The demand for packaging prototypes, or mock-ups, has grown decisively in less than a decade. Today, digital printers provide the answer for printing short-run prototypes at a fraction of the cost of film-based proofing. With the overall growth of digital package printing anticipated to reach 375% by 2018, the capabilities of digital printers are surging. With many of the same capabilities as manual processes, digitally-printed prototypes are poised to overtake their predecessors in these categories.
Here are six reasons why digitally-printed prototypes are easier than ever:
1. Additional substrates
Print on anything with ultraviolet (UV) ink printers, and access a wider range of substrates with solvent ink printers.
2. Increased PMS color-matching
Receive color-correct printing through a vast gamut of improved matching options, including opaque white and metallic.
3. Varied surface finishes
Achieve textured or spot-varnish finishes that were previously impossible through digital printing.
4. Realistic embossing
Present the same high-end appearance with a few extra passes of the printheads.
5. Improved resolution
Attain quality levels that rival those of resolution independent mock-ups.
6. Fast turnaround
Shorten timelines by using automated printers.
Cris Lauer Aranda is the marketing consultant for Create It Packaging, a package design company that customizes packaging prototypes or mock-ups to meet the needs of brand managers, creative directors and marketing teams seeking short-run production.