Our experts have pulled together the top 5 trends in packaging for 2017 to help you jump start your year.
Excellence in color communication. Buying decisions are often made in seconds at the shelf, and brands understand that accurate, consistent color is frequently a driving force in that choice. Packages that look faded will be pushed to the back, and brand colors that are not vibrant and recognizable can also cause a product to be passed over. That’s why it is critical to measure and monitor color across the entire global supply chain and put measures in place that ensure consistency from site to site. This includes scorecards which can help multi-site operations better manage color and brand owners select the best partners. It also means communicating color specifications digitally rather than relying solely on physical references. And using resources such as the Pantone Color Institute to make the most informed decisions about colors for brands and products adds further value to the process. Whether it is color trend forecasting, brand color development, custom color solutions, or product palette selection, the Pantone Color Institute can guide you through the development of a color strategy that fits your company’s unique needs.
Go-to-market advantages of digital printing. The unique capabilities of digital printing have captured the attention of retailers, brand owners, and packaging converters around the world by creating opportunities to more effectively engage consumers and economically produce smaller lot sizes and versioned packaging. Brands and converters capitalize on digital printing’s economic and speed-to-market advantages for mainstream package decoration. Color management is important here, as well, in order to ensure consistent color whether a package is produced using digital, flexo, offset or gravure!
Smart packaging. Nothing signifies more the transformational era of packaging than the growing demand for smart packaging. In addition to offering track-and-trace and anti-counterfeiting measures, smart packaging is a way for brands to strengthen and enhance the customer relationship. Whether it is providing a deeper level of product information, offering ancillary products, or providing consumers with information about the source of the product, smart packaging can boost brand perception and increase consumer confidence with an immersive experience. Combining rigid and flexible materials in a hybrid packaging model also adds value to products on the shelf or in the showroom.
Green packaging increasingly driving purchase decisions. Environmental sustainability is becoming a significant purchasing driver as the world increasingly recognizes the dangers of climate change and other human causes of environmental deterioration. Packaging plays a role here, and brands are looking for ways to reduce the amount of packaging materials they use, incorporate more recyclable materials, and reduce the overall packaging production CO2 footprint. But they want to do so without risking damage to products or negatively impacting shelf appeal. This will be a key element of brand positioning and marketing strategies in 2017 and beyond.
Using Total Appearance Capture in packaging design. With the creation of more complex hybrid packaging comes the need for a way to visualize the package in a realistic manner very early in the development process. Reducing the time and cost associated with creating multiple rounds of physical samples, which often must be shipped globally, is the Holy Grail of the packaging design process. Technologies now exist that enable brands and their suppliers around the globe to render packaging designs – including accurate color, texture and gloss – realistically enough to eliminate the need for physical samples through multiple approval processes, often producing physical samples only when manufacturing is set to begin. This represents a truly transformational change in the packaging design process that speeds time to market, improves consistency and reduces both costs and environment footprint.
X-Rite’s Color Experts work hard to stay on top of all of the latest trends and have the know-how to help your company take advantage of them.