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FLEXO Magazine : July 2014
The Moment Of Truth Blending Design With The Technical Requirements of Flexography Kevin Bourquin According to research conducted by Beatty and Ferrell in the Journal of Retailing (Volume 74, pp. 169 --191), impulse buy- ing accounts for as much as 80 percent of all purchase decisions in certain market segments. As products compete on the shelf for consumer attention in this "First Moment of Truth," it is imperative that packaging designers have taken into consideration its structure, brand placement and color choices in order to stand out among the approximately 50,000 prod- ucts in a typical supermarket. To achieve an optimal rst impression in these key areas, designers must consider the technical aspects of the supply chain through the nal print process from the conception of the design. Package designs are created by a variety of di erent resources, from agencies to in house sta s to freelance artists, but they all have in common the same key metric for assessing the design quality: e designs look great on screen! Of course, this does not always translate to a great printed package and certainly does not guarantee a consistent, stable and repeatable design that upholds the original marketing intent. Brand owners want to make the best impression possible in that "First Moment of Truth." To better help them achieve their vision and align their packages to succeed, exographers must continue to educate those further up the supply chain, to adopt technical standards and to use innovative technologies that add value to the overall package experience. Understanding Package Structure Brand owners are relying more and more on using unique types of package structures to di erentiate themselves and draw attention to the package to initiate that impulse buy. Newly popular structures, such as stand up pouches and quad seal bags, require special attention to critical design aspects. e most basic is the graphic position of elements in relation to the packaging assembly requirements. Every piece of machinery used to form printed substrate into a nal package has tolerance ranges for its function. Too o en, les are prepared with only simple package dimensions that fail to address the size and tolerance of machine requirements. is issue, when discov- ered, gets addressed late in the production process when preparing les for plates. At this stage, xing the issue can a ect the original design intent. Communicating an accurate die line all the way through the supply chain gives designers the opportunity to catch these issues before the designs leave the artist. Reworking graphics to better t these 28 FLEXO | JULY 2014 PLANTS & PROCESSES