Knowing your Printer’s capabilities can make the difference between a drab 4 color print job and a strong Pantone color package with spot varnish and other extras. And while the extras do come at a price, the difference is not always strictly a matter of dollars & cents. The cost of making something special has been coming down. In fact the printer that you’ve been working with ‘forever’ may very well have upgraded their offerings. So it always pays to ask for an updated capabilities run-down. And if you don’t find what you need, look elsewhere. Because many of the processes that used to be reserved for high end corporate design jobs have filtered down to product labeling. Gold foil embellishments have been spotted on regular grocery items. And die-cuts are another nice touch that may be within reach. You just need to know what to ask and you may need to do some shopping around.
Mehadrin knew that their Yo Smart Yogurt packed all the benefits that moms appreciate. Our job at MWD was to get the kids on board. For small kids, this product’s target consumer, we chose a tone that literally shouts FUN. In fact, the newly launched Yo Smart pouch delights kids with a bright, colorful, almost toy-like appeal. When moms and kids both reach for the same product you know that you have designed a winner. The engaging packaging has been leaping off shelves into the eager hands of happy preschoolers and grateful moms alike. Mehadrin is thrilled and we at MWD are proud of another successful product launch!
Today, all it takes is a few clicks to find a neat list of current design trends-complete with photos and examples. It seems so simple. But therein lies the danger. While spotting trends is an important skill set, knowing how to make the most of this information is a more complex task. Design trends seem to evolve almost overnight; minimalist white, bright neon flooded colors, or hand rendered chalk on blackboard. Once you spot it, you see it repeated everywhere. Sure, designers need to be mindful of prevailing trends- but they need to be mindful of their client’s specific needs as well. The client’s budgeting and timelines are important considerations here. If a project will require nine months lead time, (it does happen) then the trend may have already moved on. If budgeting will not allow for frequent package updates then the client should opt for a ‘look’ that is on trend but at the same time, enduring and timeless. While it is vital to remain very much aware of current trends, the ’trick’ is to use that knowledge intelligently, and that requires a thorough understanding of clients’ needs. There is no shortcut to success, keen insight and solid experience are the keys to successful branding.
When planning a packaging update pay special attention to color. Consumers may ‘allow’ you a design update but they are far less forgiving if you change SKU colors on them. Even if you print the wording in nice large letters to make SKU selection straight forward, those who are used to grabbing the green SKU of their widget will look for that color and hesitate or even rethink their purchase if ‘their’ color is not immediately recognizable. Bear this in mind when updating your branding for a smooth transition to your new look.
Today’s shoppers are likely to be making their grocery selections on a PC, phone or tablet. Conventional package design that spoke to the consumer pushing a cart now needs to speak to the owners of virtual carts as well. How does this translate into graphic design choices? For one thing clean type that reads easily in reduced size is key. At the same time graphics and photos are trending larger. While they may even look a little oversized on the conventional grocer’s shelves, when viewed as postage-stamp sizes thumbnails they pack a punch and catch the viewer’s attention. Bold SKU differentiation- always an important consideration now needs to be even more pronounced. We’ve traded in the cluttered grocery aisle for a crowded, cluttered screen and as designers we always need to adapt our strategy the new, constantly evolving reality.
We’ve been so busy polishing every one else’s image that we never took the time to update our own. As they say- the shoemaker’s children go barefoot. Well not anymore. Along with a refreshed logo we are excited to begin this dialog. Here we get the chance to boast about some of our recent work. We’ll post insights into packaging trends, and share some treasures- graphic and otherwise that we’ve discovered. Stay tuned and more important— stay in touch. We’d love to hear from you. MWD is on the move in more ways than one…and always-thinking about the box!