This article originally appeared in February 2020 and has been updated with new information for our readers.
The Proof is in the Pudding (and Packaging!)
Imagine an entrepreneur is walking into a room of potential investors. She brings with her a product sample and gives a standard presentation. Now, imagine that same entrepreneur presenting her product in a fully mocked-up prototype, complete with finished packaging. She’s able to offer a tangible representation of what the product might look like on store shelves. Having a packaging prototype can help our entrepreneur tell a complete brand story, delivering a much more compelling presentation and better enticing her audience to invest.
It's not enough to have a fantastic packaging idea. Translating a vision into an effective and manufacturable design begins with a prototype. A packaging prototype serves as a physical sample before mass production. In the packaging development stage, brands have the opportunity to evaluate the form and function of their packaging with the help of prototypes and can make any necessary changes before the product hits the retail or ecommerce marketplace.
There are two primary methods used to create custom corrugated packaging: conventional analog print (such as litho-lam or flexography) and digital print. Only digital print can provide entrepreneurs and small business owners the flexibility and short-run capabilities required to produce high-quality, cost-effective packaging prototypes.
Easily Update Your Packaging Design with Digital Print
Brand owners are rarely fully satisfied with the very first product packaging sample they see. Chances are, it may take multiple design changes to learn what resonates with the target audience and what doesn’t. The research process often includes market testing, focus groups, and surveys.
Because digital printing is a direct-to-board process, it doesn’t require print plates to transfer the image. As such, there is no time lost to print plate manufacturing and press setup time is significantly reduced. Artwork tweaks can be made quickly, and an updated design can be produced in short order, increasing a product’s speed-to-market. The digital print production workflow enables brands to free up more time and money to invest in design ideation and packaging testing.
Digital Supports Short-Run Order Quantities
The print plates and setup costs associated with conventional print methods can prevent brands from being able to cost-effectively trial different packaging designs. In some cases, the cost of one analog print run might exhaust the majority of a brand’s marketing budget. This is because analog print often requires high minimum order quantities to balance out the significant initiation and production costs, including tooling and machine setup.
By leveraging Fantastapack’s digital print technology, brands can order quantities as small as one without worrying about overwhelming setup costs or managing an obsolete packaging inventory. The price per unit for digitally printed packaging is significantly less than the cost of using analog print for low and mid-volume orders.
Additionally, with digital print what you see is what you get. The prototype that you receive is produced with the same technology and process as your full-sized production order. This means there are no surprises in print quality or finish when it’s time for the real thing.
With digital print, brands can market test their packaging and labels as many times as they need — without breaking the bank.
Design and Order Your Packaging Prototype Today
Fantastapack helps entrepreneurs and small business owners enter the packaging world with confidence and quick, high-quality digital print results. Choose from our extensive collection of box styles, labels, and retail displays and design your custom packaging today.
A bonus? We provide expedited production of 3-5 business days once your artwork is approved for prototype or sample orders in quantities of 1 to 4 boxes (not including shipping). As a member of Club Fantastic, you will receive Box Points for every sample order, which you can apply to future production orders.