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Print Production Essentials: Packaging
Illustration by John Hersey

Combining packaging materials: Complex packaging


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Print Production Essentials: Packaging

with Claudia McCue

Video: Combining packaging materials: Complex packaging

Sometimes, packages are made out of multiple pieces and those would require multiple processes, perhaps even in different plants. For example, this promotional piece which looks like a gigantic book of matches, is a folding carton and it involves some dye cutting and then inside they've places sales material. It's a very attractive piece, immediately catches the eye, and it's a showcase for the kinds of printing and finishing this company can do. This little tea holder sort of serves as its own lid.

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Print Production Essentials: Packaging
1h 47m Intermediate Oct 02, 2013

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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.

Topics include:
  • Deciding on the type of package
  • Considering the consumer experience
  • Replicating an existing package
  • Adding flaps and fold-in tabs
  • Using Illustrator and InDesign for layout
  • Creating a dieline
  • Checking the mockup
  • Preparing your jobs for the printer
Subjects:
Design Print Production Design Skills
Software:
Acrobat Illustrator InDesign
Author:
Claudia McCue

Combining packaging materials: Complex packaging

Sometimes, packages are made out of multiple pieces and those would require multiple processes, perhaps even in different plants. For example, this promotional piece which looks like a gigantic book of matches, is a folding carton and it involves some dye cutting and then inside they've places sales material. It's a very attractive piece, immediately catches the eye, and it's a showcase for the kinds of printing and finishing this company can do. This little tea holder sort of serves as its own lid.

So its all one package, but when we flip the lid open we can get the tea out and then when you go to close it that little tongue that hangs out the front, the little tab, slips into the little slot in the roof of that cap. And then it makes close neatly. This is another combination package, and it's a sales piece that gives a pocket folder effect on the left, and then on the right, there was sales material and a sample, and it's even a carton within a carton, if you want to think of it that way. So when you look at something like this, think of the planning that's involved, and think of the manufacturing that's involved in making the individual pieces and then insuring that they all line up and fit together.

When you're packaging something delicate, or something fragile, and you want to make sure that it isn't damaged in transit, that can really involve some planning. This cute little timer is in a package that has a little shaped, plastic tray at the top to make sure that he doesn't wiggle around in transit. And then once you remove the little timer you can see that there's another little plastic tray at the bottom that his little feet sit in. So this involved creating a package out of cardboard for the external package and then a separate process to create these little plastic trays that are shaped to the product itself.

And then you can see underneath the base tray they've inserted the instructions for this little timer. So think of all the little pieces that constitute this. It's an adorable little product and its in an appropriately cute little case so it involved a lot of planning, lot of engineering probably involved several different manufacturing plants. So every time you take something out of a package start for a minute and look at the package think about what went into creating it.

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