“Begin with the end in mind” is an appropriate mantra for packaging designers. The careful consideration of material and production requirements is essential to developing responsible and producible packaging designs. Starting with the packaging structure—whether it is a paperboard carton, a plastic bottle, a glass jar, or a flexible-film pouch—the designer should be familiar with how the package will be produced and printed, how the end product will be filled, and how any technical finishing requirements will be executed. Being fully informed about the production methods for the different types of structures and packaging materials used for the product is crucial. Production issues should be reviewed and any concerns addressed with the client and production team before the design process begins. The smooth flow of work between all parties involved in the design process is contingent on such concerns being addressed up front. The success of a packaging design rests both in a marketable design strategy and in its ability to be produced.

The packaging designer should be fully informed about the

  • size, shape, and structural material of the packaging;
  • material choice and its performance under retail conditions;
  • issues of sustainability;
  • software platforms for the computerization of printing and automation of the packaging process;
  • print specifications for product- and category-appropriate materials; and
  • global packaging design requirements of the brand, including packaging ...

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