Innovation: How tech and design work hand in hand
It’s no secret that product packaging and labelling is rising to a whole new level. Call it the beginning of a Golden Age if you like – we won’t disagree.
The surge in interest in product packaging is attributable to a host of factors, but none more so than the technological advancements taking hold in the printing industry itself.
For designers who may have previously been limited by printer quality and restricted in the complexity and scope of their designs, the precision of today’s presses opens up a world of opportunities.
Take a splash of juice – or for that matter a sprinkling of spice. With the right technology in place, we can now be certain that the label artwork is going to be delivered with accuracy and clarity, with the ink exactly rendered time and time again across thousands of labels.
It’s easy to image how a smattering of spice, recreated on a press that moves at incredible speed, could end up looking like a big mess, and not the artistic dream intended. But with today’s printing technology, and presses like the Bellissima, it’s possible to guarantee the print quality and resolution will be second to none.
Illustrations and graphic design that are true works of art add an enormous level of intricacy to the printing. As these designs grow more popular, the technological advancements that make this possible are quickly becoming indispensable to today’s printing industry.
And, buoyed by seeing their complex designs come to life, graphic designers are really starting to spread their wings. More than ever before, companies can push the boundaries and make more ambitious statements about their brand.
SAYING A LOT, WITH FEW WORDS
Thanks to our Bellissima press, linerless, self-adhesive labels can be the ideal vehicle for some of today’s most exciting packaging trends. Linerless labels offer improved efficiencies, volume applications and environmental advantages – and these qualities prove popular with both producers and consumers.
Moving away from wasteful packaging goes hand in hand with the minimalist approach that’s so popular today. In terms of design, this means a package that communicates its USPs straight away, relating what it is and what’s special about it with little to no extra material, words, or images. But “less is more” isn’t just a design aesthetic anymore, as young people take up the mantra as a lifestyle choice and reject the overconsumption of previous generations.
TRANSPARENCY AND “NO LOOK”
If your parents used to tell you, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach,” then they were probably right. Our shopping decisions are principally based on the look of the product, especially when we are buying fresh items like meat, fish and vegetables, and letting the product speak for itself is important.
With transparent product packaging, it’s really about using the amount of translucent and opaque materials according to the most advantageous proportions. In other words, you simply need to strike the right balance between giving a view of the product and communicating the essential information.
Transparent and translucent labels are continuing to grow in interest, with both clear and white films starting to firmly take hold in the market. Some of the most exciting labels we’ve seen lately have used stark white backgrounds on linerless labels, using bold pops of color to catch the eye and to communicate a promise of quality to the shopper.
Consumer shopping preferences are evolving, and as a result the role of the retail store is changing. For today’s shoppers, speed and value-for-money are highly sought after attributes. And as we previously mentioned, reducing waste and materials are very desirable. This sets packaging and label makers a challenge – as they need increasingly agile packaging strategies that encompass more and build up trust, while using less material.
What technology and innovation are also allowing brands to achieve is a joined-up approach, one that achieves consistency across a range and at the point of sale – whether it’s a luxury item or a multi-pack buy.
The continuity can go from in-store to online, with the brand reinforcing its message via e-commerce and via social media. In a world of crowded marketplaces and thousands of available options, this sort of consistency and clarity helps to build trust and reinforce a feeling of safety for the consumer.
In this way, innovation in packaging and print is moving along in a cycle, as it’s not just the technology and packaging trends that are changing. Customer expectations are evolving at an equal pace. Consumers are expecting more from their brands, in terms of engagement, and in terms of sustainability and social responsibility.
Consumers want their brands to deliver more than ever before, and with all this innovation taking hold it inevitably means that some brands will be left behind if they can’t or won’t change with the times.
But for every brand that’s defeated by innovation, there will be several that are propelled forward.
Just make sure your brand is one of the latter.
For more information, visit www.wearecatapultprint.com or contact Catapult Print on +1 (407) 890-6400