In a perfect world, all custom packaging jobs would go off without a hitch. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case, and such incidents result in wasted time and money, not to mention stress and frustration among all parties involved. Below you’ll find quick tips to avoid falling culprit to the most common problems encountered with custom packaging.
Start earlier than you think
Need a thousand boxes made in a few days? We hate to break it to you, but it’s not really possible! Offset printing requires at least 7-10 business days for each job—more if you choose upscale options such as foiling or spot gloss UVs, and definitely more in the event of a larger crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which would affect supplies and production. This is all in addition to graphic design work, review and proofing (which realistically takes at least a day or two), and time for shipping. With one thing and another, it often takes more time than you may think for the whole process from start to finish—at least four to six weeks minimum from first requesting a quote to your packaging being shipped out. If you or your team catch something that must be changed, it will take even longer! To be safe, it’s suggested that you build more time into your calendar (for example, five to eight weeks) and always, always start gathering quotes early!
Always review proofs very carefully
Don’t be that person with cringe-worthy typos on their packaging—it’s more common than you may think! Although your eyes may have glazed over long before you arrive at the proofing and approval process (and understandably so), it’s necessary to reread every single word and check each part of your packaging design to make sure everything looks as you envisioned. So grab a fresh pair of eyes or five—it’s worth it for the sake of avoiding packaging that’s ultimately unusable.
Stay flexible about color matching
Sometimes so-called catastrophes can be averted by adjusting your expectations beforehand. Color is one of the most important tools in branding and marketing, but even extremely experienced printing technicians have difficulty matching their printing to clients’ color swatches, especially if they’re printed in different ways—for example, matching colors to a product label. The differing printing processes, inks used, and materials simply throw in so many unlike factors that the task of seeking an exact match becomes a complex and difficult one. So will the colors on your packaging match that of your label or a previous box you had digitally printed? To be honest, it likely will not be identical even when handled by the most experienced printers you can find. But will it be reasonably similar that most customers won’t even notice in real-life situations? You bet.
Custom packaging is a whole new world for many people, but it’s not that difficult to make sure yours turns out exactly the way you want it! It all boils down to giving yourself a generous amount of time, being extra careful with all aspects of your packaging design, and staying realistic about what to expect. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about preparing your files and how things such as color will realistically work out! Custom packaging is truly a collaborative effort, and better communication means a better end result that everyone is happy with.
Looking for easy, quick and beautiful custom packaging of your own? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!