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FLEXO Magazine : July 2014
Factoring In Graphic Design We’ve established the power that results by shortening up the cycle time between design concept, prototyping and final approval, and eliminating those errors, or wasted money between the inception of the product and the time it gets pro- duced, manufactured, put onto a pallet and transport- ed to the retailer. What these tools offer, whether the design depart- ment likes it or not, is the opportunity for product management and market- ing departments to make empirical decisions early in the process—or at least gives them data to consider. When it comes time to make a decision between maintaining 98 percent utilization of pallet space or considering 100 percent utilization by making the product (or package) slightly larger, they can make an informed decision about whether it is better to take cost out of the supply chain process or respect the importance of the package design to the consumer. Many times, this data will dictate package and product size. Even then, brand managers will want to see how the graphics “real estate” is affected by shipping optimization. They will do so by reviewing three dimensional graphics. Brand owners do not want to lose real estate or the power of the brand on the shelf. Often the packaging managers are not only responsible for seeing line and print trials—they also have the visibility of all aspects. They are the same people who work with palletization and structural graphics and are also the liaisons for marketing and graph- ics. So, there will be an added importance to see the graphics. For example, if a retailer has a requirement for a certain number of facings on an end aisle display, what is that going to look like? Is the most optimized solution necessarily one that will look good when the customer walks down the aisle? What if the pallet has mixed products? With the 3-D programs available, brand owners can see the displays with realistic graphics. While the original process of product and packaging development was solely influenced by maximizing the message on the shelf, it now has a second component that can be measured up front at the design stage: economic efficiency. The future of package design not only will consider merchandising effectiveness, but transportation efficiencies as well. It will be more challenging, but the rewards to the brand are significant. n About the Author: Brad Leonard is responsible for Global Business Development for the portfolio of Cape products. Previously, he was president and CEO of CAPE Systems. In October 2013, Esko purchased the CAPE business and integrated its products into the Esko software product line. Image 6 Image 7 62 FLEXO | JULY 2014