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Packaging is where engineering meets design. Learn about the basics of designing packages for everything from foodstuffs to fragrance, in ways that are practical for manufacturing and shipping, and make the products visually appealing. Author Claudia McCue reviews the types of containers real packaging engineers consider, and then concentrates on folding cartons, which can be created with the tools available to most designers: Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. Learn how to create dielines (the flattened view of your product) and add artwork and text. Then find out how to print and cut out a mockup version of your packaging, and prepare the job for professional printing. Claudia also takes you for a quick view of the factory floor, where products are packed into their final containers.
When you're designing a package, there's all sorts of required information that you need to incorporate into your design and you have to work around it. For example, you have to include the Universal Product Code, the UPC barcode. And there has to be sufficient contrast between that UPC barcode and the background, so that it can be successfully read. Now in this instance, I don't think there is sufficient contrast, so I should lighten up the background so that it's easier to read and they don't have to scan it 14 times. There are also needs to be what's called a Quiet Zone, especially to the left and the right of the bars and there should be enough room above it as well, but it's most important left and right.
And that's why often you're going to see a barcode, in a white rectangle. And that also insures that there's sufficient contrast between the barcode and what's behind it. It is okay to shorten the barcode vertically a little bit, but you want to leave enough height that it's going to be able to be read. And something like this is not going to work, so you can't shorten it this much. You can shorten it a little bit in order to fit into your design, but don't get carried away. Often, you're going to have to include legal information such as safety and health cautions or country of origin and the intended use.
And of course, if it's food, you have to include nutritional information. And, you can go to the FDA website and see all the requirements. Including the requirements for minimum type size. And there's a lot of stuff that you have to put in, so just be prepared ahead of time. You have to accommodate that, you have to provide space for all this nutritional information that you're going to have to include. And ingredients of course in order of weight, best if used by date any allergy or diet information. For example if there are nuts you have to include that and if the product is manufactured in a facility that also handles nuts, even if that product doesn't contain nuts, you should include that information as well.
And sometimes, what you include is actually a positive message, for example if something is gluten free, that's actually good news. And you have to include any notifications that the product is Kosher or Halal certified. And again these things are actually positive information, to a consumer who is looking for products that meet those needs.
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