blog    Plastic Ingenuity December 2013 Archive

How Much Can You Do with Plastic Packaging?

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 | 0 comments

Creating effective plastic packaging isn’t just a question of looks, or even of the package simply doing its job. As plastic thermoforming technology evolves and consumers become increasingly discriminating, packaging design has to do more in order to stand out. While the traditional priorities like visibility, security, durability and aesthetics are still a primary focus, the question more and more packaging manufacturers have to ask themselves is: what is plastic packaging really capable of? Enhancing Product Usability Plastic thermoforming technology is continually growing more advanced, and it gives a creative, skilled packaging manufacturer the means to develop truly innovative packaging designs. One major trend is the package itself enhancing the product and how consumers interact with it. For example, plastic food packaging—even stock packaging used by restaurants for takeout—is frequently microwave-safe, saving consumers a step in the kitchen. Rigid substrates can be used to replace flexible plastics for foods like chips, cookies and vegetables, making them easier to share and preventing damage in transit. Plastic food packaging is just one example of how packaging design can enhance the consumer experience....

How to Avoid a Packaging Design Failure

Posted by rhelmke on Uncategorized | Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 | 0 comments

Not all packaging designs are hits with consumers—especially redesigns. After all, no matter how talented the packaging manufacturer or how elegant the design, if you don’t create something that resonates with your audience, you could alienate them. At PI, our packaging design process includes asking certain questions about the audience and the product. Only when you honestly examine your existing packaging and branding can you determine what kind of redesign is best—or if you really need one at all. How Do People Identify Your Brand? Before you jump into a redesign project with your packaging manufacturer, you should identify just what it is about your brand that people recognize. How do they know who you are? What qualities in your branding and packaging do they appreciate? How do they differentiate you from the competition on a store shelf? There is perhaps no better example of this than the Tropicana packaging design change from 2009. Tropicana didn’t even change their entire design—just the image printed on it—and were met with a consumer uproar. By eliminating the iconic straw-in-an-orange image from the...

Plastic Packaging Priorities: Millennials Vs. Baby Boomers

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 | 1 comments

Two of the biggest and most influential consumer demographics in the country have some drastic differences between them, which can present a challenge for plastic packaging manufacturers. Together, millennials and baby boomers represent almost 70 percent of the U.S. population. While the former are entering the workforce in rapidly increasing numbers, the latter are retiring just as quickly. Whether you want to create packaging designs that speak to the younger demographic, the older one, or both, what do you have to keep in mind? Millennial Priorities for Packaging Designs There are now more than 80 million millennials in the U.S. today, and having come of age during a time of huge technological innovation, they are well-connected and influential consumers. How do you target them with your packaging designs? First of all, millennials prefer a combination of practicality and style—packaging designs that are creative, but not frivolous. They are eco-conscious, which means that plastic packaging should be sustainable and minimize waste. Finally, millennials are busy, and heavily invested in time-saving opportunities. This means that packaging manufacturers should maintain a focus on...

Is Your Packaging Design Guy-Friendly?

Posted by rhelmke on Design | Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 | 0 comments

We’ve written before about knowing your audience here on the PI blog, especially as demographics and consumer behaviors change. The people you think are shopping for your product may not be the ones you think, and targeting the wrong demographic with your packaging design—even one that used to be your biggest audience—can send you down the wrong path. Case in point? The grocery store. Studies show that more and more, men are taking charge when it comes to shopping for groceries and preparing meals. This means that brands and packaging manufacturers are looking for ways to market food products specifically toward consumers with Y chromosomes. The question is, how do you create plastic food packaging that attracts men?   Go Big or Go Home When it comes to packaging designs geared toward men, remember that sometimes, more is more. The current trend for packaging that targets men is to go big, which can mean everything from including bigger portions of the product to ample space on the package for branding that uses big, bold fonts and striking imagery. Plastic food...

Design Considerations: Pharmaceutical Packaging

Posted by rhelmke on Medical packaging | Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 | 0 comments

Pharmaceuticals are some of the most sensitive products on store shelves today. Between delicate chemical compositions, risk of theft and potential for accidental misuse, products like medications have to be thoughtfully packaged before they’re ready to be sold. At PI, we specialize in a wide variety of pharmaceutical packaging types, and we’ve learned the most critical design considerations from firsthand experience. Here are a few things to keep in mind. Sanitation Maintaining the integrity of products like medications is arguably the most important aspect of designing pharmaceutical packaging. If plastic packaging isn’t designed with care, it can contaminate the product and make it unfit for use. At PI, we respond to that need by manufacturing in a special clean room environment. This means that everything from the tooling to the plastic packaging itself stays safe and contaminant-free from start to finish. And don’t forget, of course, that the product has to remain safe long after it leaves the facility—if the packaging has any defects that allow contaminants in, it can compromise the product. Unit Dose Packaging Unit dose plastic packaging...

Thermoforming 101: A Plastic Packaging Manufacturing Infographic

Posted by rhelmke on Plastics | Monday, December 2nd, 2013 | 0 comments

When you work in the plastic packaging industry, it can be easy to take your years of experience for granted. Here at PI, we’ve been thermoforming plastic long enough to know the process inside and out, from the varying properties of different materials to the best ways to work with them. If you aren’t yet familiar with the thermoforming process, though, where do you start? Right here. The PI team is proud to share this new infographic explaining the history of thermoforming plastic, and how plastic packaging manufacturers like us manage the process using modern technology. If you want to see how the process has changed over the years, or you just want to understand a little more about how plastic packaging manufacturers create the products you see on store shelves every day, check out the infographic below. Embed this infographic on your site