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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 start creating packaging, Adobe Illustrator is perfect. If you're already an Illustrator user, you can use the drawing tools that you're used to. It's a familiar toolset, so you don't have to start from scratch with something foreign. And it gives you precision coupled with flexibility. You can line objects, you can distribute them, you can make sure that things are where you want them. Because let's face it, neatness counts. And that maximum magnification of 6,400% ensures that you can work really neatly. You have a huge drawing table. It's 227.54 inches on a side.
And if you're curious why it's a decimal there that's because really under the hood Illustrator's thinking in points. So it's actually 16,383 points on a side. Now, there are professional plugins that are available to extend the capabilities of Illustrator. EskoArtwork is a huge player in the packaging market, and they have a product called DeskPack. It's actually a set of tools that plug in to Illustrator. FFEI has something called RealPro Toolkit, similar to what you see from Esko.
And then it also has the RealVue 3D Packager, which lets you preview a package in a 3D form without actually having to print it out and cut it out. So, coupled with the base capabilites of Illustrator and then these enhancements that you can get through an add-on, you can go a long way toward creating your packaging design without having to purchase fully proprietary products.
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