August 2009

In This Issue:
• Packaging Solutions in China
 — Key Advantages of China Packaging Production for International firms
 — Tips in Packaging Process
 — CPS Packaging Services
• Case Study: Garment Guard Packaging Suite
• Meet the Staff: Jeff Shen
• Upcoming Events


  China Printing News, Tips on China Print Production & Case Studies

PACKAGING SOLUTIONS IN CHINA
(Advantages, Services and Tips in China Packaging)


With a growth rate topping 18% annually for 30 years and projected growth to more than US$176 billion by 2010, is it any wonder the focus of this month’s newsletter is the Chinese packaging industry?

Key Advantages Of China Packaging Production:

Cost-Although aspects of packaging manufacture are highly automated, manual labor is indispensable throughout the process from structural engineering through printing to post press assembly. As a rule, the more process or hand assembly required, the greater cost savings are to be realized through China production. (to learn more on China cost mechanics, read 'China Recession Print Strategies')

Modern Machinery-As a result of ongoing demand, a staggering amount of foreign direct investment, and government policies which both subsidize investment in cutting edge technology and ensure ready access to debt financing, Chinese packaging factories boast some of the most advanced

packaging equipment in the World. This means increased production efficiency, faster turn times and lower cost.

Proximity to merchandise source—Ok, it is a ‘no-brainer’ to reason that if your merchandise is being produced in China that your packaging should be too. But have you considered your product photography and packaging artwork? Integrating your packaging strategy in this way saves buyers time and cost on logistics, dramatically reduces labor cost, and permits enhanced control and quality through a holistic approach to color management and communication.

Naturally you must do your research and choose wisely what work is appropriate to do in China and by whom. While silhouette product photography and packaging design adaptations based on an existing style is a relative walk in the park, the capability of Chinese packaging service vendors to satisfy overseas market requirements for Art-directed photography or original brand design can vary greatly depending upon the type of service supplier selected.


Packaging Tips:

Welcome to the strategy intensive, and error-prone packaging world! Even an expert in the packaging industry meets new problems every day. Here are some tips on producing effective packaging from 3 very different perspectives:

Packaging Design:
For all the money spent on advertising and promoting brands and products, a preponderance of purchasing decisions are still unplanned purchases, made at point of sale, within 3-5 seconds. With this in mind, it is impossible to minimize the role of packaging design in any sales plan. Here’s a close look at the brief lifespan of packaging communication:

0-1 seconds.....Get Attention!

Job number one— get your product noticed! Use large and clear headline type, pick attractive colors psychologically appropriate to the product inside, if practical use unusual shapes, materials or printing effects to generate curiosity and distinguish your product above the competition, and if the product is a series be sure that the individual items together make up a cohesive and consistent visual identity. Consumers often ‘buy packages, not products’ so designing a strong visual effect and executing it with high quality printing is an absolute must.

1-3 seconds..... Communicate Utility!
Once you have your customer’s attention, it’s time to start your ‘elevator pitch.’ What are the features and benefits of this product? Is it for Men, women, kids, seniors? How does it work? What problem does it solve? What is the core essence of its value? While your actual communication method is bound be radically different
f
or a household cleaning product than for luxury cosmetics,
every package has in common the need to clearly and quickly explain it’s passenger.

3-5 seconds....Sway Opinion!
The final step in packaging communication is also the most sublime—to communicate real value and sway opinion. After all is said and done, we buy with the heart as much as with the head. Whether we think the product will beautify our home, entertain our kids or satiate our sweet tooth, it is packaging design that holds the ultimate power of seduction. Here again, your choice of photography, shape, color and materials plays a crucial role.








The size and function of your product in part determines
what materials may be specified for your packaging structure.
Shown here are a few common weights and types of
corrugated board used in paper packaging.
For more information, click here.
Materials Specification and Structural Engineering:
Structural Engineering and Materials specification go hand in hand in their respective roles in presenting and protecting packaging contents.

Factors to consider in selecting packaging materials include method and ease of print, protective and preservative qualities and environmental sustainability.

For the latter, in recent years recycling post consumer waste into corrugated board and printable cardstock has become an economic panacea in China, with the CEO of one corrugated board maker being named China’s richest woman in 2007. (for more click here)

Good structural design should fully protect package contents using the minimum necessary packaging materials. Some of the common tests used to confirm the structural integrity and protective properties of corrugated boxes and their transport cartons are:

1. Burst test (Mullen test)
2. Edge Crush test
3. Drop test
4. Compression test
5. Vibration test

For more information on testing the transport-efficacy of packaging, visit the International Safe Transit Association at http://www.ista.org
For more information on the common flute size and thickness of corrugated board, click here.


Artwork Production:
Packaging artwork files, with their multiple layers, embedded files, and mazes of vector art paths, are amongst the most complex of digital files for print. Make sure that you (or your supplier) use a detailed checklist to ensure your packaging artwork file has been correctly set up before you go to print. At a minimum, a good packaging art checklist should confirm the following:

1. Package overall dimensions, glue flaps, fold and cut lines are correct according to a physical prototype professionally constructed of the actual materials to be used in production
2. Artwork is correctly oriented so that all panels will achieve right reading upon package assembly
3. Images are the final high resolution versions, have been clipped neatly (where applicable) and are in the CMYK color space
4. Die Cut line is set to overprint, as a 'non-printing' spot color.
5. Bar code is the correct type, number, Bar Width Reduction, magnification and is 100% black only
6. Country of Origin, Environmental Statement, safety warnings and other legal requirements have been fulfilled and are of the required size and location.
7. Unnecessary colors and objects have been deleted, fonts have been converted to outlines and crop marks/registration marks have been correctly positioned

CPS Packaging Services:

From structural engineering to private label packaging adaptations, China Printing Solutions and our US based parent company Ivie & Associate Inc. have years of experience in grocery, toy and gift, seasonal items and other product areas. Services include:

• Original brand design
• Structural Engineering and modeling
• Materials Specification and Sustainability consulting
• Waste reduction and pallet loading design
• Packaging Photography and retouching
• Packaging artwork production

To request a quotation on packaging services or printing, click here.

• Bar code generation and testing
• Color Management, digital proofing and Pre-Press
• Print production and management
• Drop test, Burst test, Compression test, vibration test, etc.
• Compliance testing for ASTM, Prop 65, CPSIA08 and other standards

To visit the Ivie & Associates website, click here.



Here below is the CPS main workflow of packaging project:



Case Study:

Garment Guard Packaging Suite


Client: The Pond, Inc.

Project Name: Garment Guard

Description:
Garment Guard is an apparel accessory sold at boutiques and drugstores around the United States. CPS produced the product packaging along with merchandising display solutions, advising on material specs and construction and designing a customized power panel display stand.

Key Challenges: Designing the merchandise display to maximize the number of units of product that it could hold while minimizing the shipping volume was a key concern. For the package itself, product was inserted in the United States, so packaging also shipped in flat. However to minimize the amount of labor that was required to insert and seal the packages, several designs were tested before the best solution was determined.

Techniques Used: Offset printing, custom shape die cutting, film lamination, adhesive seals, UV coating.

Meet the Staff:
Jeff Shen I SR. Premedia Artist


With a degree in Graphic Arts from Shanghai Publishing University and a packaging and pre-press background spanning a decade, Jeff is a true expert in packaging layout, color management, project workflow and preflight systems. Years of experience adapting packaging for some of the world's leading private label brands have honed his instincts for composition and consistency. When you submit your art to CPS, feel assured to have Jeff's careful eye overlooking the case. He enjoys singing, pop music and playing badminton and speaks Mandarin, Shanghai dialect, and English.

Jeff can be reached at jeff(at)chinaprintingsolutions.com.

Upcoming Events
Aug-Sep, 2009

September 2-5:
East China Plastics Packaging & Rubber Technology Exhibition (Suzhou)

September 16-18:
ISTA China Packaging Symposium
(Shenzhen)
*Meet Us There!


September 22-24:
China Paper / China Forest 2009
(Beijing)


Useful Tools:

Packaging Type Diagrams, click here!

IN THE NEXT ISSUE:
Shopping Bag Solutions

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