Sunday, December 2, 2012

Personalized Packaging: Added Cost or Added Value?

Traditionally, product packaging is seen as added cost. With the additional investment required to design and print product packages, business owners often consider packaging as optional. If they can sell products with only a plastic or simple carton to cover them, then why spend additional money for the packaging?

Recently, though, personalized packaging are seen by huge brands as a great advertising strategy. Big companies are taking advantage of creating customized packages which the customers themselves designed.  Coca-Cola, for instance, wrote some of the common people names on their bottles. The purpose was to create unique and mesmerizing packages while at the same time promoting customer interaction.

Heinz also created a similar campaign by offering custom printed soup labels through their Facebook page. I wouldn't be surprised if other companies, even small retailers, will come up with their own personalized packaging in the hope of attracting the attention of their fickle customers.

What would this mean to print providers? More customers. Digital and short-run printing will rise as demand for personalized packages will increase. Print industries with the likes of PrintPlace that produce such print services will only need to update and improve their service to get more clients. They can even suggest the inclusion of QR codes as added benefit of the packaging’s design as contrary to popular belief these codes are not only ideal on printed business cards but on packaging as well. With top class service and innovative technologies, businesses will have a hard time ignoring the lure of personalized packaging to perk up their business.

More and more companies are also ordering smaller quantities more frequently in order to target customers with more precision. This gives more and frequent customers to print providers, thus, ensuring continued revenue to them. Additionally, this will reduce print waste as short print runs only produce what is necessary.

Still, more sophisticated and innovative packaging presses are needed to sustain the personalized packaging need of companies. The next breed of low-cost packaging presses are still to come; when they are released, we can expect to see more personalized and interactive packages. Then we can truly say that personalized packaging is not an added cost rather an added value.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Great Flyers Should Look Like

Companies that intend to reach a wide local market can benefit a lot from printed flyers. Though we are in a highly electronic world today, flyers still prove to be effective in large scale marketing campaigns. If printed on a good quality paper in an impressive and captivating manner, people will no doubt take the flyer and read it.

The challenge now is how to create charming flyers that will draw public attention. Printers and graphic artists will tell you different ways to create the best flyers, but it’s still up to you to decide on how your flyers will look like. It’s up to you to make them as enthralling as possible.

This is a collection of creative and attractive flyers to help you get started with your own design.

Leese Byrns Realty – custom flyer design created by Graphic Designer Tips

Masque – artwork designed by Jason Arend

AUM Pharmacy – folded flyer designed by Rongdhonu Graphics

Paged for Business – this is another flyer designed by Rongdhonu Graphics

Woodcrafters Cabinetry – this is a flyer designed by Design Smart 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Design Inspiration: Folded Brochures

Tweet. Like. Post. That’s all everybody does these days. They spend all day glued to their computers sending messages to almost everyone they desire. Even the business industry has jumped into the bandwagon as more and more entrepreneurs have moved to the online market and adopted modern marketing techniques.

But in today’s extremely competitive era, successful businesses don’t just focus on one marketing avenue; they take advantage of all possible avenues to get in touch with their target audience. That being said, brochures should form part of every business’ marketing program.

Beautifully crafted brochures will effectively attract potential customers and encourage them to make purchases at once. If they are happy and satisfied with their experience, they might even bring referrals to the company.

It’s not that hard to create beautiful brochures these days. The Internet, for one, is teeming with samples of well-designed brochures. Here’s an inspiring showcase of some of the most incredible folded brochures ever created:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

3D-Printed Guns: Awesome or Scary?

3D printing seems to be a promising project. Just imagine having the capacity—and the liberty—to create materials right at your own home. Jewelries, toys, tools, you name it; everything is presumably possible with 3D printing. In fact, even working guns are said to be possible in the near future. Awesome or scary? Just imagine everyone having the capacity to create guns as they please. A big convenience to goons and criminals, but a pain-in-the-you-know-what for police officers. So, do people have a reason to worry about this innovative printing technique?

Popular Science reported that “HaveBlue”, an amateur gunsmith who is a member of Thingiverse (an online community for 3D printers) under the user “HaveBlue”, has successfully printed a working .22 caliber pistol in as little as $30 worth of ABS plastic. Although HaveBlue said that there are still modifications that need to be done on the pistol, he has already made the blueprint available for download, which gives anti-gun advocates more reasons to worry about.

Forbes also reported about a group called “Defense Distributed”, which initiated a project called 'Wiki Weapon Project' aimed to create blueprints that will allow anyone to 3D-print guns at home. Although their project looks too violent to some, Cody Wilson, the chief spokesperson of the group, claimed that Wiki Weapon Project is legal. It will allow anyone to print guns that they are allowed to lawfully use, provided that they don’t manufacture them for sale.    

Anxiety aside, 3D printed guns are remarkable inventions. They will give us the ability to create usable weapons at an extremely lower cost. However, the idea still needs to go through considerable legislative barriers before it can be made legal. A legal 3D gunsmith, for instance, has to face numerous federal, state and local gun regulations before he can operate legally.

3D printing is indeed a remarkable technique that has the potential to change the world for the better. But unless we can regulate 3D printers, there’s high potential for us to fail to protect ourselves from the real dangers of this technology. Like they say, there are always two sides to a coin, and if we’re not careful, 3D-printed guns can easily fall under the dark side of 3D printing.   

Thursday, September 13, 2012

ParaNorman: The First Animated Zombie Comedy Created through 3D Printing

If your town is attacked by zombies and ghosts, who do you call? Norman Babcock. He is a misunderstood boy from a small New England town who is the main protagonist of the 2012 American 3D stop-motion animated comedy horror film ParaNorman. This is his heroic story of saving his hometown from a century-old curse.

Sounds like an ordinary animated movie, right? Not really. ParaNorman is actually the first stop-motion movie to use a rapid prototyping machine, a 3-D color printer that creates objects instead of paper, to produce more expressive puppets. This allowed the animators to create large numbers of puppets rapidly and easily. The result is a movie that looks more like an animation than a stop-motion.

Produced by Laika Entertainment, the production team used hundreds of layers of fine white plaster-vinyl powder sprayed with ink to create the 1.5 million expressions of Norman and the rest of the 27 characters. Norman’s eye rig alone is composed of 40 3D printed parts, which allows the character to look up, down, right, and left.

The studio used Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR to film the movie instead of using the traditional 3D format cameras. Each frame is shot twice; the second shot is taken from a different viewpoint so when knitted together the result is a seamless animated film.

The production stage lasted three years, with the two years spent for the animation stage of production. Watch the official trailer of the movie here.