. Extended Gamut provides accurate and repeatable color. Ask for it!
4. Get Low Migration Inks:
If you are designing packaging in the food, pharmaceutical, personal care or tobacco industry you will want to consider low migration inks, depending on the application. The ink chemicals in low migration inks will not migrate or penetrate through the packaging substrate into the product. Ask for them!
5. Substrate Specifications:
Substrate refers to any material to be printed on, die cut etc. Common materials include coated, uncoated and metalized papers and films. Leading suppliers are 3M, Avery Dennison, International Paper and Raflatac.
TIP: When creating the specification for your pressure-sensitive print job, be sure to ask your printer to specify the substrate to be used and the brand name such as: Raflatac SY359F Vanish 92 RP76 0.92 mil PET. If you leave one printer for another, you want to take your specification with you!
TIP: If you are printing a folding carton, ask for the branded material specification which includes the caliper or thickness of the paperboard material, usually stated in thousandths of an inch.
Lastly, when working on packaging projects attend press approvals where possible. Ask for a packaging 101 overview during the PA to help you learn about printer processes and recent investments. To help prioritize color accuracy results, ask your package designer to accompany you to the press approval. The designer may charge you for their time and it will be worth every penny!
Share. Learn. Grow!
I hope these 5 packaging hacks prove useful to you.
To help you kick-start 2018, I’ll blog about 5 “packaging team” hacks in January.
Have a question? Please reach out!
Karen Blumel Consulting Inc is a firm specializing in packaging development innovation and social media marketing services.
OVER TO YOU!
Do you have a favorite hack? Share it with us, we’d love to hear from you!