How Your Product’s Packaging Can Affect Your Bottom Line

temp-3You’ve heard the old saying, “never judge a book by its cover.” In today’s competitive world of retail, however, customers have no choice but to judge products by their packaging. Busy consumers simply don’t have the time to painstakingly compare products and weigh their pros and cons. In this sense, then, a product’s packaging can really make or break a customer’s decision to buy. If you’re not already focusing on creating packaging and labeling that appeals to your customer base, your business could be missing out on profit.

The Undeniable Importance of Product Packaging

Believe it or not, a product is only as good as its packaging. Think about it: if a customer chooses another product over yours because it’s packaged in a more appealing manner, does it even matter that yours is the better product? Today, retail shelving space is more competitive than ever, and your product is likely to be placed adjacent to competing products from other brands. Customers, by their very nature, tend to be drawn to products with packaging that appeals to them; think about the last time you went to pick out a new book or even a bottle of wine. More than likely, you gravitated toward the labels and covers that you liked. Successful product packaging can not only help encourage sales but can also help build brand recognition. Think about some of the most popular brands across the globe. Apple, for example, is known for its sleek and minimalist packaging. In this sense, your packaging and labeling is a form of marketing in itself.

Considerations for Better Product Design

Unfortunately, even if you know how to create the best product on the market, that’s not going to do you much good if your packaging is boring. By keeping some key considerations in mind as you design your packaging, you can hit a home run with your customers. Your Target Audience Designing amazing packaging starts with really knowing your audience. This means being able to narrow down your demographics, age group, and even gender (if possible). From there, you can better tailor your packaging to your target audience. For example, if your ideal customer is a teenage girl, then your packaging will probably resonate more if it’s bright in color and stands out from the rest. On the other hand, more neutral colors and sleek designs may appeal to an older, professional audience. Your Packaging Budget In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to worry about a budget when designing your packaging. Realistically, however, you’ll need to design packaging that’s within your company’s budget and reflects your desired price point. For instance, if you’re trying to market your product as a high-end option that’s more expensive than your competitors, then cheap packaging isn’t going to do the trick; you’ll need to spend a little more on premium packaging materials to get your customers to see the perceived value. On the other hand, even less expensive packaging can be played up with the right colors and fonts. A stylish typeface, for example, can add an air of elegance to your labeling without increasing costs. Environmental Concerns Last, but not least, don’t overlook the possibility of using recycled or other environmentally-friendly packaging options—particularly if your target audience is the Millennial generation or another demographic known for being “green.” Yes, you’ll likely spend slightly more on this type of packaging, but your brand will also appeal more to your audience, and your efforts to reduce waste will improve your brand’s reputation in the process.

As you can see, your product packaging undoubtedly plays a huge role in your sales and overall success as a company. Looking for help with your package/product design? CQ Solutions is here to help


Digital vs. Offset Printing


Digital vs. Offset Printing: Advantages of Each and How to Decide which is Right for Your Project.

The growth of digital printing technology has brought technical advancements, more options, and exciting new features to today’s commercial printing. It’s also brought some confusion. An understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of digital printing and how those compare to traditional offset lithography is critical in making the right choice.

Most Common Offset lithography is the most common high volume commercial printing technology. In offset printing, the desired print image is burned onto a plate and is then transferred (or offset) from the plate to a rubber blanket, and then to the printing surface. The lithographic process is based on the repulsion of oil and water. The image to be printed gets ink from ink rollers, while the non printing area attracts a film of water, keeping the non printing areas ink-free. Mechanical

Steps Eliminated in Digital Printing Digital printing eliminates many of the mechanical steps required for conventional printing, including making films and color proofs, manually stripping the pieces together and making plates.

So … Which is Better

Well, it seems that depends.

Advantages of Digital

  • Shorter turnaround.
  • Every print is the same.
  • More accurate counts, less waste and fewer variations, due to not having to balance ink and water during press run.
  • Cheaper low volume printing. While the unit cost of each piece may be higher than with offset printing, when setup costs are included digital printing provides lower per unit costs for very small print runs.
  • Variable Data Printing is a form of customizable digital printing. Using information from a database or external file, text and graphics can be changed on each piece without stopping or slowing down the press. For example, personalized letters can be printed with a different name and address on each letter. Variable data printing is used primarily for direct marketing, customer relationship development and advertising.

Advantages of Offset

  • High image quality.
  • Works on a wide range of printing surfaces including paper, wood, cloth, metal, leather, rough paper and plastic.
  • The unit cost goes down as the quantity goes up. Quality and cost-effectiveness in high volume jobs. While today’s digital presses are close to the cost/benefit ratio of offset for high quality work, they are not yet able to compete with the volume an offset press can produce. Many modern offset presses use computer-to-plate systems as opposed to the older computer-to-film work flows, further increasing quality.

Still Not Sure Which is Right?

Use this checklist to help decide: Quantity.

  • Offset printing has a front-end cost load. Short runs may have a high unit cost. But as quantities increase, the unit cost goes down with offset printing. Very short runs can be much more cost effective with digital printing; while larger quantities are likely to have a lower unit cost with offset printing.
  • Printing medium. Do you need or want a special paper, finish or unusual printing surface, or unique size? The options are increasing continually for digital, but offset printing still offers the most flexibility.
  • Color. Digital presses use four-color process printing. If you need only black ink or one or two ink colors, offset printing may offer a more cost-effective solution. If you need four-color printing, digital may offer advantages in lower up-front costs.
  • More on color. If you’re planning to print using the Pantone® Matching System, offset printing will give you the best match, since it uses actual Pantone® ink. Digital printing simulates the color using a four-color matching process, so some digital printers may offer less accurate color matching on projects.
  • Turnaround. If you need it fast, digital usually offers quicker delivery. Proofing. Digital offers accurate proofs since you see an actual sample of the printed piece. Accurate color proofing for offset printing can be expensive.
  • Customization. Without question, digital printing offers the most affordable way to customize marketing materials, direct mail pieces, letters, etc.


Use the above checklist to help you decide and talk to your printer before submitting your job for advice on preparing files properly for the option you choose. –

See more at: www.cqsolutions.net

Article by Cynthia Pinsonnault, owner of Pinsonnault Creative, digital, editorial and corporate graphic design — from creative concept to the technology that makes it work. Read more at http://www.pinscreative.com/articles.htm.